Publication 52 Revision: New Markings for Nonspillable Wet Batteries

Effective November 10, 2016, the Postal Service™ is revising Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, Appendix C, Packaging Instruction 8B, to provide simplified marking requirements for mailpieces containing nonspillable wet batteries. This revision will limit the marking requirements for properly prepared mailings of nonspillable wet batteries to “Nonspillable Battery” and “UN2800” only.

Nonspillable wet batteries containing liquid electrolyte are permitted to be mailed only if the battery casing is completely sealed to prevent the liquid corrosive from spilling during Postal Service handling. Nonspillable batteries categorized under UN2800 are prohibited in international mail but may be sent as domestic mail via air or surface transportation when prepared within the conditions of Packaging Instruction 8B in Appendix C of Publication 52.

With this change, the Postal Service aligns its marking requirements for nonspillable wet batteries with those specified by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Since commercial carriers are generally familiar with DOT marking regulations, this alignment should reduce potential confusion when mailpieces containing these batteries are transported via commercial carrier.

Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail

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Appendix C USPS Packaging Instructions for Mailable Hazardous Materials

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USPS Packaging Instruction 8B

Nonspillable Wet Battery

[Add a new last sentence to the introductory text of 8B to read as follows:]

***Nonspillable wet batteries mailed in accordance with these instructions must meet all applicable conditions in 49 CFR 173.159a.

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Required Packaging

Primary Receptacle

[Revise the text under the Primary Receptacle subheading to read as follows:]

n The nonspillable battery must be capable of withstanding the vibration and pressure differential tests cited in 49 CFR 173.159(f) (1) and (2).

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[Revise the text under the Marking subheading to read as follows:]

n The outer packaging must be plainly and durably marked on the address with the text “NONSPILLABLE BATTERY, UN2800.”

n Each mailpiece must include the mailer and addressee names and have a complete delivery and return address.

Note: A shipper‘s declaration for dangerous goods is not required for nonspillable wet batteries sent via air transportation as exempted in 49 CFR 173.159a.

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We will incorporate this revision into the next update of online Publication 52, which is available via Postal Explorer® at