Lithium batteries

As of 1 January 2013, it is permitted to send lithium batteries and cells by mail (under strict conditions). Often found in electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones, lithium batteries are dangerous because they can easily overheat and catch fire under certain conditions. For this reason, lithium shipments are not accepted in every country.

Conditions for sending lithium vary depending on the chosen method of transport (by road or by air), but the following general conditions apply: 

New lithium batteries and cells

  • Max. lithium content per cell: 1 gr / 20 wh; max. lithium content per battery: 2 gr /100 wh
  • Max 4 cells or 2 batteries per device per shipment
  • Batteries and cells that are not inserted in a device must be packaged separately so that they are fully encased. For deliveries to and within the Netherlands, a firm ‘outer casing’ is also required. Elsewhere, packaging conditions vary depending on the country of destination
  • Built-in cells and batteries must be prevented from discharging and must be securely packaged
  • There may be no danger of overheating or short-circuiting
  • Batteries must be free of damage / defects 

Used lithium batteries and cells 

For used lithium batteries and cells, the following conditions apply in addition to those for sending new batteries and cells:

  • Shipment must be labelled ‘Used lithium cells’ 


Shipments must not only be packaged securely, they should also be labelled as follows:

  • ‘Contains lithium-metal or lithium-ion cells or batteries’
  • ‘Risk of detonation; handle with care’
  • ‘In case of damage, follow special procedures’
  • Sender’s phone number