Pricing & Classification DMM Advisory
August 4, 2016
Revised Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail
The Postal Service™ has revised Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, our publication that provides standards for mailing hazardous, restricted, or perishable items.
The changes bring USPS® standards into closer alignment with Department of Transportation (DOT) standards for the Small Quantity and Excepted Quantity provisions for domestic ground and domestic air transportation of hazardous materials. The revised provisions do not apply to international mail and military mail destined to Army Post Offices (APO), Fleet Post Offices (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO).
Small Quantity Provision (domestic ground)
As was previously the case, the USPS’s small quantity provision will continue to be more restrictive than the ones that are applicable to commercial shippers and carriers. These revisions to Publication 52, part 336 and Packaging Instruction 10A will:
- Restrict use of the provision to domestic USPS ground products only (USPS Retail Ground™, Parcel Select®, and Parcel Select Lightweight®).
- Limit eligibility to certain hazard classes:
- Prohibited: Class 1 (explosives), Class 2 (compressed gasses – including aerosols), Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) and (and Class 7 (radioactive materials)
- Permitted with restrictions: Class 3 (flammable liquids), Class 4 (flammable solids), Class 5 (oxidizers & organic peroxides), Division 6.1 (toxic materials), Class 8 (corrosives) and Class 9 (miscellaneous) materials.
All mailpieces using this provision must bear the new text “This package conforms to 49 CFR 173.4 for domestic highway or rail transport only”
Excepted Quantity Provision (domestic air)
Mailpieces entered under the new excepted quantity provision will be required to bear a unique “E” label, surrounded by red or black hash marks (see image below). Mailers must provide an indication of the hazard class of the material mailed and the mailer/mail service provider name on the label, directly under the “E” imprint. Note that the name of the mailer/mail service provider can be omitted from the label if it is included elsewhere on the outside of the mailpiece.
The new excepted quantity provision can be found in Publication 52, part 337 and Packaging Instruction 10B. The following are highlights of the new provision:
- Although this marking can be used internationally by commercial carriers, the USPS excepted quantity provision is for domestic transportation only and is prohibited in international and APO/FPO/DPO mail.
- The provision can be used with either USPS domestic air or ground products.
- Materials eligible for mailing under this provision are limited to certain materials:
- Prohibited: Class 1 (explosives), Class 2 (compressed gasses – including aerosols), Class 4 (flammable solids), Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) and Class 7 (radioactive materials)
- Permitted with restrictions: Class 3 (flammable liquids), Class 5 (oxidizers & organic peroxides), Division 6.1 (toxic materials), Class 8 (corrosives) and Class 9 (miscellaneous).
All mailpieces using this provision must be marked with the DOT-approved Excepted Quantity “E” marking, as shown below.
Employees and mailers should review the details of the new mailing standards for the revised small quantity and new excepted quantity provisions in the August 4, 2016, Postal Bulletin (22447). The publication is available on Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com.