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USPS bans international shipping of smartphones starting Thursday

Posted: , by Alan F.

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USPS bans international shipping of smartphones starting Thursday
Wednesday will be the last day that the U.S. Postal Service will accept smartphones for international shipping. Actually, smartphones are but one item on a list that includes other electronic devices that are powered by lithium ioncbatteries such as cameras, laptops, GPS devices, MP3 players, tablets, Bluetooth headsets and power tools. While the USPS did not explicitly state the reason behind the ban, it is believed to be related to the possibility of lithium ion batteries catching on fire if they are not correctly installed in a device, or have a full charge.
"After May 16, mailing an iPad to a loved one serving overseas would require mailing it to a civilian address in the host country -- which, for a country like Kuwait, would make the price jump from the current Military Priority Mail rate of $5.30 to more than $20."-Fast Company


Lithium ion smartphone battery

Lithium ion smartphone battery

According to Fast Company, fires started by lithium batteries has been the reason for, "at least two fatal cargo plane crashes since 2006, including a UPS jet in Dubai." You can check out the video below to see how destructive a lithium ion battery can be. In the meantime, if you absolutely, positively need to ship a smartphone out of North America, third party shippers such as FedEx, UPS and DHL will be more than happy to have your business. Last year, President Obama's administration wanted to change the classification of lithium ion to a hazardous material. The House, sensing a possibility for some economic displacement if such a law was passed, managed to get through a bill that would prevent limitations of the shipping of lithium ion by air.

The USPS will review the ban as the months go by, and could decide to allow smartphones and the other lithium battery powered products to ship through its pipelines again on January 1st 2013. If that decision is made, the one requirement will be that the batteries are properly installed in the phone or whatever device is being shipped.

source: USPSFastCompany via WPCentral

11 Comments
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posted on 15 May 2012, 01:27 4

1. Forsaken77 (Posts: 542; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


Just make it mandatory that the batteries be detached from the device. The USPS is already losing alot of money. This is just gonna unnecessarily add to the problem.

posted on 15 May 2012, 03:28

3. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


In that case Apple and few other devices will fail.

posted on 15 May 2012, 03:29

4. PhoneLuver (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)


That would exclude shipping almost all Apple products..

posted on 15 May 2012, 02:29

2. StrumerJohn (Posts: 66; Member since: 18 May 2011)


Ehh who cares. UPS and FedEX are the s**t-- waaaay faster shipping

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:37 1

6. MATOZ (Posts: 71; Member since: 10 Aug 2011)


I care! Dumb A$$!!, And it's waaaay expensive shipping too, m0r0n!

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:46 1

8. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


And about 10 times the price too!!!

posted on 15 May 2012, 16:20 1

9. miles16852 (Posts: 189; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


i guess you got money to BURN strummerJohn! UPSP is cheaper!

posted on 16 May 2012, 03:00

10. StrumerJohn (Posts: 66; Member since: 18 May 2011)


Haven't heard of them. And USPS is not cheap at all lol... I ship stuff daily when ever I sell stuff on eBay and their international rates are far more expensive than FedEX or UPS'.

posted on 15 May 2012, 08:51 1

5. kg4icg (Posts: 63; Member since: 18 May 2008)


If the FAA says we can't carry devices with installed lithium ion batteries in them which they cannot be removed, then there is nothing Fedex or UPS can do. Oh by the way, UPS and Fedex carry USPS mail on there planes. I myself work for Fedex.

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:44

7. MATOZ (Posts: 71; Member since: 10 Aug 2011)


Indeed, FAA maybe bans to use ours 'phones, tablets and even my kid's game console... during in a flight too.

So, your right, must private carriers are got screwed, too!

posted on 16 May 2012, 10:10

11. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


The boneheads that are happy about this will have a nasty surprise next time they buy a phone or tablet on Ebay. Can you say 50.00 shipping???

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