The Postal Service wants employees to know there are specific shipping restrictions for hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes that contain alcohol.
As result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the organization is seeing an increase in the number of customers attempting to ship hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes, which are widely used to help prevent transmission of the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.
Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes that don’t contain alcohol are not regulated as hazardous materials and are allowed in the mailstream.
However, most hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes contain flammable ethanol or isopropanol (rubbing alcohol), which are hazardous materials subject to the following mailing restrictions:
- Flammable hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes are prohibited in international, Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office mail.
- Small quantities of flammable hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes can be sent in domestic mail by surface transportation only by USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select or Parcel Select Lightweight.
- Customers can only ship up to 1 pint of liquid per package using surface transportation. Cases of 12-ounce bottles or more exceed USPS allowable limits.
Customers who wish to use domestic air transportation of these products must submit a request and obtain written authorization from the product classification manager at ProductClassification@usps.gov.
For additional information, refer to Publication 52-Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, Appendix C, Packaging Instruction 3A.
Employees should report any improper hand sanitizer mailings to HAZMAT@uspis.gov.