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253 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees

1.1 Price Application

[6-2-14] Postage is based on the price that applies to the weight increment of each addressed piece, and on the zone to which the piece is addressed, except for DDU and DSCF entered pieces. The price is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. Except for Parcel Select Lightweight, the minimum price per piece is the 1-pound price. For DDU and DSCF pieces, postage is based on the price that applies to the weight increment of each addressed piece. Parcel Select Lightweight postage is based on the price that applies to the weight increment of each addressed piece, charged per ounce or fraction thereof, with any fraction of an ounce being rounded to the next whole ounce. The price categories for Parcel Select are as follows:

a. Destination entry including destination entry network distribution center (DNDC), destination entry sectional center facility (DSCF), and destination entry delivery unit (DDU).

b. NDC Presort and ONDC Presort.

c. Nonpresort.

d. Lightweight.

1.2 Parcel Select Prices

[6-2-14] Pricing is available for Parcel Select at the Destination Entry, NDC Presort, ONDC Presort, and Nonpresort levels. For prices, see Notice 123–Price List.

1.3 Annual Mailing Fee

[6-2-14] An annual mailing fee is required for Parcel Select destination entry mailings and must be paid once each 12-month period at each Post Office of mailing by or for any mailer who enters mailings at the destination entry level. All destination entry prices are covered under the payment of an annual fee per office of mailing. An annual presort mailing fee is also required to mail at any Standard Mail price or at any Parcel Select Lightweight price; payment of one annual presort fee at each office of mailing covers mailings of both products. During the last 60 days of the current service period, advance payment of the annual mailing fees may be remitted for the subsequent 12-month period only. The established annual mailing fees in effect at the time of remittance will be assessed. See Notice 123—Price List for applicable annual mailing fees.

1.4 Computing Postage

1.4.1 Determining Single-Piece Weight

[6-2-14] To determine single-piece weight in any mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in a mailing of identical-weight pieces, 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. Except for mailers using eVS or preparing Parcel Select lightweight mailings, when determining single-piece weight for Parcel Select mailpieces, express all weights in decimal pounds rounded off to two decimal places. Mailers using eVS may round off to four decimals, and eVS will automatically round to the appropriate decimal place. Mailers using Parcel Select Lightweight must express all single-piece weights in decimal pounds, rounded off to four decimal places. If a customer is using a manifest mailing system, the manifest weight field must be properly completed by adhering to the rules relative to the specific manifest.

1.4.2 Computing Postage for Affixed Postage

[6-2-14] For each piece, affix correct postage for the weight (including any surcharges) and, if applicable, the zone to which the piece is addressed, as shown in 1.2 through 1.4. To calculate the total postage for the mailing, add all of the affixed postage amounts for each piece.

1.4.3 Computing Postage for Permit Imprint

[6-2-14] To compute the total postage for a mailing, for each weight increment, multiply the number of pieces by the applicable price per piece. Round each product off to four decimal places. Add the products and round up the total postage to the nearest whole cent.

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2.0 Content Standards

2.1 Definition of Parcel Select

[6-2-14] Parcel Select is a Shipping Services ground product using permit imprint or metered postage when mailing 50 or more packages. When postage is paid using USPS-approved PC Postage in conjunction with barcoded nonpresorted mailings there is no minimum volume.

2.2 Basic Content Standards

[6-2-14] Parcel Select consists of mailable matter that is neither mailed, or required to be mailed, as First-Class Mail, nor entered as Periodicals (except as permitted under 2.3 or permitted or required under 207.7.9). Mailers (other than publishers or registered news agents) may mail copies of Periodicals publications at Parcel Select prices.

2.3 Attachments or Enclosures of Periodicals Sample Copies

[6-2-14] Sample copies of authorized and pending Periodicals publications may be enclosed or attached with merchandise sent at Parcel Select prices. Postage at Parcel Select prices is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the sample copies enclosed.

2.4 Postal Inspection

[6-2-14] Parcel Select packages are not sealed against postal inspection. Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at Parcel Select prices constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents.

2.5 Attachments and Enclosures

2.5.1 Invoice

[6-2-14] An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Parcel Select piece or in an envelope marked “Invoice Enclosed” and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:

a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.

b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).

c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker.

2.5.2 Incidental First-Class Mail Attachments and Enclosures

[6-2-14] Incidental First-Class Mail matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Parcel Select piece without payment of First-Class Mail postage. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First-Class Mail postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Parcel Select price for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure.

