The fact that an item is unsolicited by the addressee generally does not affect its mailability unless the article is composed of hazardous materials or restricted matter. Hazardous materials are subject to the mailing conditions in chapter 3 of this publication and DMM 601.10, as applicable. Unsolicited items that are not hazardous materials may be subject to additional packaging requirements in 601.11.
Any article or instrument designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion is nonmailable (18 U.S.C. 1461).
Unsolicited samples of an article or instrument designed, adapted, or intended for preventing conception is nonmailable, except when mailed to a manufacturer, dealer, licensed physician or surgeon, nurse, pharmacist/druggist, or a hospital or clinic (39 U.S.C. 3001 and 18 U.S.C. 1461). See
Other types of unsolicited samples may be nonmailable for other reasons, including the following:
- The sample is an otherwise restricted item such as a toxic substance or poison subject to the hazardous materials requirements in chapter 3 and DMM 601.10.
- The sample is improperly prepared for mailing, such as an inadequately packaged razor blade or a household substance that does not comply with the child-resistant packaging required in DMM 601.11.13.
- The sample is a pesticide subject to the restrictions in DMM 601.11.14 or a fragrance advertising sample subject to the restrictions in DMM 601.11.15.
- The sample is an odd–shaped item in a letter–size envelope that is prohibited under DMM 601.11.18.