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433 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees for First-Class Package Service

1.1 Price Application

Postage is based on the price that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece. All prices and fees can be found in Notice 123—Price List.

1.2 Price Determination for First-Class Package Service Parcels

First-Class Package Service commercial base prices are the same price for the first three ounces, with additional prices per additional ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce after the first three ounces is considered a whole ounce. The minimum postage per addressed piece is that for a piece weighing 3 ounces. Commercial plus prices are flat prices for all First-Class Package Service parcels weighing less than 16 ounces.

1.3 Commercial Base Prices

[1-22-12] Commercial base parcels no more than 13 ounces in weight may be presorted or nonpresorted. Presorted parcels must include a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode or extra services barcode, including a postal routing code, on each parcel. Effective January 7, 2013, presorted parcels must include a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode with a postal routing code on each parcel. Nonpresorted First-Class Package Service parcels no more than 13 ounces in weight mailed under the following conditions are eligible for single-piece commercial base parcel prices:

a. The residual portion of a presorted mailing prepared under 435.4.0.

b. Nonpresorted mailings may be paid by:

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

2. USPS-approved IBI postage meters that electronically transmit transactional data to USPS.

3. Permit imprint.

c. See 402.2.3 for marking requirements.

1.4 Commercial Plus Prices

[1-22-12] First-Class Package Service machinable parcels less than 16 ounces and Merchandise Return Service parcels are eligible for commercial plus prices for customers that:

a. Establish a customer commitment agreement with the Postal Service to mail more than 5,000 First-Class Package Service machinable parcels (including those parcels returned using Merchandise Return Service) at commercial plus prices in a calendar year. Customers may contact their account manager or the manager, Shipping Support (see 608.8.0 for address) for additional information.

b. Pay for postage by using a permit imprint.

c. Enter a minimum of 500 pieces of mail for each presorted mailing, or a minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail for each single-piece mailing, or receive parcels returned using Merchandise Return Services.

d. Use the Electronic Verification System (eVS) or submit an electronic postage statement with a computerized manifest.

e. Mark parcels under 402.2.3.

f. Include a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode or extra services barcode, including a postal routing code, on each presorted parcel. Effective January 7, 2013, presorted parcels must include a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode with a postal routing code.

1.5 Surcharge

[1-22-12] A surcharge applies for parcels with the following characteristics:

a. Unless prepared in 5-digit/scheme containers, presorted parcels weighing less than 2 ounces or that are irregularly shaped, such as rolls, tubes, and triangles.

b. Nonpresorted parcels (except those paid with PC Postage; see 3.4) that do not bear a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode or extra services barcode, including a postal routing code, prepared under 708.5.0. Effective January 7, 2013, parcels must include a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode with a postal routing code to avoid a surcharge.

1.6 Presort Mailing Fee

[1-22-12] Payment of a presort mailing fee is required once each 12-month period at each office of mailing by any person or organization entering mailings at automation or Presorted First-Class Mail or any presorted First-Class Package Service prices. Payment of one fee allows a mailer to enter mail at all those prices. 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.

1.7 Computing Postage for First-Class Package Service

Affix postage to each piece or, for permit imprint mailings, multiply the number of pieces at each price increment by the corresponding postage price, add the unrounded products (amounts), and round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

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.

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2.0 Content Standards for First-Class Package Service Parcels

2.1 General

With the exception of restricted material described in 601.8.0, any mailable item may be mailed at First-Class Package Service commercial plus prices. Parcels mailed at First-Class Package Service commercial base prices are not sealed against inspection and may not contain documents or personal correspondence, except that such parcels may contain invoices, receipts, incidental advertising, and other documents that relate in all substantial respects to merchandise contained in the parcels.

2.2 Matter Required to be Mailed as First-Class Mail

See 133.3.0 for a detailed description of matter required to be mailed as First-Class Mail (or Express Mail or Priority Mail). The following types of contents must be mailed as First-Class Mail (or Express Mail or Priority Mail):

a. Bills and statements of account.

b. Personal information.

c. Handwritten and typewritten material.