2.5.3 Additional Enclosures

[6-2-14] Parcel Select may contain any printed matter mailable as Standard Mail, in addition to the enclosures and additions listed in 2.5 and 2.6.

2.6 Written Additions

[6-2-14] Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class Mail prices. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class Mail postage:

a. The sender’s and the addressee’s names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by “From” or “To,” and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as “Do Not Open Until Christmas” and “Happy Birthday, Mother.”

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.

e. A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.

f. Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.

g. Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.

h. Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.

i. Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.

j. Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label.

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3.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Parcel Select Parcels

3.1 Service Objectives

[6-2-14] [1-26-14] The USPS does not guarantee the delivery of Parcel Select mailpieces within a specified time. Parcel Select mailpieces might receive deferred service. The local Post Office can provide more information concerning delivery times within its area.

3.2 Delivery and Return Addresses

[6-2-14] [1-26-14] All Parcel Select mailpieces must bear a delivery address. The delivery address on each piece must include the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under 602.3.0 may be used. Each piece must bear the sender's return address.

3.3 IMpb Standards

[6-2-14] [1-26-14] All Parcel Select mailpieces must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0. Mailpieces not meeting the requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS website at https://ribbs.usps.gov.

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4.0 Price Eligibility for Parcel Select and Parcel Select Lightweight

4.1 Destination Entry Price Eligibility

4.1.1 Definition

[6-2-14] Parcel Select destination entry prices apply to Parcel Select mailings prepared as specified in 705.8.0, and 255.4.0, and addressed for delivery within the service area of a destination network distribution center, sectional center facility, or delivery unit where they are deposited by the mailer. For this standard, the following destination facility definitions apply:

a. A destination network distribution center (DNDC) includes all network distribution centers (NDCs) and auxiliary service facilities (ASFs) under L601 and L602, and designated sectional center facilities (SCFs) under 256.2.17.

b. A destination sectional center facility (DSCF) includes all facilities in L005. Mailers may be redirected to deposit DSCF mail at another USPS-designated facility. See 4.1.4 for more information.

c. A destination delivery unit (DDU) is a facility that delivers to the addresses appearing on the deposited pieces in a destination entry Parcel Select mailing. Refer to the Drop Shipment Product maintained by the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) (see 608.8.1 for address) to determine the location of a 5-digit delivery facility. Use L606 only for mailings prepared using the optional 5-digit scheme sort.

4.1.2 Basic Standards

[6-2-14] For Parcel Select destination entry, pieces must meet the applicable standards in 255.4.0 and the following criteria:

a. Pieces may be bedloaded on pallets, in pallet boxes on pallets, in sacks, or in other authorized containers as specified in 256.2.1 through 256.2.17, depending on the facility at which the pieces are deposited.

b. Pieces may not be plant-loaded.

c. Pieces must be part of a single mailing of 50 or more pieces that are eligible for and claimed at any Parcel Select destination entry price. When Parcel Select mailings are submitted under PVDS procedures, mailers may use the total of all line items for all destinations on a PVDS register or PVDS postage statement to meet the 50-piece minimum volume requirement for destination entry price mailings. This means that a mailer may enter fewer than 50 pieces at an individual destination, provided there is a total of at least 50 Parcel Select pieces for all of the entry points for that single mailing job listed on the PVDS register or PVDS postage statement.

d. Pieces must be deposited at, or expedited to, via Priority Mail Express Open and Distribute or Priority Mail Open and Distribute under 705.18.0, a destination NDC (or destination ASF), destination SCF, or destination delivery unit, as applicable for the price claimed.

e. Pieces must be addressed for delivery within the ZIP Code ranges that the applicable entry facility serves.

4.1.3 DNDC Prices

[6-2-14] For DNDC prices, pieces must meet the applicable standards in 3.0 and the following:

a. Pieces must be part of a Parcel Select destination entry mailing that is deposited at a NDC or ASF under L601 or L602.

b. Parcels must bear a barcode under 708.5.0 for the ZIP Code of the delivery address.

c. Except as provided in labeling lists L601 and L602, pieces deposited at each NDC or ASF must be addressed for delivery within the ZIP Code range of that facility.

d. Pieces must be addressed to ZIP Codes eligible for DNDC prices as described in the introductory text of L601 and L602 and, if sacked or palletized, must be prepared according to 255.4.0 and 705.8.0. Mail meeting the additional criteria in 256.2.17 or 256.2.18 may be deposited at an SCF.

e. Except for machinable parcels addressed to ZIP Codes served by the Buffalo NY ASF, mail addressed to ZIP Codes served by an ASF must be entered at the appropriate ASF per L602, and not entered at an NDC.

