[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 93 (Monday, May 14, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28259-28261]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11459]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Mailings of Lithium Batteries

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service will revise the Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 
601.10.20, to incorporate standards that prohibit the outbound 
international mailing of lithium batteries and devices containing 
lithium batteries. This prohibition also extends to the mailing of 
lithium batteries to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location. However, 
this prohibition does not apply to lithium batteries authorized under 
DMM 601.10.20 when mailed within the United States or its territories.

DATES: Effective Date: May 16, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joan Hall at 202-268-6010 or Margaret 
Falwell at 202-268-2576.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service is taking this action to 
bring its international mailing standards into compliance with 
international standards for the acceptance of dangerous goods in 
international mail.
    International standards have recently been the subject of 
discussion by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and 
the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and the Postal Service anticipates 
that on January 1, 2013, customers will be able to mail specific 
quantities of lithium batteries internationally (including to and from 
an APO, FPO, or DPO location) when the batteries are properly installed 
in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate.
    Until such time that a less restrictive policy can be implemented 
consistent with international standards, and in accordance with UPU 
Convention, lithium batteries are not permitted in international mail. 
The UPU Convention and regulations are consistent with the ICAO 
Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air 
(Technical Instructions). The Technical Instructions concerning the 
Transport of Dangerous Goods by Post do not permit ``dangerous goods'' 
as defined by the ICAO Technical Instructions in international mail. 
The prohibition on mailing lithium batteries and cells internationally 
also applies to mail sent by commercial air transportation to and from 
an APO, FPO, or DPO location.
    This final rule describes the prohibitions established for 
mailpieces containing lithium metal or lithium-ion cells or batteries 
and applies regardless of quantity, size, watt hours, and whether the 
cells or batteries are packed in equipment, with equipment, or without 
equipment.
    We will also revise and renumber Exhibit 601.10.20.7 to reflect 
``watt-hour ratings'' instead of ``lithium content'' for secondary 
lithium-ion batteries when describing maximum quantity limits. In 
addition, the Postal Service has moved the lithium battery standards as 
it relates to international, APO, FPO or DPO locations to the 
International Mail Manual (IMM[supreg]).
    The Postal Service will also make parallel changes to other USPS 
publications that make reference to the mailing of lithium batteries 
such as Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is amended as follows:

PART 111--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552(a); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-
1737; 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 
3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.


0
2. Revise the following sections of the Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM):

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual (DMM)

* * * * *

600 Basic Standards For All Mailing Services

601 Mailability

* * * * *

[[Page 28260]]

10.0 Hazardous Materials

* * * * *

10.20 Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials (Hazard Class 9)

* * * * *

10.20.5 Primary Lithium (Non-Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries

    [Revise 10.20.5 as follows:]
    Small consumer-type primary lithium cells or batteries (lithium 
metal or lithium alloy) like those used to power cameras and 
flashlights are mailable domestically under the following conditions. 
Mailing batteries internationally, or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO 
destination is prohibited regardless of mail class. See IMM 136 for 
details.
    a. General. The following restrictions apply to the mailability of 
all primary lithium (non-rechargeable) cells and batteries:
    1. Each cell must contain no more than 1.0 gram (g) of lithium 
content per cell.
    2. Each battery must contain no more than 2.0 g aggregate lithium 
content per battery.
    3. Each cell or battery must meet the requirements of each test in 
the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, and subsection 38.3 as 
referenced in DOTs hazardous materials regulation at 49 CFR 171.7.
    4. All outer packages must have a complete delivery and return 
address.
    b. Installed In Equipment. The following additional restrictions 
apply to the mailing of primary cells or batteries properly installed 
in the equipment they operate:
    1. The batteries installed in the equipment must be protected from 
damage and short circuit.
    2. The equipment must be equipped with an effective means of 
preventing it from being turned on or activated.
    3. The equipment must be cushioned to prevent movement or damage 
and be contained in a strong enough sealed package to prevent crushing 
of the package or exposure of the contents during normal handling in 
the mail.
    4. The mailpiece must not exceed 11 pounds.
    c. Mailed With Equipment. The following additional restrictions 
apply to the mailing of primary cells or batteries shipped with (but 
not installed in) the device or equipment being mailed:
    1. The shipment cannot contain more batteries than the number 
needed to operate the device.
    2. The primary lithium cells and batteries must be packaged 
separately and cushioned to prevent movement or damage.
    3. The shipment must be contained in a strong enough sealed package 
to prevent crushing of the package or exposure of the contents during 
normal handling in the mail.
    4. The outside of the package must be marked on the address side 
``Package Contains Primary Lithium Batteries.''
    5. The mailpiece must not exceed 11 pounds.
    d. Mailed Without Equipment. The following additional restrictions 
apply to the mailing of primary cells or batteries without equipment:
    1. The primary lithium cells and batteries must be mailed in ``the 
originally sealed packaging.''
    2. The sealed packages of batteries must be separated and cushioned 
to prevent short circuit, movement, or damage.
    3. The shipment must be contained in a strong enough sealed package 
to prevent crushing of the package or exposure of the contents during 
normal handling in the mail.
    4. They may only be sent via surface transportation.
    5. The outside of the package must be marked on the address side 
``Surface Mail Only, Primary Lithium Batteries--Forbidden for 
Transportation Aboard Passenger Aircraft.''
    6. The mailpiece must not exceed 5 pounds.

