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I am going to the football/soccer world cup in Russia.

I usually use my electric skateboard to travel around in the city so I can avoid public transport. I would like to take it with me to Russia for the next World Cup. I worry that the police or the airport security could confiscate my skateboard when I leave Russia.

I wouldn't like to lose my 600 euros.

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    What is your reason for thinking you will not be allowed to leave Russia? – Henning Makholm Dec 3 '17 at 14:20
  • @HenningMakholm check out update – HISI Dec 3 '17 at 14:23
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    On the way into a country you meet customs, mostly they do not worry about temporary imports, if you can be expected to take the items out of the country, they do not usually charge you tax over it, although sometimes they can. On the way out you meet security, who check whether the items are safe for air travel. It is them who might consider the batteries dangerous. That goes for the departure airport leaving home as well as for the Russian one. – Willeke Dec 3 '17 at 14:28
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    Could you contact the organizers of the event and hear if they know about Russia placing particular restrictions on skateboards you should be aware of? Also, Australia and Russia are different countries. – Henning Makholm Dec 3 '17 at 14:44
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    @HenningMakholm for that reason I posted my question here in this community to see if someone has lived the same situation!! but I see that someone gives dislike to my question!! WHY....?? – HISI Dec 3 '17 at 14:47
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I would not advise to take a 600 € skateboard to something like a football world championship.

First of all, most people coming to the event will walk or take public transport guided by the local authorities. Those will not want you to get out of the big groups and travel on your own, they want everybody to stay with the group of their country.

Secondly, if you are able to get into the stadiums, you will likely not be allowed to take it inside. If you are not going into the stadiums, you will stay outside with all the others to watch the big screens (if there are those) or into pubs/bars and such to watch the smaller screens. And in neither situation can you keep your electric skateboard from getting away from you if someone notices it while you are distracted.

The main reason it might be confiscated while traveling is the batteries, which might be too big for the limits of the plane/airport security. I am not sure how the limits are at this time, nor can I see where you are from and which airports you would use, but I would not take the risk. There is a small chance on you having to pay customs on bringing it into Russia or even when bringing it back home, but mostly those people will not confiscate, they will have you pay the bill.

  • I think it's allowed in the checked baggage – HISI Dec 4 '17 at 8:19
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    No. Lithium batteries are banned in cargo holds. Only small ones are allowed in cabin. – user67108 Dec 4 '17 at 8:45
  • @dda Small being a relative term, you can pack quite a hefty laptop battery on most carriers. It's not about the maximum size, but the maximum charge. That is, it still has to fit in your hand-held luggage... – Mast Dec 4 '17 at 13:58
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    I meant small as airlines usually use the word for batteries, ie not size, but Wh capacity. – user67108 Dec 4 '17 at 14:08
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All airlines by now have disallowed larger Lithium batteries, and that explictly includes skateboards (carry-on as well as luggage).
You will simply find no airline that flies your skateboard to Russia (or anywhere else).

  • But what if I put it in checked baggage ??? – HISI Dec 4 '17 at 8:17
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    @hisi lithium batteries are not allowed in the cargo hold, at all. Only small ones are allowed in cabin. There's no practical way to take it with you if you're flying. – user67108 Dec 4 '17 at 8:44
  • Not that American will be your airline of choice, but here it is on their list of items that you cannot travel with. Hoverboard is another term for the electric balance boards/skateboards. – JPhi1618 Dec 4 '17 at 22:11
  • The practical way would be to take your device without the battery, buy a new battery at your destination. And when your trip is over, send it back to your home via mail. Thus you will have a spare slightly used battery. Things like an electric transport are not very popular in Russia, so internet shops would most likely not have a translated page, but I am sure someone could help you with that. You can call me if you need assistance. Keep in mind that delivery times are longer, too. – Barafu Albino Dec 5 '17 at 6:29
  • @dda Actually, that's not quite true. Small lithium batteries (up to 100Wh) are allowed in the hold if they're installed in the device they power -- for example, you don't have to put your electric toothbrush or shaver in your carry-on. Loose lithium batteries of any size are forbidden in the hold, because the airline can't check that you've packaged them in a way that prevents short-circuits. (And, even if you did, the a well-known three-letter security agency would mess it up when they rummaged through your bag.) – David Richerby Dec 5 '17 at 10:19
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Many (if not all) airlines have policies prohibiting such items. Not only are large lithium batteries prohibited, electric vehicles are prohibited regardless of the size (or presence) of a battery. You will not be able to take your electric skateboard with you on the airplane, neither has hand luggage nor as checked luggage. Some examples (I picked one from each major airline alliance):

KLM

Lithium battery operated self-balancing devices or personal movement devices, such as hoverboards, airboards, oxboards, e-skates, waveboards and U-runners are not allowed to take with you onboard even if the battery is disconnected or removed.

