USPS Homepage Skip NavigationUSPS Home | Postal Explorer Home | Privacy Policy

263 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees for Bound Printed Matter

1.1 Nonpresorted Bound Printed Matter

[6-2-14] Apply the prices and discounts for nonpresorted Bound Printed Matter (BPM) as follows:

1.1.1 Prices

[6-2-14] BPM prices are based on the weight of a single addressed piece or 1 pound, whichever is higher, and the zone to which the piece is addressed. The nonpresorted price applies to BPM not mailed at the Presorted or carrier route prices. For prices, see Notice 123–Price List.

1.1.2 Rigid Flat-Size Pieces

[6-2-14] Rigid flat-size pieces (see 201.4.3 ) must pay the applicable postage for a parcel size piece based on weight and zone.

1.1.3 Price Application

[6-2-14] The nonpresorted BPM price 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 BPM 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 price per piece is the 1-pound price.

1.1.4 Barcoded Discount—Flats

[6-2-14] For discount, see Notice 123–Price List. See 4.1 and 6.1 for eligibility information.

1.1.5 Computing Postage—Bound Printed Matter With 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.

1.2 Commercial Bound Printed Matter

[6-2-14] Apply the prices, fees and discounts for commercial Bound Printed Matter as follows:

1.2.1 Prices

[6-2-14] Postage is based on the price that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece. For prices, see Notice 123–Price List.

1.2.2 Rigid Flat-Size Pieces

[6-2-14] Rigid flat-size pieces (see 201.4.3) must pay the applicable postage for a parcel size piece based on weight and zone.

1.2.3 Price Application

[6-2-14] The presorted Bound Printed Matter price has a per piece charge and a per pound charge. Postage is based on the price that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece and on the zone to which the piece is addressed. The minimum postage price for an addressed piece is one unit of the per piece charge plus the per pound charge for an addressed piece weighing 1 pound.

1.2.4 Bound Printed Matter Presorted and Carrier Route Prices

[6-2-14] Each piece is subject to both a piece price and a pound price. On Presorted flats, deduct the barcode discount per piece (automatable flats only). The barcode discount is not available for flats mailed at carrier route prices.

1.2.5 Bound Printed Matter Destination Entry Prices

[6-2-14] Each piece is subject to both a piece price and a pound price. On Presorted flats, deduct the barcode discount per piece (automatable flats only). The barcode discount is not available for flats mailed at Presorted DDU prices. Presorted DDU prices are not available for flats that weigh 1 pound or less.

1.2.6 Destination Entry Mailing Fee

[6-2-14] A destination entry mailing fee for BPM must be paid once each 12-month period at each Post Office of mailing by or for any person or organization that mails at the destination entry prices, except as provided otherwise for plant-verified drop shipments. All destination entry prices are covered under the payment of a single annual fee. The fee may be paid in advance only for the next 12 months and only during the last 60 days of the current service period. The fee charged is that which is in effect on the date of payment. Payment of this fee is waived for mailers who present only full-service flat-size automation mailings (under 705.24.0) containing 90 percent or more pieces qualifying for full-service prices.

1.2.7 Determining Single-Piece Weight

[6-2-14] To determine single-piece weight in a mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in a mailing of identical-weight pieces, weigh a sample of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces. Express all single-piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to two decimal places.

1.2.8 Computing Postage for Permit Imprint

[6-2-14] Presorted and Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter mailings paid with permit imprint are charged a per pound price and a per piece price as follows:

a. Per pound price:

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

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

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

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.

Back to Top

2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Bound Printed Matter

2.1 Service Objectives

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

2.2 Postal Inspection

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

2.3 Delivery and Return Addresses

[6-2-14] All BPM mail must bear a delivery address formatted and positioned according to 202.2.0. The delivery address must include the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under 602.3.0 may be used. Except for unendorsed BPM, each mailpiece must bear the sender's return address.

2.4 USPS Tracking

[6-2-14] BPM parcels with alternative address formats may be mailed with USPS Tracking, but must not bear an ancillary service endorsement (see 602.3.1.2).

2.5 IMpb Standards

[6-2-14] All BPM parcels must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.

