14 FAM 760
DIPLOMATIC POST OFFICE (DPO)
(Office of Origin: A/LM)
14 FAM 761 POLICY FOR DIPLOMATIC POST OFFICES
a. 39 U.S.C. 413 authorizes the United States Postal Service (USPS) to establish branch U.S. Post Offices at U.S. diplomatic missions abroad. The Tripartite explains the differences between Department of State, Department of Defense and USPS implementation of Title 39, U.S. Mail Responsibilities.
b. The Director, Diplomatic Pouch and Mail (A/LM/PMP/DPM) provides DPO policy and procedural guidance to DPOs and establishes DPO service based on the needs of the International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) community at U.S. diplomatic missions abroad.
14 FAM 761.1 What Is a Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)?
a. A diplomatic post office is a postal facility that operates at one of the Department’s missions abroad as a branch post office of the USPS. DPO posts are category “C” and are listed in 14 FAH-4 H-113.3, and respective post Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes are published on the DPM website.
b. There are two categories of diplomatic post offices, original and converted.
c. Posts desiring consideration to establish any form of DPO service must follow the process outlined in 14 FAM 761.2.
14 FAM 761.2 How Do I Get a Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) at My Post?
a. Post must conduct a cost analysis (with assistance from DPM) and determine if there is support and adequate ICASS resources to establish permanent DPO service, or downstream service from a regional DPO. Post will be responsible for management of all local DPO functions and must conform to established USPS and Department policies and procedures.
b. Requests to establish DPO service must be cleared through the respective bureau to the Director of A/LM/PMP/DPM. When all criteria are met, DPM will work with USPS headquarters to issue a zip code. Necessary criteria to establish a DPO include the following:
(1) Number of personnel supported by agency (a minimum of 45 ICASS contributors in order to pursue a DPO);
(2) The Department’s approved host-nation agreement template (Request template from DPM via dpm-answerperson_MB@state.gov). The template complies with 39 U.S.C. 406 and Article 36 and 50 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (April 24, 1963) requirements;
(3) A minimum of two USPS-awarded commercial carrier airlift contracts to move all DPO mail. Post is responsible for verifying that there is a high level of safety and security for mail at the airport;
(4) Local last mile (ground transportation to/from airport and post);
(5) Post assigned direct-hire contact (example: IMO/IPO/GSO) must have at least 1 year remaining on his or her tour;
(6) Understanding of 14 FAM/14 FAH oversight responsibilities to include mail screening in 14 FAH-4 H-331; and
(7) Must comply with USPS Address Management System (AMS) policy. Individual mail receptacles will be issued to all authorized DPO ICASS customers.
c. Request to establish DPO downstream service must be cleared through the respective bureau and regional DPO with a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the relationship and responsibilities between posts to DPM.
NOTE: A/LM/PMP/DPM must be consulted before any additional downstream posts are added to the hub DPO so that a serviced downstream post does not become burdensome to the DPO activity in the hub-host mission. If approved by DPM, onward shipping is paid by the receiving post.
14 FAM 761.3 Who May Use the Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)?
a. The Department determines access to the DPO under the same rules as the diplomatic pouch. In general, U.S. citizen employees and certain authorized contractors may use the diplomatic post office (see 14 FAM 724.2, paragraph b, and 14 FAM 724.2, paragraph c). At the post level, the sponsoring agency must subscribe to ICASS Basic Package and Mail and Messenger Services (6 FAH-5 H-352.3-1).
b. U.S. Government contractors, private commercial firms, private U.S. citizens abroad, locally employed staff (LE staff), and private foreign citizens are normally prohibited from using the DPO. Post management must request exceptions from A/LM/PMP/DPM on a case-by-case basis, including justification for the request.
c. Schools abroad:
(1) Schools abroad are not authorized use of DPO for shipment of official bulk supplies such as books and equipment. U.S. Government-sponsored schools are authorized to use the Despatch Agency for shipment of bulk materials (see 14 FAM 315.1);
(2) Employees of U.S. Government-sponsored schools are not authorized to use the DPO; and
(3) Requests for emergency orders for books and educational materials will not be authorized in the DPO. DPO's are not authorized to receive or send official mail per 14 FAM 761.3-1. Requests for an exception can be submitted through unclassified pouch per 14 FAM 724.11.
