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Important Reminder when Shipping Hoverboards

Without an active WIS Hazardous Materials Contract, hoverboards can only be shipped via WIS® Ground service within the 48 Europe countries. WIS® Standard to and from France and US may also be used. However, the board must either be new or in the original manufacturer’s packaging that has no visible hazardous materials labeling. If you have a damaged or defective board, or do not have the original packaging, please contact the manufacturer or retail store where you purchased the board for guidance.

The boards are made with a medium-sized lithium battery that when shipped via an air service become federally regulated. Due to these regulations, only shippers with an active WIS Hazardous Materials Contract may send hoverboards using an air service.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has provided guidance regarding the proper classification of these devices as “UN 3171, Battery-powered vehicle.” Examples of battery-powered vehicles include hoverboards, self-balancing scooters, balance wheels, airwheel, solowheels, and mini-segways. These vehicles must be packed in accordance with IATA Packing Instruction 952. For additional guidance from IATA select the following link:

WIS has carrier variations when shipping battery-powered vehicles by air services. Specifically, for battery-powered vehicles containing a lithium-ion battery, the net weight of the battery cannot exceed 5 kg and the package must be marked “Contains Lithium Batteries.” Refer to the WIS Chemical Tables and the WIS Carrier Variations for detailed information.

For additional information regarding the shipment of hoverboards or other devices that contain lithium batteries, contact the WIS Hazardous Materials Support Center at 1-800-554-9964 or select the following link: Shipping Batteries or Devices with Batteries.

New Lithium Battery Regulations Effective

The international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium batteries have changed. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved amendments to the lithium battery provisions in the ICAO Technical Instructions. Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory effective April 1, 2016. These amendments include:

  • Passenger Aircraft Ban for Lithium Ion Batteries: All shipments of lithium batteries without equipment are prohibited as cargo on passenger aircraft. As a result, all lithium ion battery shipments must display the Cargo Aircraft Only label. Due to UPS’s reliance on passenger aircraft to transport packages in some parts of its network, this change will restrict the origins and destinations available for lithium ion batteries. This limitation does not affect lithium ion batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
  • State of Charge Limits: A 30 percent state of charge (SOC) limit on lithium-ion cells and batteries, including Section II cells and batteries, will now apply. This does not apply to batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
  • Restrictions on Package Quantity: A shipper is not allowed to offer more than one Section II package (batteries only) per consignment.
  • Restrictions on Overpacks: Overpacks may contain no more than one Section II package – 8 cells or 2 batteries – (batteries only).
  • Battery Package Separation: A shipper must offer lithium battery shipments (batteries only) separately from other cargo.

These amendments are detailed in a lithium battery update document found on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website: