Contents Index
P000 Basic Information
P010 General Standards

P013 Rate Application and Computation

Summary

P013 describes how to calculate mailing postage for all classes of mail.

1.0 Basic Standards

1.1Rounding

For these standards:

a. Round off requires increasing by 1 the last digit to be kept if the digit to its right, which is not to be kept, is 5 or greater. If that digit is 4 or less, the last digit kept is unchanged (e.g., 3.376 rounded off to two decimal places is 3.38, 3.374 is 3.37).

b. Round up requires increasing by 1 the last digit to be kept if there are any digits to its right, regardless of significance (e.g., rounding up either 3.3701 or 3.379 to two decimal places yields 3.38).

1.2Expression

For these standards, express:

a. Piece counts in whole numbers.

b. Weights in decimal pounds (e.g., 1.125 pounds) rounded as shown below.

c. Postage in decimal dollars (e.g., $0.162) rounded as shown below.

d. Intermediate postage figures on all permit imprint and Periodicals statements (rounded off) to four decimal places. On all postage affixed statements (rounded off) to three decimal places. An intermediate postage figure is defined as follows: For First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Package Services mailings, any figure on any line of a postage statement, with the exception of the “Total Postage” line, is an intermediate figure. For Periodicals mailings, any figure on any line of a Form 3541, with the exception of the “Total Outside-County Postage,” “Total In-County Postage,” and “Total Foreign Postage” lines is an intermediate figure.

e. Total postage figures (rounded off) to two decimal places. A total postage figure is defined as follows: For First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Package Services mailings any figure on a “Total Postage” line. For Periodicals mailings, any figure on a “Total Outside-County Postage,” “Total In-County Postage,” and “Total Foreign Postage” line.

1.3Determining Single-Piece Weight

To determine single-piece weight in any mailing at single-piece rates, in a bulk mailing at Parcel Post, Media Mail, or Library Mail rates, or in any bulk rate mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in any other bulk or presort rate mailing, 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 four decimal places.

1.4Affixing Postage
Single-Piece Rate Mailings

In a postage-affixed Express Mail, Priority Mail, single-piece First-Class Mail, or Package Services mailing, the mailer must affix to each piece a value in adhesive stamps or meter stamps equal to at least the postage required (including any surcharges). A mailer also may use precanceled stamps on single-piece First-Class Mail. Less than the correct amount of postage may be affixed only when permitted by standard or specific USPS authorization.

1.5Affixing Postage
Other Than Single-Piece Rate Mailings

In a Presorted or automation First-Class Mail postage affixed mailing or a Standard Mail mailing, the mailer must affix to each piece a value in precanceled stamps or meter impressions that equals at least the full amount of postage (including any surcharges) at the applicable rate. In a Package Services postage affixed mailing other than single-piece mailing, the mailer must affix to each piece a value in meter impressions that equals at least the full amount of postage at the applicable rate; or:

a. For First-Class Mail, the applicable postage at the lowest rate claimed in the mailing (or a lesser amount if authorized under P960) if all additional postage is paid at the time of mailing.

b. For Standard Mail, the minimum per piece charge, with the pound rate charge paid through an advance deposit account under the applicable standards; or the applicable postage at the lowest rate claimed in the mailing (or a lesser amount if authorized under P960) if all additional postage is paid at the time of mailing.

2.0 Rate Applicationexpress Mail, First-class Mail, and Priority Mail

2.1Basis

Except under 2.5, postage is based on the rate that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece.

2.2Express Mail

Except under 2.5, Express Mail rates are charged per 0.5 pound through 1 pound, and in 1 pound increments over 1 pound. Through 1 pound, any fraction of a 0.5 pound is considered a whole 0.5-pound unit; more than 1 pound, any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. For example, if a piece weighs 0.25 pound, the weight (postage) increment is 0.5 pound; if a piece weighs 1.2 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 2 pounds. The minimum postage amount per addressed piece is that for a piece weighing 0.5 pound.

2.3First-Class Mail

Except under 2.5, First-Class rates are charged per ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce is considered a whole ounce. For example, if a piece weighs 1.2 ounces, the weight (postage) increment is 2 ounces. The minimum postage per addressed piece is that for a piece weighing 1 ounce.

