How To Ship Batteries From China To Singapore

When it comes to shipping batteries, whether it be from China to Singapore or within other countries, there are many specific regulations to consider. While this may seem daunting, shipping lithium batteries is a common practice and can be a smooth process.

After reading this article, you’ll be familiar with the methods and overall process for shipping batteries from China to Singapore. We’ll also be guiding you on the best practices for packing your batteries to ensure a safer shipping journey.

Types of Lithium Batteries

Types of Lithium Batteries

As lithium batteries are considered dangerous goods, there are strict shipping procedures to follow. With each type of battery having a different set of shipping regulations, it’s crucial to identify which type of lithium battery you have on hand. 

Here are the two of the most common types of lithium batteries:

  • Lithium-ion Battery

These are rechargeable and commonly found in mobile phones, laptops, e-bikes, etc.

  • Lithium Metal Battery

 As compared to typical alkaline batteries, these last longer but are non-rechargeable. They can be found in toys, calculators, watches, etc.

Methods for Shipping Batteries from China to Singapore

Having differentiated the types of lithium batteries, let us explore how we can ship them from China to Singapore.

How to ship batteries using sea freight

  • Shipping lithium-ion batteries

These commonly used rechargeable batteries can be sent by sea freight if they are encased in their respective devices or if they’re placed in a hard and sealed case.

  • Shipping lithium metal batteries

It’s not recommended to ship these batteries by sea as they are prone to corrosion or leakage in damp and humid conditions – especially if they’re partly used. If absolutely necessary, they should be left inside the product itself, or packaged in hard plastic casings. 

How to ship batteries using air freight

As a guideline, you’re usually required to keep batteries or products with batteries like laptops and power banks in your carry-on and not in your checked-in luggage.

When in doubt, you should always consult your airline and origin airport about the rules for carrying batteries with you onto the plane.

As for sending batteries and their related products through air freight, the following steps should be followed to ensure your shipment reaches its destination without harm:

  • Shipping lithium-ion batteries

You can send lithium-ion batteries inside their respective devices, or you can send them separately in a container with a hard case.

To transport a lithium-ion battery in a hard case, it must be rated under 100 watts per hour. Watt-hour ratings indicate how much power the battery can produce in one hour. Typically, the watt-hours rating of a lithium-ion battery can be found on the battery itself or by contacting its manufacturer.  

Due to safety measures, you’re only permitted to send a maximum of 4 batteries by air, with a maximum of 2 per package. 

  • Shipping lithium metal batteries

When sending lithium metal batteries by air freight, you need to send them inside their intended products. For example, if you’re shipping your wall clock with its current half-used AA batteries, the batteries must be placed inside the wall clock.

Please be aware that there are strict restrictions prohibiting the shipment of loose lithium metal batteries by air freight. On top of that, they have a greater chance of leaking as compared to their lithium-ion counterparts. Thus, it’s recommended you buy the batteries on arrival rather than shipping them.

Process of Shipping Batteries from China to Singapore

To ensure a smooth shipping experience, follow these 3 simple steps:

  • Step 1: Conduct research

    Prior to shipping batteries from China to Singapore, always do thorough research on your shipping carrier’s import regulations. It’s recommended to follow them closely to avoid the possibility of getting your shipment confiscated or fined.

    Firstly, determine which category your batteries fall under – lithium metal or lithium-ion.

    You’ll also need to consider any applicable taxes and duties on your shipment. Goods imported into Singapore are subject to taxes. For non-dutiable goods like batteries, the tax is calculated at 8% of the customs value or the Last Selling Price (LSP). To receive the latest guidelines on import procedures, visit the Singapore Customs website.

    For the general public, finding and understanding all the necessary information may be overwhelming. Enlisting the services of an experienced freight forwarder can alleviate the burden of understanding complex regulations and provide guidance through the shipping process.

  • Step 2: Choose Your Shipping Method

    While you can ship batteries using various shipping methods like air freight and sea freight, there are a few factors to consider before making your decision:

    • Safety

    Different types of batteries have different restrictions imposed on them. For example, shipping loose lithium metal batteries by air freight is prohibited.

    • Time and cost

    While air freight is typically the fastest shipping method, it’s also the most costly option. Sea freight on the other hand, is slower but more cost-effective.

    If you’re unsure of which shipping method to choose, your freight forwarder will be able to provide expert advice.

  • Step 3: Pack and Ship

    After the necessary details have been gathered, and the appropriate shipping method selected, it’s time to pack and prepare the shipment. 

    To ensure your shipment is protected against any potential damage, we emphasise the importance of following packaging and labelling instructions set by your carrier.. 

    Once your batteries have been properly packed, you may proceed to arrange shipping with your freight forwarding company!

How to Pack Batteries for Shipping Overseas

How to Pack Batteries for Shipping Overseas

Care must be taken to ensure that the batteries will not short circuit or come into contact with other batteries or conductive surfaces.

Here are some tips to help you prevent damage:

  • Store batteries in their device/equipment so that they’re not exposed to their surroundings.
  • Use a strong rigid outer packaging to ensure adequate protection against impacts. 
  • The outer packaging should not be relied upon as the only layer of protection if it’s not impact-resistant. Instead, consider the additional use of cushioning materials such as packing peanuts to protect your shipment. 
  • Where practical, pack each battery or battery-powered device, into a fully enclosed non-conductive inner packaging, such as bubble wrap.
  • Separate batteries with dunnage to isolate them away from other batteries or conductive materials.
  • Ensure that exposed terminals or connectors are protected with non-conductive caps and tape.
  • Don’t forget to place a lithium battery caution sticker onto your shipment.

FAQs About Shipping Batteries From China to Singapore

Yes, batteries are considered dangerous goods because of the possibility of fire when short-circuited.

If you’re shipping dangerous goods, engaging a dangerous goods shipping service can help you understand and comply with the best packing practices and requirements needed to ship your goods.

There are certain types of batteries that cannot be shipped because of specific regulations. 

Here are some examples of batteries that are prohibited from shipping:

  • Lithium-ion cells and batteries that exceed 30% of their full capacity.
  • Lithium metal and lithium-ion cells and batteries shipped by themselves on passenger aircraft. 
  • Lithium batteries that are faulty. Beware of signs of faultiness which include swelling/bloating, leaking, or corroded terminals.
  • Lithium batteries that are not packed according to packaging requirements. Examples include batteries packed with other dangerous goods, and flimsy outer packaging being used.

View the full list of requirements in IATA’s 2023 Lithium Battery Guidance Document.

In general, shipping by sea freight is much more affordable than air freight. However, there may be other potential expenses when shipping batteries, such as taxes and duties to be paid.  Moreover, the pricing structures and fees for different carriers may vary. These factors can affect the overall cost of shipping batteries.

Want an accurate quote for your shipment? Contact us now!

Shipping Batteries From China to Singapore

While shipping batteries has its unique set of obstacles, doing proper research and complying with relevant regulations can help ensure a seamless shipping experience.

Engaging a freight forwarder like M&P International Freights can also help to make the process smoother as we provide expert advice for your battery shipping needs and freight packing services.

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