14 FAM 761.4 Items That May or May Not Be Transported by the Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)
a. Mailing restrictions vary by ZIP code and can be found in the USPS Postal Bulletin.
b. USPS Publication 52, “Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail,” lists information about mailable and nonmailable items (see 14 FAM Exhibit 761.4 for a representative list of items prohibited in DPO).
c. Customers sending or receiving prohibited, restricted, hazardous mail may be held responsible under 14 FAM 766, paragraphs a and b.
d. When in doubt, email DPO-Answerperson_MB@state.gov.
14 FAM 761.4-1 Official Mail in the DPO
As the Department provides diplomatic pouch service for official mail to all posts, DPO will only be used for personal mail. DPO mail is not afforded the same detailed level of tracking as ILMS-pouched items and does not always receive inspections-free passage that unclassified pouch enjoys under the Vienna Convention.
14 FAM 761.4-2 Official Supplies in the DPO
The DPO cannot be used to transport official bulk supplies. Official unclassified bulk supplies for posts must be transported through the Department's U.S. Despatch Agency, international mail, or via commercial transportation companies. Limited amounts of official unclassified supplies may be sent through the diplomatic pouch; see 14 FAM 723.1, paragraph b. Official classified supplies must be sent through the classified diplomatic pouch.
14 FAM 761.4-3 Personal Mail in the DPO
a. Individuals and agencies authorized DPO privileges may not mail through a DPO any item(s) intended for resale. This resale prohibition applies whether sale is to authorized DPO users or not, and regardless of the beneficiary of the proceeds, e.g., charitable organizations or schools.
b. All return mail from a DPO is subject to U.S. customs inspection. For information on U.S. customs duties, see the Customs and Border Protection website.
c. Mail received at original DPO locations is exempt from local customs inspection under Article 27 of the Vienna Convention. Mail received at converted DPO locations is not necessarily exempt from local customs inspection.
d. Intra/inter theater delivery service (IDS) is not authorized from DPO locations.
14 FAM 761.4-4 Private Property in the DPO
a. All DPOs have the “T” restriction: ”Mailings of case lots of food and supplemental household shipments must be approved by sender's parent agency prior to mailing.” In these cases the Department is the approving agency. As such, individuals and agencies authorized DPO privileges may not mail through a DPO any private property (household effects or unaccompanied baggage) to a domestic address or another post abroad. Such mailing of household goods to oneself to circumvent the limit on household goods is an abuse of the agreement that grants Department employees the privilege of using the DPO for personal mail. Employees who abuse the DPO must reimburse the Department for transportation costs of items mailed via the DPO (31 U.S.C. 9701) and risk the loss of DPO privileges.
b. Authorized personnel may use the diplomatic post office (DPO) to ship or receive limited quantities of nonprohibited foodstuffs, not to exceed the bulk shipment limit; see 14 FAM 742.4-2, paragraph c.
c. Customers sending or receiving volumes of mail designated as restricted may be responsible under 14 FAM 766, paragraph c, for reimbursing the entire cost of the shipment to include local last-mile costs.
14 FAM 762 FUNDING FOR DIPLOMATIC POST OFFICES
a. As an extension of the USPS abroad, diplomatic post offices (DPOs) function as authorized USPS branch offices. For mail to post, the customer pays the USPS domestic rate from the originating address to the respective U.S. gateway ZIP code (340XX, 96XXX, 09XXX). For mail from post, the customer pays the USPS domestic rate from the U.S. gateway to the final destination in the United States and its territories.
b. A/LM/PMP/DPM through central ICASS funding pays for all mail transportation costs from the U.S. gateway to the airport servicing the post. Fees incurred to transport the mail from/to the airport to/from post are borne by post. Designated DPOs are required to reimburse DPM for air transportation fees for their return mail.
c. The Department, through its foreign missions, embassies, and consulates, intends that no additional administrative burden or costs outside the scope of the agreement will be incurred by DOD or USPS for mail delivery or routing. USPS or DPM may terminate any post DPO in the event of noncompliance.
