Can I Ship Pepper Spray with USPS?

Learn the basics of shipping pepper spray with the US Postal Service and what your restricted options will be
ship pepper spray with USPS
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While it’s perfectly legal to carry and ship pepper spray, these bottles contain materials that USPS considers hazardous. Pepper sprays are unique items since they can technically be classified as both an aerosol and a corrosive, which fall into two different hazard classes. Regardless of determining which hazard class pepper spray belongs to, Ground Advantage is the only option to ship it with the U.S. Postal Service.

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You Have to Ship Pepper Spray via USPS Ground Advantage Service

According to their website, USPS defines pepper spray as toxic materials and infectious substances. Therefore, the Postal Service groups pepper spray into Hazard Class 6, which you can see in the USPS Hazard Classes. Since this is the case, the only option is to ship them via USPS Ground Advantage service.

Ground Advantage is the Postal Service’s only ground transportation service, which makes it the requisite service for sending items that contain hazardous materials (like pepper spray canisters). While Ground Advantage is often the most affordable USPS service, it’s also one of the slowest; typically, delivery timeframes for Ground Advantage range anywhere from 2 to 8 business days.

Note that Ground Advantage service takes much longer for delivery than other air-based services such as Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. USPS advertises a delivery timeframe of 1-3 business days for Priority Mail shipments. Priority Mail Express is even faster, with overnight delivery to most urban destinations and 2-day delivery to some rural destinations.

The Exception to the Rule

While Ground Advantage is the simplest choice for pepper spray shipments, there are rare exceptions where you can ship via an air-based service such as Priority Mail. Specifically, you can use air-based services if your aerosol receptacles are non-flammable and meet the qualifications for Consumer Commodity.

If you decide to use an air-based service to send pepper spray, you’ll need to meet the following guidelines:

Even if you intend to follow the above three guidelines, we don’t recommend pursuing air-based services for pepper spray shipments due to the time it will take you to properly prepare these packages. In our opinion, the best practice is to stick with USPS Ground Advantage and call it a day.

For more information on whether your pepper spray qualifies for air-based services, check out our post on shipping aerosols with USPS.

Include the Proper Markings On Your Package

When sending pepper spray via ground transportation, you’ll need to affix specific markings to your package, as it is technically a shipment that contains hazardous materials.

First, you’ll want to stick the Limited Quantity Label on the outside of your box or poly mailer. Second, clearly write “Surface Transportation Only” on the outside of your package. Once you’ve completed these two steps, you’re set to ship!

You Can’t Ship Pepper Spray Internationally

Ground Advantage allows you to ship to any of the 50 United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. However, since it’s a toxic hazardous material that requires you to use only ground service in most cases, you can’t send pepper spray internationally with USPS. Certain countries may ban pepper spray from being imported altogether, and you can check to see if the country you intend to ship to allows it or not in the USPS individual country listings.

As a general rule of thumb, neither aerosols nor corrosives can travel via international air transport…no matter which shipping carrier you use.

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  1. Randi

    Can we ship pepper spray in a bubble mailer? Or does it need to be shipped in a box?

  2. John J Pachuta

    I want to ship bear spray to Alaska and then back to the US from Alaska. How long will it take and cost?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi John – The cost of shipping your package depends on how big it and how much it weighs. You can get a free quote here if you like, and you’ll see how much it costs. You can assume it will cost the same amount to ship it both ways. Be sure to look at the service “Parcel Select Ground” because bear spray is a hazardous material. This service usually takes between 2-8 business days with USPS, but has been known to take much longer in some cases.

    • Dennis

      Hello so i cant import 100 pepper sprays from china? Im in pa


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