[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 140 (Thursday, July 21, 2016)]
[Pages 47446-47447]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17203]



New Hazardous Materials Packaging Provisions

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service will revise Publication 52, Hazardous, 
Restricted, and Perishable Mail (Publication 52), to provide revised 
standards for its hazardous materials Small Quantity Provision and to 
add a new Excepted Quantity Provision. Publication 52 was developed to 
provide expanded requirements for the mailing of hazardous, restricted, 
and perishable materials.

DATES: Effective date: August 4, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Gunther (202) 268-7208.

    Overview: U.S. Postal Service[supreg] Publication 52 provides 
mailing standards specific to hazardous, restricted and perishable 
items and materials. Pursuant to the Mailing

[[Page 47447]]

Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM[supreg]) section 601.8.2, Publication 52 applies to the 
mailability of hazardous materials.
    Revisions to Publication 52: The Postal Service is making these 
revisions in order to more closely align with the Department of 
Transportation (DOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety 
Administration (PHMSA) January 14, 2009 changes to regulations for the 
transportation of specified hazardous materials shipped in small 
    PHMSA announced the adoption of their Excepted Quantity regulations 
on January 14, 2009, via Docket HM-215J. As part of this rulemaking, 
PHMSA maintained its then-current allowances for small quantities of 
Division 2.2, Class 3, Division 4.1, Division 4.2 (Packing Group II and 
III), Division 4.3 (Packing Group II and III), Division 5.1, Division 
5.2, Division 6.1, Class 7, Class 8, and Class 9 materials transported 
by highway and rail. Also at this time, PHMSA adopted the United 
Nations (UN) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 
Excepted Quantity regulations for transportation by aircraft or vessel. 
PHMSA stated it believed that aligning the existing Small Quantity 
regulations with the Excepted Quantity regulations for air and vessel 
transportation would enhance harmonization and increase safety. With 
this revision, PHMSA revised its Small Quantity regulations (49 
CFR173.4) to apply to domestic highway and rail transportation only and 
added a new section 173.4a which matches international Excepted 
Quantity regulations for air and vessel transportation. Concurrent with 
these changes, PHMSA adopted the new ``E'' international marking, 
making it applicable to domestic transportation.

    When using this marking, the ``*'' must be replaced by the primary 
hazard class or division number and the ``**'' must be replaced by the 
name of the shipper or consignee, if not shown elsewhere on the 
    To align the USPS Small Quantity Provision more closely with its 
DOT counterpart, the Postal Service will revise its current Small 
Quantity Provision, making the provision applicable only to surface 
mail products. As was previously the case, the USPS Small Quantity 
Provision will continue to be more restrictive than that applicable to 
commercial shippers and carriers. The Postal Service also clarifies 
this section to provide that Division 6.1 toxic substances in Packing 
Groups I and II are prohibited, and only Division 6.1 materials in 
Packing Group III are eligible to be mailed under the USPS Small 
Quantity Provision. Generally, Division 6.1, Packing Group I and II 
materials are listed as nonmailable in Publication 52, Appendix A.
    In addition, the Postal Service adds a new Excepted Quantity 
Provision, intended to align with the DOT/PHMSA Excepted Quantity 
regulations published in 49 CFR 173.4a. The new Excepted Quantity 
Provision will apply to domestic USPS air products, but may be used 
with shipments placed in USPS surface transportation. Mailpieces 
entered under the USPS Excepted Quantity Provision must be marked with 
the DOT-approved ``E'' marking as described above and meet all 
quantity, packaging and marking requirements described in the revised 
section 337 and new Packaging Instruction 10B. Although the ``E'' 
excepted quantity marking is recognized for commercial international 
shipments, the USPS Excepted Quantity Provision is for domestic use 
only and is prohibited in international and APO/FPO/DPO mail.
    The Postal Service will prohibit the shipment of materials in 
Hazard Classes 1, 2, 4, and 7 under the Excepted Quantity Provision.
    The Postal Service will also add language to Publication 52, for 
both the Small Quantity and Excepted Quantity Provisions, to clarify 
that materials identified in Appendix A of Publication 52 as 
``prohibited'' in USPS air and surface transportation are ineligible 
for mailing under these provisions, without regard to their hazard 
class, division, or packing group.
    The specific revisions to Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, 
and Perishable Mail referenced in this notice will be published in 
Postal Bulletin 22447 on August 4, 2016, and can be viewed at http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin. These revisions are expected to be 
incorporated into Publication 52 within the next few weeks. Publication 
52 is provided in its entirety on Postal Explorer[supreg] at http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/welcome.htm.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Federal Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2016-17203 Filed 7-20-16; 8:45 am]