Travelling with Spare Batteries

Information for Passengers who are travelling with batteries that are not installed in devices

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.

The watt-hour (Wh) rating is a measure by which lithium ion batteries are regulated. Since 2009 and 2011 respectively, manufacturers have been required to mark lithium ion batteries with the watt-hour rating.

You can arrive at the number of watt-hours your battery provides if you know the battery's nominal voltage (V) and capacity in ampere-hours (Ah) using this calculation - Ah x V = Wh.

This information is often marked on the battery.

If only the milli-ampere hours (mAh) are marked on the battery, then divide that number by 1000 to get ampere-hours (Ah). For example, 4400 mAh / 1000 = 4.4 Ah.  

Spare batteries

Carry-on Baggage

Checked (hold) Baggage

On One's Person

Airline approval required 

Spare batteries for 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. 

No more than two individually protected spare batteries per person may be carried.

Each lithium ion cell or battery must be individually protected so as to prevent short circuits (by placement in original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals, e.g. by taping over exposed terminals or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch).

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 manufacturer to confirm that they have complied with this.

Travelling with portable electronic devices that contain lithium ion batteries

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Spare fuel cell cartridges.

No more than two spare fuel cell cartridges may be carried by passenger.

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

Fuel cells must be of a type that will not charge batteries when the portable electronic device is not in use and must be durably marked by the manufacturer, ‘APPROVED FOR CARRIAGE IN AIRCRAFT CABIN ONLY.’

Refuelling of fuel cells on board an aircraft is not permitted, although the installation of a spare cartridge is allowed.

The airline’s approval is not required to carry spare fuel cell cartridges. However, the passenger must contact their airline prior to travel to obtain further information contained within the ICAO Technical Instructions.

Travelling with portable electronic devices powered by fuel cells 

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Spare batteries for portable electronic devices (including metal devices) containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries carried for personal use. 

Must be individually protected so as to prevent short circuits (by placement in original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals, e.g. by taping over exposed terminals or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch).

Each spare battery must not exceed the following:

  • lithium metal or lithium alloy 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 manufacturer to confirm that they have complied with the requirements.

Travelling with portable electronic devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries

Yes

No
Yes

No

Spare non-spillable batteries must meet Special Provision A67 of the ICAO Technical Instructions. Your airline should be able to advise you prior to travel.

No more than two individually protected batteries may be carried per person.

Batteries must not have a voltage greater than 12 volts and a watt-hour rating of not greater than 100 Wh.

Batteries must be protected from short circuit by the effective insulation of exposed terminals.

Travelling with portable electronic equipment containing a non spillable battery

Yes

Yes

No

No

Spare batteries for portable medical electronic devices containing lithium metal cells or batteries not exceeding 2 grams, or lithium ion cells or batteries not exceeding 100 Wh

Travelling with portable electronic devices containing lithium metal cells or batteries not exceeding 2 grams, or lithium ion cells or batteries not exceeding 100 Wh 

No   

Yes   

Yes   

No   

Spare batteries for medical electronic devices containing lithium metal batteries exceeding 2 grams but not exceeding 8 grams, or lithium ion batteries exceeding 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh

Travelling with portable medical devices containing lithium metal batteries exceeding 2 grams but not exceeding 8 grams, or lithium ion batteries exceeding 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh

No    Yes   Yes   Yes