USPS to Stop Shipping Electronics from the US

Electronic devices are some of the post popular items to buy from the US and ship overseas with a package forwarding service. But as of May 16th, the United States Postal Service will no longer ship Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle, smartphones, laptops, and other electronic items containing lithium ion batteries outside the US.

usps stops shipping li ion batteriesThe business magazine Fast Company ran an article last week explaining the upcoming restrictions. Essentially, the reason is a disagreement between the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Universal Postal Union, two organizations that set guidelines for international shipments, about the safety of shipping such items.

How to Keep Shipping Electronics from the US

It’s important for package forwarding shoppers to know that this new regulation only affects USPS shipments. Laptops, iPads, and all other products containing lithium ion batteries can still be shipped internationally using private carriers like DHL, UPS, or FedEx.

Since most package forwarding shipments are sent via these carriers anyway, the majority of shoppers won’t be affected. The only cases in which lithium ion products can no longer be sent at all are for shipments to Russia or APO addresses, which private carriers don’t serve.

Other Impacts on Package Forwarding

Even though most package forwarding shipments already go through DHL or UPS, many merchants who ship internationally themselves do so via USPS. This means that many merchants will no longer be able to ship internationally at all.

And that makes it even more important to have a package forwarding address if you’re interested in buying electronic devices from the US to ship internationally. Ordering with your package forwarding address may be the only way to get the products you want.

Which Electronic Devices Contain Lithium-Ion Batteries?

Most common devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets contain li-ion batteries these days, but here’s a bigger list in case you aren’t sure if the product you want to order is shippable via USPS:

  • Video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Bluetooth headsets
  • Power tools
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Radio scanners
  • Smartphones
  • Mobile phones
  • Tablets
  • GPS devices
  • Laptop computers
  • Portable DVD players
  • MP3 players

One way to check whether or not your products contain lithium batteries is to simply look on the manufacturer’s, or even the merchant’s, website. The product description will often refer to the battery type.

How Will the New USPS Regulations Impact Your Shopping?

Will this new rule impact the way you buy products from the US? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


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