USPS Updates Hazmat Packaging Rules in Publication 52

Posted on 7/21/2016 by Roger Marks

In a notice posted to the Federal Register today, the United States Postal Service announced the addition of a new Excepted Quantity Provision to the hazardous materials packaging provisions found in Publication 52. The updates bring the USPS rules up to date with changes PHMSA made to its Hazardous Materials Regulation (HMR) back in 2009.

At that time, PHMSA revised the HMR to incorporate international standards for small and excepted quantities shipped by air or vessel at 49 CFR 173.4. In doing so, PHMSA also clarified that the Small Quantity regulations apply only to hazmat shipments transported by highway or rail.

While the rules for shipping hazardous materials by mail are more stringent than the Hazardous Materials Regulations for commercial shippers, today’s update revises the USPS Small Quantity Provision to make it applicable only to surface mail products—matching what PHMSA did 7 years ago.

Excepted Hazmat Quantities and the “E” Marking

E marking for hazmat excepted quantities
In addition, USPS is adding an Excepted Quantity Provision to Publication 52 to require the use of the DOT-approved “E” marking on hazardous materials packages mailed under the Excepted Quantity rules.
Not all hazardous materials are eligible for relief under the USPS Excepted Quantity rules. USPS prohibits Hazard Classes 1, 2, 4, and 7 from being shipped under these provisions.

Read the full notice in the Federal Register here.

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, new rules, PHMSA

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