4.1.4 DSCF and DDU Prices

[6-2-14] For DSCF and DDU prices, pieces must meet the applicable standards in 3.0 and the following criteria:

a. For DSCF prices, be part of a Parcel Select destination entry mailing of parcels deposited at an SCF in L005 or a USPS-designated facility. Mailers must not prepare mail on pallets or pallet boxes if the 5-digit delivery facility is unable to handle pallets. See 255.4.2 and 255.7.0 for preparation requirements.

b. For DDU prices, be part of a Parcel Select mailing deposited at a designated DDU facility that delivers parcels to the addresses appearing on the pieces. There is no required minimum number of pieces that must be deposited for the DDU price and no specific preparation requirements; however, the pieces must be part of a mailing of at least 50 Parcel Select destination entry price pieces and must be prepared by 5-digit scheme (optional) and 5-digit sorts. To determine the location for entry of 5-digit scheme sorted pieces, use Column B of L606. To determine the location for entry of 5-digit sorted pieces or whether a 5-digit delivery facility can handle pallets (or pallet boxes), refer to the Drop Shipment Product maintained by the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) (see 608.8.1). When the Drop Shipment Product shows that mail for a single 5-digit ZIP Code area is delivered out of more than one postal facility, use the facility from which the majority of city carrier routes are delivered as the facility at which the DDU mail must be entered. The Drop Shipment Product identifies the 5-digit ZIP Codes that are exceptions to the “majority of city carriers rule” or other facilities where parcels are normally dropped. If a mailer transports mail to a DDU facility that cannot handle pallets, the driver must unload the pallets into containers as specified by the delivery unit.

4.2 Parcel Select NDC and ONDC Presort Price Eligibility

[6-2-14] Parcel Select NDC Presort and Parcel Select ONDC Presort per piece prices apply to Parcel Select sorted to NDC destinations under L601 for machinable pieces, and sorted to NDC and ASF destinations for nonmachinable pieces under L605, and to pieces prepared as part of a combined mailing under 705.21.0. To qualify, machinable pieces must be placed in pallet boxes on pallets; and nonmachinable pieces must be placed directly on pallets under 705.8.0, or be prepared as part of a combined mailing and placed in a 5-digit, 3-digit, ADC, or NDC container under 705.21.0. The mail must be entered at a NDC listed in L601 for ONDC Presort and not at a NDC for NDC presort, and must be part of a mailing containing 50 or more Parcel Select pieces.

4.3 Parcel Select Nonpresort Price Eligibility

[6-2-14] To qualify for Parcel Select Nonpresort prices, mailings must meet one of the following volume thresholds:

a. At least 50 pieces or 50 pounds of mailpieces claiming Parcel Select Nonpresort prices in a single mailing.

b. No minimum volume when part of a mailing of at least 50 Parcel Select pieces.

c. No minimum volume when postage is paid through a USPS-approved PC Postage system.

d. No minimum volume when part of a combined parcel mailing that already meets the minimum volume eligibility standards for each mail class within the applicable mailing program in DMM 705.

4.4 Parcel Select Lightweight

[6-2-14] [3-3-14] Parcel Select Lightweight mailings are subject to the following criteria:

a. All pieces must weigh less than 16 ounces.

b. Pieces are subject to specific volume, marking, and preparation requirements.

c. Extra services are available with Parcel Select Lightweight under 503.1.0.

d. Parcel Select Lightweight mailings are subject to the ZIP Code Accuracy standards and Move Update standards under 602.5.0 and 602.6.0.

4.4.1 General Eligibility

[6-2-14] Parcel Select Lightweight parcels are presorted machinable or irregular parcels. The following also applies:

a. Machinable pieces must meet the standards in 201.7.5.

b. Irregular pieces are subject to the requirements in 201.7.6.

c. Postage must be paid by permit imprint, postage evidencing systems (under 604.4.0), or by stamps precanceled by a mailer's postmark that includes the Parcel Select Lightweight price marking.

d. Each mailing must contain at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of pieces.

e. Parcel Select Lightweight mailings may include an alternative addressing format under 602.3.0.

