Full responsibility rests with the mailer to comply with all Postal Service and non–Postal Service laws and regulations regarding the mailing of hazardous materials. Anyone who mails, or causes to be mailed, a nonmailable or improperly packaged hazardous material can be subject to legal penalties, including, but not limited to, those specified in 18 U.S.C.
With few exceptions, as noted in these standards, most hazardous materials acceptable for mailing fall within the Other Regulated Materials (ORM–D) regulations of CFR 49 173.144, which do not require DOT hazard class warning labels. Except for Division 6.2 materials under DMM 601.10.17.5 and dry ice under DMM 601.10.20.4, any hazardous material bearing or required to bear a DOT hazard class warning label under the requirements in 49 CFR is prohibited from mailing. Mailable ORM–D material must be marked as required in DMM 601.10.8. Mailable hazardous material must bear DOT handling labels (such as, orientation arrows, magnetized materials) when applicable. The following also apply:
- Each mailpiece containing a mailable hazardous material must be plainly and durably marked on the address side with the required shipping name and UN identification number. The UN identification number is not required on a mailpiece that contains ORM–D material. Mailable ORM–D material must be marked on the address side with “ORM–D” or “ORM–D AIR,” as applicable, immediately following or below the proper shipping name. The proper shipping name for a mailable ORM–D material is “consumer commodity.” The designation “ORM–D” or “ORM–D AIR,” as required, must be placed within a rectangle that is approximately 6.3 mm (1/4 inch) larger on each side than the designation. Mailable ORM-D materials sent as Standard Mail, Parcel Select, or Package Services must also be marked on the address side as “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only.”
- Optionally, mailable limited quantity or mailable ORM-D material may be marked with an approved DOT limited quantity square-on-point marking (see Exhibit 325b). The plain square-on-point marking is used for shipments sent by surface transportation, and the square-on-point marking including the symbol “Y” superimposed in the center is used for shipments sent by air transportation. The following also apply:
- Markings must be durable, legible, and readily visible.
- The marking must be applied on at least one side or one end of the outer packaging. The border forming the square-on-point must be at least 2 mm in width, and the minimum dimension of each side must be 100 mm, unless the package size requires a reduced size marking of no less than 50 mm on each side.
- For surface transportation, the top and bottom portions of the square-on-point and the border forming the square-on-point must be black, and the center must be white or of a suitable contrasting background. Surface shipments containing qualifying ORM-D material bearing the square-on-point limited quantity marking are not required to be marked with the shipping name and identification number.
- For transportation by aircraft, the top and bottom portions of the square-on-point and the border forming the square-on-point must be black, and the center must be white or of a suitable contrasting background. The symbol “Y” must be black, located in the center of the square-on-point, and clearly visible. Mailpieces intended for transport by air must also be marked with the proper shipping name and identification number, and must also display the appropriate DOT hazardous material warning label (only when required for the hazard class shipped, see Exhibit 325c).
Most mailable hazardous materials (including ORM–D AIR materials) must be accompanied by a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods (shipping paper, see 326). To determine which mailable hazardous materials require a shipping paper when sent via air transportation, refer to the appropriate sections in chapter 3, the appropriate Packaging Instruction in Appendix C, and DMM 601.10.
The shipping paper must be properly completed and signed in triplicate by the mailer. It must bear a red candy–striped border and the exact format and same basic wording as shown in Exhibit 326. The shipper’s declaration must be properly prepared, as required by 49 CFR 172.200 through 172.205, which, in part, requires the following information:
- Proper shipping name of material.
- Hazard class.
- UN or NA identification number, as applicable.
- The quantity and type of packaging.
- The packaging instruction used.
- The full name, address, and telephone number of the shipper or consignee.
- The signed shipper’s certification statement.
Neither the Postal Service nor DOT stocks or furnishes shipper’s declaration forms. Mailers may obtain them from commercial printers, Internet–based retailers, safety supply stores, or stationery stores.
The full names and addresses of both the sender and the addressee must appear legibly on the address side of the mailpiece, in accordance with DMM 602.