2.4Priority Mail

Except under 2.5, Priority Mail rates are charged per pound or fraction thereof; 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 rate. The Priority Mail rate up to 1 pound is based solely on weight; for pieces weighing more than 1 pound, rates are based on weight and zone.

2.5Flat Rate Envelope

Each addressed Express Mail flat rate envelope is charged the Express Mail rate applicable to a 1/2-pound piece, regardless of its actual weight. Each addressed Priority Mail flat rate envelope is charged the Priority Mail rate applicable to a 1-pound piece, regardless of its actual weight.

2.6Keys and Identification Devices

Keys and identification devices weighing 13 ounces or less are charged the First-Class Mail rates per ounce or fraction thereof in accordance with 2.3, plus the fee in R100.11.0. Keys and identification devices weighing more than 13 ounces but not more than 1 pound are mailed at the 1-pound Priority Mail rate plus the fee in R100.11.0. Keys and identification devices weighing more than 1 pound but not more than 2 pounds are subject to the 2-pound Priority Mail rate for zone 4 plus the fee in R100.11.0.

3.0 Rate Applicationperiodicals

3.1Rate Elements

Postage for all Periodicals includes a pound rate charge, a piece rate charge, and any discount for which the mail qualifies under the corresponding standards.

3.2Applying Pound Rate

Pound rates are applied to the weight of the pieces in the mailing. Outside-County and Science-of-Agriculture Outside-County pound rates are based on the weight of the advertising portion of the mail sent to each postal zone (as computed from the entry office) and the weight of the nonadvertising portion without regard to zone. In-County pound rates consist of a delivery unit zone rate and a uniform (unzoned) rate for all other eligible pieces delivered within the county of publication. The minimum pound rate charge for any zone or other group for which a per pound charge is computed is 1 unit (1 pound) of the pound rate charge. For example, three 2-ounce pieces for a zone are subject to the minimum 1-pound charge.

3.3Computing Weight of Advertising Portion

The pound rate charge is the sum of the charges for the computed weight of the advertising portion of copies to each zone, plus an additional flat (unzoned) charge for the total weight of the nonadvertising portion of all copies to all zones. For publications containing advertising, the minimum pound rate charge for any zone to which copies are mailed is 1 unit (pound) of the advertising pound rate charge. The minimum pound rate charge for the nonadvertising portion is that which applies to all weight not reported in the advertising (zoned) portion. (Authorized Nonprofit and Classroom publications with an advertising percentage that is 10% or less are considered 100% nonadvertising. When computing the pound rates and the nonadvertising adjustment, use “0” as the advertising percentage. Authorized Nonprofit and Classroom publications claiming 0% advertising must pay the nonadvertising pound rate for the entire weight of all copies to all zones.)

3.4Per Piece Charge

Piece rates apply to each addressed piece, based on the sortation done by the publisher. An addressed piece can be a single individually addressed copy, a package of unaddressed copies with a single delivery address for the package, or a firm package containing unaddressed or individually addressed copies for the same address. The per piece charge is based on the number of addressed pieces (not the number of copies).

3.5Discounts

Discounts and reductions apply per pound, per addressed piece, or per copy as specified for each in E200.

4.0 Rate Applicationstandard Mail

Standard Mail rates are based on the weight of the pieces and are applied differently to pieces weighing less than or equal to 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pound) and those weighing more, as follows:

a. The appropriate minimum per piece rate applies to any Standard Mail piece that weighs 3.3 ounces or less.

b. A rate determined by adding the appropriate fixed per piece charge and the corresponding variable per pound charge (based on the weight of the piece) applies to any Standard Mail piece that weighs more than 3.3 ounces.

5.0 Rate ApplicationPackage Services

5.1Basis

Postage is based on the rate that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece and, where applicable, on the zone to which the piece is addressed.

5.2Parcel Post

The Parcel Post rate is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. For example, if an item weighs 4.225 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 5 pounds. The minimum postage rate per piece is the 1-pound rate.

5.3Single-Piece Bound Printed Matter

The single-piece Bound Printed Matter rate is charged per half-pound from 1 through 5 pounds, and per pound from more than 5 through 15 pounds. For pieces weighing 5 pounds or under, any fraction of a half-pound is considered a whole half-pound. For pieces weighing more than 5 but not more than 15 pounds, any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. For example, if a Bound Printed Matter item weighs 4.325 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 4.5 pounds; if an item weighs 6.25 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 7 pounds. The minimum postage rate per piece is the 1-pound rate.