Back to Top

3.0 Content Standards for Bound Printed Matter

3.1 Basic Content Standards

[6-2-14] Bound Printed Matter (BPM) is a subclass of Package Services and must:

a. Meet the basic standards in 2.0.

b. Weigh no more than 15 pounds. Pieces might be subject to other minimum weights or dimensions based on the standards for specific prices.

c. Consist of advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material (or any combination of such material).

d. Be securely bound by permanent fastenings such as staples, spiral binding, glue, or stitching. Loose-leaf binders and similar fastenings are not considered permanent.

e. Consist of sheets of which at least 90% are imprinted by any process other than handwriting or typewriting with words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them).

f. Not have the nature of personal correspondence.

g. Not be stationery, such as pads of blank printed forms.

h. Consist of mailable matter that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals (except as permitted under 3.2 or permitted or required under 207.7.9).

3.2 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 BPM prices. Postage at BPM prices is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the sample copies enclosed.

3.3 Attachments and Enclosures

3.3.1 Invoice

[6-2-14] An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Bound Printed Matter 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.

3.3.2 Incidental First-Class Mail Attachments and Enclosures

[6-2-14] Incidental First-Class Mail matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Bound Printed Matter 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 Bound Printed Matter price for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure.

3.3.3 Additional Enclosures

[6-2-14] Bound Printed Matter may have the following additions and enclosures:

a. Any printed matter mailable as Standard Mail.

b. Nonprint attachments and enclosures. The combined weight of all nonprint attachments and enclosures in the mailpiece must be less than or equal to 25% of the weight of the BPM in the mailpiece. The individual cost of each nonprint attachment or enclosure must be less than or equal to the cost of a “low cost” item as defined in 703.1.6.11. In addition, the combined cost of all nonprint attachments and enclosures must not exceed two times the cost of a “low cost” item as defined in 703.1.6.11.

3.4 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.

Back to Top

4.0 Price Eligibility for Bound Printed Matter

4.1 Price Eligibility

[6-2-14] [1-26-14] BPM prices are based on the weight of a single addressed piece or 1 pound, whichever is higher, and the zone (where applicable) to which the piece is addressed. Price categories are as follows:

a. Nonpresorted Price. The nonpresorted price applies to mailings of fewer than 300 pieces and to BPM not mailed at the Presorted or carrier route prices.

b. Presorted Price. The Presorted price applies to BPM prepared in a mailing of at least 300 BPM pieces, prepared and presorted as specified in 265.5.0. 265.8.0, 705.8.0, or 705.22.0. Each parcel must bear a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode or extra services barcode, including a postal routing code, prepared under 708.5.0.

c. Carrier Route Price. The Carrier Route price applies to BPM prepared in a mailing of at least 300 pieces presorted to carrier routes, prepared and presorted as specified in 265.6.0, 265.9.0, or 705.8.0. Each parcel must bear a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode or extra services barcode, including a postal routing code, prepared under 708.5.0.

d. Barcoded Discount—Flats. The barcoded discount applies to BPM flats that meet the requirements for automation flats in 201.6.0 and bear an accurate Intelligent Mail barcode encoded with the correct delivery point routing code. See 6.1 for more information.

4.2 Nonidentical Weight Pieces

[6-2-14] Mailings may contain nonidentical-weight pieces only if Business Mailer Support (BMS) has authorized payment of postage by permit imprint under 705.2.0, 705.3.0, or 705.4.0.

4.3 ZIP Code Accuracy

[6-2-14] The ZIP Code accuracy standard is a means of ensuring that the 5-digit ZIP Code in the delivery address correctly matches the delivery address information. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific 5-digit ZIP Code. Each address in a mailing at Bound Printed Matter presorted or carrier route prices must meet the ZIP Code accuracy requirements in 602.6.0.

Back to Top

5.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Presorted and Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter

5.1 Basic Standards

[6-2-14] In addition to the standards in 2.0 and 3.0, all pieces in a Bound Printed Matter mailing must:

a. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code and that meets these address quality standards:

1. The ZIP Code accuracy standard in 4.3.

2. If the barcode discount for flat-size pieces is claimed (see 4.1), the additional address matching and coding standards in 6.4, and 708.3.0.

3. If the carrier route discount is claimed, the carrier route accuracy standard in 5.3.

4. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.

5. If pieces are prepared with detached address labels, the additional standards in 602.4.0.

b. Meet the applicable preparation standards under 265 or 705.8.0.

