Package security

The Postal Service is increasing the safety and security of its collection box procedures.

The organization is modifying the long-standing Aviation Mail Security Rule, which was established in 1996 and called for packages weighing 16 ounces or more to be presented in person to a retail associate or letter carrier.

The rule was introduced to enhance security measures and protect the public, postal employees and postal contractors who transport U.S. Mail.

In 2007, the weight allowance was decreased. Since then, packages that weigh 13 ounces or more and bear only stamps as postage were required to be presented to a USPS employee at a retail counter.

The update to the rule will enhance these existing safety procedures.

Beginning Oct. 1, packages with stamps as postage that are more than one-half inch thick or weigh more than 10 ounces will be prohibited from entering the mailstream through collection boxes or Post Office mail slots.

Packages and all other mailpieces of this type must now be taken to a retail counter.

Customers can also use Postal Service self-service kiosks to purchase postage labels and drop these packages into the package slots — not mail slots — at a Post Office.

If a restricted package or mailpiece is found in a collection box, mail chute or lobby mail slot after Oct. 1, the package will be returned to the sender with a Customer Return Label attached explaining the restrictions and reason for return.

Customers who use Click-N-Ship are not affected by this change.

USPS will update labels on collection boxes and Post Office mail slots with the new information.