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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)
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.