New USPS Restrictions for Lithium Batteries

USPS recently updated their mailing standards for pre-owned and damaged items containing lithium batteries. If you ship lithium batteries and items containing them to the U.S. and internationally, read on for more details!

In addition to pre-existing packaging, labelling, and marking requirements, the United States Postal Service has revised their standards for accepting and mailing hazardous materials.

With these updates, shipments must meet two additional conditions. This is to ensure the proper handling and routing of shipments with pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices containing lithium batteries. Read on to learn about the potential impact for your shipments.

New USPS Standards for Hazardous Materials

USPS is making changes after increased reports of fires and other dangerous incidents involving used or recycled lithium batteries routed by air transportation. To reduce the risk to their operations, lithium batteries (or any devices containing lithium batteries) not sealed in the product’s original packaging must be:

  • Mailed only via surface (ground) transportation
  • Labeled as “Restricted Electronic Device” and “Surface Transportation Only” with the appropriate D.O.T. approved label:
    • UN 3480 (Lithium-Ion batteries)
    • UN 3090 (Lithium-Metal batteries)

Your labels should also include a phone number where you can be reached for more information on the battery. You can find these types of labels at several online stores.

More information about packaging requirements for lithium batteries is available on the USPS’s website.

As the new standards came into effect on Monday, June 6, 2022, pre-owned or damaged items containing lithium batteries such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops can no longer be sent by air. This includes but is not limited to the following services on the Chit Chats platform:

  • Chit Chats U.S. Tracked & Chit Chats U.S. Economy Tracked
  • USPS First Class & USPS Priority Mail services
  • Asendia International Tracked
  • Chit Chats International Tracked
  • USPS First Class International & USPS Priority Mail International services

At Chit Chats, we work with our partner carriers to get shipments safely and quickly to your customers. Therefore, we cannot ensure that our current service offerings travel exclusively by ground. However, we understand that accommodating the new USPS standards may prompt changes to your workflow. That’s why our friendly team is always here to help you with any questions!

To learn which batteries types you can send with Chit Chats, or for more on the restrictions from our partners, please visit our Help & Support.

The Chit Chats Team