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Rise in Online Orders Prompts USPS to Propose New Haz Mat Rule

USPS
Rise in Online Orders Prompts USPS to Propose New Haz Mat Rule

Lithium batteries and cleaning solutions are among the items people are ordering online rather than through brick and mortar establishments, the US Postal Service said, which is why it proposed a new rule dealing with hazardous materials and live animals.

“Due to the rapid expansion of eCommerce, the United States Postal Service has encountered a significant increase in the number of hazardous material shipments going through the mail,” according to the proposed rule published in the Federal Register this month.

“Materials such as lithium batteries, flammable gases, non-flammable compressed gases, and corrosive cleaning solutions that were typically purchased through brick and mortar establishments are now routinely being purchased online and shipped to their destination.”

The Postal Service is also proposing new Service Type Codes (STC) and Extra Service Codes (ESC) for shipments of live animals.

“These indicators are intended to identify and categorize mailable live animal shipments, and provide necessary package-level details for perishable materials shipments when they include special pricing assessments,” according to the USPS proposed rule.

“These perishable materials indicators will specify additional charges applicable to live animals, such as the live animal transportation fee charged by airlines when specific types of live animals are shipped via air transportation, or Special Handling-Fragile fees when required by standards or when optionally requested by the mailer,” the document states. “Once fully implemented, use of these STCs and ESCs will be required for all mailings of live animals under the categories specified.”

You can find the fulltext of the proposed rule on the FederalRegister.gov website. Mailers can submit comments on or before September 8, 2020.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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