Australia Post bans air mail of lithium batteries

Australia Post bans air mail of lithium batteries

Summary: The International Civil Aviation Organisation has enacted more stringent controls since lithium batteries were classified as dangerous

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Australia Post will no longer be accepting packages that contain lithium batteries by air.

The batteries have been classified as dangerous, leading the International Civil Aviation Organisation to enact more stringent controls. This follows on the exploding laptop batteries debacle of 2006, prompting a recall, and further recalls in 2008 and 2009.

Lithium batteries may still be sent by road, but only if they are lithium-ion and rated for two grams, 100-Watt-hours or under.

Most devices should fall under this requirement, although in the official document Australia Post mentions: "Equipment will not be safe to send if it contains more than two batteries/four cells" — six-cell batteries being common in laptops.

A customer is also required to attach a 'Road Transport Only' sticker to the package, although Australia Post does not guarantee its arrival if remote locations can only be reached by air. Air carriers scan mail for dangerous goods, and any packages containing lithium batteries will be rejected.

This has potential run-on effects for those who import electronic products from overseas to bypass Australia's often higher-priced goods. Australians will also not be able to send offending products overseas, and those who wish to send electronic gifts over long distances but still within the country will have to be sent early, to make up for the additional road transport time.

Topic: Hardware

Craig Simms

About Craig Simms

Focusing on PC hardware, accessories and business products, Craig Simms is responsible for identifying new opportunities for the reviews channels on CNET Australia and ZDNet Australia, to better serve the readers. He has written about a vast range of technology since 2001, covering the gamut from print to online, hardware to software, consumer to enthusiast, the gaming world to workstations.

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