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433 Rates and Eligibility

1.0 Rates and Fees for First-Class Mail

1.1 Rate Application

Postage is based on the rate that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece.

1.2 Rate Computation for First-Class Parcels

First-Class rates are charged per ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce is considered a whole ounce. For example, if a piece weighs 1.2 ounces, the weight (postage) increment is 2 ounces. The minimum postage per addressed piece is that for a piece weighing 1 ounce.

1.3 Nonautomation Presorted Rates

Parcels; A nonmachinable surcharge might apply to pieces 1 ounce or less.

Weight
Not Over

(ounces)1

Presorted

12

$0.371

2

0.608

3

0.802

4

1.039

5

1.276

6

1.513

7

1.750

8

1.987

9

2.224

10

2.461

11

2.698

12

2.935

13

3.172

  1. For each additional ounce, postage includes $0.237 for presorted rates. The rates include a $0.043 discount for presorted parcels weighing more than 2 ounces.
  2. Parcels weighing 1 oz. or less are subject to nonmachinable surcharge of $0.058 per piece.

1.4 Nonmachinable Surcharge

The surcharge per piece for Presorted rate mail is $0.058.

1.5 Presort Mailing Fee

Presort mailing fee, per 12-month period, per office of mailing: $160.00.

1.6 Computing Postage for First-Class Mail

Determine single-piece weight and weight (postage) increment for each addressed piece as prescribed in 1.1 and 1.2. For First-Class Mail, affix postage to each piece or, for permit imprint mailings, multiply the number of addressed pieces at each rate increment (and in each rate category, if applicable) by the corresponding postage rate, add the unrounded products, and round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

1.7 Determining Single-Piece Weight

To determine single-piece weight in any mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in a mailing of identical-weight pieces, weigh a sample group of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express all single-piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places.

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2.0 Content Standards for First-Class Mail Parcels

2.1 General

[6-1-05] With the exception of restricted material as described in 601.8.0, any mailable item may be mailed as First-Class Mail.

2.2 Bills and Statements of Account

[6-1-05] Bills and statements of account must be mailed as First-Class Mail (or Express Mail) and are defined as follows:

a. Bills and statements of account assert a debt in a definite amount owed by the addressee to the sender or a third party. In addition, bills include a demand for payment; statements of account do not include a demand for payment. The debt does not have to be due immediately but may become due at a later time or on demand. The debt asserted need not be legally collectible or owed.

b. Bills and statements of account do not need to state the precise amount due if they contain information that would enable the debtor to determine that amount.

2.3 Personal Information

[6-1-05] Mail containing personal information must be mailed as First-Class Mail (or Express Mail). Personal information is any information specific to the addressee.

2.4 Handwritten and Typewritten Material

[6-1-05] Mail containing handwritten or typewritten material must be mailed as First-Class Mail or Express Mail.

2.5 Matter Not Required to be Mailed as First-Class Mail

[6-1-05] Matter eligible for Standard Mail or Package Services rates or authorized as Periodicals is not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail or Express Mail.

2.6 Prohibited Air Transportation

[6-1-05] All First-Class Mail is subject to limitations for air transportation. Generally, all mailable matter may be transported by aircraft, unless restricted in 601.10.0, Hazardous Materials, Hazardous Materials.

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3.0 Basic Standards for First-Class Mail Parcels

3.1 Description of Service

3.1.1 Service Objectives

[6-1-05] First-Class Mail receives expeditious handling and transportation. Service objectives for delivery are 1 to 3 days; however, delivery time is not guaranteed.

3.1.2 Rate Options

[6-1-05] First-Class Mail offers the flexibility of single-piece rates (133.1.0), and discounted rates (1.0) for presorted mailings of 500 or more pieces that weigh 13 ounces or less.

3.2 Defining Characteristics

3.2.1 Inspection of Contents

[6-1-05] First-Class Mail is closed against postal inspection. Federal law and USPS regulations restrict both opening and reviewing the contents of First-Class Mail by anyone other than the addressee.

3.2.2 Forwarding Service

[6-1-05] The price of First-Class Mail includes forwarding service to a new address for up to 12 months.

3.2.3 Return Service

[6-1-05] The price of First-Class Mail includes return service if the mailpiece is undeliverable.

3.2.4 Extra Services Exclusive to First-Class Mail

[6-1-05] First-Class Mail is the only class of mail eligible to receive the following extra services: Registered Mail service and Certified Mail service.

3.2.5 Additional Extra Services

[6-1-05] Additional extra services available with First-Class Mail are certificate of mailing service, COD service, Delivery Confirmation service (parcels only), insured mail service (merchandise only), return receipt service, restricted delivery service, Signature Confirmation service (parcels only), and special handling. See information regarding extra services in 503.

