New Federal Register Notices

From the DMM Advisory on Friday:

September 17, 2010

DMM Advisory

Pricing keeping you informed about the prices and mailing standards of the United States Postal Service

Published Federal Register Notices

The following two Federal Register notices were published today and are now posted on the Postal Explorer® website at pe.usps.com. We encourage you to check them out:

Intelligent Mail Package Barcode This advanced notice of proposed rulemaking incorporates standards for the optional use of Intelligent Mail® package barcodes (IMpb) no later than January 2011; and requires the mandatory use of IMpb on all domestic packages beginning in January 2012. The IMpb will provide valuable piece-level package information. We’re looking forward to receiving and considering mailing industry feedback on the proposed timeline before publishing the final standards. Customers are encouraged to respond on or before September 27, 2010.

Express Mail Open and Distribute and Priority Mail Open and Distribute — We are proposing to revise the service commitment for Express Mail Open and Distribute as a guaranteed end of day product to reflect the way it is processed. We are also proposing to add a minimum five-pound weight requirement for Express Mail® Open and Distribute and Priority Mail® Open and Distribute sacks so that they won’t be mistaken for empty sacks and delayed in handling. Customers are encouraged to respond on or before October 18, 2010.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) is available on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com). To subscribe to the DMM Advisory, send an e-mail to dmmadvisory@usps.com. Simply indicate “subscribe” in the subject line.

DMM Updates

The following was published in the DMM Advisory today:

September DMM Update

Postal Explorer® (pe.usps.com) is your source for up-to-date mailing standards. The Domestic Mail Manual is fully searchable on Postal Explorer and features fly-out menus, cross-reference links, and an extensive subject index. Today we updated our mailing standards to capture the following changes:

Alternative Addressing Format Options
We revised 507.1.0 and 602.3.0 to permit the use of certificates of mailing, Confirm service, Delivery Confirmation, and special handling extra services when using an alternative address format.

Contents of Periodicals Mail
We revised 707.3.0 to incorporate “content” changes to the standards governing pages, supplements, products and product samples, and mailpiece design.

New Endorsement for Returned Mailpieces
We revised Exhibit 507.1.4.1 to add a new endorsement, “Returned to Sender, Item Contains Nonmailable Contents,” for mailpieces that are returned due to contents that are nonmailable.

Commercial Flats Clarification
We revised 301.1.0 to update commercial flats text with minor editorial updates, and to rearrange the DMM reference text for better flow.

Clarification of Standards for Parcel Select
We revised 453.3.0 to remove standards for loyalty and growth rebates. We also revised 602.1.5.3 to note that all Parcel Select pieces must have a return address.

Delivery Address Visibility in Window Envelopes
We revised 202.2.1 and 302.2.1 to add a reference to current standards that require the delivery address to be completely visible within a window envelope, when used.

New Font Size Option for Optional Endorsement Lines
We revised 708.7.2 to provide a new font size option for mailers applying an optional endorsement line (OEL) to their mailpieces that do not bear a traditional Address Change Service (ACS) participant code.

Confirmation Services to the Northern Mariana Islands—ZIP Code 96952
We revised 503.9.2.4 and 503.10.2.3 to eliminate the Northern Mariana Islands (ZIP Code 96952) from the tables of ineligible ZIP Codes to receive Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation services.

Our next scheduled DMM update is October 4.

The Final Goodbye to the Red Round Stamp

As we’ve discussed previously in this blog, the red round date stamp from the United States Postal Service® (USPS®), which mailers have used for years as proof of mailing, is no longer available for electronically submitted postage statements. The USPS recently announced that the red round date stamp will also be discontinued for hard copy statements, effective March 15, 2010. This change will be effective for postal facilities that are equipped with PostalOne! Facilities without access to PostalOne! will continue to round stamp hard copy postage statements.

 

In lieu of the red round stamp, the USPS is asking mailers to obtain their receipts using the Business Customer Gateway to access PostalOne! Upon request, mailers may also obtain a hard copy receipt (Form 3607) from the USPS. The 3607 form, currently called the Weighing and Dispatch Certificate, will be reformatted and renamed in March to Mailing Transaction Receipt, Form 3607-R.

 

The mail verification and acceptance processes will not change, only the transaction receipt process. The acceptance clerk will verify the mailing as usual; however they will no longer complete the “USPS Only” section of the postage statements. In the past, the clerk would record the results of the verification process and manually apply the red round date stamp in this area. In the future, the clerks will enter this verification information into PostalOne! The wording on the postage statement form will change from “USPS Use Only” to “USPS Use Only—To Be Completed at Non-PostalOne! sites ONLY.” PostalOne! is the system of record and can be accessed to view postage statement details and print hard copies, if needed.

 

The Postal Service will modify the DMM® (Domestic Mail Manual) language regarding the return of a duplicate postage statement to the mailer, differentiating between PostalOne! and non-PostalOne! sites.

 

Here are the key changes:

 

  • If not submitting postage statements electronically, the customer must provide an original postage statement with the mailing.
  • Acceptance personnel will no longer complete the “USPS Use Only” section of hard copy postage statements for offices that enter postage statements into the PostalOne! system.
  • Acceptance personnel will no longer complete and return a “duplicate” postage statement (as defined in sections 244.4.1, 334.4.1, of the DMM).
  • Acceptance personnel will no longer round-date stamp hard copy postage statements.
  • Acceptance personnel will retain the original copy of the postage statement and attach the USPS Form 3607 (Statement of Mailing/Weighing and Dispatch Certificate)* to it on file, as prescribed by the Administrative Support Manual.
  • Upon a customer’s request, the acceptance personnel will print the USPS Form 3607 and provide it to the customer along with any duplicate copies of postage statements provided.
  • The only acceptable means of proof of postage payment for mailings will be an electronic version of a finalized postage statement, or the USPS Form 3607, generated from the Postal Service’s PostalOne! system.

 

*In the March 15 upgrade to the PostalOne! system, PS Form 3607 will be replaced with PS Form 3607-R (Mailing Transaction Receipt).

 

Mailers may obtain more information regarding electronic postage statements by referencing the User Access to Electronic Mailing Information and Reports Guide: Business Customer Gateway Information, On-line Services, and Full-Service Tools. In this document, Appendix B, Access to Hard Copy Postage Statements, provides information on how to access the Business Customer Gateway and retrieve postage statements.

 

For more information about the Business Customer Gateway and how to access it, visit ribbs.usps.gov.