DMM TOC > 700 Special Standards|
A negotiated service agreement (NSA) is a customized and mutually beneficial contractual agreement between the USPS and a specific mailer (customer or organization). An NSA provides for customized pricing, rates, and classifications under the terms and conditions established in the NSA and may include modifications to current mailing standards and other postal requirements. Any mailer may submit an application for an NSA if the mailer meets the requirements in 1.2 and follows the process in 1.3.
Terms and conditions of an NSA affecting rates or classifications require that the USPS request a recommended decision from the Postal Rate Commission before the USPS may approve and implement the NSA. NSAs must be recommended and approved under 39 U.S.C. 36 and the Postal Rate Commission's rules of practice and procedure.
2. Historical data showing mail volumes and use of specific mail services or mailpiece characteristics, as applicable. The candidate, as necessary, must also provide the effect on mail volumes of any corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and similar events.
d. Candidate's willingness to establish and maintain electronic systems and quality control programs as specified by the USPS for paying postage and generating records to facilitate monitoring and reconciling mail volumes, rates, and fees, including volumes and postage paid by a mail preparation agent on behalf of the candidate.
f. Candidate's use or planned implementation of a Certified Mail preparation total quality program to ensure proper mail preparation and to provide accurate documentation of mailings and postage payment.
A mailer seeking to enter into an NSA with the USPS must submit a written proposal, with appropriate supporting documentation, to the USPS manager of Pricing Strategy (see 608.8.0 for address). The proposal must contain the reasons for requesting the NSA along with a summary of the information responding to the applicable candidate features and general requirements described in 1.2. A nondisclosure agreement must be signed before any substantive discussion of the proposal.
As a result of the proposal, the candidate and the USPS may enter into negotiations to establish an NSA, with terms and conditions specific to the candidate, that is either a functionally equivalent NSA (i.e., comparable to an existing baseline NSA) or a new baseline NSA (i.e., not comparable to an existing NSA). A candidate in the negotiation process may withdraw a proposal for an NSA at any time prior to the execution of the NSA. Once the NSA is executed, the NSA is controlled by its terms and conditions.
If the USPS decides to end negotiations with the candidate before reaching an agreement to enter into an NSA under 1.1, the manager of Pricing Strategy notifies the candidate in writing and gives the reasons for the decision. Within 15 days from the receipt of the written explanation, the candidate may ask for reconsideration of the manager's decision. The candidate's request for reconsideration must include additional information and reasons why negotiations for an NSA should be resumed. The candidate submits the request for reconsideration through the manager of Pricing Strategy to the vice president of Pricing and Classification (see 608.8.0 for address).
The negotiated service agreement (NSA) that was the subject of Docket MC2002-2 requires Capital One Services, Inc. (Capital One) to receive electronic notification for undeliverable First-Class Mail solicitations instead of physical return of the pieces. The notices are to be provided through the Address Change Service (ACS) program (see 507.3.2) and the usual electronic address correction fee is to be waived. Capital One also agrees to maintain and enhance address and mail preparation quality. In exchange for Capital One's receipt of the electronic notice for its First-Class Mail solicitations and its compliance with the terms of the NSA, Capital One would have available declining block rates of postage for volumes above stated thresholds. A copy of the NSA is filed with the Postal Rate Commission in Docket No. MC2002-2 as Attachment G to the USPS's Request for a Recommended Decision and can be found at www.prc.gov.
To be considered comparable to the NSA in 2.1, a proposed NSA must have the following features:
c. Computation of First-Class Mail postage by the use of declining block rates specified in the NSA and based on particular volume requirements that define incremental discount thresholds. The mail subject to the NSA must relate only to the mailer's products and services.
2. Use of National Change of Address Linkage System (NCOALink), FASTforward, or other USPS-approved method for meeting the Move Update standard. See 233.3.5 for First-Class Mail Presorted letters, 333.3.5 for First-Class Mail Presorted flats, and 433.3.5 for First-Class Mail Presorted parcels. See 233.5.1 for First-Class Mail automation letters and 333.5.1 for First-Class Mail automation flats. In addition to those standards, addresses used on mailings must be updated more frequently than 185 days or as required by the NSA.
