Posted on July 24, 2013
Christmas is coming early for buyers and sellers of electronics. Although the USPS initially said it wouldn’t consider lifting the ban on the international shipping of lithium batteries until sometimes after January 1st 2013, it looks like they decided to give sellers an early Christmas present when they made a quiet announcement on 11/9 that USPS customers would once again be able to ship lithium batteries (installed in the device they are intended for) internationally after November 15th, 2012.
The lithium battery ban was first put into place back in May because batteries that are not fully charged or packed correctly have the potential to explode or catch fire. According to bloomberg.com this has been a serious issue as lithium ion batteries have been suspected as the cause of at least two cargo airplane crashes dating back as early as 2006.
Since the ban became effective in May, the only way to ship electronic items (along with their batteries) was by sending the items through FedEx, UPS, or DHL. USPS has not disclosed why they decided to lift the ban (projected lost profits?), but this is going to make a lot of electronics sellers (including us!) who can now sell electronics internationally and to APO, FPO & DPO addresses very happy. USPS is projecting a 20% increase in holiday shipping this season compared to what was shipped in 2011. This news should help bring a happy holiday season to all!