Transport of batteries, accumulators and battery products from China

Update date:
01 Dec 2023
Date of publication:
30 Jun 2023
Reading time: 2 minutes

When we decide to import batteries or accumulators from China, we must remember that they are dangerous goods and subject to restrictions. Each mode of transport will have different rules when it comes to batteries. Below is a characterisation of what this looks like in each of the different modes of transport. When deciding to import a particular product, always ask the seller for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). This sheet will provide detailed information on the hazard classification of the product. If you have this document and want to know what the transport cost will be, the transport company will ask for this document because they will have to check whether the product can be accepted for transport. It is sometimes the case that some shipowners or airlines will not accept a particular commodity, but others, after checking the MSDS document, may already agree to transport the commodity. Therefore, in the case of batteries, it is always advisable to ask for transport offers from several companies. 

Rail transport of batteries and accumulators

In the case of rail transport As a rule, batteries are not accepted, for safety reasons. However, in the case of batteries embedded in a product, e.g. smartwatches or other electronic products with a battery inside can already be transported. However, transport can only take place via specific terminals. The rate for such transport is higher than for standard goods and we may have to wait longer for the goods to leave the terminal, i.e. ETD. The company we are transporting with will just need an MSDS to check with the rail operator whether such a load can be transported. 

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Maritime transport of batteries and accumulators 

In the case of maritime transport The restrictions on batteries are much lower. In most cases this will be possible. However, it all depends on the shipowner on which the cargo in question will be transported. The company with whom we will be carrying out the battery transport will need to check the data sheet with the shipowner to determine whether this is possible on a particular sea service. Often, transporting batteries will be more expensive than transporting standard cargo. 

Air transport of batteries and accumulators

In the case of transport by air restrictions are already quite high, some services will accept the transport of batteries and products with batteries. The rates for such shipments will already be very high. It all depends on the degree of danger of the cargo in question, and it can often happen that the cargo will not be accepted at all. Remember, however, that there are quite a few airlines and it is always worth checking a number of options. 

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