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373 Rates and Eligibility

1.0 Rates and Fees for Media Mail

1.1 Rate Application

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

1.2 Media Mail Rate Application

The Media Mail rate is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. (Rate application is identical for the single-piece and presort rates.) For example, if an item weighs 4.225 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 5 pounds. The minimum postage rate per piece is that for a piece weighing 1 pound.

1.3 Shape, Flexibility, and Thickness

Flat-size pieces that do not meet the standards in 301.1.3 through 301.1.4 must be prepared as parcels.

1.4 Media Mail Presorted Rates

Weight
Not Over
(pounds)

5-Digit

Basic

1

$1.30

$1.80

2

1.64

2.14

3

1.98

2.48

4

2.32

2.82

5

2.66

3.16

1.5 Mailing Fee

A mailing fee must be paid once each 12-month period at each post office of mailing by or for any person who mails at the Presorted Media Mail rates. The fee may be paid in advance only for the next 12-month period and only during the last 60 days of the current service period. The fee charged is that in effect on the date of payment. Presort mailing fees for Media Mail, per 12-month period: $175.00.

1.6 Computing Postage for Media Mail

1.6.1 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.

1.6.2 Computing Postage for Affixed Postage

For each piece, affix the postage for the weight increment (including any surcharges or discounts). To calculate the total postage for the mailing, add all of the affixed postage amounts for each piece.

1.6.3 Computing Postage for Permit Imprint

To compute the total postage for a mailing, for each weight increment, multiply the number of pieces by the applicable rate per piece. Round each product off to four decimal places. Add the products and round up the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

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2.0 Content Standards for Media Mail Flats

2.1 General

Mailable matter meeting one of the specific eligibility standards in 2.2, and that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals, may be mailed as Media Mail.

2.2 Content Standards

Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail rates:

a. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers' own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.

b. 16-millimeter or narrower width films, which must be positive prints in final form for viewing, and catalogs of such films of 24 pages or more (at least 22 of which are printed). Films and film catalogs sent to or from commercial theaters do not qualify for the Media Mail rate.

c. Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.

d. Printed objective test materials and their accessories used by or on behalf of educational institutions to test ability, aptitude, achievement, interests, and other mental and personal qualities with or without answers, test scores, or identifying information recorded thereon in writing or by mark.

e. Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.

f. Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.

g. Printed educational reference charts designed to instruct or train individuals for improving or developing their capabilities. Each chart must be a single printed sheet of information designed for educational reference. The information on the chart, which may be printed on one or both sides of the sheet, must be conveyed primarily by graphs, diagrams, tables, or other nonnarrative matter. An educational reference chart is normally but not necessarily devoted to one subject. A chart on which the information is conveyed primarily by textual matter in a narrative form does not qualify as a printed educational reference chart for mailing at the Media Mail rates even if it includes graphs, diagrams, or tables. Examples of qualifying charts include maps produced primarily for educational reference, tables of mathematical or scientific equations, noun declensions or verb conjugations used in the study of languages, periodic table of elements, botanical or zoological tables, and other tables used in the study of science.

h. Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.

i. Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.

2.3 Postal Inspection

Media Mail is not sealed against postal inspection. Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at Media Mail rates constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents.

2.4 Attachments and Enclosures

2.4.1 Invoice

An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Media Mail piece or in an envelope marked "Invoice Enclosed" and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:

a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.

b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).

c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker.

2.4.2 Incidental First-Class Attachments and Enclosures

Incidental First-Class matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Media Mail piece without payment of First-Class postage. An incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First-Class postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Media Mail rate for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure.

2.4.3 Loose Enclosures

In addition to the enclosures and additions listed in 343.2.5, Attachments and Enclosures, any printed matter that is mailable as Standard Mail may be included loose with any qualifying material mailed at the Media Mail rates.

2.4.4 Enclosures in Books

Enclosures in books mailed at Media Mail rates are subject to these additional standards:

a. Either one envelope or one addressed postcard may be bound into the pages of a book. If also serving as an order form, the envelope or card may be in addition to the order form permitted by 2.4.4b.

b. One order form may be bound into the pages of a book. If also serving as an envelope or postcard, the order form may be in addition to the envelope or card permitted by 2.4.4a.

c. Announcements of books may appear as book pages. These announcements must be incidental and exclusively devoted to books, without extraneous advertising of book-related or other materials or services. Announcements may fully describe the conditions and methods of ordering books and may contain ordering instructions for use with a separate order form. Up to three of these announcements may contain as part of their format a single order form, which may also serve as a postcard. The order forms permitted with these announcements are in addition to, and not in place of, order forms that may be enclosed under 2.4.4a or 2.4.4b.

2.5 Written Additions

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class rates. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as "Do Not Open Until Christmas" and "Happy Birthday, Mother."

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.

e. A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.

f. Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.

g. Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.

h. Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.

i. Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.

j. Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label.

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3.0 Rate Eligibility for Media Mail Flats

3.1 Basic Weight Standards

There is no minimum weight for Media Mail. A single piece of Media Mail can weigh no more than 70 pounds.

3.2 Rate Eligibility Standards

A Presorted Media Mail mailing must contain a minimum of 300 pieces claimed at any combination of 5-digit and basic rates. Those pieces in the mailing that meet the 5-digit presort requirements are eligible for the 5-digit presort rate and those pieces that meet the basic presort requirements are eligible for the basic rates, subject to the preparation standards in 375.5.0, Preparing Presorted Flats, or 705.8.0, Preparing Pallets. Pieces in a mailing do not need to be identical in size and content. Such nonidentical pieces may be merged, sorted together, and presented as a single mailing either with the correct postage affixed to each piece in the mailing or with postage paid with a permit imprint if authorized by Business Mailer Support (BMS), USPS headquarters.

3.3 Delivery and Return Addresses

All Media Mail must bear a delivery address. The delivery address on each piece must include the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under 602.3.0 or detached address labels under 602.4.0 may be used. Each piece must bear the sender's return address.

3.4 Rate Categories for Media Mail

Media Mail rates are based on the weight of the piece without regard to zone. The rate categories and discounts are as follows:

a. 5-Digit Presort Rate. To qualify for the 5-digit rate, a piece must be prepared and sorted to 5-digit sacks under 375.5.0, Preparing Presorted Flats, or 5-digit pallets under 705.8.0, Preparing Pallets. All logical 5-digit bundles on pallets must contain at least 10 pieces.

b. Basic Presort Rate. All pieces prepared and sorted under 375.5.0, Preparing Presorted Flats, or 705.8.0, Preparing Pallets, that are not eligible for the 5-digit rate qualify for the basic rate.

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