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As part of my work and with electricity becoming completely unreliable in Guadeloupe with power plants being shut down leaving mostly renewable (leaving street lights literally blinking and tap water not constantly running), I’m planning to come with a 25Kg metal device powered by an internal lithium‑ion battery.
Corsair (the only company serving flights between my city in mainland and Guadeloupe) told me outright I can bring the device with me as a luggage only if the internal battery is removed.

While I don’t mind spending 3 hours in order to remove the battery with bringing the required tooling to put it back once I would have arrived, the problem is all the parcel services I found treat such sendings as dangerous prohibited goods.
Though, I don’t think getting it in Guadeloupe is something impossible : I bought it online from a Chinese seller. It was sent to my home by plane using 菜鸟网络 and handled in France by http://www.dpd.com with the content of the parcel clearly written in large characters on the cardboard.
Though buying a new one isn’t an option : not only because of shortages nobody is selling spare parts, including the battery (I recently had to pay 150€ for 3D printing a part from the original broken one), but the sellers I found including the original one aren’t shipping to French overseas as well as Monaco and Andorre in mainland.

I was also unable to find how to open an account on https://www.dpd.com as an individual nor I was able to find a said dpd office…

Please also note legally that Guadeloupe is a region like another region in mainland so it’s almost legally like taking the plane between 2 cities in mainland, but with the Atlantic ocean in practice.

My point is if sending the battery as a parcel, I would need the company along with their exact offer name so that their answer wouldn’t be no you can’t send it with us.
Otherwise, I kept the original cardboard, so it’s not about finding what needs to be put on it legally.

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  • Just to be clear, when you say "As part of my work" are you employed by a company or are you acting as an independent contractor, or are you just going to Guadeloupe because you want to?
    – Peter M
    Jan 30, 2022 at 22:42
  • @PeterM more exactly I was required to not stay in mainland but did not with the argument everything happened on a remote basis, so I have to bear the consequences of it instead of the college along with the company (apprentice). Jan 30, 2022 at 22:46
  • OK .. I was trying to see if this was really someone else's problem and not your problem.
    – Peter M
    Jan 30, 2022 at 22:52
  • @PeterM it could have been the problem of someone else, but I chose to save the price of 2 plane tickets… Jan 30, 2022 at 23:04
  • Would sea transport be an option?
    – Willeke
    Jan 31, 2022 at 9:04

1 Answer 1

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Wh (watt-hours, i.e. watts multiplied by hours), not W/h (watts per hour, which is meaningless).

The IATA rules for lithium batteries transported by passengers are here: https://www.iata.org/contentassets/6fea26dd84d24b26a7a1fd5788561d6e/passenger-lithium-battery.pdf

Clearly you are way beyond what is allowed, you need to ship them as cargo (or make many separate trips if you have many individual cells each under the limits).

Cargo regulations are here: https://www.iata.org/contentassets/05e6d8742b0047259bf3a700bc9d42b9/lithium-battery-guidance-document-2021.pdf

It’s clearly possible to ship Lithium batteries, you just have to follow the rules. Individual carriers (DHL, UPS, FedEx, DPD…) have their own rules which derive from the IATA rules, you’ll have to check with each one of them for specifics, but mostly it involves:

  • batteries being certified
  • the state of load of the batteries
  • careful packaging according to the rules
  • correct labelling
  • prior notification
  • use of the appropriate service

Such batteries may not necessarily be able to be carried on passenger services which also carry cargo, so depending on the destination this may be an issue (that’s why prior notification is important). Most carriers have dedicated cargo flights to mainland France, I’m not sure they have the same to Guadeloupe.

It’s also quite possible that such cargo will only be transported for business customers rather than individuals.

Note that the fact that it’s still France doesn’t change much. The issue is air transport (anywhere in mainland France they could get by truck if air transport wasn’t available — this is obviously not an option for Guadeloupe).

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  • Went to FedEx : their word : No ! Went to LaPoste : their word : No ! Went to ᴅʜʟ : their word : No ! Wasn’t able to find a ᴜᴘꜱ or ᴅᴘᴅ office. I know air cargo is possible, but the problem is where do I pay for sending the battery as a parcel ? I would also need their exact offer name available in France so that answer isn’t that I can’t. Jan 30, 2022 at 22:44
  • For UPS for instance see ups.com/assets/resources/media/fr_FR/pack_ship_batteries.pdf page 5. If your cells are stand-alone that UN3480, which requires a special contract for hazardous materials (if at all possible). If mounted in equipment it’s UN3481, then see the document linked above for IATA regulations (sorry, too lazy to read them again at this hour to see the rules in your case). But again chances are that you’ll require a business contract with them to process them.
    – jcaron
    Jan 31, 2022 at 0:07
  • But it doesn’t say where such a contract can be signed… A parcel is deposited in an office… Jan 31, 2022 at 0:08
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    Local franchises or drop points are not the appropriate venues for this type of contracts, they are just local businesses having a contract with the big companies and can't make any decision. Business contracts are handled at the corporate level, you can even sign up on the website and they will call you back. But unless you are a reputable business, the chance that they will let you ship an essentially unknown hazardous material is slim.
    – xngtng
    Jan 31, 2022 at 1:34
  • 1
    contact.dpd.fr/fr/nous-contacter-client, ups.com/fr/fr/help-center/get-started-with-ups.page; again it's a complex process that I wouldn't count on.
    – xngtng
    Jan 31, 2022 at 4:09

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