10.20.6 Secondary Lithium-ion (Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries

    [Revise 10.20.6 as follows:]
    Small consumer-type lithium-ion cells and batteries like those used 
to power cell phones and laptop computers are mailable domestically 
under the following conditions. Mailing batteries internationally, or 
to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO destinations is prohibited regardless 
of mail class. See IMM 136 for details.
    a. General. The following additional restrictions apply to the 
mailability of all secondary (rechargeable) lithium-ion cells and 
batteries:
    1. The lithium content must not exceed 20 Wh (Watt-hour rating) per 
cell.
    2. The total aggregate lithium content must not exceed 100 Wh per 
battery.
    3. Each cell or battery must meet the requirements of each test in 
the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, and subsection 38.3 as 
referenced in DOTs hazardous materials regulation at 49 CFR 171.7.
    4. The mailpiece must not contain more than 3 batteries.
    5. All outer packages must have a complete delivery and return 
address.
    b. Installed In Equipment. The following additional restrictions 
apply to the mailing of secondary cells or batteries properly installed 
in equipment they operate:
    1. The batteries installed in the equipment must be protected from 
damage and short circuit.
    2. The equipment must be equipped with an effective means of 
preventing it from being turned on or activated.
    3. The equipment must be cushioned to prevent movement or damage 
and be contained in a strong enough sealed package to prevent crushing 
of the package or exposure of the contents during normal handling in 
the mail. The shipment must be mailed in a strong outer package.
    c. Mailed With Equipment. The following additional restrictions 
apply to the mailing of secondary cells or batteries shipped with (but 
not installed in) the device or equipment being mailed:
    1. The shipment cannot contain more batteries than the number 
needed to operate the device, up to three batteries.
    2. The secondary lithium cells and batteries must be package 
separately and cushioned to prevent movement or damage.
    3. The shipment must be contained in a strong enough sealed package 
to prevent crushing of the package or exposure of the contents during 
normal handling in the mail.
    4. The outside of the package must be marked on the address side 
``Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).''
    d. Mailed Without Equipment. The following additional restrictions 
apply to the mailing of secondary cells or batteries without equipment:
    1. The secondary lithium cells and batteries must be mailed in 
``the originally sealed packaging'' and no more than three batteries.
    2. The sealed packages of batteries must be separated and cushioned 
to prevent short circuit, movement, or damage.
    3. The shipment must be contained in a strong enough sealed package 
to prevent crushing of the package or exposure of the contents during 
normal handling in the mail.
    4. The outside of the package must be marked on the address side 
``Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).''
* * * * *

10.20.7 Damaged or Recalled Batteries

* * * * *
    [Delete Exhibit 10.20.7, Lithium Battery Mailability Chart, in its 
entirety.]

[[Page 28261]]

    [Insert new item 10.20.8 and Exhibit 10.20.8 as follows:]

10.20.8 Lithium Battery Mailability

    To determine the mailability of primary (non-rechargeable) lithium 
metal and lithium alloy batteries, or secondary lithium-ion batteries, 
see exhibit below. For detailed information refer to 10.20.5 and 
10.20.6 respectively.

                               Exhibit 10.20.8--Lithium Battery Mailability Chart
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    Primary Lithium Batteries 1 2       Surface transportation     Air transportation     Mailpiece weight limit
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                                 Small non-rechargeable consumer-type batteries
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Contained in (properly installed in    Mailable...............  Mailable...............  11 lb.
 equipment).
Packed with equipment but not          Mailable...............  Mailable...............  11 lb.
 installed in equipment.
Without the equipment they operate     Mailable...............  Prohibited.............  5 lb.
 (individual batteries).
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1. Each primary cell must not contain more than 1g lithium content.
2. Each primary battery must not contain more than 2g lithium content.
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 Secondary Lithium-ion Batteries 3 4    Surface transportation     Air transportation    Mailpiece battery limit
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                                   Small rechargeable consumer-type batteries
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Contained in (properly installed in    Mailable...............  Mailable...............  No more than 3
 equipment).                                                                              batteries.
Packed with equipment but not          Mailable...............  Mailable...............  No more than 3
 installed in equipment.                                                                  batteries.
Without the equipment they operate     Mailable...............  Mailable...............  No more than 3
 (individual batteries).                                                                  batteries.
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3. Each secondary cell must not contain more than 20 Wh (Watt-hour rating) per cell.
4. Each secondary battery must not exceed 100 Wh per battery.
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* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2012-11459 Filed 5-11-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P