British Airways

Due to the potential fire risk associated with lithium batteries, hoverboards and other self-propelled electrically-powered vehicles (e.g. Air Wheels, Solo Wheels, etc.) are completely forbidden.

United Airlines

In the interest of safety for our customers and employees, we do not accept as checked or carry-on baggage any recreational self-propelled vehicle or device designed to carry one or more persons or goods, and which moves by use of a lithium battery-powered electric motor.

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    Laptops have much smaller lithium batteries than electric skateboards; the ban isn’t on lithium ion batteries per se but rather on lithium ion batteries over a certain capacity. As far as the original shipment (assuming it was sent by air), cargo airlines are going to be more willing to allow riskier items, since you’re not also risking hundreds of passengers as well in the event of a lithium ion fire in the cargo hold (and it’s a lot easier to depressurize the cabin to put out a fire if you don’t have passengers on board). – bogardpd Dec 4 '17 at 12:41
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    @bogardpd Yet you're not allowed to take an electric skateboard, regardless of the battery capacity (or whether a battery is installed at all). My guess is that the reason is that these devices have a history of catching on fire (many are made by no-name Chinese companies, whereas most laptops are made by reputable companies and have reliable, safe battery systems) and that they don't want to have to argue about the capacity of any battery. A blanket ban on electronic personal transportation devices is simpler. Banning all laptops would likely not go over well with most travelers. – Tom van der Zanden Dec 4 '17 at 12:43
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    @hisi The skateboard might have been sent to you on a freight plane. Different rules may apply to cargo than apply to passenger baggage. Anyway, the quotes I've shown are clear: none of the major airlines will let a passenger take an electric skateboard. – Tom van der Zanden Dec 4 '17 at 12:44
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    @TomvanderZanden Oh, absolutely agreed; it’s much easier to have a blanket ban on a type of device than to have every passenger try to argue that their device is okay. – bogardpd Dec 4 '17 at 12:52
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    Actual quotes from international carriers, something this question needed very much. +1 – Mast Dec 4 '17 at 14:02
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TL;DR: you may or may not be able to bring your skateboard on a plane. You could go by train. But are you sure you want to bring the skateboard anyway?


You can't bring large lithium batteries on planes because they are a fire risk.

Restrictions are based on the battery's capacity in watt-hours (Wh). To find the capacity of your battery, multiply the capacity in Ah (amp-hours) by the voltage. If the capacity is quoted in mAh (milliamp-hours), divide by 1000 to get Ah.

Anything over 160Wh (watt-hours) is forbidden on passenger planes, period, by international regulations. Lithium batteries can only be put in the hold of a passenger plane if they have capacity up to 100Wh and are installed in a device. Any battery that's not in a device (the airlines call these "spare batteries"), and any battery of more than 100Wh (up to 160Wh) must be in your hand luggage. Furthermore, you must notify the airline in advace if you intend to bring a lithium battery in the 100–160Wh range (I think there are restrictions on how many can be brought on the plane in total). You're only allowed two spare batteries in that range.

From cursory research, it seems that typical skateboard batteries are 22V and in the 5000–8000mAh range, which gives a capacity of 110–176Wh. The upper end of that range cannot be brought on planes at all. The lower end can be, but you can only bring two batteries, they must be in your hand luggage and you must inform the airline in advance.

I expect all airlines will require you to put the skateboard itself in your checked baggage. If you can't remove the batteries, you can't take it, since they will need to be in your carry-on.

An alternative option might be to travel to Russia by train, but it might take a couple of days. You can certainly get from Paris to Moscow, though you'll need to search more than I did. Die Bahn is usually excellent for European rail travel but it doesn't understand that, for a really long journey, stopping somewhere overnight is the right option. For Paris–Moscow, it decides you need to be in Berlin by 9am and the only way to do that is to go via Antwerp, Rotterdam, Utrecht and a bus to Hannover, which is obviously crazy; clearly you'd travel to Berlin the night before, with a single change somewhere in the Rhineland.

Other issues you do or do not raise:

  • Bringing the skateboard into Russia is presumably fine, unless you have reason to believe that electric skateboards are illegal there. Customs shouldn't be concerned with you bringing valuable things into Russia as long as it's clear that you'll be taking them with you when you leave. Lots of people travel with much more valuable items, such as laptops and cameras.

