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Cathay Pacific Book

Controlled and banned items

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Travelling with lithium batteries

Lithium batteries can cause fires if not carried properly.

Whether a lithium battery can be carried by air or not depends on its configuration and its Watt-hour (Wh) rating (for rechargeable lithium-ion/polymer batteries) or Lithium Content (LC) (for non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries). Because we only fly to airports with thorough security checks, your items will be confiscated if they do not meet the requirements.

So for the safety of yourself and fellow passengers, please take note of our regulations, and read our further guidelines for travel with lithium batteries.

Ban on hoverboards and other self-balancing scooters

Please note: Effective 9th December, 2015, small vehicles powered by lithium ion batteries are forbidden in passenger checked and cabin baggage.
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Small lithium batteries
Small lithium batteries
under 100 Watt-hour (Wh) / 2g Lithium content (LC)

Examples:

  • Cells for mobile phones
  • Cameras
  • Watches
  • Portable music players
  • Laptop computers.

In cabin baggage

  • Allowed inside equipment, plus 20 spare pieces allocated per passenger
  • Must be presented correctly (either enclosed in original retail packaging, with the terminals taped over or each one placed in a separate plastic bag)

In check in baggage

  • 10 pieces maximum, each piece within 160Wh or 2g (per passenger per bag)
  • Must be inside equipment
  • Spare batteries (those not in equipment) not allowed

Banned in baggage

  • Non-rechargeable batteries with more than 2g of lithium (e.g. a ‘C’ size battery and above) are forbidden in any baggage and must be presented and carried as cargo following IATA Dangerous Goods regulations.
Medium lithium batteries
Medium lithium batteries
100 - 160 Watt-hour (Wh)

Examples:

  • Extended life batteries for laptops
  • Batteries used by audio-visual professionals
  • portable medical devices such as Portable Oxygen Concentrators

In cabin baggage

  • Allowed inside equipment, plus 2 spare pieces allocated per passenger 
  • Must be presented correctly (either enclosed in original retail packaging, with the terminals taped over or each one placed in a separate plastic bag)

In check in baggage

  • 10 pieces maximum, each piece within 160Wh or 2g (per passenger per bag)
  •  Must be inside equipment
  • Spare batteries (those not in equipment) not allowed
Large lithium batteries
Large lithium batteries
160+ Watt-hour

Examples:

  • Industry equipment, found in some electric and hybrid vehicles
  • Mobility devices and scooters.

Banned from baggage

Exceptions

Please note: spare lithium batteries - also called “loose” batteries - are those carried separately, used as backup to recharge the lithium-ion batteries installed in mobile phones, laptop computers and other equipment. Spare lithium batteries can include portable battery chargers or power banks (with built-in lithium batteries). 

Please pack spare lithium batteries in your carry on luggage, following the guidelines above.

Watch this safety video from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to learn more about travelling with lithium batteries.

Please ensure that you have the information available for our staff when requested:

1. The Watt-hour (Wh) or Lithium content (g) for all the installed and spare batteries that you are planning to bring either as carry-on or check-in baggage.

(You can work this out by using the following calculation: 
Amp-hours (Ah) to Watt-hours (Wh) Conversion: Multiply Ah by Voltage (V), (1Ah = 1,000 mAh), both of these data are displayed on the information plate of the battery.

Example: 2.38Ah x 14.4V = 34 Wh for a laptop computer lithium-ion battery)

Lithium batteries with no or unclear marking of Watt-hour (Wh) rating or Lithium Content (LC) will be refused carriage.

2. Must meet the United Nations (UN) test requirements specified in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III Section 38.3.

3. Equipment and devices with built-in or plug-in lithium batteries – such as laptop computers, cameras, and mobile phones – must be switched off, with measures taken to ensure that they cannot be accidentally activated when placed in check in baggage.

4. The maximum number of equipment and electronic devices containing lithium batteries (each piece within 160Wh or 2g) for carriage in check-in baggage is 10 pieces per passenger, and up to 10 pieces in each bag. For example:

  • 10 pieces per passenger in total (e.g. one passenger checks in two bags)
  • 10 pieces maximum in one bag (e.g. two passengers check in one bag only)

5. For US DOT regulations, passengers travelling to and from the US with lithium batteries should visit www.phmsa.dot.gov/safetravel for details.

6. Non-rechargeable batteries with more than 2 grams of lithium (like a ‘C’ size battery and above) are forbidden in any baggage and must be presented and carried as cargo in accordance with the IATA dangerous goods regulations.

7. Electronic cigarettes cannot be carried in checked baggage, and must not be used on board the aircraft.

We ask that all our passengers adhere to the above acceptance criteria when travelling with lithium batteries. And whilst we don't like to say no to our passengers, we will be forced to refuse carriage of any excessive and unacceptable batteries upon discovery.

On check in, our staff will ask you if you have read the lithium batteries regulations. It is a criminal offence to make a false statement in response to this question, punishable on conviction to a fine of HKD 10,000 and / or imprisonment for up to six months. We will also be forced to inform the police and airport security services. To avoid this, please take note of our guildlines.

Please note that your bags may be searched before and / or after check in, should this be necessary.

Travelling with regular batteries

Commercial batteries (such as Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) and alkaline) can be carried safely in either check in or hand baggage provided they are adequately protected against short circuit. You can prepare them for travel by:

  • Enclosing them in their original retail packaging OR
  • Taping over the terminals OR
  • Placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch
  • Turning off batteries in all electronic equipment i.e. cameras, mobile phones and computers so they cannot be accidentally re-activated when in checked baggage

Refer to Medical Devices for more information on Portable Medical Electronic Devices.