3.3 Additional Basic Standards for First-Class Mail

[6-1-05] All pieces of presorted First-Class Mail must:

a. Meet the basic content standards for First-Class Mail in 2.0.

b. Weigh 13 ounces or less.

c. Meet the applicable standards in 433, Rates and Eligibility, 434, Postage Payment and Documentation, and 604.7.0, Computing Postage.

d. Be part of a single mailing of at least 500 pieces of Presorted First-Class Mail.

e. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code and that meets these address quality standards:

1. The Move Update standard in 3.6.

2. The ZIP Code accuracy standard in 3.7.

3. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.

3.4 Nonmachinable Surcharge for Parcel-Size Pieces

Parcels that weigh 1 ounce or less are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge if:

a. The piece is greater than 1/4 inch thick, or

b. The length is more than 11-1/2 inches or the height is more than 6-1/8 inches.

3.5 Presort Mailing Fee

A First-Class Mail presort mailing fee must be paid once each 12-month period at each office of mailing by any person or organization entering mailings at automation or Presorted First-Class Mail rates. Payment of one fee allows a mailer to enter mail at all those rates. Persons or organizations paying this fee may enter mail of their clients as well as their own mail. The fee may be paid in advance only for the next 12 months and only during the last 60 days of the current service period. The fee charged is that which is in effect on the date of payment.

3.6 Move Update Standard

3.6.1 Basic Standards

The Move Update standard is a means of reducing the number of mailpieces in a mailing that require forwarding or return by the periodic matching of a mailer's address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders received and maintained by the USPS. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific occupant name. Addresses subject to the Move Update standard must meet these requirements:

a. Each address and associated occupant name used on the mailpieces in a mailing must be updated within 185 days before the mailing date, with one of the USPS-approved methods in 3.6.2.

b. Each individual address in the mailing is subject to the Move Update standard.

c. If an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing at one class of mail and rate is updated with an approved method (e.g., Address Change Service), the same address may be used during the following 185 days and meets the Move Update standard.

d. Except for mail bearing an alternative address format, addresses used on pieces claiming First-Class Mail Presorted rates, regardless of any required surcharge, must meet the Move Update standard.

3.6.2 USPS-Approved Methods

[2-3-05] The following methods are authorized for meeting the Move Update standard:

a. Address Change Service (ACS).

b. National Change of Address Linkage System (NCOALink).

c. Mailer Move Update Process Certification and USPS-approved alternative methods for mailers with legitimate restrictions on incorporating USPS-supplied change-of-address information into their mailing lists. The National Customer Support Center (see 608.8.1 for address) administers and approves both Mailer Move Update Process Certification and alternative methods.

d. Ancillary service endorsements except "Forwarding Service Requested."

3.6.3 Mailer Certification

The mailer's signature on the postage statement certifies that the Move Update standard has been met for each address in the corresponding mailing presented to the USPS.

3.7 ZIP Code Accuracy

3.7.1 Basic Standards

The ZIP Code accuracy standard is a means of ensuring that the 5-digit ZIP Code in the delivery address correctly matches the delivery address information. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific 5-digit ZIP Code. Addresses used on pieces claiming certain rates that are subject to the ZIP Code accuracy standard must meet these requirements:

a. Each address and associated 5-digit ZIP Code used on the mailpieces in a mailing must be verified and corrected within 12 months before the mailing date with one of the USPS-approved methods in 3.6.2.

b. Each individual address in the mailing is subject to the ZIP Code accuracy standard.

c. If an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing at one class of mail and rate is verified and corrected with an approved method, the same address may be used during the following 12 months to meet the ZIP Code accuracy standard required for mailing at any other class of mail and rate.

d. Except for mail bearing a simplified address, addresses used on pieces claiming First-Class Mail Presorted rates, regardless of any required surcharge, must meet the ZIP Code accuracy standard.

3.7.2 USPS-Approved Methods

The following methods are authorized for meeting the ZIP Code accuracy standard:

a. For computerized lists, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)-certified address matching software and current USPS City State Product, within a mailer's computer systems or through an authorized service provider.

b. For manually maintained lists or small computerized lists, options include the following:

1. Surveys of addressees on mailer's address list inquiring about the accuracy of ZIP Code information.

2. Any mailing list service in 507.6.0.

3. An authorized service provider.

4. CASS-certified matching software.

5. USPS Web site www.usps.com.

3.7.3 Mailer Certification

The mailer's signature on the postage statement certifies that the ZIP Code accuracy standard has been met for each address in the corresponding mailing presented to the USPS.