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USPS Proposes 2 Hazmat-by-Mail Revisions

Posted on August 11, 2020 by Roger Marks

Last week, the United States Postal Service (USPS) proposed two revisions to its Publication 52 (PUB 52) requirements for mailing hazardous materials.

On August 3, USPS proposed to require mailers to separate all air-eligible hazardous materials from surface only hazmat shipments and non-hazmat items. The proposed rule aims to improve safe handling of hazardous materials in air mail.

On August 6, USPS proposed requiring mailers to identify and categorize hazardous materials using electronic indicators. In the proposal, USPS cites the “rapid expansion” of hazardous materials e-commerce shipments like lithium batteries, gases, and cleaning solutions and a subsequent increase in improperly prepared packages.   

The August 6 proposal would also standardize the Extra Service options available for mailers of hazardous materials.

Latest Civil Penalties for Hazmat by Mail Violations 

In January this  year, USPS increased its civil penalties for violations of Publication 52 hazardous materials requirements. The maximum civil penalty for hazmat violations by mail is now $127,525 per violation. The minimum civil penalty is $320 per violation.

How to Ship Hazmat by USPS

USPS can be a cost-effective choice to deliver goods to customers around the world. Businesses that ship small quantities of hazardous materials must have the knowledge and procedures in place to ensure safe delivery—both USPS and US DOT have the authority to issue hefty penalties for violations of hazmat regulations.
In addition, improper packaging, markings, labels, or shipping papers can all result in rejection, lost time, missed deadlines, and upset customers.

Expand on your 49 CFR hazmat shipping expertise and learn the unique USPS requirements you must know to ship  hazmat by mail with the Hazmat Postal Shipper Online Course.