USPS Raises Penalties for Hazmat Violations in Mail System

Posted on 1/13/2021 by Roger Marks

The United States Postal Service (USPS) increased civil penalties for hazardous materials violations in the mail system. These penalties apply to “persons who knowingly mail nonmailable hazardous materials or fail to follow postal laws on mailing hazardous materials.”
  • The maximum civil penalty increased from $127,525 per violation to $129,032 per violation.  
  • The minimum civil penalty increased from $320 to $324.
The Interim Final Rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, January 14, 2021. 

If you offer hazardous materials for transportation, even by the Post Office, your shipments are subject to US DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulations (DOT). USPS imposes additional restrictions that must be followed to ship hazardous materials by mail. 

Read more: USPS Hazmat Shipping Challenges

DOT Hazmat Penalties Also Going Up

US DOT recently updated its own civil penalties for hazmat violations to keep pace with inflation, as it now does on an annual basis.

The maximum civil penalty that PHMSA, FAA, and other DOT agencies can assess is now up to $83,439 per day, per violation. For violations that result in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property damage, the penalty can be as high as $194,691 per day, per violation.

DOT also increased to minimum penalty for hazmat training violations to $502 per day, per employee. DOT require hazmat training for all “hazmat employees,” and re-training must be provided once every three years (49 CFR 172.704).

Ship Hazmat by Mail?

Learn the unique US Postal Service standards that apply to hazmat shipped by mail with the Hazmat Postal Shipper online course.

Or develop a step-by-step process to prepare and offer hazardous materials for ground, air, or vessel transport when Lion presents live hazmat training webinars in February. 

Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT) 
Hazmat Air Shipper Certification (IATA)
Hazmat Vessel Shipper Certification (IMDG) 

Tags: hazmat shipping, Publication 52, USPS

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