5.2 Full-Service Intelligent Mail Eligibility Standards for Carrier Route Flats

[6-2-14] In addition to other requirements in 5.0, BPM flats eligible for the full-service Intelligent Mail option under 705.24.0 must:

a. Be flat-size under 201.4.0.

b. Be part of a carrier route mailing that is not a saturation mailing.

c. Bear an accurate Intelligent Mail barcode encoded with the correct delivery point routing code matching the delivery address and meeting the standards in 202.4.0, and 708.4.0. Flats with Intelligent Mail barcodes entered under the full-service automation option also must be part of mailings that meet the standards in 705.23.0.

5.3 Carrier Route Accuracy Standard

[6-2-14] Addresses used on pieces claiming any Carrier Route prices must meet the carrier route accuracy standard in 602.7.0.

Back to Top

6.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Barcoded Bound Printed Matter Flats

6.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for Barcoded Bound Printed Matter

[6-2-14] [1-26-14] The barcode discount applies only to BPM flat-size pieces that bear an Intelligent Mail barcode encoded with the correct delivery point routing code, matching the delivery address and meeting the standards in 202.5.0 and 708.4.0. The pieces must be part of a nonpresorted price mailing or part of a presorted mailing of at least 300 BPM flats prepared under 265.7.0, 705.8.0, and 705.14.0. The barcode discount is not available for flats mailed at Presorted DDU prices or carrier route prices. To qualify for the barcode discount, the flat-size pieces must meet the standards in 201.6.0.

6.2 Eligibility Standards for Full-Service Automation Bound Printed Matter Flats

[6-2-14] All pieces entered under the full-service Intelligent Mail automation option must:

a. Bear a unique Intelligent Mail barcode.

b. Be part of a mailing that meets the standards in 705.23.0.

c. Be scheduled for an appointment through the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST) system when deposited as a DNDC or DSCF dropshipment.

6.3 Weight Standard

[6-2-14] Maximum weight limit for barcoded Bound Printed Matter is 20 ounces.

6.4 Address Standards for Barcode Discount

6.4.1 Basic Address Standards

[6-2-14] To qualify for barcode discounts, addresses must be sufficiently complete to enable matching to the current USPS ZIP+4 Product when used with current CASS-certified address matching software. Standardized address elements are not required. Any barcode as defined in 708.2.0 that appears on a mailpiece claimed at an automation price must be the correct barcode for the corresponding delivery address on the piece.

6.4.2 Numeric ZIP+4

[6-2-14] A numeric ZIP+4 code must consist of five digits, a hyphen, and four digits.

6.4.3 Numeric Delivery Point Routing Code

[6-2-14] A numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code is formed by adding two digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.

6.4.4 Address Elements

[6-2-14] Addresses must include the correct street number, predirectional, street name, suffix, and postdirectional that are input to obtain a match with the current USPS ZIP+4 Product.

6.4.5 Firm Name

[6-2-14] An address must include a firm name when necessary to obtain a match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product. If an address contains a firm name assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product, the unique ZIP+4 code must be used. If the firm name is not one assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product and the apartment/suite number is included in the address, the ZIP+4 code for the range in which the apartment/suite number appears must be used in that address. If the firm name does not correspond to a firm name that has a unique ZIP+4 code assigned in the USPS ZIP+4 Product and the apartment/suite number is not included in the address, the ZIP+4 code for the building must be used.

6.4.6 Secondary Designator

[6-2-14] If a secondary address designator (e.g., an apartment number) is shown in the address, the mailpiece must show the appropriate ZIP+4 code representing the range for that secondary address as contained in the current USPS ZIP+4 Product. If a secondary address designator is required to obtain an exact match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product but the information is not available, the alternative ZIP+4 code or ZIP+4 or delivery point barcode for the building must be used.

6.4.7 Rural and Highway Contract Routes

[6-2-14] If a rural route or highway contract route box number is included in the address, the mailpiece must show the appropriate ZIP+4 code representing the range for that box number as contained in the current USPS ZIP+4 Product. If a rural route or highway contract route box number is required to obtain a match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code but is not available, the alternative ZIP+4 code or ZIP+4 or delivery point barcode for the rural route or highway contract route must be used. If used, the rural route or highway contract route box number must be placed on the line immediately above the city/state/ZIP Code line.

6.4.8 Post Office Box

[6-2-14] A Post Office box address must contain a Post Office box number that can be exactly matched with the USPS ZIP+4 Product in effect.