metallic mercury are always prohibited in the mail stream. This includes antique items such as
thermometers, barometers, blood pressure monitors and similar devices. However, compact fluorescent lamps, which contain small amounts of mercury in vapor form, are mailable domestically but not internationally.
Before attempting to mail such items, Paul Smith of the Philadelphia regional office suggests that consumers review USPS Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, & Perishable Mail, to find out if your item is mailable and follow U.S. laws and U.S. Postal Service hazmat guidelines. If your item is approved for shipping, be sure to ship items securely with required labels and markings. Customers can take their package to a Post Office location to make sure it is labeled correctly. Improper, undeclared, or prohibited hazmat (hazardous material) shipping can have serious consequences for everyone involved.
Smith explained that full responsibility rests with the mailer to comply with all Postal Service and non–Postal Service laws and regulations in the mailing of hazardous material. Anyone who mails, or causes to be mailed, a nonmailable or improperly packaged hazardous material can be subject to legal penalties (i.e., fines and/or imprisonment), including but not limited to, those specified in 18 U.S.C. The transport of hazardous materials prior to entry as U.S. Mail and after receipt from the Postal Service is subject to Department of Transportation regulations.
If a person knowingly mails items or materials that are dangerous or injurious to life, health, or property, they may face a civil penalty of at least $250, but not more than $100,000 per violation, the costs of any cleanup associated with each violation, and damages. They may also face criminal penalties.
The Postal Service is committed to the safety and security of its employees, its customers, and its transportation networks and will remain vigilant in safeguarding the mail stream against any article that might pose a hazard to health, safety, property, or the environment.
Smith also reminded consumers that, effective July 9, USPS will require Electronic Indicators when shipping Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) and Dangerous Goods (DG). Publication 52,
Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail 52 will be revised to incorporate new requirements for mailers to use unique Service Type Codes (STCs) and extra service codes (ESCs) within the tracking barcodes and electronic data submission for package shipments containing HAZMAT or DG.
A tutorial on sending hazardous materials can be found through the Hazmat Shipping Safety Public service announcement on mercury, located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wriu99Z01r8.
Share this Post