What are lithium batteries?

They’re the little bundles of power that keep our world connected. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries keep our laptops and mobile phones running. Non rechargeable metal lithium batteries power our watches and remote car keys.

Why are they dangerous goods?

In a word? Fire.

Increasingly powerful, lithium batteries are designed to keep devices running for hours or days at a time. To achieve this, they contain high levels of electric energy. If packed incorrectly or damaged in transit, lithium batteries can short-circuit, causing them to overheat and catch fire.


Poor quality and counterfeit batteries are most at risk because they haven’t been through the
rigorous testing required.


Definitions of lithium batteries

The term “lithium battery” or “lithium cell” refers to a family of batteries with different chemistries, comprising many types of cathodes and electrolytes. They are separated into:
(I) Lithium ion batteries (Included lithium polymer batteries)
Rechargeable batteries commonly used in consumer electronics such as: Laptops, Mobile phones, MP3 players, Portable DVD players, GPS/navigation systems, Cameras, Camcorders, Scuba-diving lamps, Power tools, etc.

(II) Lithium metal batteries (Including lithium alloy batteries)
Non-rechargeable/disposable batteries that have lithium metal or lithium compounds as an anode and generally used in small, portable electronic devices, such as: Watches, Thermometers, Remote car locks, Back-up batteries in computers and communication equipment, etc.

All shipments containing Lithium Batteries are subject to dangerous goods regulations for air, road and sea transport. All lithium batteries are Class 9, Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods.

Lithium Ion Batteries are classified as follows, click here.

Lithium Metal Batteries are classified as follows, click here.

Where are they found?

The top 10 most popular shipments containing lithium batteries are:

1. Laptops and tablets

2. iPhones and iPads

3. Mobile phones

4. Measuring equiment

5. Medical devices

6. Hoverboards

7. Electric bicycles

8. Power tools

9. Automated External

10. Drones

Where can I find more details?

You can download our comprehensive PDF guide to shipping lithium batteries. Alternatively, you can just get in touch with us. 

Significant changes have been made to the global regulations for the transportation of lithium batteries by air. Click here for 2017 lithium battery guidance document.  

Whose responsibility is all this?

It’s the shipper’s responsibility to ensure dangerous goods are correctly declared, packed and labelled with the right documentation for the countries of origin, transit and destination.


What we can do is make it as easy as possible for you to follow these rules. With a bit of teamwork, we’ll get your dangerous goods shipped in no time.

Any questions?

If you have any doubts about whether your shipment is classified as dangerous goods or not, just get in touch with our experts using the button below. They’re on hand to answer all your dangerous goods questions – and will walk you through the shipping process.