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
- Drain openers
- Nitromethane fuel
- Small arms ammunition (not shipped as Consumer Commodity)
- Soldering flux
- Some photographic chemicals
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 an 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.
Both UPS Ground and FedEx Ground do not require a hazardous shipping contract to ship ORM-D packages except to Alaska and Hawaii. FedEx Ground does not transport ORM-D packages to Alaska or Hawaii. The United States Postal Service will accept ORM-D packages only for materials intended for domestic surface transportation. Its use is prohibited in international mail.. As of Jan 1, 2014, FedEx Ground will no longer accept shipments labeled as ORM-D, Consumer Commodity, however these same materials can still be shipped using a different label. Per DOT regulations, FedEx Ground Limited Quantity packages can be shipped with a Hazardous Shipping Paper (OP-900) and Hazardous Material Certification OP-950), or without shipping papers by affixing the specific Limited Quantity Diamond Label to the package. .
- Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 Part 172.101
- Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 Part 173.63
- The Code Of Federal Regulations Title 49 Transportation
- United States Postal Service Publication 52 - Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail
- FedEx Hazardous Material Shipping
- UPS Service Guide ORM-D Ground
- UPS Service Guide ORM-D Air
- Article on ORM-D shipments and How To Ship Using ORM-D Labels
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