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  DMM TOC > 400 Commercial Parcels

402 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

1.0 All Mailpieces

1.1 Clear Space

A clear space must be available on all mail for the address, postage (permit imprint, postage stamp, or meter stamp), postmarks, and postal endorsements.

1.2 Delivery and Return Address

The delivery address specifies the location to which the USPS is to deliver a mailpiece. Except for mail prepared with detached address labels under 602.4.0, the piece must have the address of the intended recipient, visible and legible, only on the side of the piece bearing postage. A return address is required in specific circumstances (see 3.2 and 602.1.5 for more information about return addresses). See 602 for additional information regarding addressing.)

1.3 Postage Payment

The mailer is responsible for proper payment of postage. Standards for postage payment are specified for each shape and class of mail.

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2.0 Placement and Content of Markings

2.1 Express Mail and Priority Mail Markings

Except for pieces paid using an Express Mail Corporate Account, Merchandise Return Service, or permit imprint, Express Mail and Priority Mail pieces claiming the commercial base or commercial plus price must bear the appropriate commercial price marking, printed on the piece or produced as part of the meter imprint or PC Postage indicia. Place the marking directly above, directly below, or to the left of the postage. Express Mail pieces must be marked "Express Mail," by using a mailing label according to 415.2.1. Priority Mail pieces must bear the marking of "Priority Mail" prominently on the address side of each piece of Priority Mail. See 102.3.0 for more marking options. Markings are as follows:

a. “Commercial Base Price” “Commercial Base Pricing” or “ComBasPrice”

b. “Commercial Plus Price” “Commercial Plus Pricing” or “ComPlsPrice”

2.2 Priority Mail Commercial Plus Cubic Markings—PC Postage Indicia

Priority Mail pieces claiming the commercial plus cubic price must be marked "Priority Mail" and bear the applicable marking that reflects the respective price tier printed on the piece or produced as part of the meter imprint or PC Postage indicia. The cubic tiers are determined by the cubic measurement of each mailpiece up to the defined threshold, (i.e. measurements from .01 up to .10 for”Cubic .10” and from .101 up to .20 for “Cubic .20”). Place the marking directly above, directly below, or to the left of the postage. Approved markings are as follows:

a. “Cubic .10”

b. “Cubic .20”

c. “Cubic .30”

d. “Cubic .40”

e. “Cubic .50”

2.3 Priority Mail Commercial Plus Cubic Markings—Permit Imprint

Priority Mail permit imprint pieces claiming the commercial plus cubic price must be marked "Priority Mail" and bear the applicable marking, printed on the piece or produced as part of the permit imprint indicia. Place the marking directly above, directly below, or to the left of the postage. Approved markings are as follows:

a. Cubic

b. CUBIC

c. cubic

2.4 First-Class Package Service Markings

2.4.1 Placement and Content

[10-3-11] [4-17-11] Markings must be placed as follows:

a. Basic Marking. The basic required marking "Presorted (or "PRSRT") First-Class Package" (or "PKG") must be printed as part of; directly below; or to the left of the postage on presorted parcels. Omit "Presorted" (or PRSRT") on parcels mailed at single-piece prices. If a parcel mailed at single-piece prices bears the "Presorted" marking, the mailer must either:

1. Obliterate the "Presorted" marking, or

2. Print a "Single-Piece" or "SNGLP" correction marking preceded by two asterisks on a line directly above or two lines above the address in a mailer keyline or a manifest keyline.

b. Other Markings. In addition to the basic marking in 2.4.1a, First-Class Package Service parcels claiming commercial parcel prices must be marked as follows in a prominent location on the address side of the parcel:

1. Except for parcels with permit imprint postage, parcels claiming commercial base prices must be marked "Commercial Base Price" or "ComBasPrice."

