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January 17

January 17, 2007

 

Shaping a More Efficient Future

Postal Service Seeks Additional Comments on Proposed Mailing Standards

 

In today’s Federal Register we update our proposed mailing standards to support our current pricing proposal. We respond to your comments on our initial proposal, summarize major changes by class of mail and extra service, and update our summary of the mailing standards.

 

Highlights of Revised Mailing Standards

 

Relaxed Standards for Automation Flats

  • Relaxed Flexibility Test – now administered by pressing 1 inch from the edge of the piece instead of 1 inch from the edge of the table.  This new test is more forgiving of flats with rigid inserts. Typical bound publications and catalogs do not need to be tested when they are not in a box and do not contain rigid inserts.

  • Relaxed/Clarified Definition of Uniform Thickness – now allow a variation of up to 1/4 inch in thickness, not counting selvage.

  • Relaxed Deflection Test – now allow pieces to droop to within 1 inch of length, up to a maximum of 4 inches, instead of 4 inches for pieces over 10 inches long and 2 inches for pieces less than 10 inches long.

Relaxed Standards and New Payment Option for Periodicals Container Charge

  • Proposed to waive the container charge for direct carrier route, 5-digit carrier routes, and 5-digit containers of mixed Outside-County and In-County pieces.

  • Proposed a new option to pay the container charge by prorating it across multiple titles in a combined mailing if documentation is submitted through Mail.dat.

Relaxed Standards and Easier Preparation for Letters

  • Allowed mailers to apply the no–overflow tray option selectively at the 3-digit and AADC tray levels.

  • Extended the “no bundling” standards to all automated carrier route letters, not just the letters we DPS.

Retained Terminology and Easier Preparation for Parcels and Not Flat-Machinable (NFM) Pieces

  • Retained the “irregular” parcel terminology instead of changing it to “nonmachinable.”

  • Made 5-digit presorting optional for all Standard Mail parcels and NFMs.

Today’s notice provides you with a second opportunity to comment on and make suggestions about our proposed mailing standards. We invite your comments on all aspects of our second proposal. Send written comments on or before January 31 to the Manager of Mailing Standards, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Rm 3436, Washington DC 20260-3436.

 

In February we will publish an additional Federal Register notice incorporating comments from this proposal to ensure mailers have adequate time to prepare for the new standards and prices. The updated notice will provide a comprehensive view of our proposal at least a month before the Postal Service Governors vote on the new prices and an early opportunity to update software and other systems.

 

Timeline – Domestic and International Proposals