14 FAM 763 RESPONSIBILITY FOR DIPLOMATIC POST OFFICES
14 FAM 763.1 Department's Official Mail Manager (OMM)
In addition to the official mail manager (OMM) duties described in 14 FAM 714.2, the Director of A/LM/PMP/DPM develops the Department's position on official and domestic postal matters to be used in negotiations with the USPS and Department of Defense Military Postal Service Agency (DOD/MPSA) for changes pertaining to the memorandums of agreement establishing diplomatic post offices.
14 FAM 763.2 Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) Personnel at Post
a. The post official mail manager (see 14 FAM 737.1, paragraph b) is responsible for the overall management and oversight of DPO operations. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that all personnel assigned to the DPO are properly trained to perform all required tasks involved in the operation of the DPO in accordance with pertinent Department and USPS regulations.
b. The DPO postal officer must be a direct-hire, SECRET-cleared U.S. citizen employee. The DPO postal officer is responsible for the operation, safety, security, accountability, and efficiency of Diplomatic Post Offices at posts with those facilities. The DPO postal officer conducts inspections and ensures mail is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.
c. The DPO mail supervisor and the DPO mail clerks may be locally employed staff, responsible for the day-to-day operations of Diplomatic Post Offices at posts with those facilities. The DPO supervisor and DPO clerk ensure mail is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.
14 FAM 764 DIPLOMATIC POST OFFICE facilities
For a description of physical and security standards for diplomatic post office facilities, send an email to: dpo-answerperson_MB@state.gov.
14 FAM 765 services of DIPLOMATIC POST OFFICES
a. All DPOs must make every effort to furnish quality mail service for all mail- transiting DPOs.
b. Services provided by DPOs may include but are not limited to:
· Certified Mail
· Insured Mail
· Certificate of Mailing
· Return Receipt
· Return Receipt for Merchandise
c. Send a request to dpo-answerperson_MB@state.gov for instructions that govern how these services are provided, internal controls, and record-keeping.
14 FAM 766 Disciplinary Actions For the Mailing of Prohibited or Restricted Items through the dpo
a. The mailing of dangerous goods via the DPO may present serious dangers to aircraft, and passengers, and cause serious diplomatic concerns with host nations. USPS Publication 52, “Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail,” lists all prohibited items. The recommended actions stated herein must be taken by post upon notification by DPM of serious infractions to IATA dangerous goods policies:
(1) First infraction: Post provides a letter of notification to the employee, requiring a signed reply acknowledging that the employee understands the policies and consequences of future incidents and the actions that may be taken by HR in the event of future violations. Employee should be referred to 14 FAM Exhibit 723.2; and
(2) Second infraction: Post refers the matter to the Office of Employee Relations (HR/ER) for appropriate disciplinary action.
b. IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, Section 9, requires DPM to report to the appropriate authorities of the State when undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods are discovered in cargo or mail. Incidents discovered anywhere in the USPS supply chain will be reported to the United States Postal Inspection Service in addition to Diplomatic Security.
c. Customers sending or receiving volumes of mail designated as restricted may be responsible for reimbursing the entire cost of the shipment to include local last-mile costs.
14 FAM 767 Detaining U.S. Mail
14 FAM 767.1 Permissible Detention of Mail
The designated postal officer must assume responsibility to ensure established policy is observed or when postal clerks and/or supervisors have policy questions. Postal offense policy is covered in the USPS Postal Operations Manual (POM) and USPS Administrative Support Manual 13, page 87, ref 274.62. Authorized embassy officials acting diligently and without avoidable delay, may assemble enough evidence to satisfy the probable cause requirement for a search authorization and to apply for, obtain, and execute the authorization by coordinating their findings with the regional security officer, when the postal officer has reasonable suspicion (usually no longer than 72 hours). No person may detain DPO mail other than the appointed postal officer or RSO, except under the following conditions:
(2) DPO clerks acting under postal regulations with the express consent of the addressee or sender;
(3) DPO clerks conducting a mail cover inspection by direction of their postal officer or RSO; and
(4) DPO supervisors acting under an order of a Federal court or an official authorized (i.e., RSO) to issue a search authorization; see 14 FAM 767.4, paragraph a.
