The United States Postal Service has said that starting next week, it's banning the overseas shipping of laptops, smartphones, tablets, or anything else with a lithium-ion battery. Starting May 16, our friends at USPS will be revising their mailing standards manual and prohibiting the international mailing of lithium ion batteries. Fast Company writes that the reasoning behind the ban is likely the fact that lithium ion batteries can catch fire or explode under certain circumstances and improperly stored or fully charged can pose a risk on flights.
Being unable to ship smartphones, laptops, Kindles or MP3 players overseas will be a headache for a lot of people, however, USPS says it doesn't expect the ban to last forever. Come January 2013, it anticipates that customers will be able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries internationally as long as they're properly installed in the personal electronic device they're intended to power.