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Nonmailable Matter
Postal Clerk - Military guide to working in a post office
Written, Printed, or Graphic Matter
sealing, addressing, or marking.   Containers must be strong enough to retain and protect the contents during normal mail handling.  Items that are not packed well enough to withstand normal handling must be refused. U.S.  Postal  Service  regulations  state  “anything which may kill or injure another, or in any way damage the mails or other property is nonmailable.”  However, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain matter that has been  declared  nonmailable  may  be  mailed  under certain  conditions.    This  section  describes  some  of those items and substances that are prohibited from the mail and the conditions under which certain items may be mailed. As you learn to become a window clerk, you must be  alert  in  detecting  violations  of  regulations concerning nonmailable matter.  To assist the mailer in ensuring that nonmailable matter is not deposited in the mail, you should ask the customer what is in the parcel before  you  accept  it.    Once  you  have  done  this,  the responsibility for the article’s contents is on the mailer. RULES AND PROCEDURES Learning Objective:  Recall  the  rules  and procedures   regarding   the   acceptance   of articles for mailing. Both the mailer and you, as a window clerk, play an important part in keeping nonmailable and potential harmful  and  dangerous  matter  from  the  mail.   As  a military  postal  clerk,  you  must  have  a  broad knowledge  of  those  items  that  are  nonmailable  and those that may be mailed under certain conditions. You should assist the mailer by providing him/her with this information.   This information may be found in such sources as the DMM, USPS  Publication  52, and the IMM.   Information may also be obtained from fleet mail  centers,  other  military  post  offices,  or  senior postal clerks if you are outside of the United States.  In the  United  States  you  should  contact  the  nearest civilian post office or Navy postal assistance advisor. MAILER’S RESPONSIBILITY The  mailer  is  responsible  for  ensuring  items presented for mailing are not prohibited by postal laws or regulations.  The mailer is also required to comply with nonpostal laws and regulations pertaining to the possession, treatment, transmission, or the transfer of certain matter. Nonpostal laws are those laws that have been  enacted  by  Congress.     In  addition,  certain regulations  issued  by  government  agencies  (such  as the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco  and  Firearms,  and  so  forth)  concerning interstate transportation must be adhered to. PROCEDURES FOR ACCEPTING CLERKS When you are assigned to a post office window accepting articles for mailing, you must be alert for articles  and  substances  that  are  nonmailable.   If  the contents  of  an  article  presented  for  mailing  are described by the mailer as, or are revealed otherwise to be nonmailable, you must refuse to accept the article. When some items are identified to be nonmailable as packaged,  preparation  and  packaging  requirements must be met before the package can be accepted. If the mailer  fails  to  properly  package  the  item,  you  must refuse it.   In any case, explain the reasons why you cannot accept the package and refer the person to the applicable module of the DMM. GENERAL ADVICE TO MAILERS Sometimes a postal customer may seek advice as to whether, or under what conditions, certain matter may be mailed.  If a postal customer seeks this advice or it appears that a person will mail dangerous matter, you should call the person’s attention to Module C of the  DMM.     Military  postal  personnel  are  not authorized  to  decide  whether  written,  printed,  or graphic matter is nonmailable or deny entry or exclude such matter from the mails. On the other hand, military postal personnel may decide  whether  articles  and  substances  other  than written, printed, or graphic matter are nonmailable. These articles are listed in Module C of the DMM and in this section, and must be refused. INJURIOUS ARTICLES Generally,  any  article,  composition,  or  material that may kill or injure another, or damage the mail or other property, is nonmailable.   The items listed here are  generally  nonmailable  to,  from,  or  between military post offices.  However, some of these articles may  be  mailed  under  certain  conditions.    The conditions may include special packaging, whether or not the article is sent as official government business, and so forth.  If any of these articles are presented for mailing, they are reason for suspect, and Module C of the DMM or USPS Publication 52 should be checked 3-12

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