USPS Homepage Skip navigation     USPS Home | Postal Explorer Home
Section divider line
 

Quick Service Guide 440d

Commercial Parcels

Standard Mail Not Flat-Machinable Pieces

November 7, 2011
Printer-Friendly PDF

Related QSG

Section divider line

703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility

Physical Standards (401)

Section divider line

Maximum weight: less than 16 ounces.

For an overview of the physical standards for Not Flat-Machinables (NFM), see Quick Service Guide 401.

Prices and Fees (443.1.0)

Section divider line

For a complete listing of commercial Standard Mail prices, see Notice 123–Price List.

Unless prepared in 5-digit/scheme containers, Not Flat-Machinable pieces are subject to a surcharge if:

Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination NDC/ASF, SCF (5-digit and SCF), or delivery unit (5-digit only) under 346.2.0.

Annual presort mailing fee applies.

Content (443.2.0)

Section divider line

Not Flat-Machinable pieces containing mailable items not required to be sent using First-Class Mail can be sent using Standard Mail. Standard Mail is typically used for advertisements, flyers, and catalogs. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers (703.1.0).

Eligibility Standards (443)

Section divider line

Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces (or 50 pounds of addressed pieces), sorted and marked as described below. All pieces must meet the physical standards for NFMs in (401). Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices or not eligible for Periodicals prices. Nonprofit prices require specific authorization (703.1.0).

Each piece must include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.

A certified process must be used at least once a year to ensure accuracy of 5-digit ZIP Codes.

Each piece must bear a correct readable barcode under 708.4.0 or 708.5.0 as applicable, except if prepared in 5-digit/scheme containers or on 5-digit pallets. Pieces under 6 ounces may have a POSTNET (708.4.0), an Intelligent Mail package barcode, or GS1-128 routing barcode (708.5.0). Pieces 6 ounces or more must have a GS1-128 routing barcode or an Intelligent Mail package barcode. For barcode placement, see 402.4.0.

Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement (except Forwarding Service Requested) under 507.1.5.3). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.

Postage Payment and Documentation (444)

Section divider line

Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.

Documentation:

Regular: PS Form 3602-R or approved facsimile.
Nonprofit: PS Form 3602-N or approved facsimile.

Mail Preparation (445)

Section divider line

Mark each piece “Not Flat-Machinable” or “NFM” in the postage area (402.2.0) or in the optional endorsement line. Additional markings required:

  • Regular: “Presorted Standard” or “PRSRT STD,” “Standard” or “STD.”
  • Nonprofit: “Nonprofit Organization” or “NONPROFIT ORG.” or “NONPROFIT.”

For pallet preparation, see 705.8.0.

Prepared in sacks (unless palletized). Palletization is preferred, see Quick Service Guide 705d.

Enter and Deposit (446)

Section divider line

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.

Preparation

Section divider line

Sacking Sequence for Pieces Less Than 6 Ounces—when entered at Origin (445.6.3.2)

This graphic shows the sack preparation for Standard Mail Not Flat-Machinable pieces that weigh less than 6 ounces as described in the text.

 

Origin NDC

Sacks: Required, no minimum.

Labels: For Line 1, use L601, Column B. For For Line 2, use “STD NFM NDC.”

Price: Mixed NDC.

Mixed NDC

Sacks: Required, no minimum for all remaining mail.

Labels: “MXD” followed by L601, Column B information for NDC serving 3-digit ZIP Code prefix of entry Post Office. For Line 2, use “STD NFM WKG.”

Price: Mixed NDC

 

Mailers may make 5-digit bundles of at least five pieces when placed on pallets or in pallet boxes under 705.8.0. No other NFM bundles permitted.

 

For DDU, DSCF, and DNDC price eligibility and preparation see DMM 440.

Sacking Sequence for Pieces 6 Ounces or More—when entered at Origin (445.6.3.3)

This graphic shows the sack preparation for Standard Mail Not Flat-Machinable pieces that weigh more than 6 ounces as described in the text.

 

Origin NDC

Sacks: Required, no minimum.

Labels: For Line 1, use L601, Column B. For Line 2, use “STD NFM MACH NDC.”

Price: Not Flat-Machinable Mixed NDC.

Mixed NDC

Sacks: Required, no minimum for all remaining mail.

Labels: For Line 1, “MXD” followed by L601, Column B information for NDC serving the 3-digit ZIP Code prefix of the entry post office. For Line 2, use “STD NFM MACH WKG.”

Price: Not Flat-Machinable Mixed NDC.

 

Mailers may make 5-digit bundles of at least five pieces when placed on pallets or in pallet boxes under 705.8.0. No other NFM bundles permitted.

 

For DDU, DSCF, and DNDC price eligibility and preparation see DMM 440.

 

Not Flat-Machinable Decision Tree

Standard Mail mailpieces that are too thick or too rigid to run on automated flat sorting machines do not qualify for automation prices. These pieces are now categorized as “Not Flat-Machinable.” This new category has higher prices than flats but lower prices than other parcels. This decision tree will help you determine if your piece qualifies as an automation flat or a Not Flat-Machinable.

1. Does your mailpiece:

a) Meet the minimum and maximum dimensions for an automation flat (see graphic on right), and

b) Have a rectangular shape, and

c) Meet the flexibility criteria in 301.1.3, and

d) Meet the uniform thickness criteria in 301.1.4, and

e) Meet the deflection (droop) criteria in 301.1.6 for flimsy pieces?

If yes, it meets the physical standards for an automation flat.

If no, go to number two.

2. Does your mailpiece:

a) Exceed one or more of the maximum dimensions for a letter and not measure more than 12 inches high or 15 inches long, or more than 3/4 inch thick, and

b) Meet criteria b, c, and d above?

If yes, it meets the physical standards for a nonautomation flat.

If no, go to number three.

This graphic shows an example of minimum and maximum dimensions for pieces to qualify for automation rates as described in the text.

3. Is your mailpiece rigid or not uniformly thick with the following dimensions?

a) At least 4 inches high, but not more than 12 inches high.

b) At least 4 inches long, but not more than 15-3/4 inches long.

c) At least 0.009 inch thick, but not more than 1-1/4 inches thick. (Pieces less than 5 inches long must be over 1/4 inch thick.)

If yes, it meets the physical standards for a Not Flat-Machinable piece.

If no, go to number four.

This graphic shows an example of testing for rigidity of the piece as described in the text.

This graphic shows an example of rigidity thickness. Minimum thickness is 0.009 inches and maximum thickness is 1 ¼ inches.

4. Is your mailpiece flexible with the following dimensions?

a) At least 4 inches high, but not more than 12 inches high, with either of the following dimensions:

b) Over 15 inches long, but not more than 15-3/4 inches long.

c) Over 3/4 inches thick, but not more than 1-1/4 inches thick.

If yes, it meets the physical standards for a Not Flat-Machinable piece.

This graphic shows an example of flexibility thickness. Minimum thickness is ¾ of an inch and maximum thickness is 1 ¼ inches.

This graphic shows an example of rigidity thickness. Minimum thickness is 0.009 inches and maximum thickness is 1 ¼ inches.

Standard Mail flats and Not Flat-Machinable pieces must weigh less than 16 ounces.

Nonmachinable letter-size pieces weighing more than 3.3 ounces, unless they qualify to be mailed at automation flat-size prices, also qualify as Not Flat-Machinable pieces.

 

Back to Top