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Bringing In Rechargeable Lithium Batteries Via Our Freight Forwarding Companies


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Background: In early August, I ordered some replacement rechargeable lithium ion (Sony brand) batteries. These batteries are used for my audio equipment that produces the podcasts that we do here on CL. We just today -- more than a month later -- finally was able to take delivery of those batteries. They are not big, heavy, or otherwise unusual, but the delay is coming from the fact that they are rechargeable lithium ion batteries. MBE Boquete was the company we used for this shipment. Arturo explained to me at the time of my placing the order with the company in the US that those batteries would not be allowed to come via the air shipments that they routinely use. Rather, that shipment would be diverted to a maritime shipment. All of this background work was taken care of by MBE Boquete staff. I was alerted to these changes and informed that it would simply take longer for the shipment to arrive. No big deal that it was a bit more than one month from order placement to receipt.

The reason for posting this message today is that Arturo now informs me that these kinds of shipments are getting very close scrutiny, and may (not "will" or "shall", but "may") be banned from future shipments. That possible banishment would be because of increased attention to lithium batteries that are exploding, catching fire, etc., and some US government agencies are trying to respond to the threat. There are even reports now that one of the new Samsung smartphones are being recalled because of phones exploding, in some cases causing total destruction of vehicles and damaging people and animals.

I am NOT speaking for any freight forwarding company. I am simply putting out there that if you are wanting to bring in rechargeable lithium batteries that you may want to do some coordination work with your freight forwarding company of choice prior to placing an order.

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