11 May 2012

Lithium Cells Banned from US Mail. Batteries Deny Charge.

United States Postal Service bans foreign shipments of lithium-type batteries, loose or in electronic devices

The United States Postal Service has banned overseas shipments of lithium cell batteries.

This means batteries coming into the USA as well as batteries going out. And there's no exemption for military addressees, so we hope our brave troops can find room to stow a Super Holiday Mega Pack of Duracells.

Why? Blame it on whiny pilots who can't handle a little in-flight fire, plus the actions of some nanny state UN bureaucrats. Apparently, they find the charming nighttime scene depicted here a little disturbing...

Lithium battery fire forces UPS cargo plane to make emergency landing in Philadelphia, 7 Feb. 2006
UPS DC-8 cargo plane fire, 7 Feb. 2006
This ban covers all lithium batteries, all sizes and formulations, in both the rechargeable and non-rechargeable varieties. It also applies to any device with non-removable) lithium, say, a well-known brand of mobile phone.

Yep, the jury's still out on the lifespan of sealed phone batteries but the postal ban hammer's come down on your iPhone. Of course, the big phone makers will ship by boat. We wonder if the folks who run shipping lines have seen photos like this.:

Aftermath of in-flight cargo fire aboaard UPS DC-8 plane -- forced to make emergency landing at Philadelphia Airport, 7 Feb. 2006.
Well, at least a boat has lots of water...
Battery shipments have come under increasing scrutiny since 2004, when they were banned from US passenger planes. Worried about further impact on commerce, the United Nations is working to establish rules for battery handling and inspection.

All concerned parties, from the International Civil Aviation Organization to the Rechargeable Battery Association -- it's news to us, too -- hope to have it settled within a few months. USPS expects their ban (which starts next week) will be lifted by January, 2013.

Until then, MobilePhonesFan asks you to please yank 'em before packing, when possible. Let's be careful out up there.

via: USPS

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