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USPS Makes Change in Method of Shipping Cremated Remains

After a recent change by the US Postal Service (USPS) regarding the use of a new mailing label for cremated remains (Label 139), the USPS has now made a change in the method of shipping cremated remains as well.  Effective now, the USPS requires all cremated remains to be shipped using Priority Mail Express service versus the old method of Registered Mail service.  The exact rule reads as follows:

12.9.3 Cremated Remains
Human and animal ashes (cremated remains) are permitted to be mailed provided they are in a strong and durable container and packaged as required in 9.2. The identity of the contents should be marked (Label 139, is preferred) on the address side next to the shipping label. Mailpieces sent to domestic addresses must be sent using Priority Mail Express service.

It is also important to mention that this new rule addresses both human AND animal cremated remains.  This is also a change in previous rules by the USPS where animal cremated remains were not included.

Professionals who ship cremated remains should change their policies and practices to reflect the new change.  Keep in mind that many states have laws that reflect the older method of shipping cremated remains and are in the process of changing state law to reflect federal requirement.  Most states with a conflict in the change have addressed this issue by reaching out to the State Attorney General and allowing providers to follow the new USPS rule, but if you are unsure you should contact your local State Regulatory Board for clarification.

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