2.3 Restricted Air Transportation

All First-Class Package Service parcels are subject to limitations for air transportation. See 601.10.0 for restrictions on air transportation.

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3.0 Basic Standards for First-Class Package Service Parcels

3.1 Description of Service

First-Class Package Service parcels receive expeditious handling and transportation.

3.2 Defining Characteristics

3.2.1 Inspection of Contents

Parcels mailed at First-Class Package Service commercial plus prices are closed against postal inspection. Federal law and USPS regulations restrict both opening and reviewing the contents of First-Class Package Service commercial plus parcels by anyone other than the addressee.

3.2.2 Forwarding and Return Service

The postage price of First-Class Package Service parcels includes forwarding service to a new address for up to 12 months and return of undeliverable parcels to the sender.

3.2.3 Extra Services for First-Class Package Service Parcels

Extra services available for First-Class Package Service parcels are certificate of mailing service, Certified Mail service, COD service, Delivery Confirmation service, insured mail service (merchandise only), Registered Mail service, return receipt service, restricted delivery service, Signature Confirmation service, and special handling. See information regarding extra services in 503. See 508.7.0 for details about Hold for Pickup service.

3.3 Additional Basic Standards

[1-22-12] All presorted First-Class Package Service parcels must:

a. Meet the applicable postage payment standards in 434 and 604.7.0.

b. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code and that meets the address quality standards in 3.5 and 3.6.

c. Bear a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode or extra services barcode, including a postal routing code, prepared under 708.5.0. Effective January 7, 2013, must include a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode with a postal routing code.

3.4 IMpb Standards

[1-22-12] First-Class Package Service parcels with postage paid through a PC Postage system must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode prepared under 708.5.0.

3.5 Move Update Standard

3.5.1 Basic Standards

The Move Update standard requires the periodic matching of a mailer's address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders maintained by the USPS. For this standard, address is a specific address associated with a specific occupant name. Each address in a mailing at commercial First-Class Package Service parcel presorted prices must meet the requirements in 602.5.0.

3.5.2 Basis for Move Update Assessment Charges

Mailings are subject to a Move Update assessment charge if more than 30 percent of addresses with a change of address (COA) are not updated, based on the error rate found in USPS sampling at acceptance during Performance-Based Verification. Specifically, mailings for which the sample contains greater than 30 percent failed COAs out of the total COAs are subject to additional postage charges as follows:

a. The percentage of the mailing paying the charge is based on the percentage of failed pieces above 30 percent.

b. Each of the assessed pieces is subject to the $0.07 per piece charge.

c. As an example, if 40% of COAs in the sample are not updated, then the charge is applied to 10% (=40% - 30%) of the total mailing.

d. Mailings for which the sample has five or fewer pieces that were not updated for a COA are not subject to the assessment, regardless of the failure percentage.

3.6 ZIP Code Accuracy

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. Each address in a mailing at commercial First-Class Package Service presorted parcel prices must meet the ZIP Code accuracy requirements in 602.6.0.

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4.0 Price Eligibility for Presorted First-Class Package Service Parcels

4.1 5-Digit Price

The 5-digit price applies to presorted parcels in a 5-digit/scheme sack containing at least 10 pounds of parcels.

4.2 3-Digit Price

The 3-digit price applies to presorted parcels in a 3-digit sack containing at least 10 pounds of parcels.

4.3 ADC Price

The ADC price applies to presorted parcels in a 3-digit origin sack (no minimum), and to parcels in an ADC sack containing at least 10 pounds of parcels.

4.4 Single-Piece Price

Single-piece prices apply to presorted parcels in a mixed ADC sack, with no minimum volume requirement. Nonpresorted parcels are also eligible for commercial single-piece parcel prices. See 1.3b. for commercial base eligibility and 1.4 for commercial plus eligibility.