5.4Media Mail

The Media Mail rate is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. (Rate application is identical for the single-piece and presort rates.) For example, if an item weighs 4.225 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 5 pounds. The minimum postage rate per piece is that for a piece weighing 1 pound.

5.5Library Mail

The Library Mail rate is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. For example, if an item weighs 4.225 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 5 pounds. The minimum postage rate per addressed piece is that for an addressed piece weighing 1 pound.

5.6Presorted Bound Printed Matter

The presorted Bound Printed Matter rate has a per piece charge and a per pound charge. The minimum postage rate for an addressed piece is one unit of the per piece charge plus the per pound charge for an addressed piece weighing 1 pound.

6.0 Computing Postageexpress Mail, First-class Mail, and Priority Mail

Determine single-piece weight and weight (postage) increment for each addressed piece as prescribed in 2.0. For Express Mail, affix postage to each piece under 1.4 or pay the postage through a corporate account or, for Express Mail Manifesting items (P910.6.0), pay postage through a corporate account. For First-Class Mail and Priority Mail, affix postage to each piece under 1.4 or 1.5 (as applicable) or, for permit imprint mailings, multiply the number of addressed pieces at each rate increment (and in each rate category, if applicable) by the corresponding postage rate, add the unrounded products, and round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

7.0 Computing Postageperiodicals

7.1Percentage of Advertising

The percentage of advertising shown on the postage statement must be based on the marked copy of the corresponding issue or edition provided as required. If necessary, round off the computed percentage of advertising to two decimal places. Advertising percentages also may be calculated through the Periodicals Accuracy, Grading, and Evaluation (PAGE) Program using the procedures in P200.

7.2Weight Per Copy

To determine the weight per copy, select and weigh a random sample of 10 or more copies and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express the weight per copy in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places. Per-copy weights also may be calculated through the Periodicals Accuracy, Grading, and Evaluation (PAGE) Program using the procedures in P200.

7.3Computing Other Weights

To find the total weight of mailed copies per zone or rate level, multiply the corresponding number of copies by the computed weight per copy. Round off each result to the nearest whole pound, except that when the result is under 0.5 pound, round to 1 pound. To find the weight of the advertising portion for each zone, where applicable, multiply the total weight of copies for that zone by the percentage of advertising. Round off each result to the nearest whole pound, except that when the result is under 0.5 pound, round to 1 pound. To find the weight of the nonadvertising portion, subtract the total weight of the advertising portion to all zones from the total weight of copies to all zones. To find the weight of In-County rate copies, multiply the number of copies by the weight per copy and round off the total weight to the nearest whole pound, except that when the result is less than 0.5 pound, round to 1 pound.

7.4Pound Rate

To compute the pound rate postage for Regular and Preferred outside-county copies, multiply the weight of the advertising and nonadvertising portions by the corresponding rates, add the unrounded results, and subtract all applicable discounts. To compute the pound rate postage for In-County rate copies, multiply their total weight by the corresponding rate per pound.

7.5Piece Rate

To find the piece rate postage for outside-county and In-County rate copies, multiply the number of addressed pieces (not copies) by the appropriate rate, based on the presort of the pieces as mailed.

7.6Nonadvertising Adjustment

To compute the nonadvertising adjustment (where applicable), subtract the advertising percentage from 100, multiply the remainder by the nonadvertising adjustment per piece, multiply the unrounded product by the number of pieces, and round off the product to four decimal places.

7.7Total Postage

Total Outside-County postage is the sum of the per pound and per piece charges, and any Ride-Along charge, less all discounts, rounded off to the nearest whole cent. Total In-County postage is the sum of the per pound and per piece charges, and any Ride-Along charge, less all discounts, rounded off to the nearest whole cent. For mailings that include foreign copies, total foreign postage is the sum of the per piece charges, less a discount, rounded off to the nearest whole cent.

8.0 Computing Postagestandard Mail

8.1Weight

To compute the total weight of the addressed pieces in a mailing or mailing segment for:

a. Identical-weight pieces, multiply the computed average weight of a single piece by the corresponding number of pieces; do not round the product.

b. Nonidentical-weight pieces, add the actual weight of the individual pieces or weigh the entire mailing in bulk; do not round either result.

