Shipping Liquids Rules For USPS: What you need to know

There are some rules to mail liquids via the United States Postal Services. According to the USPS official guidelines, there is a clear manifestation of things you can and can not send using the U.S. Mail. Some items are completely prohibited/forbidden, while some fall under the second group restricted.

The restricted items are those which can be allowed in certain circumstances only after prior supervision. All kinds of liquids fall under the second category, which is the restricted one. There are ways and rules that are essential to follow to send liquids via USPS, and we will learn how. 


Shipping Liquids Via USPS 

A simple user who wants to send some liquid to someone or a new seller just setting up a business that requires mailing services may not know whether it is possible to send liquids via USPS and, if yes, what are the important rules and regulations to follow. Rules and guidelines may change with time, but some of them will as it is for good. 

The internet assumes that by “liquids,” we always mean alcoholic beverages, but that is not always the case. The rules for sending alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic ones are different, not only in USPS but via other shipping services too. You can also know the shipping estimate from here.

So, without further ado, let us get on with the ways, rules, and regulations of shipping different kinds of liquids via USPS. 

Rules For USPS 

Sending liquids is not that tough when it comes to USPS. Instead, it is much easier than other available shipping services options available in the modern market. But the extremely crucial thing for doing this is to know what exactly you are trying to ship using this mail service. 

For obvious reasons, the kind of liquids you are trying to ship is important and requires supervision. Any form of non-hazardous and nonflammable (liquids that do not catch fire) is good to go via USPS. The only condition here is that they should be properly sealed in a waterproof container. 

Rules for shipping liquids in breakable glass-made bottles Quite often, liquids go in glass-made bottles. They are easily breakable and can happen as the delivery partners ship many packages at a time. For this reason, according to a USPS newly proposed rule, all the mailers should mark their packages with some important information regarding the object going through the mail. 

The information will let them know to indicate the nature of the product you are shipping. This will include orientation arrows, which will indicate the delivery partners take extra care of your objects. 

However, you must use these orientation and information arrows only if required, or the liquid you are shipping is in a breakable material. 

Prices and weights allowed for shipping liquids through USPS 

There are different price groups and different rules according to the weight of your package containing liquids. If you are looking to ship liquids in containers weighing more than 4 oz, then it is advisable to triple pack these containers. By triple packing, we mean a couple of extra passes around the original container. 

This is very important to do for enhanced safety purposes. After completing the padding around the original container, it is put in another leak-proof, sealed having absorbent materials. This is a requirement you need to do for all kinds of mailing services in USPS, whether it is priority mail services, first-class mailing, or domestic mailing services. 

Now let us learn about the different price groups and how the price of shipping liquids varies by the weight of the containers. 

Liquids are perfect and easy candidates for all kinds of cubic pricing. The price, according to 2021, is divided into 9 zones. Here we are mentioning the USPS First-class package rates. You are allowed to ship packages of weight 1 oz to 16 oz. 16 oz is the maximum weight. 

  • For zones 1 and 2, the price for 1 oz packages is $3, and for 16 oz, it is $5.19.
  • For zone 3, the price for 1 oz packages is $3.03, and for 16 oz, it is $5.23. 
  • For zone 4, the price for 1 oz packages is $3.06, and for 16 oz, it is $5.27.
  • For zone 5, the price for 1 oz packages is $3.12, and for 16 oz, it is $5.42. 
  • For zone 6, 1 oz and 16 oz packages are $3.22 and $5.66, respectively. 
  • For zone 7, 1 oz and 16 oz packages are $3.35 and $5.81, respectively.
  • For zone 8, 1 oz and 16 oz packages are $3.49 and $5.98, respectively.
  • In the final zone 9, the prices are the same as the number 8th zone. 

Information regarding restricted liquids 

For alcoholic beverages, the rules for mailing via USPS are undoubtedly quite tough. It is restricted but can be sent through if allowed by very few special circumstances. 

Please keep in mind that if you are looking to reuse a box or carton with labels of alcoholic beverages on it, do not forget to remove all kinds of labels and logos on it, which will help the carton pass through the supervision of the mail system. Some beverages are mailable under certain circumstances, but some are staunchly prohibited. Let us learn about the mailable and the nonmailable ones. 

Nonmailable Liquids 

Any form of intoxicating liquors with an alcoholic content of more than 0.5 percent is nonmailable through USPS. As per their review guidelines and internal service revenue code, some taxable liquors, which have 3.2 % or less alcohol content, are also considered nonmailable. These guidelines prohibit the shipping of intoxicating liquors and beverages. They fall under federal law. 

Promotional, advertising, or sales matter that induces or solicits the mailing, through USPS, the mailing of alcoholic liquors also falls under the nonmailable category. 

Available Liquors (Liquids that are not considered intoxicating liquors) 

A product that can be somewhat intoxicating can pass the USPS supervision only under certain criteria. The liquids have to conform with the applicable requirements initiated by a couple of government organizations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the IRS. Beverages can pass for mailing only if they are not taxable alcoholic liquids, flammable, or poisonous. 

Some products which are fine enough for mailing via USPS are cold remedies, mouthwash, cooking wine, etc. 

Rules For mailing hand sanitizers 

Necessary rules are applicable for hand sanitizers are the alcohol content is very high, and the liquid itself is highly flammable. To ship hand sanitizers and sanitizing whips, one should use the USPS retail ground, Parcel select lightweight, or Parcel select. Choosing other means for mailing these items will not be perfectly fit. 

All these appropriate services we are talking about are easily available through your nearest local post office branch. 

Delivery of these items goes through extra supervision and with enhanced safety as it is highly flammable. That is why they are shipped and handled as (HAZMAT) or hazardous matter in the United States mail. 

For domestic mailing, services are limited to land-based transportation only for safety reasons. There is a complete prohibition for international mailing of these items with high flammability and alcohol content, including DPO/FPO/APO and other military destinations. 


Sending liquids is not that tough via USPS. But what matters is the type of liquids you are looking forward to shipping via U.S mail. Avoid every kind of intoxicating beverage or beverage having an alcohol content of more than 0.5%. Also, avoid shipping hazardous and flammable liquids as well. 

Suppose the liquid you are trying to mail is non-hazardous, not intoxicating, non-alcoholic, and not flammable. In that case, there should not be any undue problems with sending beverages using this fine service. Remember, if the product you are shipping is breakable or perishable, do not forget to put that information in the customs form for added safety.

Shipping guy at USPS, previously at Fedex.

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