2. All parcels claiming commercial plus prices must be marked "Commercial Plus Price" or "ComPlsPrice."

2.5 Standard Mail Markings

2.5.1 Placement and Content

[4-17-11] Markings must be placed as follows:

a. Basic Marking. The basic required marking that indicates the class of mail must be printed or produced as part of; directly below; or to the left of the permit imprint or affixed postage as follows:

1. Standard," "STD," "Presorted Standard," or "PRSRT STD"

2. "Nonprofit Organization," "Nonprofit Org.," or "Nonprofit"

b. Other Markings. Price-specific markings for Standard Mail are “ECRLOT,” “ECRWSH,” “ECRWSS,” and “Customized MarketMail” (or “CMM”). Place price-specific markings in one of the following locations:

1. In the location specified in 2.5.1a.

2. In the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone or included in an optional endorsement line or with carrier route information. If preceded by two asterisks, the price marking may be included in a mailer or manifest keyline or in an MLOCR ink-jet-printed date correction/meter drop shipment line.

2.5.2 Exceptions to Markings

The following exceptions apply to manifest mailings:

a. The basic marking must appear in the postage area on each piece. The two-letter price category code required in the keyline on manifest mailing pieces prepared under 705.2.0 meets the requirement for other price markings.

b. Mail manifested using the Electronic Verification System (eVS) under 705.2.9 must bear the basic marking and the additional marking “eVS” (or the alternative “e-VS” or “EVS”) in two places:

1. In the required permit imprint as described in 604.5.0.

2. In the human-readable text above the required barcode described in 705.2.9 and 708.5.0.

2.6 Parcel Select, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, and Library Mail Markings

2.6.1 Basic Markings

[4-17-11] The basic required marking (e.g., "Parcel Select", "Parcel Select Regional Ground", "Bound Printed Matter", "Media Mail", "Library Mail") must be printed on each piece claimed at the respective price. The basic required marking must be placed in the postage area (printed or produced as part of, or directly below or to the left of, the permit imprint indicia or meter stamp or impression). Optionally, the basic required marking may be printed on the shipping address label as service indicators composed of a service icon and service banner (see Exhibit 2.6.1):

a. The service icon that identifies the marking will be a 1-inch solid black square. If the service icon is used, it must appear in the upper left corner of the shipping label.

b. For Parcel Select Regional Ground mailpieces, the service icon must be a 1-inch solid black square with a "G" printed in 16-point bold sans serif typeface, uppercase letters in white print, centered within the square, and be in the upper left corner of the shipping label.

c. The service banner must appear directly below the postage payment area and the service icon, and it must extend across the shipping label. The appropriate marking (e.g., "PARCEL SELECT", "PARCEL SELECT - RG", "MEDIA MAIL") must be preceded by the text "USPS" and be printed in minimum 20-point bold sans serif typeface, uppercase letters, centered within the banner, and bordered above and below by minimum 1-point separator lines. There must be a 1/16-inch clearance above and below the text.

Exhibit 2.6.1 Marking Indicator Examples
Shows two sample labels with Parcel Post and Media Mail indicators.

2.6.2 Parcel Select Markings

Each piece in a Parcel Select mailing must bear a price marking. Markings must appear in either the postage area described in 2.6.1 or in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone (when no other information appears on that line). The “Parcel Post” marking is not allowed on any Parcel Select mailpiece. The following product markings are required:

a. Destination Entry - “Parcel Select”.

b. NDC Presort - “Parcel Select NDC Presort” or “Parcel Select NDC PRSRT”

c. ONDC Presort - “Parcel Select ONDC Presort” or “Parcel Select ONDC PRSRT”.

d. Barcoded - “Parcel Select Barcoded” or “Parcel Select BC”.

2.6.3 Parcel Select Regional Ground Markings

[4-17-11] Each piece in a Parcel Select Regional Ground mailing must bear a price marking of "Parcel Select - Regional Ground" in either the postage area described in 2.5.1 or in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone. The "Parcel Select" marking by itself is not allowed on any Parcel Select Regional Ground mailpiece. In addition, items entered at an SCF must be marked "OSCF Entry," and items entered at an NDC must be marked "ONDC Entry" in the same area as the basic price marking.

