[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28488-28489]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11483]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 20


Outbound International Mailings of Lithium Batteries and Other 
Dangerous Goods

AGENCY: Postal Service\TM\.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service is revising the Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM[supreg]) 
part 136, to incorporate standards that prohibit the outbound 
international mailing of lithium batteries and devices containing 
lithium batteries.

DATES: Effective Date: May 16, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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, 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. 
Currently, the only exceptions to this general prohibition relate to 
certain medical materials, infectious substances and radioactive 
materials when they are treated in accordance with additional 
requirements listed in the Technical Instructions. Lithium-ion cells 
and lithium metal batteries are listed in the Technical Instructions as 
Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods. 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.
    The Postal Service will also make parallel changes to other USPS 
publications that make reference to the mailing lithium batteries such 
as Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.
    The Postal Service hereby adopts the following changes to Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail 
Manual (IMM),

[[Page 28489]]

which is incorporated by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. 
See 39 CFR 20.1.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 20

    Foreign relations, International postal services.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 20 is amended to read as follows:

PART 20--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 20 is revised 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, 407, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-
3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.


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2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM), as follows:

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International 
Mail Manual (IMM)

1 International Mail Services

* * * * *

130 Mailability

* * * * *

136 Nonmailable Goods

136.1 Dangerous Goods

    [Revise the introduction to 136.1 and insert a new item i to read 
as follows:] Except as provided in IMM 135, ``dangerous goods'' as 
defined by the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of 
Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations, are prohibited in outbound 
international mail, regardless of mail class. Some examples of 
dangerous goods include:
* * * * *
    i. Primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (non-rechargeable) cells 
and batteries, or secondary lithium-ion cells and batteries 
(rechargeable), regardless of quantity, size, watt hours, and 
regardless of whether the cells or batteries are packed in the 
equipment they are intended to operate, with the equipment they are 
intended to operate, or without equipment (individual batteries). This 
standard applies to all APO, FPO, or DPO locations.

Additional information can be obtained at http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/danger.html.
* * * * *
    We will publish an amendment to 39 CFR part 20 to reflect these 
changes.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2012-11483 Filed 5-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P