Can Items with a Fuel Tank Be Sent Through the Mail?

Many commonly used items contain material considered hazardous by Postal Service standards. Some fuel-containing items frequently found in the mail are:

  • Chainsaws.
  • Lawn trimmers and edgers.
  • Small motors and engines.
  • Used fuel tanks (motorcycles, lawn mowers).
  • Small generators.
  • Camp stoves.
  • Gas lanterns or lamps.
  • Model cars or aircraft.

Each of the items listed above is potentially mailable but only under one of the following conditions:

  • The item has never contained fuel
  • The fuel and all vapors have been completely purged from the item.

Note:    If the item emits a fuel odor or if any residue is present on the outside or inside of the item, then the item is not completely purged.  Items containing fuel or fuel vapors are not mailable under any circumstances. Simply removing the fuel from an item does not make the item acceptable for mailing. Fuel tanks containing only vapors can have a greater explosion risk and thus become more hazardous than tanks that are full or partially full of fuel. The fuel must be removed and all vapors must be purged to allow these items to be safely mailed.

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