2.6.4 Bound Printed Matter Markings

In addition to the basic marking “Bound Printed Matter” or “BPM,” each piece of Bound Printed Matter mailed at a presorted or carrier route price must bear additional price markings. The additional markings may be placed in the postage area as specified in 2.6.1. Alternatively, these markings may be placed in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone, or if no other information appears on the line with the marking except postal optional endorsement line information under 708.7.0 or postal carrier route bundle information under 708.6.0. The additional price markings are:

a. For Presorted price mail, the additional required marking is “Presorted” (or “PRSRT”).

b. For carrier route price mail, the additional required marking is “Carrier Route Presort” (or “CAR-RT SORT”).

2.6.5 Address and Firm Designation on Bound Printed Matter Machinable Parcels

When a Bound Printed Matter machinable parcel consists of multiple pieces for a single address secured with transparent shrinkwrap, the delivery address information and barcoded pressure-sensitive Label F or firm optional endorsement line must be visible and readable by the naked eye. Mailers must label the parcel using one of the following options:

a. A firm optional endorsement line under 708.7.0, followed by the 5-digit destination ZIP Code of the parcel.

b. A blue, pressure-sensitive, barcoded Label F on the address side of the parcel.

2.6.6 Media Mail and Library Mail Markings

Each piece of Media Mail or Library Mail mailed at a presorted price must bear the required marking “Presorted” or “PRSRT” in addition to the basic marking “Media Mail” or “Library Mail,” as applicable. This additional marking may be placed in the postage area as specified in 2.6.1. Alternatively, these markings may be placed in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone, or if no other information appears on the line with the marking except postal optional endorsement line information under 708.7.0.

2.6.7 Exception to Markings

Mail manifested using eVS under 705.2.9 must bear the basic marking and the additional marking “eVS” (or the alternative “e-VS” or “EVS”) in two places:

a. In the required permit imprint as described in 604.5.0.

b. In the human-readable text above the required barcode described in 705.2.9 and 708.5.0.

2.7 Enclosures

Enclosures, attachments, and mixed price mailpieces must be marked under the applicable standards in 703.9.0, Mixed Classes.

2.8 Printing and Designs

Required markings may be printed by a postage meter or other means that ensures a legible marking. A marking may not include or be part of a decorative design or advertisement.

2.9 Marking Hazardous Materials

All mailable hazardous materials must be labeled and/or marked as required in 601.10.0.

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3.0 Placement and Physical Standards for Endorsements

3.1 Endorsements for Delivery Instructions and Ancillary Services

The mailer must place the correct endorsement on each mailpiece to provide delivery instructions (retention period under 507.4.4.4 or carrier release under 508.1.2) or to request an ancillary service (forwarding, return, or address correction under 507.1.0, Treatment of Mail), subject to the corresponding standards for use and availability.

3.2 Return Address

When a printed ancillary service endorsement is used, or a request is embedded within an Intelligent Mail barcode, a domestic return address must be placed in the upper left corner of the address side of the mailpiece or the upper left corner of the addressing area. If the return address is a multiple delivery address, it must show a unit designator (e.g., an apartment number).

3.3 Placement of Endorsements

[4-17-11] Placement of the endorsement on the mailpiece is determined as follows:

a. The carrier release endorsement “CARRIER—LEAVE IF NO RESPONSE” must appear directly to the left of the postage area (preferred) or placed directly below the return address. A minimum 1/4 inch clear space must appear between any other printing and the carrier release endorsement. If an ancillary service endorsement is used, the carrier release endorsement must be separated from the ancillary service endorsement by the equivalent of one blank line of the type size used.

b. A retention period specified by the mailer must be placed directly above the return address.

c. Any ancillary service endorsement (e.g., Address Service Requested, Forwarding Service Requested, Return Service Requested, Change Service Requested) must be placed in one of these four positions:

1. Directly below the return address.

2. Directly above the delivery address area (which includes the delivery address block and any related nonaddress elements such as a barcode, keyline, or optional endorsement line).

3. Directly to the left of the postage area and below or to the left of any price marking.

4. Directly below the postage area and below any price marking.

3.4 Physical Standards for Endorsements

Endorsements must meet these physical standards:

a. The type size of the endorsement must be at least 8 points.

b. The read direction of the endorsement and return address must be the same as the read direction of the delivery address.

c. The color contrast between the endorsement and the mailpiece background must be kept at a reasonable degree. A brilliant colored background or reverse printing is not permitted.

d. A clear space of at least 1/4 inch around (above, below, and both sides) the total area containing the endorsement(s) is required.