8.2Per Piece and Per Pound Charges

The per piece charge is computed based on the total number of addressed pieces for each rate category claimed. The minimum rate may apply to each piece as detailed in 4.0. Otherwise, the per piece charge must be added to the per pound charge to determine total postage. Where applicable, the per pound charge is computed based on the total weight of the addressed pieces for each rate category claimed, and is added to the per piece charge to determine total postage. For example, a quantity of pieces weighing 100.25 pounds is charged 100.25 times the applicable rate per pound, based on the rate claimed, plus one unit of the applicable per piece charge for each addressed piece.

8.3Computing Affixed Postage

To compute postage to be affixed to each piece, multiply the weight of the piece (in pounds) by the applicable rate per pound; add the applicable per piece charge and any surcharge; and round the sum up to the next tenth of a cent. The applicable minimum per piece charge must be affixed if it is more than the total computed per piece postage.

8.4Computing Affixed PostageHeavy Letters

To compute postage to be affixed to each piece, multiply the weight of the piece (in pounds) by the applicable rate per pound; add the applicable per piece charge, subtract the heavy letter discount (see 8.6 through 8.8); and round the sum up to the next tenth of a cent.

8.5Permit Imprint

In any permit imprint mailing:

a. For each rate or rate category, multiply the number of addressed pieces by the corresponding rate per piece and (if applicable) multiply the unrounded total weight of the pieces by the corresponding rate per pound; round off each product to four decimal places.

b. Add the per piece and per pound charges and round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

8.6Discount for Heavy Automation Letters

Automation letters that weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces are charged postage equal to the automation piece/pound rate for that piece and receive a discount equal to the corresponding automation nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the corresponding automation letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). For automation ECR pieces, postage is calculated using the regular basic piece/pound rate and the regular basic nonletter piece rate. If a destination entry rate is claimed, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates.

8.7Discount for Heavy ECR Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the high density or saturation letter rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If a destination entry rate is claimed, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates.

8.8Discount for Heavy ECR Basic Automation Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the automation basic rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the regular basic piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the regular basic nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the automation basic piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If a destination entry rate is claimed, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates.

9.0 Computing PostagePackage Services

9.1Parcel Post (including Parcel Select), Media Mail, Library Mail, and Single-Piece Bound Printed Matter
Permit Imprint

To compute the total postage for a mailing, for each weight increment, multiply the number of pieces by the applicable rate per piece. Round each product off to four decimal places. Add the products and round up the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

9.2Parcel Post (including Parcel Select), Media Mail, Library Mail, and Single-Piece Bound Printed Matter
Postage Affixed

For each piece, affix the postage for the weight increment (including any surcharges or discounts) and, if applicable, the zone to which the piece is addressed, as shown in R700. To calculate the total postage for the mailing, add all of the affixed postage amounts for each piece.

9.3Presorted and Carrier Route Bound Printed MatterPermit Imprint

Presorted and Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter mailings paid with permit imprint are charged a per pound rate and a per piece rate as follows:

a. Per pound rate:

(1) For pieces weighing 1 pound or less, compute the per pound rate by multiplying the total number of addressed pieces by the 1-pound rate for the rate category and zone. Do not round this result.

(2) For pieces weighing more than 1 pound, compute the per pound rate by multiplying the unrounded total weight of the addressed pieces by the pound rate for the category and zone. Do not round this result.

b. Per piece rate. Multiply the total number of addressed pieces by the applicable piece rate.

c. Total Postage. Calculate total postage by adding the total per piece calculation to the total per pound calculation. Round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

9.4Presorted and Carrier Route Bound Printed MatterPostage Affixed

Presorted and Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter mailings with postage affixed are charged a per pound rate and a per piece rate as follows:

a. For each addressed piece, calculate the per pound rate:

(1) If the piece weighs 1 pound or less, the per pound rate is the rate listed in R700.2.0 for the rate category and zone.

(2) If the piece weighs more than 1 pound, compute the per pound rate by multiplying the unrounded weight of the piece by the pound rate for the category and zone. Do not round this result.

b. Postage per piece. Compute the postage for each piece by adding the calculated per pound rate to the per piece rate for the category and zone. Round this number up to the next tenth of a cent. Affix this amount of postage to the piece.

c. Total Postage for Mailing. Add all of the affixed postage amounts for each piece in the mailing.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)