If you’ve tried to order any sort of battery or beauty product (hair dyes, perfumes, etc) from Amazon in the last few months, you may have noticed the little line telling you “This item does not ship to Ireland”. This relatively recent – and perhaps somewhat aggressive – modification to Amazon’s policies is a result of a change in IATA regulations. These new regulations forbid the transport of lithium-ion batteries that aren’t packaged in a certain way. Unfortunately, powerbanks fall into this category. While this may spell disaster for us power-users wishing to prolong the lives of our poor batteries, there are ways around these restrictions.
AddressPal, Parcel Motel and Amazon
AddressPal is a service provided by An Post which was designed for use with websites that don’t deliver to Ireland. It likely took its cue from Parcel Motel, the now-famous “virtual address” service. The process is simple, you sign up online and receive a UK and US address, which you then input as your address on Amazon. Prices vary depending on the weight of your package, as well as whether or not it comes from the UK or US. For something small like the aforementioned powerbank for your phone, you can expect to pay €5.99, as well as having to wait an extra couple of days for shipping.
It is worth mentioning, however, that the same restrictions do apply to AddressPal. An Post does technically reserve the right to seize your purchases containing lithium-ion batteries. That being said, we haven’t heard of this happening. Interestingly though, there is no mention of batteries in Parcel Motel’s list of restricted items, so if you’re extremely cautious, that may be the better option.
Powerbanks may not be all that we want to import into Ireland either. The same process can be applied to upcoming products such as Google’s Pixel 3, which could prove to be massively popular when it releases, most likely sometime in October this year. Google has stopped selling most of their devices in Ireland since the Nexus 6, only introducing the Google Home suite recently. While they never officially released a statement as to why they pulled out of a multitude of markets (including Ireland), a source close to Google told us that there were legal reasons for doing so.
Both AddressPal and Parcel Motel provide an easy and cheap workaround for these problems, as well as having the added benefit of anonymising your address. They’re well worth looking into if you’re considering buying a powerbank, especially if you don’t want to make do with one of the lower capacity ones you might find in retail outlets here.