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Revised USPS Hazmat Rules Published in Postal Bulletin

Posted on 2/16/2023 by Roger Marks

Revised requirements for mailing hazardous materials with the US Postal Service (USPS) appeared in the latest Postal Bulletin on February 9, 2023 (pp. 8—16)

The updates to the rules for hazmat-by-mail have been in effect for mailers since June of 2022, when USPS published an Interim Final Rule to the Federal Register. The Interim rule was replaced by a Final Rule on November 30 that year. The "final" version added a couple of clarifying points, but was otherwise identical to the Interim Rule.  

The USPS standards for Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail are revised as follows:

  • Shippers/mailers must separate hazardous materials requiring marks or labels from other mail.

  • The mailing of pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices containing (or packed with) lithium batteries is restricted to surface transportation only.

  • Specific markings are required on mail containing lithium batteries in or with pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices.

We explored the new USPS requirements in more detail last year. 

The substantial revisions to the hazmat mail standards are already in effect and will be incorporated in the next edition Publication 52—Restricted, Hazardous, and Perishable Mail. 

Among other things, Publication 52 guides shippers/mailers on the USPS requirements and restrictions for packaging, marking and labeling, and mailing hazardous materials for transportation "by post," i.e., through the mail. 

USPS allows persons, including businesses or e-commerce shippers, to mail small quantities of certain hazardous materials. 

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