Shipping Lithium Batteries with FedEx Express?

You Need to Know About These Important Changes, Effective 1/1/2017

FedEx Express changed its policy on standalone shipments of lithium batteries (i.e., not packed in or with equipment). That means shippers will have to change the way they prepare these shipments if they want to continue using FedEx Express.

Under previous rules, standalone shipments of lithium ion (UN3480) and lithium metal (UN3090) could be accepted as IATA Section II, commonly known as "Excepted Lithium Battery Shipments." Section II shipments of lithium batteries were not fully regulated, which meant they did not need Class 9 labels, UN packaging or Shipper’s Declarations, and there was no Dangerous Goods surcharge.

FedEx Battery Shipping Policy — As of January 1, 2017 rules have changed.

According to the new FedEx Express policy, all standalone shipments of lithium batteries will require transport as fully regulated shipments under either Section 1A or Section 1B of ICAO/IATA Packing Instructions 965 and 968, respectively.

To determine whether a shipment is Section 1A or Section 1B, you must know the watt-hours (Wh) of lithium ion cells/batteries, the amount of lithium (in grams) contained in lithium metal cells/batteries and the gross weight of cells/batteries per package.

Regulated Labels and Marks

To ship via FedEx Express, all fully regulated Section IA lithium battery shipments will require a Class 9 Hazard Class label and a Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) label; all fully regulated Section IB shipments will require a Class 9 Hazard Class label, a Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) label, and a lithium battery handling/mark label.

Class 9 Hazard Class LabelsCargo Aircraft Only LabelsLithium Battery Marks

Lithium Battery UN Packaging

Shipments that go under Section 1A will require UN packaging for lithium batteries that meets the Packing Group II performance standards. Shipments that go under Section 1B will require battery excepted packaging that is rigid and is capable of withstanding a 1.2 m drop test in any orientation without damage to cells/batteries, battery-to-battery (or cell-to-cell) contact or release of contents.

Labelmaster offers a complete line of shipping supplies to help you meet your inner packaging requirements, including Anti-static Bubble Wrap® bags.

Shipper's Declaration Documentation

Both Section 1A and Section 1B shipments will require Shipper’s Declarations. However, it’s important to note that, in most cases, FedEx requires that the Shipper’s Declaration be completed with software that validates the accuracy of the information. Labelmaster’s DGIS software is approved by FedEx for creating and printing Shipper’s Declarations.

Shipping lithium batteries contained in or packed with equipment (UN3481/UN3091) by air?

FedEx Express will continue to accept lithium batteries contained in or packed with equipment by air. However, their new policy will require the applicable UN3481 or UN3091 to be included on the package adjacent to the lithium battery handling label. If the new lithium battery mark (allowed beginning 1/1/17) featured on this page is used, it will already have the UN number on it, which is sufficient without including the UN number again on the package. FedEx Express will enforce the UN number marking requirement beginning July 1, 2017. See the 58 Edition of the IATA DGR for all air regulations.

When in doubt, ask the experts!

Don’t risk delayed or rejected shipments. Labelmaster is always available with a broad range of services to help ensure compliance with the latest regulations so your shipments arrive safely and on time. Call us at 800.621.5808.