What The Post Office Doesn't Want You To Send

The day-to-day concern with accepting parcels is that they must be packaged well enough to protect their contents and strong enough to prevent the package from breaking and causing injury to employees or damage to other mail. Most people send normal items: documents, clothing, toys, etc. There are times when questions might arise about what can be sent and how.

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You cannot send a parcel of any dimension that weighs more than 70 pounds or a parcel that is more than 108 inches in length and girth.

For example, high density (heavy) items like steel tools, must be heavily protected from shifting around inside a box and tearing through it. On the other end of the spectrum, very fragile and delicate items that cannot endure their box being shifted or shaken, are also often unmailable due to the high likelihood the contents will be damaged by the transportation process.

The USPS has guidelines for hazardous, restricted and perishable materials. Some materials may be sent if the contents are packaged and properly, some may never be sent under any circumstance. Provided below is information regarding USPS guidelines of 2010 but is not intended to be a comprehensive list of everything you might think of shipping. We also cannot anticipate future materials that may be added to the list of no-goes.

Knowingly mailing items that are (by their nature) dangerous to life, health and property is a crime that is punishable by law. Most hazardous materials fall into this category. Some of these “hazardous materials” are very common sense, like grenades or used needles, but some are household items that you might not give a second thought to like perfumes or paints. Sometimes these items may be sent but must be sent via surface transportation and may not be sent via air or internationally. Note that other countries will often have their own standards for materials they will not accept for transportation via mail within their country.

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