We often receive inquiries from prospective customs as to the possibility of shipping electric bicycles (e-bikes) from Japan to overseas.
Is shipping of an e-bike possible? How about batteries for e-bikes?
Principally, shipping of electric bicycles (electrically assisted bicycles) is not possible whether it is by sea or air because of the lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries used for e-bikes are classified as possible dangerous goods because of the high voltage.
Consolidators who offer Less-than-Container-Load shipping services by ocean from Japan to other countries normally do not accept possible dangerous goods in consolidation.
Some carriers (consolidators) may accept goods that are possibly classified as dangerous goods if MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) are issued by the manufacturer for the commodity. Having said that it may be possible with proper MSDS, normally e-bikes manufactures would not issue MSDS for individuals shipping electric bicycles from Japan to overseas personally.
Some of you may wonder why you could actually see Japanese-made e-bikes elsewhere in the world. This is because these bikes were exported from Japan in a large quantity by the manufacturers. or by some trading companies. They ship a large quantity of electric bicycles in full container with proper documents (MSDS) and this is what makes them possible to ship e-bikes.