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U.S. Postal Service Publishes Notice of Prospective Revision to Lithium Battery Mailing Standards

The United States Postal Service (USPS) published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2017, a Notice of Prospective Revision (NPR) to the agency’s lithium battery mailing standards. (34 Fed. Reg. 11,373.) The proposed revisions to Publication 52 – Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail of the USPS Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) are intended to reflect recent and anticipated changes to the lithium battery provisions in the U.S. hazardous materials regulations and International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions.

The most significant proposed revision is a prohibition on shipping lithium ion batteries by air via the USPS. The prohibition would not apply to equipment packed with or containing lithium ion batteries. The agency also is proposing new marking and packaging requirements for mail pieces containing lithium batteries.