USPS HAZMAT Label Changes  

By Baillee Perkins
Apr 27, 2023
Learn more about HAZMAT labels.

Starting January 21st, USPS is enhancing safety measures for handling dangerous goods shipments. The HAZMAT labels will now feature an oversized letter “H” in the corner, the addition of 2D barcodes, and the inclusion of the word “HAZMAT” after “USPS TRACKING #.” Shippers need not take any specific action other than selecting hazardous goods under special services when printing a label when a shipment contains hazardous materials. We’ll cover everything you need to know about the upcoming changes as well as some reminders for shipping hazardous materials. 

What are hazardous materials?

Before we jump into the new HAZMAT labels, let’s give a quick refresher on how USPS classifies hazardous materials. USPS defines hazardous materials as “any matter having a clear potential for causing harm to the mail, persons, or property involved in moving the mail.” However, USPS also considers the following items as hazardous because they contain fuel: 

  1. Chainsaws
  2. Lawn trimmers and edgers
  3. Small motors and engines
  4. Used fuel tanks (motorcycles, lawnmowers)
  5. Small generators
  6. Camp stoves
  7. Gas lanterns or lamps
  8. Model cars or aircraft

More guidelines and restrictions for shipping hazardous materials through USPS can be found on their website.

How are HAZMAT labels changing?

The first charge is HAZMAT labels will now feature two 2D IMpd™ barcodes. While the new barcodes contain the same information as the existing IMpb barcodes, the additional two barcodes will help optimize processing automation and minimize distortion, printer errors, and increase the ability for labels to be scanned. This increase in visibility will improve the shipping experience for both you and your customers. The barcode banner text will also now read: USPS TRACKING # HAZMAT. This increase in visibility will improve the shipping experience for both you and your customers. The HAZMAT labels will also now feature an oversized letter “H” in the corner.

The second change comes with the Dangerous Goods STCs. Dangerous Goods STCs are numeric codes that identify a package’s mail classification and characteristics, so shipments can be handled appropriately and efficiently as they move throughout USPS. The barcode banner text will also now read: USPS TRACKING # HAZMAT. HAZMAT shipments will still require all of the same documentation and information as they have in the past. Don’t worry, we’ll go over shipping hazardous materials through ShippingEasy later on. 

Will this change impact my shipping process?

Nope! ShippingEasy will print the correct label, so you won’t need to take any additional steps. As long as all of the correct information is included with your shipment, ShippingEasy will create the new HAZMAT label. 

Shipping hazardous materials through ShippingEasy

The process for shipping HAZMAT packages in ShippingEasy hasn’t changed. If you’re new to shipping these types of products or need a reminder, you can use the following steps to create your label: 

  1. Move your domestic shipment to the Ready to Ship page. 
  2. Click USPS – One Balance Carrier and select either Priority or Priority Mail Express as your service. 
  3. Select the checkbox by Contains Hazardous Materials. 
  1. Create your label and print! 




USPS TV’s Guide to Mailing Hazardous Materials

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Baillee Perkins

Baillee Perkins is a writer of shipping by day and pop culture by night, so her Google search history is an actual nightmare.

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