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4.0 General Barcode Placement for Parcels

4.1 GS1-128 Routing Barcode or Intelligent Mail Package Barcode Location

The address and barcode (see 708.5.0) must be placed squarely onto the largest surface area of the parcel, except when its shape and contents requires specific orientation for stability during processing; then the address and barcode(s) must be placed on the top. The address and barcode label(s) must not overlap any side of the parcel or other label. The barcode should be placed immediately adjacent to the delivery address and at least 1 inch from the edge of the parcel. The delivery address and barcode may be printed on an attachment or enclosure in a window envelope affixed to the parcel, subject to the reflectance standards in 708.5.2.8. The barcode may be placed on a separate label or in an alternate location on the address label, subject to the clearance standards in 4.2. Barcodes that are not placed immediately adjacent to the delivery address must not encroach the return address, postage, applicable markings, endorsements, and extra service labels. Intelligent Mail package barcodes (see 708.5.0) may be used in lieu of GS1-128 routing barcodes, following the same placement standards.

4.2 Clear Zone for GS1-128 Routing Barcode or Intelligent Mail Package Barcode

The barcode must be located as specified in 4.1. No printing may appear in an area 1/8 inch above and below the barcode. A minimum clear (quiet) zone equal to 10 times the average measured narrow element (bars or space) width must be maintained to the left and right of the barcode.

4.3 POSTNET Barcodes, GS1-128 Routing Barcodes and Intelligent Mail Package Barcodes

First-Class Mail parcels, Standard Mail irregular parcels, and Not Flat-Machinable pieces less than 6 ounces may bear POSTNET barcodes, GS1-128 routing barcodes, or Intelligent Mail package barcodes (see 708.5.0). First-Class Mail parcels, Standard Mail irregular parcels, and Not Flat-Machinable parcels less than 6 ounces bearing POSTNET barcodes representing only the postal routing barcode (destination ZIP Code) are eligible to be mailed using eVS. POSTNET barcodes may not be used on eVS parcels bearing concatenated GS1-128 barcodes. Place POSTNET barcodes on First-Class Mail parcels, Standard Mail irregular parcels, or Not Flat-Machinable pieces as described under 4.3.1 through 4.3.3.

4.3.1 General Placement of POSTNET Barcodes

On any First-Class Mail parcel, any Standard Mail irregular parcel, or Standard Mail Not Flat-Machinable piece under 6 ounces, the POSTNET barcode may be anywhere on the address side as long as it is at least 1/8 inch from any edge of the piece. POSTNET barcodes must be printed according to 708.4.0. Address block barcodes are subject to the standards in 4.3.2.

4.3.2 POSTNET Barcode in Address Block

When the POSTNET barcode is included as part of the address block:

a. Place the barcode in one of these positions:

1. Above the address line containing the recipient's name.

2. Below the city, state, and ZIP Code line.

3. Above or below the keyline information.

4. Above or below the optional endorsement line.

b. Do not print the barcode anywhere between the address line containing the recipient's name and the city, state, and ZIP Code line.

c. Allow at least 1/25 inch clearance between the barcode and any information line above or below it. Do not separate the barcode more than 5/8 inch from the top or bottom line of the address block. Allow at least 1/8 inch clearance between the leftmost and rightmost bars and any adjacent printing.

d. If a window envelope is used, allow at least 1/8 inch clearance between the leftmost and rightmost bars and any printing or window edge, and at least 1/25 inch between the barcode and the top and bottom window edges. These clearances must be maintained during the insert's range of movement in the envelope. Covers for address block windows are subject to 4.3.3.

e. If an address label is used, allow a clear space of at least 1/8 inch between the barcode and the left and right edges of the address label, and at least 1/25 inch between the barcode and the top and bottom edges of the address label.

4.3.3 Window Cover

A window cover over the address block must be a nontinted clear or transparent material (e.g., cellophane or polystyrene) that permits the barcode and its background, as viewed through the window material, to meet the reflectance standards in 708.4.4. The edges of the window cover must be securely glued to the envelope.