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  DMM TOC > 100 Retail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels > 120 Priority Mail

123 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Priority Mail Prices and Fees

1.1 Price Application

Except under 1.3 through 1.6, Priority Mail retail prices are based on weight and zone and 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. Other charges may apply.

1.2 Prices

See Notice 123—Price List for applicable Priority Mail retail prices.

1.3 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).

1.4 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 1.4.1 or 1.4.2), whichever is greater.

1.4.1 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.

1.4.2 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 mailer pays the 70-pound price.

1.5 Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes

Any amount of material (up to 70 pounds) may be mailed in a USPS-produced Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box. When sealing a Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box, 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.

1.5.1 Flat Rate Envelope—Price and Eligibility

All USPS-produced Priority Mail envelopes smaller than the EP14F envelope (9.5 inches by 12.5 inches) are eligible for the Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope price whether or not they are marked “Flat Rate Envelope.” Each type of USPS-produced Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope is priced at a flat rate regardless of the actual weight (up to 70 pounds) of the mailpiece or domestic destination.

1.5.2 Flat Rate Boxes—Price and Eligibility

Only USPS-produced Flat Rate Boxes are eligible for the Flat Rate Box prices. Each USPS-produced Priority Mail Flat Rate Box is charged a flat rate regardless of the actual weight (up to 70 pounds) of the mailpiece or domestic destination. See Notice 123—Price List List for applicable prices. Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are as follows:

a. Small Flat Rate Box to domestic, APO/FPO, and DPO destinations.

b. Medium Flat Rate Boxes (FRB-1) or (FRB-2) to domestic, APO/FPO, and DPO destinations.

c. Board Game Large Flat Rate Box or Large Flat Rate Box to domestic destinations.

d. Board Game Large Flat Rate Box or Large Flat Rate Box and “special version of this box” identified with the additional logo: “Americasupportsyou.mil.” to APO/FPO and DPO destinations is priced less than the conventional domestic Large Flat Rate Boxes. If the special version of the APO/FPO Flat Rate Box is used for non-APO/FPO and DPO destination addresses, the domestic or international Large Flat Rate Box prices will apply.

1.5.3 Forever Prepaid Postage

Priority Mail Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging is available for the following Priority Mail Flat Rate products: Regular Flat Rate Envelope, Padded Flat Rate Envelope, Legal Flat Rate Envelope, Small Flat Rate Box, Medium Flat Rate Boxes, and Large Flat Rate Box. Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging may be purchased only online at www.usps.com and is only available to domestic and APO/FPO and DPO locations. The discounted military Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box is not available as a Forever Prepaid packaging option, but all Forever Prepaid packaging may be sent to APO/FPO and DPO destinations, although no APO/FPO and DPO discounted prices will apply. Forever Prepaid packaging is not available to international locations. All Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging is equivalent in price to the retail price for Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging. Each Forever Prepaid Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box bears a shipping label with affixed Forever Prepaid postage and may not be removed from the existing packaging and placed on any other packaging. The Forever Prepaid label bears the USPS watermark, which validates the postage. All USPS-produced Priority Mail Forever Prepaid Flat Rate Envelopes or Boxes are charged a flat rate regardless to the actual weight (up to 70 pounds) of the mailpiece or domestic destination.

1.6 Regional Rate Boxes

1.6.1 Price and Eligibility

Regional Rate Box prices are available to Priority Mail customers who use USPS-produced Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes. Prices are based on box size and zone. When sealing a Regional Rate Box, 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. Regional Rate Boxes exceeding the maximum weight as specified in 1.6.2, or the container flaps do not close within the normal folds will be assessed the applicable single-piece Priority Mail price.

1.6.2 Regional Rate Box Options

Regional Rate Box options are:

a. Box A: (Side loading or top loading box) has a maximum weight limit of 15 pounds.

b. Box B: (Side loading or top loading box) has a maximum weight limit of 20 pounds.

c. Box C: (Top loading box only) has a maximum weight limit of 25 pounds.

1.7 Prices for Keys and Identification Devices

Keys and identification devices are charged an associated fee plus the applicable First-Class Mail or Priority Mail price.

1.8 Keys and Identification Devices

Keys and identification devices (e.g., identification cards or uncovered identification tags) that weigh more than 13 ounces but not more than 1 pound are returned at the 1 pound Priority Mail price for zone 4 plus the fee. Keys and identification devices weighing more than 1 pound but not more than 2 pounds are mailed at the 2 pound Priority Mail price for zone 4 plus the fee. The key or identification device must bear, contain, or have securely attached the name and complete address of a person, organization, or concern, with instructions to return the key or identification device to that address and a statement guaranteeing payment of postage due on delivery.

1.9 Pickup on Demand Fee

The Pickup on Demand fee is charged per occurrence regardless of the number of packages and may be combined with Priority Mail Express, Package Services, and international mail pickups (see 507.7.0).

1.10 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 two decimal places.

1.11 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 price increment by the corresponding postage price.

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2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Priority Mail

2.1 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 Mail, 703.4.0, Mail Sent by U.S. Armed Forces, and Department of State mail subject to 703.3.0.

2.2 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.

2.3 Matter Closed Against Postal Inspection

Matter closed against postal inspection includes First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express. The USPS may open mail other than First-Class Mail, Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express 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 Priority Mail Express price.

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3.0 Content Standards for Priority Mail

3.1 Eligibility

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

3.2 Matter Required to be Mailed as First-Class Mail

Unless Priority Mail Express 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.