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DMM Advisory 12/20/2004

December 20, 2004

The Postal Service has issued a new Customer Support Ruling (CSR), PS-317 to assist customers when making decisions concerning what may be mailed as Standard Mail and what must be mailed as First-Class Mail when “personal” information is included in the mailpiece. The specific goal of PS-317 is to clarify that certain “customer markings” included on the outside of advertising matter do not constitute “personal” information within the meaning of Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) E110.1.4.

Together with CSR PS-317, the Postal Service has provided a “decision tree” to aid in the evaluation of whether matter containing “personal information” may be eligible as Standard Mail or is required to be sent as First-Class Mail.

This graphic describes the process for determining Standard Mail eligibility as described below.

Process for Determining Standard Mail Eligibility

The following six-step process is a guide to help you determine whether a mailpiece meets the content requirements for Standard Mail.  If the requirements are not met, the piece must be entered as First-Class Mail (or Express Mail).  Additional requirements may be applicable, e.g., weight, volume, preparation and other non-content requirements.  Steps 5 and 6 outline the steps for determining whether the presence of “actual and personal” information in a mailpiece disqualifies it from entry at Standard Mail rates.  The flow chart (above) provides a summary of these steps:

Step 1:  Examine the entire mailpiece (E600, C600, C800, M010).

Step 2:  Does the mailpiece contain typewritten or handwritten material (E110.1.2)?  If yes, it is First-Class Mail.  If no, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3:  Does the mailpiece contain a bill (E110.1.5a)?  If yes, it is First-Class Mail.  If no, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4:  Does the mailpiece contain a statement of account (E110.1.5b)?  If yes, it is First-Class Mail.  If no, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5:  Does the mailpiece contain “actual and personal” information (E110.1.4)?  If no, the mailpiece may be considered Standard Mail if all additional requirements are met.  If yes, proceed to Step 6.

Step 6:  Does the mailpiece meet the criteria in either E610.2.3a, 2.3b, or 2.3c?  If no, it is First-Class Mail.  If yes the mailpiece may be considered Standard Mail if all additional requirements are met.