338 Small Quantity

338.1 Definition

A small quantity is the maximum amount of a specific hazardous material that when transported by domestic highway and rail transportation is not subject to any DOT requirements (e.g., packaging, marking, labeling, etc.) other than those specified in 49 CFR 173.4. Not every hazardous material is eligible to be shipped as a small quantity. Additionally, for Postal Service purposes, Class 1, Class 2, Division 6.2, and Class 7 materials are not permitted to be sent as a small quantity.

The small-quantity provision is applicable to domestic mail only, and its use is prohibited for international shipments or APO/FPO/DPO mail. The small-quantity provision must only be used for domestic surface transportation (highway or rail).

338.2 Mailability

Hazardous materials listed in the following categories are eligible to be sent in domestic mail under the small-quantity provision, via surface transportation, only when each primary receptacle is limited to 30 milliliters (1 ounce) or less for liquids and 30 grams (1 ounce) or less for solids, as applicable:

  1. Class 3.
  2. Division 4.1.
  3. Division 4.2 (Packing Groups II and III only).
  4. Division 4.3 (Packing Groups II and III only).
  5. Division 5.1.
  6. Division 5.2.
  7. Division 6.1 (Packing Group III only).
  8. Class 8.
  9. Class 9.

338.3 Additional Restrictions

Materials identified in Appendix A as prohibited in table columns (e), “Domestic Mail Air,” and (f), “Domestic Mail Surface,” are ineligible for mailing under the small-quantity provision without regard to their hazard class, division or packing group.

338.4 Packaging and Marking

Hazardous materials eligible to be shipped under the small-quantity provision permitted in 49 CFR and 338.2 must be prepared following Packaging Instruction 10A in Appendix C. Each mailpiece that qualifies to be sent under the small-quantity provision must be clearly marked on the address side with the following words: “This package conforms to 49 CFR 173.4 for domestic highway or rail transport only.”