On June 6, 2022, the USPS published in the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule (IFR) revising the Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail (PUB 52), to require mailers to separate all hazardous materials from other mail into identifiable containers when tendering to the USPS.

This interim final rule incorporates some modifications from the original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published August 3, 2020 requiring separation of air-eligible HAZMAT from other mail. COSTHA filed comments to this notice on September 2, 2020.

USPS NPRM New Mailing Standards for the Separation of Hazardous Materials (Aug. 3, 2020)

The current requirements include:

  • Visibility: The separation of all hazardous materials mail (not just air-eligible HAZMAT). Mail entered at a Destination Delivery Unit (DDU), Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) or Destination Network Distribution Center (DNDC) is exempted from this requirement.
  • Separation Integrity: Postal Service personnel must keep HAZMAT separated from non-HAZMAT at all points in the mailstream
  • Lithium Batteries: pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices with batteries installed or packed with the device are restricted to surface transport.
  • These items will be prohibited in international mail, overseas military and diplomatic addresses and certain domestic locations where the USPS lacks surface transportation.
  • Packages must be marked “Restricted Electronic Device” and “Surface Transportation Only”

Comments due date: Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2022. ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Product Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 4446, Washington, DC 20260–3436. Email comments containing the name and address of the commenter may be sent to [email protected], with a subject line of ‘‘New Mailing Standards for the Separation of Hazardous Materials.’’ Faxed comments are not accepted. All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure. You may inspect and photocopy all written comments, by appointment only, at USPS® Headquarters Library, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, 11th Floor North, Washington, DC 20260. These records are available for review Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. by calling 202–268–2906.