Summary of the IMB Rules

In April 16, 2008 the USPS released an Advance Federal Register notice regarding Intelligent Mail.


Here is a summary of the highlights of that document –

IMB Benefits

  • ACS Address Change Service
  • Confirm®
  • Tracking

Additional visibility will improve service and efficiency, and add value to the mail

intelligent mail

Full Service

When mail owners elect to use their own 6-digit or 9-digit Mailer ID and unique serial numbers for mailpieces, mail preparers would be required to honor that numbering.

Full Service Benefits

  • free start-the-clock information
  • free address correction information
  • May 2009 lowest prices available

NO new containerization standards or FAST appointment requirements for Origin and First Class Mail at this time.

Business Reply Mail®, Courtesy Reply Mail™, Meter Reply Mail, and Permit Reply Mail will need to be in the Intelligent Mail format and include a Mailer ID and BRM Service Type ID as of May 2010.

Parcels and Not Flat-Machinable pieces are NOT included in the current Intelligent Mail package. Standards for IM for these categories will come in the future.

Rules for optional endorsement lines (OELs) and pressure-sensitive bundle labels
Top piece of a presort bundle of flats must either:
1) Include an OEL, with the information also in the barcode or
2) Contain a pressure-sensitive bundle label

Mailer ID uniqueness

  • Serial number ID in combination with the Mailer ID and Service Type ID will be required for mailpiece uniqueness
  • When mailers separate trays and containers by price category on mailings less than 10,000 pieces, mailpieces may have the same serial number on all pieces.

Mailing Documentation Exactly Matching Physical Mail Preparation

  • In most cases, presort software will be used to enable the physical mail to match the nesting presented in the electronic documentation
  • In cases such as MLOCR environment, where an exact match is challenging but the total number of pieces to each destination matches the documentation, a postage payment system agreement will govern the relationship between physical mail and electronic documentation.

Postage Statement Wizard®
Enables electronic submission of postage statements, which would meet the requirement for Full Service mailings of less than 10,000 pieces that do not require accompanying documentation such as permit imprint mailings of identical-weight pieces separated by price category, or mailings will exact postage affixed.

Free address correction notices
Notices will be provided for correctly formatted mailpieces (in a Full Service mailing) that have the
appropriate ancillary service request (either Address Service Requested or Change Service Requested) in their mailer profile and embedded in Intelligent Mail barcodes.

Intelligent Mail Tray Labels

  • 10/24 label can be used before May 2009
  • Option to migrate to the 24-digit label starting in May 2009

New Optional Pallet and container label alternate format

  • Designed to be affixed to the outside of shrinkwrap or plastic
  • At least 4 inches high by 7 inches long
  • All pallet placard formats will require THREE sides of the pallet be labeled

USPS Resource References

  • Barcode placement standards DMM 202.5, 302.4, and 708.4
  • IMB with Confirm Service DMM 503.13.3
  • OneCode ACS™ DMM 507.4.2
  • FAQs
  • A Guide to Electronic Documentation and Appointments for Full Service Mailings will be available online by the end of April 2008