14 FAM 767.2 Mail Reasonably Suspected of Being Dangerous to Persons or Property
The postal officer, RSO, or any person acting under their authority, may act without a search warrant or search authorization to detain, open, or remove from postal custody, and process or treat mail, sealed or unsealed, reasonably suspected or posing an immediate danger to life or limb, or an immediate and substantial danger to property. Such detention is allowed only to the extent necessary to determine and eliminate the danger. Justification and documentation will be consistent with the following:
(1) Identify suspected mailings by using the guidelines in USPS Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail;
(2) A complete written and sworn statement of the detention, opening, removal or treatment, and the circumstances that prompted it, signed by the person performing these procedures, must be forwarded to DPM within 24 hours via electronic means. All original copies must be kept on file; and
(3) When harmful matter is discovered, such incidents must be reported as a postal offense: see USPS Postal Operations Manual (POM). DPM should be notified via email or telephone as soon as possible.
14 FAM 767.3 Contaminated Mail
Contaminated mail is any mail that has been exposed to toxic agents. When mail is believed to be contaminated, postal clerks will immediately contact the postal officer and the RSO, and notify DPM of contaminated mail disposition information within 24 hours. DS/WMD protocols will be followed. The team lead and RSO will determine how persistent the agent is and the capability of the mail to be decontaminated without damaging the contents. Contaminated mail should be segregated and secured from uncontaminated mail. All incidents of mail destroyed for this reason must be reported to DPM.
14 FAM 767.4 Execution of Search Warrants and Search Authorizations
a. Warrant(s) issued by a Federal court, served by a Federal officer (i.e., RSO), and search authorizations:
(1) A search warrant duly issued per Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure must be executed per Administrative Support Manual (AMS) 13, page 87, ref 274.62. Usually, a warrant issued by a Federal court or served by a Federal officer is issued under Rule 41 and is duly issued if signed and dated within the past 10 days (AMS 13, page 87, ref 274.61 ; and
(2) Postal officers and DPO clerks must not permit the execution of a search warrant issued by a State court and served by other than authorized Federal officers. If in doubt, the DPO clerk or postal officer must temporarily detain the mail in question and contact DPM for guidance.
b. Inspection: An official authorized to issue a search authorization may authorize a search if there is reasonable suspicion that unlawful weapons, contraband (including unlawful drugs), or other evidence of crime are contained in a particular mail container or parcel:
(1) For such inspections and searches, the authorized official may authorize the opening of all mail containers, but not the opening of individual letters and parcels;
(2) Such inspections and searches may use fluoroscopes or other reasonable technological or natural aids, such as metal detectors and narcotics detection dogs;
(4) Whenever mail is opened for inspection, it should be documented in detail to include the reason(s) leading to the decision to search mail. This information should be relayed by telegram to DPM after final disposition is made. DPM will coordinate with USPS postal inspectors and other authorized legal representatives as needed.
c. Execution procedures for search warrant and search authorizations:
(1) A post official or RSO may execute a search authorization only when accompanied by a DPO clerk or postal officer;
(2) An authorized official or RSO may execute a search warrant per Administrative Support Manual 13, page 87, ref 274.62;
(3) Mail may be taken from postal custody under the authority of a search warrant or search authorization only if the person executing the warrant leaves a copy of the warrant or authorization and a receipt or inventory;
(4) The receipt or inventory must be made out in the presence of the accompanying DPO clerk or postal officer and must describe specifically each piece of mail taken, including all service endorsements on the cover (such as USPS product tracking, insurance, or certified mail numbers);
(5) The receipt or inventory may be attached to the copy of the warrant or authorization. A report of seizure must be submitted. See 14 FAM 767.4, subparagraph c(4); and
(6) If mail is searched and does not contain the suspected matter, a letter explaining the circumstances with a copy of the search warrant must be enclosed in the resealed article.
d. Cooperation for personal mail access with Federal agencies:
(1) Any DPO clerk or postal officer receiving a request for access to, or information about, particular mail matter or any class in the custody of the DPO must refer the request to DPM;
(2) The requestor must be informed that DPM is responsible for liaison with all government agencies concerning a request;
(3) The postal official must comply with such a request only as authorized by this policy; and
(4) If the agency or a foreign government seeks a search authorization, the postal official must refer the agency or foreign government to the RSO and DPM for action.
