ORM-D is a marking for mail or shipping in the United States that identifies other regulated materials for domestic transport only. Packages bearing this mark contain hazardous material in a limited quantity that presents a limited hazard during transportation, due to its form, quantity, and packaging.
Consumer commodity is a hazardous material that is packaged and distributed in a quantity and form intended or suitable for retail sale and designed for consumption by individuals for their personal care or household use purposes. This term can also include certain drugs or medicines.
Examples of items classed ORM-D include:
- Aerosol cans
- Automotive batteries
- Small arms ammunition (not shipped as Consumer Commodity)
- Some photographic chemicals
- Soldering flux
- Drain openers
- Nitro model engine fuel
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 Part 171.8 defines a Consumer Commodity and those items with exceptions provided in the 172.101 table, of limited quantity, and conforming to the definition of "Consumer Commodity" may be marked and sent ORM-D. There are weight and volume restrictions for all ORM-D packages which vary by hazard class. For example, a gallon of a Class 3 flammable liquid PGII cannot be reclassified as ORM-D because it exceeds the limited quantity volume. However, a gallon of a Class 6, PGIII material is within the volume criteria for a Limited Quantity. That gallon can then be labeled as an ORM-D if it meets the definition of a substance that can be converted from a Limited Quantity to an ORM-D.
It is impossible to have an ORM-D that does not fit the criteria for a Limited Quantity. First an item is determined to be a Limited Quantity, and then it is determined if it can be reclassified further to become an ORM-D. If the item is able to be reclassified as ORM-D the proper shipping name is usually, but not always, "Consumer Commodity" as found in the 172.101 table. Other proper shipping names used for ORM-D material are Cartridges Small Arms and Cartridges Power Device. These products will no longer fall under one of the 9 hazard classes either, its "Hazard Class or Division" is now defined as "ORM-D."
Material marked "ORM-D" and shipped by surface transportation does not require hazardous shipping papers, simply an ORM-D and proper shipping name marking on the box. This marking can either be in the form of a ORM-D sticker, or written by hand. If written by hand the letters "ORM-D" must be enclosed by a rectangle. When transported by air, ORM-D shipments require an ORM-D-AIR marking and full hazardous shipping papers.
- USPS Domestic Mailing Manual, Part 601
- The Code Of Federal Regulations Title 49 Transportation
- Article on ORM-D shipments and How To Ship Using ORM-D Labels