In international commerce, the term “dangerous goods” is commonly used to describe hazardous materials.
Almost all hazardous materials are prohibited in international mail. The only mailable hazardous materials are certain infectious substances, excepted quantities of radioactive material that are allowed in domestic mail, certain magnetized materials, and certain lithium and lithium-ion batteries. See Exhibit 621.1 for a summary of the types of hazardous materials that are eligible for mailing in international mail.
In certain situations, the few types of hazardous materials that are generally permitted in international mail may be further restricted by the mailing limitations imposed by an individual country. Because individual countries have unique prohibitions and restrictions, it is always necessary to consult the Individual Country Listings in the IMM to be certain that an otherwise mailable hazardous material is acceptable for shipment to a specific country.
DOT Hazard Classes and Mailability for International Mail
The nine classes of hazardous materials listed in 331 also apply to dangerous goods shipped in international commerce.
The non–Postal Service regulations that govern the air shipment of hazardous materials (dangerous goods) in international commerce are specified in the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In 49 CFR, DOT recognizes ICAO requirements for the air transportation of hazardous materials. However, 49 CFR gives DOT the authority to regulate only the domestic transportation of hazardous materials. Generally, most air carriers follow the Dangerous Goods Regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and those regulations are slightly more restrictive than the ICAO rules.
621.3 ORM–D Materials
The ORM–D classification is unique within domestic commerce in the United States and is not recognized in international commerce. Hazardous materials that are mailable in domestic mail as ORM–D materials are prohibited in the international mail.
Mailpieces containing hazardous materials for delivery to overseas military post office (APO/FPO) addresses are required to meet the standards that apply for shipping hazardous materials in international mail. See DMM 703.2.