U.S. Postal Service Issues Rule Prohibiting Air Shipments of “Pre-owned, Damaged, or Defective” Lithium Battery-Powered Devices

The United States Postal Service (“USPS”) published today in the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that revises their Mailing Standard  and, among other things, prohibits the mailing by air of “pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices” that contain or are packed with lithium batteries. The IFR also mandates new package markings for such products and requires mailers tendering a mix of hazardous materials and non-hazardous materials to, in most cases, present them separately to the USPS. The IFR has an immediate effective date upon publication in today’s Federal Register. PRBA is preparing comments in response to the IFR due to the enormous compliance and logistical implications for many PRBA members and consumers who utilize the USPS on a daily basis for shipping used portable electronic devices.