Publication 52 Revision: Updates and Consolidation of DMM Requirements

Effective July 7, 2014, the Postal Service™ will revise Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, to incorporate sections 601.8 through 601.12 of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®), and to align the publication with current requirements of the Postal Service and other federal agencies. These updates include:


The entire publication is amended to remove or revise reference links, add definitions, provide agency contact information, provide clarity, separate domestic and international requirements for ease-of-use, and revise packaging instructions.


Without changing the overall standards, the DMM is currently being streamlined by consolidating and removing duplicate information. DMM sections 601.8 through 601.12, contain the Postal Service standards on hazardous, restricted, and perishable matter which are better suited for Pub 52. These sections are relocated from the DMM and incorporated in Pub 52 which will provide all the Postal Service and federal requirements, applicable to the mailing of hazardous, restricted, or perishable matter, in one manual.


The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently extended the deadline for mailers to use the square-on-point label for surface transportation from January 1, 2015, to January 1, 2021. For the most part, this date is not included in the general text of the publication because it is almost seven years in the future, but is included in sections relevant only to ORM-D eligibility (as opposed to a marking requirement) and in the “Definitions” section in Appendix D.


In many instances the classes of mail at which an item could be mailed have been updated; for instance, changing “registered airmail letter package” to “First-Class Package International Service with Registered Mail service.” Additionally, any instance that addresses an APO or FPO destination has been revised to also include DPO.

Department of Transportation (DOT) Special Permit Authorization (SP 9275)

On April 17, 2014, the DOT removed the requirement for mailers to apply for Special Permit 9275 (DOT SP-9275) when shipping items containing ethyl alcohol. Current special permit holders will temporarily be permitted to mail under this exception. Otherwise, shipments of hazard Class 3 flammable liquids will fall under the requirements of section 343 and Packaging Instruction 3A.

Lithium Batteries – Domestic and International

The domestic and international requirements for lithium cells and batteries were separated to provide ease-of-use for customers. New mailability tables were designed and incorporated for quick reference.

Publication 14, Prohibitions and Restrictions on Mailing Animals, Plants, and Related Matter

This Postal Service publication is a compilation of requirements and statutes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and the Department of the Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) which closely aligns with the content of Pub 52. It is the intent of the Postal Service to incorporate, over the next few months, the content of Pub 14 into Pub 52 which will provide all the Postal Service requirements in one manual. In the interim, certain sections on Quarantines have been incorporated as part of this revision.

Appendix A

The Hazardous Material Table is under construction and will be added to the publication at a later date. This table closely follows the DOT 49 CFR hazardous materials table, but instead notes Postal Service mailability. Over the course of time, many new chemicals have been added or changed and the mailability of over 100 new chemical items is being reviewed for mailability.

New Packaging Instruction for Manufactured Devices that Contain Small Amounts of Mercury

New Packaging Instruction 8C has been developed to enable customers to mail manufactured items, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), containing minute amounts (less than 100 mg) of mercury. These items will require triple packaging.

Separation of Packaging Instructions for Domestic and International Lithium Cells and Batteries

Domestic Packaging Instruction 9D on lithium and lithium-ion cells and batteries has been revised to remove the international component. New Packaging Instruction 9E will incorporate the international standards. Both instructions have the new lithium battery mailability table inserted specific to domestic or international mail.

New Packaging Instruction for Cremated Remains

New Packaging Instruction 9F has been developed to assist customers in the requirements for mailing cremated remains. The packaging requirement is based on Postal Service standards for “powder” material. These items require sift-proof double packaging. Both domestic and international mailings are included. A recommendation to provide, in the interior package, a slip of paper with sender and recipient’s contact information in case of damage to the outer container or loss of mailing label, is also included.

Appendix E

Metric conversion table is deleted as unnecessary because this information can readily be found on the Internet.

We will incorporate these revisions into the next online version of Publication 52, which is available via Postal Explorer® at