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ANSWERED on Mon 3 Nov 2008 - 9:43 pm UTC by Bobbie Sevens

Question: What is the USPS rule regarding the use of logo-imprinted boxes?

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 30 Oct 2008 18:46 UTCThu 30 Oct 2008 - 6:46 pm UTC 

I just tried to mail a box at the post office but they would not accept it becuase it was (once) a FedEx imprinted box. They told me I would have to cover the entire box with brown paper before they would accept it.

I know that the USPS happily accepts boxes with Amazon logos imprinted on them, so I am curious what the actual USPS rule says about using imprinted boxes.



Bobbie Sevens 


 31 Oct 2008 02:45 UTCFri 31 Oct 2008 - 2:45 am UTC 

Hello BigJosh,

According to  the USPS guidelines:, "If you are reusing a box, cover all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker or adhesive labels."

The Box

"Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you are reusing a box, cover all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker or adhesive labels.

USPS Mailing & Shipping Guidelines

If you are reusing a box, totally remove or obliterate all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker."
PDF version

Feom the USPS:

But before you mail treasured items in reused boxes, keep in mind that restrictions apply.

"Reused packaging, boxes and containers that still display markings and labels associated with hazardous, prohibited or restricted materials are not permitted in the mail stream unless these markings have been removed or completely obliterated. If these labels or markings can still be read or identified, then the item is not acceptable for mailing.

We're talking about reusing boxes that contained such items as liquor, wine or beer, cosmetics and cleaning supplies. If the marking and labels on the container are legible, USPS employees are required to handle the mailpiece as though the markings and labels correctly identify the contents of the container."

This happened to soemone else.

"In a huge rush a couple of weeks ago, I threw a little birthday present for my dad into a little recycled box, taped it up, addressed it, and ran to the US Post Office to mail it.

The little box I had grabbed said "DHL" on the outside; I received a DHL delivery a few months ago and had saved the box so I could reuse it. The box had no DHL mailing label on it; it was just a little cardboard box with the DHL logo on it."

"Low and behold, at the post office they told me they would not permit me to mail something in a box that said "DHL" on the outside. Today, on a more leisurely visit to the post office, I confirmed the rule: the Postal Service will not mail anything in a box that carries the logo of a private delivery company like DHL or FedEx."

Would this information suffice as an answer to your question?
Best regards,


Bobbie Sevens 


 2 Nov 2008 03:34 UTCSun 2 Nov 2008 - 3:34 am UTC 

Hi BigJosh,

I was wondering if you had a chance to review my findings. Does the above information answer your question?

Best regards,




 3 Nov 2008 18:58 UTCMon 3 Nov 2008 - 6:58 pm UTC 

I was hoping to get a reference to an actual USPS regulation or policy rather than just a guideline. Thanks!


Bobbie Sevens 


 3 Nov 2008 19:13 UTCMon 3 Nov 2008 - 7:13 pm UTC 


I'm sorry I was unable to locate an actual USPS regulation or policy. I did send an email to the USPS, however they have not responded.

Best regards,


Bobbie Sevens 


 3 Nov 2008 21:43 UTCMon 3 Nov 2008 - 9:43 pm UTC 

Hello again BigJosh

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service contain all official rates and standards governing domestic mailing services and is mostly used by commercial mailers and Postal Service employees. http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/pub268.htm

This document is available at http://pe.usps.com/

"Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual"

Select "600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services"

Select "Mailability"

See "5.0 Handling, Content, and Extra Service Markings"

5.1 Handling, Content, and Extra Service

Certain markings may be used to identify handling, content, and extra service. Unauthorized markings not designating price, class, address, handling, content, or extra service are not permitted. . .. Any obsolete marking on a container to be reused for mailing must be obliterated.

I hope this helps!

Best regards,




 4 Nov 2008 02:12 UTCTue 4 Nov 2008 - 2:12 am UTC 

Great. Thanks!


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