The U.S. Postal Service prohibits mailing sanitizer products using the mail service except for tiny quantities via surface transportation in domestic mail.
However, to better support USPS shippers during this period of increased demand, mailers can obtain an exception through the Manager, Product Classification, to increase the quantity of sanitizer items containing ethyl and isopropanol alcohol sent via surface transportation.
Additionally, mailers can also be granted authorization by the Manager, Product Classification, to ship limited quantities of ethanol alcohol in domestic air transportation.
How to Get Sanitizer Exception Authorization
Requests for any exception or authorization must be submitted to the Product Classification email account at [email protected].
The request must contain:
- The shipper’s contact name, business name (if applicable), physical address and telephone number.
- The Safety Data Sheet (SDS), if available.
- If an SDS is not readily available, pictures of the front and back of the product, the images must be clear and legible, identifying both the product’s name and listed active ingredients.
- Include the quantity per container (e.g., 2 ounces) and the total quantity of containers per package.
For additional information regarding shipping and packaging of sanitizing products, shippers should refer to USPS Publication 52 Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, Section 343 and Appendix C – 3A or 3D.
What to Expect on First Shipment of Sanitizer Products
USPS has issued a memo to its employees to help them identify shippers that are eligible to mail sanitizer products.
- Upon first mailing at each postal facility, the mailer must provide a copy of a signed letter from Headquarters, Product Classification. The letter will contain the mailer’s unique approval number and applicable mailing requirements.
- The outer package must have the appropriate text marking “Contains xxx” followed by their assigned unique authorization number that will begin with either HSA, HSB, HSD, HSE or HSS.This information is included in the letter and maybe hand or typewritten prominently on the package. Examples of text-markings:
- “Contains Air-Eligible Ethyl Alcohol – Authorization No. HSA – xxxxxx”
- “Contains Air-Eligible Ethyl Alcohol – Authorization No. HSB – xxxxxx”
- “Contains Surface Eligible Ethyl Alcohol – Exception No. HSE – xxxxxx”
- “Contains Surface Eligible Isopropyl Alcohol – Exception No. HSD – xxxxxx”
- “Contains Surface Eligible Alcohol Solids – Exception No. HSS – xxxxxx”
Mailing sanitizing products is only allowed in domestic mail. These materials are strictly prohibited in international mail, Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) destinations.
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