USPS Lithium Ion Revisions Put Breaks On APO/FPO Shipments
In May of 2012, the United States Postal Service (USPS), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), made new rulings based around the hazardousness of Lithium Ion batteries when shipped overseas to APO/FPO addresses. At this time it has been determined that any Lithium Ion product is not legally able to be shipped to any APO/FPO address.
In January of 2013, the USPS, ICAO, and UPU will have more specific rulings to determine the exact amount of lithium ion a battery can contain before it can be classified as hazardous. Until that time, all lithium ion products are not to be shipped to APO/FPO addresses.
At this time, changes to the blucigs website will restrict customers with APO/FPO shipping addresses to order any blu product that contains a lithium ion battery: Starter kits, Packs, and batteries. These customers will still be able to order refill cartridges, USB chargers, and wall chargers.
Below is a snap shot and link to the USPS update regarding the Lithium Ion updates.
Publication 52 Revision: Lithium Battery — Update
Effective May 16, 2012, the Postal Service™ will revise Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, to indicate that primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (non-rechargeable) cells and batteries, or secondary lithium-ion cells or batteries (rechargeable), are prohibited when mailed internationally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location. However, this prohibition does not apply to lithium batteries authorized under 349.22 when mailed within the United States or its territories.
International standards have recently been the subject of discussion by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and the Postal Service anticipates that on January 1, 2013, customers will be able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries internationally (including to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location) when the batteries are properly installed in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate.
Until such time that a less restrictive policy can be implemented consistent with international standards, and in accordance with UPU Convention, lithium batteries are not permitted in international mail. The UPU Convention and regulations are consistent with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Technical Instructions). The Technical Instructions concerning the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Post do not permit “dangerous goods” as defined by the ICAO Technical Instructions in international mail. Currently, the only exceptions to this general prohibition relate to certain medical materials, infectious substances, and radioactive materials when they are treated in accordance with additional requirements listed in the Technical Instructions. Lithium metal or lithium alloy batteries and lithium-ion cells are listed in the Technical Instructions as Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods. The prohibition on mailing lithium batteries and cells internationally also applies to mail sent by commercial air transportation to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location.
In addition, minor changes are made throughout the publication for consistency and clarity regarding the outbound domestic mailing of lithium batteries. – USPS.COM