The Postal Service is providing customers with additional options for shipping hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes, two products that are widely being used during the coronavirus pandemic.
Most hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes recommended for use during the outbreak contain ethanol or isopropanol alcohol, which are considered flammable hazardous materials in transportation and are subject to mailing restrictions.
Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes that do not contain alcohol are not regulated as hazardous materials and are allowed in the mailstream.
Shippers that meet certain criteria can request an air-eligible ethanol-based authorization or a special exception to increase the quantity of these products allowed by USPS Product Classification.
If the exception or valid authorization is granted, shippers must present a copy of the approval letter from Product Classification detailing the applicable mailing requirements on the first mailing of these items at each postal facility. Postal facilities should maintain a copy of the USPS approval letter on file for future reference.
Additionally, the shipper must make sure the outer package has text marking the contents, followed by a unique authorization number beginning with HSA, HSB, HSD, HSE or HSS
Retail Digest’s April 7 special edition has more information.
For additional details, refer to Publication 52 Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, Appendix C, Packaging Instruction 3A or 3D.
Employees should report any improper hand sanitizer mailings to HAZMAT@uspis.gov.