The U.S. Postal Service is banning international
shipments of electronics with lithium batteries such as
smartphones, laptops and iPads, citing the risk of fire.
Starting May 16, lithium batteries and electronic
devices containing lithium batteries will be prohibited
from being mailed internationally. They also will not be
allowed in shipments to or from Army Post Offices, Fleet
Post Offices and Diplomatic Post Offices.
Lithium batteries already are prohibited in mail
shipments on international commercial air transportation
under International Civil Aviation Organization and
Universal Postal Union regulations.
The new regulation will not apply to packages containing
lithium batteries or electronic devices mailed within
the U.S. on domestic commercial air or ground
Officials expect that U.S. consumers can resume
shipments in most cases after Jan. 1, once the agency
develops a new policy "consistent with international
Lithium batteries are believed to have caused at least
two fires on cargo planes since 2006.