U.S. Postal Service Issues Amended Regulations on Lithium Batteries; PRBA to Meet with Agency to Discuss Implications on Shipments to APO, FPO and DPO Locations

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) published a final rule on May 14, 2012 that aligns the USPS’s International Mail Manual (IMM) with the lithium battery provisions of the current Universal Postal Union (UPU) Convention. (See 77 Fed. Reg. 28259.) The change will mean that the USPS no longer will accept lithium ion and lithium metal cells and batteries or equipment packed with or containing them when mailed internationally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location effective May 16, 2012. However, starting January 1, 2013, the USPS is expected to begin accepting equipment containing small lithium cells and batteries, which would be consistent with new UPU Convention standards on lithium batteries and ICAO Technical Instructions that take effect on that date.