14 FAM 767.5 Mail Covers
a. A mail cover may be ordered and warranted under these conditions:
(1) Protection of national security. An actual or potential threat by a foreign power or its agents exists in one or more of the following situations:
(a) An attack or other grave hostile acts;
(b) Sabotage or international terrorism; and
(c) Clandestine intelligence activities, including commercial espionage;
(2) Locating a fugitive; and
(3) Obtaining evidence of commission or attempted commission of a crime.
b. The mail cover authority at post is the chief of mission (COM):
(1) A mail cover may be ordered only when a written request is received from the RSO, investigative authority, or the COM and properly cleared by legal authorities. The request may be granted only if the official or designee has a reasonable suspicion based on facts; and
(2) The COM may also order a mail cover upon written request of a Department of State intelligence component, when the COM has a reasonable suspicion, based on articulated facts, that the mail cover is necessary to protect national security. This authority may not be re-delegated.
c. Oral orders and requests: When time is critical, the COM may issue an oral mail cover upon an oral request to be confirmed by the requesting authority in writing within 2 work days. For mail covers believed to be necessary to protect national security, only the COM may issue an oral order. No information may be released until an appropriate written order is received from the official who issued the oral order.
d. Forwarding order and justification: The official who orders a mail cover must ensure a copy of the written justification and order for the mail cover is forwarded by the quickest means to DPM and Diplomatic Security (DS).
e. Compilation of record: The RSO, in conjunction with the postal officer, must compile mail cover information. Information collected may not be released to the investigative agency, or any other agency, until the official who ordered the mail cover authorizes the release.
f. Disposition of record: Disposition of the compiled record of the mail cover must be as directed by the official who ordered the mail cover. No other record or file may be maintained, nor is reproduction of any portion of the file authorized. Use PS Form 2009, Information Concerning Mail Matter, to record mail cover information.
g. Time limit: Except mail covers ordered upon subjects engaged (or suspected to be engaged) in any activity against national security, a mail cover must remain in effect for no more than 30 days. At or before the expiration of such period, the requesting authority may be granted additional 30-day periods under the same conditions and procedures applicable to the original request. No mail cover must remain in force longer than 120 days regardless of the issuing official, unless personally approved for further extension by the COM.
14 FAM 768 And 769 UNASSIGNED
FAM Exhibit 761.4
Items Prohibited for Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)
a. Hazardous, restricted, or perishable materials mailed to, from, and between overseas military (APO/FPO) and Diplomatic Post Offices are subject to the conditions of the International Mail Manual (IMM), the standards in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, and conditions prescribed by the Department of State (DOS), as listed in the Pull-Out Information Section under “Overseas Military/Diplomatic Mail” found in the United States Postal Service (USPS) policies and procedures of the Postal Bulletin.
b. In accordance with the aforementioned, DPO mail may not contain items that are classified as “dangerous goods, certain perishable or hazardous items,” or that require any International Air Transport Association (IATA), Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), outside container markings, labeling, or endorsements. Air carriers may refuse mail pieces based on content and packaging, or are suspected to contain hazardous materials, even if items have been accepted by USPS.
c. Specific USPS lithium battery guidance and applicable updates are published by USPS. At the time of ordering, customers are encouraged to ask the vendor if a hazard label is required on the outside of the package. Customers sending and receiving with DPO service should be aware that items may be deemed nonmailable based on noncompliant packaging.
d. While DPO mail is considered a domestic service, many of the shipping requirements are based on International Mail Manual (IMM) safety and security requirements. See Domestic Mail Manual Mailability Conditions. Additionally, DPO mail may not contain items that are illegal to import into the receiving country IMM listing, or export from the originating country as outlined in the IMM listing. To avoid rejection of the mail piece, all DPO customers are encouraged to check their specific DPO zip code restrictions before ordering personal items from commercial vendors.
