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423 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees

1.1 Price Application

[5-11-09] Except under 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6, Priority Mail prices are charged per pound; any fraction of a pound is rounded up to the next whole pound. For example, if a piece weighs 1.2 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 2 pounds. The minimum postage amount per addressed piece is the 1-pound price. The Priority Mail price up to 1 pound is based on weight only; prices for pieces weighing more than 1 pound are based on weight and zone.

1.2 Commercial Base Prices

[5-11-09] [1-18-09] [10-9-08] [7-3-08] For prices, see Notice 123-Price List. The commercial base prices are available for:

a. Click-N-Ship customers.

b. Registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products when using a qualifying shipping label managed by the PC Postage system used.

c. Customers using permit imprint when a postal routing barcode matching the destination ZIP Code is on the mailpiece (see 708.5.0). Flat-shaped mailpieces (see 301.1.1) with permit imprints may bear a POSTNET or Intelligent Mail barcode (see 708.4.0) instead of the postal routing barcode.

d. Priority Mail Open and Distribute customers using permit imprint when a Service barcode containing a unique service type code 55 is on the address label under 705.16.5.7.

e. Customers who pay postage using information-based indicia (IBI) postage meters in conjunction with an approved shipping label that bears a confirmation services barcode with a postal routing code (see 708.5.0).

1.3 Commercial Plus Prices

1.3.1 Existing Priority Mail Customers

[5-11-09] [1-18-09] For prices, see Notice 123-Price List. Commercial plus prices are available to existing Priority Mail customers that are:

a. Registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products who qualify for commercial base prices and whose account volume exceeds 100,000 pieces in the previous calendar year or who have a customer commitment agreement with the USPS (see 1.3.2).

b. Permit imprint customers who qualify for commercial base prices and whose account volume exceeds 100,000 pieces in the previous calendar year or who have a customer commitment agreement with the USPS (see 1.3.2).

c. Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) customers who qualify for commercial base prices and whose account volume exceeds 600 PMOD containers (see 705.16.5.1) in the previous calendar year or who have a customer commitment agreement with the USPS (see 1.3.2).

1.3.2 New Priority Mail Customers

Commercial plus prices are available for new Priority Mail customers who have a customer commitment agreement with the USPS. Shippers must contact their account manager or the manager, Sales and Communication, Expedited Shipping (see 608.8.0 for address) for additional information.

1.4 Balloon Price

Parcels addressed for delivery to Zones 1-4 (including Local) that weigh less than 20 pounds but measure more than 84 inches (but not more than 108 inches) in combined length and girth are charged the applicable zone price for a 20-pound parcel (balloon price).

1.5 Dimensional Weight Price for Low-Density Parcels to Zones 5-8

Postage for parcels addressed for delivery to Zones 5-8 and exceeding 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches) is based on the actual weight or the dimensional weight (as calculated in 1.5.1 or 1.5.2), whichever is greater.

1.5.1 Determining Dimensional Weight for Rectangular Parcels

Follow these steps to determine the dimensional weight for a rectangular parcel:

a. Measure the length, width, and height in inches. Round off (see 604.7.0) each measurement to the nearest whole inch.

b. Multiply the length by the width by the height.

c. If the result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 194 and round up (see 604.7.0) to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds.

1.5.2 Determining Dimensional Weight for Nonrectangular Parcels

Follow these steps to determine the dimensional weight for a nonrectangular parcel:

a. Measure the length, width, and height in inches at their extreme dimensions. Round off (see 604.7.0) each measurement to the nearest whole inch.

b. Multiply the length by the width by the height.

c. Multiply the result by an adjustment factor of 0.785.

d. If the final result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 194 and round up (see 604.7.0) to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds.

e. If the dimensional weight exceeds 70 pounds, the customer pays the 70-pound price.

1.6 Flat-Rate Envelopes and Boxes

Any amount of material may be mailed in a USPS-produced Priority Mail flat-rate box or flat-rate envelope. When sealing a flat-rate box or flat-rate envelope, the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds. Tape may be applied to the flaps and seams to reinforce the container; provided the design of the container is not enlarged by opening the sides and the container is not reconstructed in any way.

1.6.1 Flat-Rate Envelopes-Price and Eligibility

[1-18-09] Each USPS-produced Priority Mail flat-rate envelope is charged $4.80, (commercial base price) or $4.75 (commercial plus price) regardless of the actual weight of the piece or its domestic destination. Only USPS-produced flat-rate envelopes are eligible for the flat-rate envelope price.

1.6.2 Flat-Rate Boxes-Price and Eligibility

[1-18-09] Items to an APO/FPO and DPO address may be shipped in the Priority Mail large flat-rate box or in a special version of the box identified with the additional logo: "Americasupportsyou.mil." If the special version of the APO/FPO flat-rate box is used for non-APO/FPO or DPO addresses, the domestic or international large flat-rate box prices will apply. Only USPS-produced flat-rate boxes are eligible for the flat-rate box prices. Each USPS-produced Priority Mail flat-rate box, regardless of the actual weight of the piece or its destination, is charged:

a. $4.80 (commercial base price) or $4.75 (commercial plus price) for material sent in a Priority Mail small flat-rate box to domestic and APO/FPO and DPO addresses.

b. $9.85 (commercial base price) or $9.67 (commercial plus price) for material sent in a Priority Mail regular/medium flat-rate box (FRB-1 or FRB-2) to domestic and APO/FPO and DPO addresses.

c. $11.50 (commercial base price) or $11.30 (commercial plus price) for material sent in a Priority Mail large flat-rate box to APO/FPO and DPO addresses (see 703.2.0).

d. $13.50 (commercial base price) or $13.27 (commercial plus price) for material sent in a Priority Mail large flat-rate box to domestic addresses.

1.7 Pickup on Demand Fee

[5-11-09] Priority Mail only, per occurrence: $15.30. May be combined with Express Mail and Package Services pickups (see 507.6.0, Pickup on Demand Service).

1.8 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.

1.9 Computing Postage

Determine single-piece weight increment for each piece and affix postage to each piece under 124.1.2, Affixing Postage—Single-Piece Mailings (as applicable) or, for permit imprint mailings, multiply the number of addressed pieces at each weight increment by the corresponding postage price.

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2.0 Content Standards for Priority Mail

2.1 General

All mailable matter may be sent as Priority Mail, except matter prohibited by standards (e.g., certain hazardous materials).

2.2 Matter Required to be Mailed as First-Class Mail

Unless Express Mail is used, Priority Mail prices are required for a mailpiece that weighs more than 13 ounces when the mailpiece contains matter that must be mailed as First-Class Mail. Complete descriptions of matter requiring the use of First-Class Mail are provided in 133.3.0.

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3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

3.1 Definition

Priority Mail is an expedited service and may contain any mailable matter weighing no more than 70 pounds except for APO and FPO mail subject to 703.2.0, Overseas Military Maill, and 703.4.0, Mail Sent by U.S. Armed Forces, and Department of State mail subject to 703.3.0. Priority Mail prices are based on zone and weight.

3.2 Service Objectives

All Priority Mail receives expeditious handling and transportation. The USPS follows uniform guidelines for distributing and delivering mail but does not guarantee delivery within the specified time. Local postmasters can provide more information.

3.3 Matter Closed Against Postal Inspection

Matter closed against postal inspection includes First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and Express Mail. The USPS may open mail other than First-Class Mail, Priority Mail or Express Mail to determine whether the proper postage is paid. Material wrapped or packaged so that it cannot be examined easily or examined without destruction or serious damage is closed against postal inspection and is charged the appropriate First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Express Mail price.

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