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Royal Mail ban lithium batteries.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by swanseadave, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. mike_j

    mike_j Well-Known Member

    I just sent a camera off to China. I wondered why the PO clerk made such a performance about my convincing her that there were no batteries when she saw the customs declaration.

    Fortunately MPP Microflex TLRs didn't have batteries of any sort.

    It may effect sales of more modern cameras on ebay, though I expect it will just be ignored.
     
  2. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath


    This means that whoever the courier is will need a certficate to prove they meet some sort of standard specified in legislation somewhere.

    Having just looked this up - the TNT website says that the issue is about the risk of them catching fire - they have been graded as Class 9 Dangerous Goods since 2009.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  3. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    Just buy em from ASDA at £4 each!

    Ian
     
  4. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert Well-Known Member

    If they change their mind on this one, it will be a volt face ;)
     
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The regulations relate to the carriage of Lithium batteries by air and, because they can't guarantee that any given package will not travel by air they are applying the same rules to all shipments.
     
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    A lead acid battery is not itself flammable, it may cause a fire but will not burn. A lithium battery will burn because the electrolyte is flammable.

    I too remember the Viscount and it used a 28V DC starter motor for which external power was required. The Viscount only had a 28V DC power system so this wasn't an issue and the batteries were only for stand-by purposes, I don't recall a situation where the batteries, six of them I recall, were used to start engines. A Windmilling engine will not deliver enough power to run a generator and it is undesirable for a turboprop to windmill, the propeller blades will be feathered to prevent them from turning if the engine is shut down in flight.

    The APU is not there only to provide independence on the ground, it is a requirement for Extender Range Twin engined Operations where the loss of an engine driven generator will require the APU to be started to provide a substitute power source. This APU, unlike the one in your computer centre, must be able to start at temperatures down to -70 and up to the service ceiling of the aircraft possibly well above 40,000 feet. Under those circumstances starting in six seconds is a tall order. Whether the same battery provides starting and standby power is down to the aircraft design.

    Most current large civil aircraft, though not all, use pneumatic starters and have ground air connections as well as ground electrical power connections. Using the APU for starting the main engines allows the engines to be started later, during push-back, and more safely because you don't have to run a main engine at high power to achieve sufficient air for a cross bleed start. In addition the availability of a pneumatic supply allows air conditioning to be run prior to engine starting, it isn't every airport that offers pre-conditioned air.

    Finally, almost all current production airliners have Ni-Cd main batteries but the higher charge density offered by Li-Ion batteries means that the 787 can carry fewer of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  7. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath


    Class 9 Dangerous Goods are covered in transport regulations by land, sea, and air - I checked.

    Anyone who carries them has to have them packed, labelled, and handled in specified ways.
     
  8. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    But that is not an issue. In their normal packing they already comply - unless of course they are bought from an unreliable source who imports them (probably illegally) in bulk or sends them individually by air direct from China in only a jiffy bag. Why should we all suffer simply because RM/PO cannot oversee its own operations?
     
  9. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    I sold a couple of Nikon lithium batteries last year and sent them via RM.

    There are a lot of lithium camera batteries on eBay with delivery shown as Royal Mail. And there's at least one seller that has the RM logo on his listings!

    I suspect this regulation isn't at all well known and is broken all the time.
     
  10. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    An incurable mental disorder
     
  11. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The requirement is for the shipper to issue paperwork stating what is in the shipment and that it is packed correctly. I don't know but I believe that the shipper cannot assume that the existing packaging conforms. Additionally a certification is required, if the shipper can't issue such certification someone else must issue it. The cost could be prohibitive for a few cheap Lithium cells.
     
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If you read the IATA rules that form the basis of the RM rules as I have (nothing to do with camera batteries, a genuine work requirement), batteries have to have been tested and correctly marked. There is significant doubt expressed in the regs about the legitimacy of the testing and certification of third-party batteries, never mind fakes.

    I would suspect this is at the heart of RM's concerns, and probably why 7dayshop feels they have to make an effort to comply.
     
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Nick, In only had to justify leaving the battery in a computer that is planned to reside on the flightdeck of a 787. It doesn't have to comply with the shipping regs because it is a PED so I don't know the details. Sufficient to say that 7 Day Shop are doing the right thing.
     
  14. Oggy

    Oggy RIP

    Nice to hear from someone who knows their stuff.

    Anyone doubt how dangerous Lithium batteries should search youtube for lipo fire.
     
  15. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Just thought I'd post this as I've just booked a flight (via Thomas Cook) and have received my E-ticket; no mention anywhere regarding Lithium batteries amongst any of the paperwork, and TC haven't told me anything relating to them either.

    If (at some point) there is an issue, I would have thought passengers should be made aware of this, before reaching the airport, rather than when you check-in, and then causing huge delays. In the past and on this trip, a laptop with spare camera batteries are being stowed in the hold, whilst my camera with battery fitted - will be going in the locker above my seat. I'll query this as I go though check-in, so at some point, I'll feedback what, if anything, I find out. Better to find out, from the organ-grinder, rather than relying on info from the monkey ...
     
  16. Gromit

    Gromit RIP

    I flew with Icelandair last week and carried lithium batteries in my hand luggage, nothing was mentioned. Looking through their restrictions all I can find on prohibited items is:- "Briefcases and attache cases with installed alarm devices containing lithium batteries and/or pyrotechnic devices."
     
  17. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member


    The point is is you can legally carry them in hand baggage! If they go wrong in hand baggage it will be noticed and dealt with, if they go wrong in the hold it may not be noticed until too late.

    Ian
     
  18. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The IATA regs say you can carry as many as you might reasonably need in your hand baggage - the hold baggage might be a problem.
     
  19. Gromit

    Gromit RIP

    I suppose the point I should have made was that nothing is mentioned about carrying them in checked-in luggage either, except as pointed out above.
     
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    May I suggest that you go to the CAA web site www.caa.co.uk there is information there.

    You may also like to look at the BA web site http://www.britishairways.com/travel/bagrest/public/en_gb
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013

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