e. Questions regarding potentially prohibited items should be sent to DPO-Answerperson_MB@state.gov for final decision. Items known as hazardous, restricted, and perishable are prohibited for dispatch by DPO either from the United States to abroad, or from abroad to the United States, or from post to post: consult DMM's Publication 52. Such items include, but are not limited to:
(1) Agriculture products (e.g., plants, seeds, bulbs, soil, fertilizer, plant food, wood chips, fruits, etc.);
(2) Alcoholic beverages (e.g., beer, wine, liquor, any liquid containing alcohol);
(3) Firearm/ammunition/explosive devices (e.g., blanks, caps, shells, simulated ammo);
(3) Animals: Endangered species products (e.g., lab samples, insects, etc.);
(5) Batteries: Most are defined as corrosive and, as such, are prohibited in international mail. Examples of nonmailable corrosives batteries are:
(a) Sealed and unsealed lead acid used in automobiles as they are only mailable via surface transportation, and all DPO mail travels via air;
(b) Uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and wet-cell batteries (car batteries with electrolytes); and
(c) Lithium batteries are mailable; however, customers must follow the steps outlined by USPS in Publication 52, section 622.5, Lithium and Lithium-ion Cells and Batteries;
(9) Bulk (case lot) shipments, per USPS Postal Bulletin restriction N;
(10) Charitable donations of goods;
(11) Compressed gases and aerosols (e.g., hairspray, cylinders containing residual pressure, inhalers for asthma);
(12) Corrosives (e.g., car batteries with electrolytes);
(13) Currency (cash);
(14) DEA Schedule 1, controlled substances and drugs;
(15) DEA Schedules 2, 3, and 4 controlled substances to be used without a prescription (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet or Valium, which are brand names for certain generic-controlled substances);
(16) Dry ice;
(17) Explosives or inert training devices resembling explosives;
(18) Express mail, per USPS Postal Bulletin restriction “M”;
(19) Firearms and objects resembling weapons or dangerous objects (e.g., air rifles, paintball guns, training weapons, weapons and/or gun parts made/fashioned by three-dimensional (3D) printers, etc.), per USPS Postal Bulletin restriction U4;
(20) Flammable liquids (e.g., nail polish and remover, hand sanitizer, lens wipes, medication containing alcohol, perfume, or cologne);
(21) Flammable solids (e.g., safety matches);
(22) Fragile items that are broken and/or improperly packaged so as to have the potential to cause personal injury or damage to DPO contents (see DMM 601.3 for packaging standards);
(23) Gel packs and instant ice packs;
(24) Household effects (HHE) or Unaccompanied Baggage (UAB) per USPS Postal Bulletin restriction N, and 14 FAM 761.4-4, Private Property in the DPO;
(25) Human remains are only authorized when sent via Priority Mail Express International Service (NOTE: Express mail is not authorized to/from a DPO);
(26) Incendiary materials such as road flares, cigarette lighters, self-starting charcoal, MRE meals with heaters, etc.;
(27) Infectious substances (IATA Category A and B), toxins, contaminated medical equipment, and medical specimens requiring outside markings under IATA regulations;
(28) Items for resale (e.g., Girl Scout cookies, magazines, etc.) per 14 FAM 742.4-3;
(29) Light bulbs containing hazardous material, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs);
(30) Liquids improperly packaged (see DMM 601.3.4);
(31) Magnetic materials are prohibited in international mail except for those that cannot cause a compass deviation at a distance of 7 feet or more;
(33)Oxidizers: All oxidizing substances and organic peroxides are prohibited;
(34) Perishable matter;
(35) Pressurized containers (e.g., “contents under pressure”);
(36) Poisons or toxic and infectious substances;
(37) Private/personal business (“to include business books and goods”). Authorized pouch users may not use the diplomatic pouch, MPS, or DPO to ship or mail items for resale or personal business use (see14 FAM 742.4-3);
(38) Radioactive substances;
(39) Registered mail per USPS Postal Bulletin, restriction “J”; and
(40) Weapons or items that resemble weapons (e.g., any spring-loaded knife (switchblade), tactical knives, fixed-bladed fighting/hunting knives, firearms, or components thereof, sling shots, bows, arrows, BB guns and pellet guns, firearms, throwing stars/spikes, ceremonial swords, toys closely resembling weapons, etc.). NOTE: Kitchen knives are permitted but highly discouraged.