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Shipping Hazmat

Starting July 9, 2023, merchants are required to declare if they’re shipping a product that contains hazardous (HAZMAT) materials when creating a shipping label. This can easily be done within Shippo.

At Cart.com, we empower our merchants with the latest information so that they can take action and avoid any delays or penalties that come from not complying with the latest requirements.

USPS HAZMAT Shipping Changes

The rules for shipping HAZMAT items through the USPS have changed multiple times in the past year.

Last year, the USPS announced two key changes that HAZMAT shippers need to abide by. First, the Postal Service required a clear separation of Hazmat and non-Hazmat items into separate and identifiable packages or mail receptacles. Parcels containing hazardous materials would need to be marked as hazardous.

Additionally, the Postal Service began limiting any used, damaged, or defective electronic devices containing lithium batteries to ground shipping services only. This meant products containing these batteries could not be sent via international service or expedited domestic service via airfrieght. Those packages now have to be labeled “Restricted Electronic Device” and Surface Transportation Only”.

In addition to those requirements, the latest USPS HAZMAT shipping changes now require shippers using USPS to formally declare when their parcel contains a hazardous item. Shippers must do so at the time they purchase USPS shipping labels.

It will be crucial for you to know whether or not your item is considered hazardous since many products fall into that category that you may not realize.

What is Considered HAZMAT?

Hazardous materials are any items assigned by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as being capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property during transportation. For international shipping, these items are often referred to as “dangerous goods” and will require you to fill out a dangerous goods declaration (DGD).

The most common types of items that fall into this category include:

  • Articles containing liquid mercury (such as thermometers, barometers, and blood pressure equipment)
  • Lithium batteries (or any electronics that include lithium batteries such as cell phones and laptops)
  • Aerosols (such as hairspray, disinfectants, and spray paint)
  • Fragrances (such as colognes, perfumes, and body sprays)
  • Dry Ice (which can be used to preserve temperature-sensitive items such as food and medicines)
  • Paint, Paint Thinners, and Removers (wood stains and adhesives would also fall into this category)
  • Nail polishes and nail polish removers
  • Fuel or fuel-powered machinery (this could include gas lanterns, camp stoves, model cars, or even lawn equipment.)

In addition to these examples, there are thousands of other items that could fall under the umbrella of HAZMAT. In order to find out if your product falls in this category, you’ll want to check the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) prepared by your manufacturer.