4.4.2 Price Application

[6-2-14] Prices for Parcel Select Lightweight apply separately to machinable parcels and irregular parcels that meet the eligibility standards in 2.0 and 4.4 and the preparation standards in 255.7.0, 705.6.0, or 705.8.0. When pieces are combined under 705.6.0, pieces are eligible for the applicable prices when the combined total meets the eligibility standards. For example, when there are 10 pounds of combined machinable parcels and irregular parcels in a 5-digit sack, all pieces are eligible for the 5-digit prices.

4.4.3 Prices for Machinable Parcels

[6-2-14] The following prices apply to Parcel Select Lightweight machinable parcels:

a. 5-Digit Price; the 5-digit price applies to qualifying machinable parcels that are dropshipped to a DNDC (or ASF when claiming DNDC prices), DSCF, or DDU and presented:

1. In a 5-digit/scheme (L606) sack containing at least 10 pounds of pieces or on a 5-digit/scheme (L606) pallet, according to standards in 705.8.10.

2. As one or more parcels that mailers drop ship to a DDU under 256.2.2f.

b. NDC Price; the NDC price applies to qualifying machinable parcels as follows under either of the following conditions:

1. When dropshipped to an ASF or NDC and presented in an ASF or NDC sack containing at least 10 pounds of parcels; or on an ASF or NDC pallet, according to standards in 705.8.10; or in an NDC/ASF container prepared under 705.21.0.

2. When presented at the origin acceptance office on an ASF or an NDC pallet containing at least 200 pounds of pieces.

c. Mixed NDC Price; the mixed NDC price applies to machinable parcels that are not eligible for 5-digit or NDC prices. Place machinable parcels at mixed NDC prices in origin NDC sacks or on origin NDC pallets, then in mixed NDC sacks or on mixed NDC pallets.

4.4.4 Prices for Irregular Parcels

[6-2-14] The following prices apply to Parcel Select Lightweight irregular parcels:

a. 5-Digit Price; the 5-digit price applies to irregular parcels that are dropshipped to a DNDC (or ASF when claiming DNDC prices), DSCF, or DDU and presented:

1. In a 5-digit/scheme (L606) sack containing at least 10 pounds of pieces.

2. On a 5-digit/scheme (L606) pallet, according to 705.8.10.

3. As one or more parcels that mailers dropship to a DDU under 256.2.2f.

4. In 5-digit/scheme containers prepared under 705.21.0.

b. SCF Price; the SCF price applies to irregular parcels that are dropshipped and presented to a DSCF or DNDC:

1. In an SCF sack containing at least 10 pounds of parcels.

2. On an SCF pallet, according to 705.8.10.

3. In SCF containers prepared under 705.21.0.

c. NDC Price; the NDC price applies to qualifying irregular parcels as follows under either of the following conditions:

1. When dropshipped to an ASF or NDC and presented in an ASF or NDC sack containing at least 10 pounds of parcels; or on an ASF or NDC pallet, according to standards in 705.8.10; or in a NDC/ASF container prepared under 705.21.0.

2. When presented at the origin acceptance office on an ASF or NDC pallet containing at least 200 pounds of pieces.

d. Mixed NDC Price; the mixed NDC price applies to irregular parcels in origin NDC or mixed NDC containers that are not eligible for 5-digit, SCF, or NDC prices. Place irregular parcels at mixed NDC prices in origin NDC or mixed NDC sacks under 255.7.3 or on origin NDC or mixed NDC pallets under 705.8.10.

4.5 Oversized Price

[6-2-14] The oversized price applies to parcels that measure over 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth.

4.6 Balloon Price

[6-2-14] The balloon price applies to parcels weighing less than 20 pounds but measuring more than 84 inches (but not more than 108 inches) in combined length and girth which is charged the price for a 20-pound parcel for the zone to which it is addressed (balloon price).

4.7 Delivery and Return Addresses

[6-2-14] All Parcel Select mail must bear a delivery address. The delivery address on each piece must include the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under 602.3.0 or detached address labels under 602.4.0 may be used. Each piece must bear the sender's return address.

4.8 Hold For Pickup

[6-2-14] Only Parcel Select Nonpresort parcels are eligible for Hold For Pickup service and are held at a designated Post Office location for pickup by a specified addressee or designee (see 508.8.0).