The following factors are considered by the USPS in evaluating a proposal for a comparable NSA under 1.0:
a. Presentation by the mailer of at least 3 years of historical data to document mail volumes (including UAA mail), mailing systems and postage payment systems in use, and quality control procedures. The effect on mail volumes of any corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and similar events must also be provided.
A mailer seeking to enter into an NSA with the USPS comparable to the NSA under 1.0 must submit a written proposal, together with appropriate supporting documentation, to the USPS manager of Pricing Strategy (see 608.8.0 for address). The proposal must contain a general statement of the reasons for requesting the NSA, and a summary of the information addressing the elements of comparability described in 2.2.1 and 2.2.2.
As a result of the proposal, the mailer and the USPS may negotiate a service agreement comparable to the NSA under 1.0, but with terms and conditions specific to the mailer. To take effect as an experimental mail classification, the comparable NSA must be recommended and approved pursuant to Chapter 36 of Title 39 of the United States Code, and the Postal Rate Commission's rules of practice and procedure. A mailer may withdraw its proposal for a comparable NSA at any time prior to agreement. Once concluded, a comparable NSA is controlled by its terms and conditions. Nothing in these regulations prohibits a mailer from seeking an NSA not comparable to the NSA under 2.1.
If negotiations between the mailer and the USPS end without the parties reaching an agreement comparable to the NSA under 2.1, the mailer may request that the manager of Pricing Strategy (see 608.8.0 for address) explain the determination in writing. The mailer may ask for reconsideration of the decision to end negotiations within 15 days from the receipt of the written explanation. The request for reconsideration may include additional information and reasons why negotiations for a comparable NSA should be resumed, and should be submitted through the manager of Pricing Strategy to the Vice President, Pricing and Classification (see 608.8.0 for address).
b. For letter-size mailpieces, attach a single RPN to the address side of the mailpiece as specified in Exhibit 3.1b.
c. For flat-size mailpieces, a single RPN may be attached to either the address side or nonaddress side of the mailpiece and attached in the locations described and shown in Exhibit 3.3g1 and Exhibit 3.3g2.
1. If the RPN is placed on the address side of the mailpiece, position the RPN according to Exhibit 3.3g1.
2. If the RPN is placed on the nonaddressed side of the mailpiece, position the RPN according to Exhibit 3.3g2.
b. Enveloped mailpieces. Each mailpiece prepared in an envelope must be constructed from paperstock having a basis weight of 20 pounds or greater. Window envelopes must have a closed panel made of polystyrene or glassine. Each enveloped mailpiece is limited to the following dimensions:
a. Repositionable notes must be obtained from an approved repositionable notes vendor (see www.usps.com for a listing of approved vendors). Prospective vendors can obtain USPS standards and test procedures from USPS Engineering (see 608.8.0 for address). Testing must be performed by a certified independent laboratory.
b. Mailers must present evidence at the time of mailing to show that their repositionable notes have been supplied by an approved vendor. The vendor name on the reverse of the note will be sufficient as evidence; in lieu of the vendor name printed on the notes, an invoice from the approved vendor for purchase of the repositionable notes will constitute such evidence.
c. As part of each mailing, mailers must include two pieces addressed to the manager, USPS Engineering Letter Tech, Attn: RPN Sample (see 608.8.0 for address); and two pieces addressed to the manager, Pricing and Classification Service Center, Attn: RPN Sample (see 608.8.4.1 for address).
A PFS customer may contact the post office responsible for delivery to the primary address prior to the last shipment date and extend PFS service (up to 1 year maximum service from the initial start date) as needed. An extension is processed only after the post office receives payment of all postage and fees for the extension.
A customer who terminates PFS early (e.g., a customer prepays for 10 weeks but returns to a primary address after 8 weeks) may request a refund for any unused weekly shipment charges from the post office serving the primary address. The enrollment fee is nonrefundable.
Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) is a 2-year experiment that, upon payment of postage and fees, provides residential delivery customers and certain post office box customers an option to have all mail addressed to their primary address reshipped or rerouted to a temporary address mainly by means of a weekly Priority Mail shipment. PFS is available for a period of not less than 2 weeks and not more than 1 year. This optional service is in addition to the current piece-by-piece forwarding service currently offered by USPS, whereby only certain mailpieces are forwarded.
b. A customer must submit a completed PFS application, Form 8176, to the post office (or a station or branch of that post office) responsible for delivery to the customer's primary address. The enrollment fee and reshipment charges for the full duration of requested service must accompany the application form.
c. Except as provided in 4.2.2d, customers must designate on the application form whether the order is for an "Individual" or an "Entire Household."
g. PFS is available to, but not from, single-point delivery addresses (e.g., RV parks, hospitals, hotels) and U.S. Department of State addresses. See 703.3.0 for additional U.S. Department of State requirements.
Customers cannot have a temporary or permanent forwarding order active simultaneously with enrollment in PFS. PFS cannot be combined with any ancillary or extra services beyond those purchased by the original sender. In addition, PFS is not available for:
a. Customers whose primary address is a size-three, size-four, or size-five post office box. Residential customers who use these post office box sizes due to the unavailability of smaller boxes may request a waiver of this restriction.
4.3.2 Mailpieces Arriving at the Primary Address Endorsed "Surface Mail Only" or With Other Hazardous Materials Markings
Any mailpiece arriving at the primary address that indicates surface only transportation or bears other hazardous materials markings (e.g., Label 127, "Surface Mail Only"; ORM-D) cannot be reshipped in the weekly Priority Mail shipment and must be separately rerouted via surface transportation.
Mailpieces requiring a scan or signature at delivery (e.g., Express Mail, Certified Mail, numbered insured mail, mailpieces with Delivery Confirmation) are appropriately scanned, then immediately and separately rerouted to the temporary address, subject to the following:
c. Package Services mailpieces (Parcel Post, Media Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Library Mail) are separately rerouted postage due at the appropriate single-piece rate in the subclass in which the mailpiece was originally shipped. For Parcel Select items, the applicable rate is the Parcel Post rate.
Priority Mail that does not require a scan or signature at delivery is immediately and separately rerouted to the temporary address, unless it will fit into the weekly Priority Mail shipment and such inclusion does not delay its delivery to the temporary address.
4.3.5 Large First-Class Mail and Periodicals Parcels Mail Not Requiring a Scan or Signature at Delivery
First-Class Mail and Periodicals parcels (firm bundles) not requiring a scan or signature at delivery and that do not fit into the weekly Priority Mail shipment are separately rerouted at no additional charge.
Eligible Standard Mail parcels that do not require a scan or signature at delivery are included in the weekly Priority Mail shipment provided they will fit. Parcels that do not fit or are otherwise ineligible (e.g., mailpieces identified as surface transportation only) are separately rerouted postage due at the appropriate 1-pound Parcel Post single-piece rate.
a. Package Services mailpieces (Parcel Post, Media Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Library Mail) are separately rerouted postage due at the appropriate single-piece rate in the subclass in which the mailpiece was originally shipped. For Parcel Select items, the applicable rate is the Parcel Post rate.
Any mailpiece arriving postage due at the post office serving a PFS customer's primary address is not reshipped in the weekly Priority Mail shipment and will be rerouted individually. Mailpieces arriving postage due are rerouted as follows:
c. Postage due Package Services mailpieces, other than oversized Parcel Post mailpieces, are rerouted postage due at the appropriate single-piece rate in the subclass in which the mailpiece was originally shipped. For Parcel Select items, the applicable rate is the Parcel Post rate. The total postage due for Package Services mailpieces is the sum of the postage due at the time of receipt at the primary address plus the postage due for rerouting the mailpiece from the primary post office to the temporary address at the appropriate single-piece rate.
d. Postage due oversized Parcel Post mailpieces are rerouted as Parcel Post. The total postage due is the sum of the postage due at the time of receipt at the primary address and the postage due for rerouting the mailpiece from the primary post office to the temporary address at the appropriate oversized Parcel Post rate.