Travelling with Items that contain Batteries

Information for passengers travelling with items such as mobile phones and computers

The following information is taken from the current edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.

Restrictions implemented by other countries in the interests of aviation security may further limit or forbid the carriage of some of the items listed in these pages.  Additionally, airlines and security screening agencies have the right to refuse the carriage of certain items.

Passengers must contact their airline in advance for clarification of the regulations, or when planning to travel with dangerous goods that require the airline’s approval when indicated in the table below.

Non-spillable batteries are also known as wet filled with acid or alkali or gel-type batteries.

Lithium Batteries

The term “lithium battery” refers to a family of batteries with different chemistries, comprising of many types of cathodes and electrolytes. They are separated into:

  • Lithium metal batteries 
    generally non-rechargeable batteries that have lithium metal or lithium compounds as an anode.
    Lithium metal batteries are generally used to power devices such as watches, calculators and cameras. 
     
  • Lithium-ion batteries (sometimes abbreviated Li-ion batteries) 
    a type of rechargeable battery commonly used in consumer electronics. Also included within lithium-ion batteries are lithium polymer batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are generally found in mobile telephones, laptop computers, etc.

 

Items containing batteries

Carry-on Baggage

Checked (hold) Baggage

On One's Person

Airline approval required 

Battery-powered equipment capable of generating extreme heat, which could cause a fire if activated (e.g. underwater high intensity lamps).

The heat-producing component and the battery are isolated from each other by the removal of the heat-producing component, the battery or another component (e.g. fuse).

Any battery that has been removed must be protected against short circuit (by placing in its original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals, e.g. by taping over exposed terminals or placing each battery in a separate bag or protective pouch).

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Battery powered suitcases powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Any electrical battery or battery powered device which has the potential of a dangerous evolution of heat must be prepared for transport so as to prevent:

a) short-circuit by disconnection of the battery and effective insulation of exposed terminals; and

b) accidental activation.

The airline’s approval is not required to carry a battery-powered suitcase. However, the passenger must contact their airline prior to travel to obtain information contained within the ICAO Technical Instructions.

Yes

Yes

N/A
No

Portable Electronic Devices 

Carry-on Baggage

Checked (hold) Baggage

On One's Person

Airline approval required 

Portable electronic devices containing lithium ion batteries exceeding a Watt-hour rating of 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh when carried for personal use.

Batteries and cells must be of a type which meets the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3.

It may be necessary to contact the battery manufacturer prior to travel to confirm they have complied with the requirements.

Should be carried as carry-on baggage.

Travelling with spare lithium ion batteries for electronic devices 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Portable electronic devices powered by fuel cells such as cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers and camcorders.

such as cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers and camcorders.

Fuel cells containing fuel are permitted in carry-on baggage only.

Fuel cell cartridges may only contain flammable liquids, corrosive substances, liquefied flammable gas, water reactive substances or hydrogen in metal hydride.

Travelling with spare fuel cell cartridges

Yes

No

Yes

No

Portable electronic devices such as watches, calculating machines, cameras, cellular phones, laptop computers, camcorders when carried for personal use.

Each installed or spare battery must not exceed the following:

  • lithium metal batteries, a lithium content of not more than 2 grams;

or

  • lithium ion batteries, a watt-hour rating of not more than 100 Wh.

Batteries and cells must be of a type which meets the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3. It may be necessary to contact the battery manufacturer prior to travel to confirm they have complied with the requirements.

Should be carried in carry-on baggage. If a device is carried in checked baggage, measures must be taken to prevent unintentional activation.

Portable electronic devices (including medical devices) containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries (articles containing lithium metal or lithium cells or batteries, the primary purpose of which is to provide power to another device must be carried as spare batteries).

Travelling with spare lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Portable electronic equipment containing a non-spillable battery meeting Special Provision A67 of the ICAO Technical Instructions. Your airline should be able to assist you prior to travel.

The battery must not have a voltage greater than 12 volts and a Watt-hour rating of not greater than 100 Wh.

The equipment either must be protected from inadvertent activation, or the battery must be disconnected and exposed terminals must be insulated.

Travelling with spare non-spillable batteries

Yes

Yes

No

No