Shipping LiPo batteries by sea requires careful attention to international regulations, packaging standards, and safety precautions due to the potential risks these batteries pose. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to safely ship LiPo batteries via maritime transport:

Understand and Comply with Regulations

IMDG Code: Ensure compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which governs the shipment of dangerous goods by sea. The IMDG Code provides specific instructions on handling, packing, labeling, and documenting lipo battery shipments.

National Regulations: Check for any additional national or local regulations that apply to the shipping and handling of lipo batteries in your country and the destination country.

General Packing Requirements

Protection Against Short Circuits: Each lipo battery must be individually packed in fully enclosed inner packaging to prevent short circuits. This involves insulating battery terminals to avoid contact with metal or other lipo batteries.

Cushioning and Absorption: Place sufficient cushioning material around each lipo battery or battery-containing device to protect against impacts and vibrations common in maritime environments.

Strong Outer Packaging: Use sturdy outer packaging that can withstand the rigors of sea transport. Outer containers should be rigid and resistant to moisture and crushing.

Labeling and Documentation

Hazard Labels: Clearly label each package with the appropriate hazardous material labels, including the lipo battery mark and the Class 9 hazardous label.

Documentation: Provide a detailed packing list and a Dangerous Goods Declaration, which includes information about the lipo battery type, quantity, and emergency contact information.

Marine Pollutant: If applicable, mark packages as “Marine Pollutant” for lipo batteries that fall under this classification.

Container and Placement Considerations

Ventilation: Store lipolbatteries in a well-ventilated part of the vessel to prevent the accumulation of potentially explosive gases.

Away from Heat Sources: Store lipo batteries away from areas of the ship that generate heat or have potential sources of sparks.

Accessibility: Store in a location accessible for regular inspection during transit and case of emergency.

Specific Guidelines for Different Types of LiPo Batteries

For LiPo Batteries Installed in Equipment: Ensure the equipment is secured against movement and the lipo batteries are protected from accidental activation.

For LiPo Batteries Packed with Equipment: Pack the lipo batteries near the equipment intended to power, but ensure they are still securely packed and protected.

For LiPo Batteries Not Contained in Equipment: Follow the same guidelines for individual protection and ensure no possibility of movement within the packaging.

Check State of Charge

Reduced Charge Level: As safety guidelines recommend, lipo batteries should be shipped with a charge level not exceeding 30% of their rated capacity. This minimizes the risk of a thermal event during transport.

Emergency Procedures

Preparation for Incidents: The shipping documents should include instructions and materials for handling a lipo battery fire or leak. Ensure that the vessel’s crew is aware of the location and nature of the lipo battery cargo.

Shipping LiPo batteries by sea requires meticulous preparation to ensure safety and compliance with international standards. Proper packing, labeling, documentation, and understanding of the IMDG Code are essential. Always stay informed about the latest maritime shipping regulations and ensure all safety measures are in place before dispatching lipo batteries.

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