USPS prohibits mailing of lithium batteries

As of Wednesday, lithium batteries cannot be sent as mail matter for transport on commercial passenger aircraft to or from international locations, including to and from Air Force post offices, fleet post offices, and diplomatic post offices.

This USPS prohibition includes lithium batteries mailed separately, mailed along with devices, or batteries installed in electronic equipment. Postal patrons have to two options: to remove the battery or to not mail the package.

We know removing the battery from some devices is not possible, said Lionel Rivera, USAFE postal public affairs representative. In these cases, customers may want to consider using private commercial cargo carriers such as FedEx, DHL or UPS to ship their property.

USPS has implemented this new restriction based on the current rules of various international agencies, including the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Universal Postal Union. The postal service anticipates that by Jan. 1, 2013, customers may be able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries. The USPS is working with expert organizations to determine if any new exceptions can be developed prior to January 2013.

Contact your post office customer service representative or postmaster for questions.

(Courtesy of HQ USAFE/Postal Branch)