Updated January 2001
This Customer Support Ruling discusses
the eligibility of loose-leaf pages as books at the Media Mail rates of postage.
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 473.2.2a* provides that books
and books issued to supplement other books may qualify for the Media Mail rates
if they contain at least eight pages consisting wholly of reading matter, or scholarly
bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations, and
if they contain no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books.
Advertising includes paid advertising and the publisher's own advertising in display,
classified, or editorial style.
Books are not required to be in
bound form to qualify for the Media Mail rates. Thus, books in loose leaf form that
meet the standards in DMM 473.2.2h, including books issued to supplement other books,
qualify for the Media Mail rates.
Loose leaf pages that form a book
may be enclosed in a binder or mailed with a binder at the Media Mail rates. Binders
mailed by themselves, however, are charged the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard
Mail, or Parcel Post rates, based on the weight of the mailpiece.
Transmittal pages, update pages,
and replacement pages do not qualify for mailing as a book or supplement to a book
at the Media Mail rates. Such pages are charged the applicable First-Class Mail,
Standard Mail, or Parcel Post rates, based on the weight of the mailpiece.
Accordingly, a key consideration
is whether the mailpiece is a book or whether it consists of transmittal, update,
or replacement pages. As an example, one mailpiece submitted for postal review contained
a loose leaf publication with the following statement printed on its front page:
- DISCARD ALL CONTENTS (white, buff,
and gold pages for each chapter). They are replaced with the new white pages of
the Sixth Edition in this package.
Because the sixth edition is a complete
book, it qualifies as a book for mailing at the Media Mail rates.
*See also DMM 173.3 and 373.2.
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436