Hazardous materials

The Postal Service has issued new requirements for shipping used electronics and other hazardous materials.

Effective June 6, mailers must separate all material requiring hazardous markings or labels into identifiable containers.

Additionally, pre-owned, damaged or defective electronic devices — such as cellphones, laptops, tablets — that either contain or are packed with lithium batteries must be mailed by surface transportation using Parcel Select Ground or USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Return Service or Ground Return Service.

To ensure visibility, these packages must be marked “Restricted Electronic Device” and “Surface Transportation Only,” in addition to any other applicable markings.

Customers are not allowed to use Priority Express, Priority Mail or First-Class Package Service to ship pre-owned, damaged or defective electronic devices by air.

The Postal Service is revising Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail to incorporate new requirements for mailers.

Due to the importance to public safety, these rules are effective immediately.

However, the public will have 30 days to provide input toward potential revisions in a subsequent final rule.