On April 19, 2021, the U.S. Postal Service issued a notice regarding the upcoming changes to Publication 52, which is titled “Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.”  Postal Service, “Treatment of E-Cigarettes in the Mail,” 86 Fed. Reg. 20,287 (Apr. 19, 2021).  The changes relate to the mailability of electronic nicotine delivery systems (“ENDS”), which were added to the definition of “cigarettes” in the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act.  See our previous alert regarding these changes.

The mailability restrictions at 18 U.S.C. § 1716E include several exceptions, including tobacco products mailed for business purposes between appropriately licensed and permitted businesses.  The exception process requires application to and approval by the Postal Service’s Pricing and Classification Service Center.  As the Postal Service cannot accept early applications for PACT Act exceptions before the restrictions begin, the Postal Service has provided guidance on what may be required in the exception application.  As part of the notice, the Postal Service provides information that applicants are recommended to include in their application for an exception.  While the Postal Service notes that the final rule will establish whether any of these exceptions will be available for shipments of ENDS, “prospective applicants may wish to prepare by compiling electronic copies of all relevant license and permit documentation for themselves and, with respect to the business/regulatory purposes exception, each addressee that they intend to identify in their exception application.”  86 Fed. Reg. 20,288.

Further details are discussed in the Notice.  Husch Blackwell LLP is available to assist clients with the exception application process, along with the other recordkeeping and regulatory requirements of the PACT Act.  For additional information please contact Seth A. Mailhot, Marshall Custer or Steve Levine.