  • I'd be extremely surprised if you were allowed to bring a skateboard into the stadium with you. Even if you're allowed to bring them into regular football games in France, the World Cup is Different[TM]. It's a major sporting event and they're very restrictive about what can be brought into stadia, for safety and marketing reasons. For example, at the 2006 World Cup, a large number of Dutch fans famously had their shorts confiscated because they were advertising a non-sponsor brand of beer.

  • Other answers have already covered whether it will be feasible to use an electric skateboard to get to the matches in Russia, and whether it would be wise to use one around the big screens and so on. Remember that major events such as the World Cup do attract a lot of petty crime – do you really want to have to guard your skateboard while you're trying to enjoy the game?

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Russian cities are quite crowded, and will be even more so during this event. I strongly suggest you don't take it there. Not only it won't speed you up, but you probably will end up recharging it all the time, since places of interest are usually further away from each other, than in smaller countries. Stadiums are mostly on the outskirts of the cities, as well, so subway is the way to go, not electric something.

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    You suggest to "not take it there", but can OP bring it in the first place? That's the real question. – Andrew T. Dec 4 '17 at 6:32
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    @AndrewT. No, the real question is whether the asker can take their electric skateboard to Russia and use it there. There would be no point bringing it all that way and then leaving it in the hotel 24/7, so "and is there any point in bringing it?" is an implicit question. I agree that whether or not it's usable in Russia is somewhat opinion-based, I do think this is a valid answer to the question. (Note, for example, that two-thirds of the accepted answer is advice that it wouldn't be practical to use an electric skateboard at the World Cup.) – David Richerby Dec 4 '17 at 9:31
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I am Russian (originally from Moscow), and I can tell you it's absolutely fine to use it.

Most of the answers are right – there are actually a lot of guys riding a gyro scooter (because it's just got extremely popular Russia and I don't know why), hoverboards, and sometimes you can even see a guy riding a Boosted Board (O_O it's $1500) in Gorky Park. So there is no problem to use it, if we are speaking about the law. Man, what I am talking about, in Moscow there is a company who made dozens of parking zones with electric bicycles all over the city.

Charging your board somewhere in Starbucks or anywhere else while you are drinking your coffee is also not a problem.

So the only problem you have is your air flight, because as some of the guys said before in this thread, you have to check in your airline about is it ok to take such a big Li-ion battery on board. Personally, I think it's just better to find a very soft pack for it and just drop it like baggage. In this case you are just avoiding mental pain and saving your time.

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    Welcome to the site! Just to clarify, do you know that it's legal to use these devices, or are you just assuming that it's legal because you see people doing it? For example, they're illegal in the UK but you still see people riding them. Also, at least in the UK, electric bicycles are in a different category -- here, they're legal as long as they meet the standards for ordinary bicycles and the motor isn't too powerful. Finally, is this something where the law could be different in different parts of Russia? – David Richerby Dec 5 '17 at 10:47
  • I can clearly say to you what it is legal to ride any of those things like Boosted Board or gyro scooter or anything else. At this moment it is not regulated anyhow (in Russia it means it's legal :D) and you are free to use whatever you want, if it doesn't have a combustion engine. Btw I just googled about this in russian part of internet, and yes, just as I said, it is legal, and you can even buy some electronic boards in Russia from worldwide brands like Airweel. Now about different law in different parts - I know Russia is big, but it's still same country with same laws everywhere. – Arsenii Bortnikov Dec 5 '17 at 14:55
  • Thanks for the clarification! Since Russia is a federal republic, it wasn't clear to me how much the laws would vary from place to place. – David Richerby Dec 5 '17 at 14:59
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There is no ban on electric vehicles like yours in Russia - in the fact there are many people riding segways / hoverboards / EUCs / e.t.c. The only issue is your airlines company which may not allow to carry large Li-Ion battery with you.

I really suggest you to check that before you buy the tickets, otherwise you may not be even able to leave France with your skateboard.

  • Do you know that they're legal, or are you just assuming that they're legal because you see people using them? People use them in the UK, too, but they're illegal here -- they're classed as powered vehicles so they can't be used on the footway, but they don't have the safety features required of vehicles that can operate in the roadway. Also, is this something where the legal situation could vary between the different federal subjects and/or cities? – David Richerby Dec 5 '17 at 10:41
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Also you should check the local laws. In the USA and Canada, police have been known to ticket these "unregistered electric vehicles"

source: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-mans-first-ride-on-electric-skateboard-ends-with-600-ticket

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    Same in the UK: they're classed as vehicles, so you can't use them on the footway, but they don't have features necessary for them to be legal on the roadway, either. – David Richerby Dec 5 '17 at 10:36

protected by JonathanReez Dec 5 '17 at 10:28

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