The United States Postal Service ( USPS ) is increasing the safety and security of its collection box procedures through a modification of the long-standing Aviation Mail Security Rule, which was established in August 1996 and called for all packages weighing 16 ounces to be presented in person to a postal clerk or a letter carrier.
The action was taken to enhance security measures and to protect the public, postal employees and postal contractors who transport the U.S. Mail.
In 2007, the weight allowance was decreased to 13-ounces or more for all anonymous mail. Since then, packages and other mail pieces weighing 13 ounces or more, bearing only stamps as postage must only be presented to a postal employee at a retail counter.
This month’s update to the rule will enhance the existing safety program by prohibiting packages with stamps as postage that are more than one-half inch thick and/or weigh more than 10 ounces from anonymously being entered into the mail stream through collection boxes or Post Office mail slots. Packages and all other mail pieces of this type will now need to be taken to a retail counter. This change is effective Oct. 1, 2019.
Consumers who opt to use postage stamps to mail packages, or other items, weighing more than 10 ounces and/or more than one-half inch thick must conduct their transactions at a Post Office retail counter. Consumers can also take advantage of Postal Service self-service kiosks to purchase postage labels and drop those packages into the package slots, not mail slots, at a Post Office. If a restricted package or mail piece is found in a collection box, mail chute or lobby mail slot after Oct. 1 it will be returned to the sender with a Customer Return Label attached explaining the restrictions and reason for return.