I want to distribute an IoT product commercially. The product is powered by LiPo battery (3.7V nominal) ‎which is charged by solar panel (6V, 2W). ‎ My question is can I ship the product (internationally) with LiPo battery included? Are there any ‎regulations against it? What is the usual practice in similar case?‎ Do the same regulations apply to LiFePo4 batteries also?‎

  • It’s actually easier to ship a device with a LiPo battery than a spare/standalone battery. There are extensive rules on the topic, including maximum capacity, labelling, packaging, etc. Search for “icao battery regulations” for details. – jcaron Mar 3 at 8:55

ICAO and IATA have quite a number of resources on the topic.

https://www.iata.org/en/programs/cargo/dgr/lithium-batteries/ is an intro page with links to many other documents, including the 2021 Lithium Battery Guidance Document which is very detailed.

Note that both LiPo (Lithium-Polymer) and LiFePO4 fall in the "Lithium Ion" classification (as opposed to "Lithium Metal".

The document contains this flowchart for Lithium Ion batteries:

Classification Flowchart - Lithium Ion Batteries

The document details the requirements for testing, packing, labelling, and so on. You must also notify the carrier appropriately.

Generally, batteries inside devices are easier to ship than spare/standalone batteries, and millions of devices with LiPo batteries are shipped by air (including smartphones, tablets, wireless headsets, laptops, watches, drones and other RC vehicles, and many, many more). Standalone/spare batteries are a headache.

Basically, the main constraint for batteries inside devices (if you want to avoid specific "dangerous goods" contracts) is that the combined net weight of all batteries in a single package must not exceed 5 kg, you need to add the UN3481 Lithium battery mark on the package, and mark it as "P.I. 967-II".

UN3481 Lithium battery mark

Since a LiPo battery weighs about 20 g per 1000 mAh, you can pack (roughly) up to 250 000 mAh in a single package. Considering a relatively large 5 000 mAh battery, that would be 50 devices per box.

The batteries should have been tested by their manufacturer to meet relevant requirements.

[Batteries] must be packed in a strong rigid outer packaging unless when contained in equipment, the battery is afforded equivalent protection by the equipment in which it is contained

If you are planning to import and sell your devices in the EU, then of course your devices need to have CE marking which includes safety checks. There may be equivalent measures for other markets.

You must however double-check with your carrier(s) as they may have specific rules. For instance, here are the rules for Lithium batteries from Fedex. How to safely pack and ship batteries, from UPS is also a good more general ressource (covering more types of batteries).

  • Great answer. I was clueless so far, now you have put me on the right track. Thanks. – Zeni Mar 3 at 12:52

Many millions of products are shipped with batteries every day.

What rules will apply will depend on a factors you have not included (shipping method, size of battery, type of packing, number of units in a consignment...)

I suggest you talk to the courier you intend to use.

  • I intend to sell online so there would be one or a few units per package, with one LiPo (18650) inside the unit. I hope it won't be a problem in light of the answer above by jcaron.. – Zeni Mar 3 at 12:58

You can ship as so many electronic devices shipped internationally, so that you too can but do it with proper safety measures, if you done that then you are free to grow your business, or else https://batteryshipping.cc/how-to-ship-lithium-battery/?gclid=CjwKCAiAp4KCBhB6EiwAxRxbpNrD85WQahUOLKAwmY6aSeHGSkdeDNl47_JduF41f0Z2PS9QrE1e9xoCB6EQAvD_BwE this guys can ship your battery internationally, contact them

  • Noted. Thanks you. – Zeni Mar 4 at 17:52

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