[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 232 (Friday, December 2, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 75461-75464]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30974]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Express Mail Domestic Postage Refund Policy and Waiver of 
Signature

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service is revising Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) throughout 
various sections to modify the policy for filing claims for domestic 
Express Mail[supreg] postage refunds from 90 days to 30 days after the 
date of mailing, and to change the Express Mail ``waiver of signature'' 
standard for domestic items by obtaining an addressee's signature only 
when the mailer selects the ``signature required'' option on the 
Express Mail label.

DATES: Effective Date: January 22, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Bobb-Semple at (202) 268-3391 or 
Garry Rodriguez (202) 268-7281.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 6, 2011, the Postal Service 
published a Federal Register proposed rule (76 FR 62000-62002) inviting 
comments on revisions to the standards for Express Mail to modify the 
policy for filing claims for domestic Express Mail postage and to 
change the Express Mail ``waiver of signature'' standard for domestic 
items. The Postal Service received several comments in response to this 
proposed rule that are summarized later in this notice.
    The Postal Service is revising the DMM to align the refund policy 
for domestic Express Mail with the industry standard for overnight 
products by requiring all claims for postage refunds to be filed within 
30 days of the date of mailing instead of the current filing timeline 
of 90 days.
    Additionally, in conjunction with the implementation of the January 
2012 redesigned Express Mail Label 11-B and Label 11-F, Express Mail 
Post Office to Addressee, the Postal Service is modifying both labels, 
by eliminating the ``waiver of signature'' check box. A customer 
sending an Express Mail item, and requiring an addressee's signature, 
must select the new ``signature required'' box on the new Express Mail 
label. If the box is not selected, the Postal Service will not obtain a 
signature from the addressee upon delivery of Express Mail Next Day 
Delivery and Express Mail Second Day Delivery items. Instead, the 
carrier will scan the barcode and leave the item in the customer's mail 
receptacle or other secure location to document delivery.
    Express Mail Hold For Pickup service always requires the signature 
of the addressee or addressee's agent. Therefore, the Express Mail 
Label 11-HFPU, Express Mail Hold For Pickup, will not be modified to 
reflect the new ``signature required'' option.

Comments

    Five comments were received regarding the proposed rule, addressing 
multiple issues.
    Three commenters expressed concern over the change to modify the 
policy for filing claims for domestic Express Mail postage from 90 days 
to 30 days. Two of the commenters voiced concern that 30 days is too 
short for commercial mailers and mailing agents. A 30-day limit on the 
sender's request for a refund is longer than the current industry 
standard. Data shows refund requests received outside of the 30-day 
limit are currently the exception. The change to a 30-day submission 
limit encompasses only the mailer request for refunds due to a failure 
to deliver Express Mail shipments on time. The current process for 
validating account charges and identifying corrections or adjustments 
that may be necessary will not change.
    One commenter provided an interpretation of how the new Express 
Mail Label 11-B and 11-F, dated January 2012, and the labels printed 
prior to January 2012 will be used. The interpretation was correct. 
Effective January 22, 2012, when a customer uses a new Label 11-B or 
Label 11-F, a signature will only be obtained if the

[[Page 75462]]

``signature required'' check box is marked. When a customer uses a 
Label 11-B or Label 11-F printed prior to January 2012, a signature 
will be required unless the ``waiver of signature'' check box is 
marked.
    The same commenter had three additional questions:
    1. What is the recourse when a signature is requested and is not 
obtained or the piece is not delivered? Customers are encouraged to 
apply for the postage refund when a service expected is not rendered. 
Under these circumstances, a postage refund will continue to be 
considered on a case-by-case basis.
    2. Will scanning on delivery still be required? The scan procedures 
will not change. A delivered scan event is required to be entered even 
when the addressee signature is not required, as it is today when the 
signature is waived. When the delivering employee indicates that a 
signature is not required (waived), there is no scan of the PS Form 
3849 and the customer will only receive the delivery date when 
accessing the delivery record on USPS.com.
    3. How will the occasional Express Mail user be made aware of the 
requirement that articles with additional insurance must be signed for? 
If the signature box is not checked, how will the employee delivering 
the mailpiece determine insurance was chosen? Both the current label 
and the new label clearly indicate that a signature is required when 
additional insurance is purchased. The postal software automatically 
requires a signature if additional insurance is purchased today. A 
retail associate will also be required to advise the customer that a 
signature is required when additional insurance is purchased during a 
retail window transaction. Because insurance claims are not handled by 
delivery employees, they will not need to determine if additional 
insurance has been purchased.
    Two commenters supported the proposed change to the Express Mail 
postage refund policy and one of the commenters also supported the 
change to eliminate the waiver of signature option and require a 
customer to select the new ``signature required'' box on the Express 
Mail label.
    One commenter also recommended changes to the 5-day holding period 
for unclaimed Express Mail pieces. The Postal Service has determined 
that this suggestion is outside the scope of this final rule, but may 
take the suggestion under consideration for a future rule.
    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM), incorporated by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. 
See 39 CFR 111.1.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR Part 111 is amended as follows:

PART 111--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for 39 CFR Part 111 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552(a); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-
1737; 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 
3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.


0
2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) as follows:

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual (DMM)

* * * * *

100 Retail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels

* * * * *

110 Express Mail

113 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Service Features of Express Mail

4.1 General

    [Revise the text of 4.1 by combining the introductory text and text 
of item a and deleting item b in its entirety as follows:]
    Customers may access delivery information at www.usps.com or by 
calling 1-(800) 222-1811 toll-free and providing the article number. A 
delivery record, including the addressee's signature, will be faxed or 
mailed upon request. See 115.2.2 for more information regarding the 
addressee's signature.
* * * * *

115 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

2.0 Express Mail Next Day and Second Day

* * * * *

2.2 Waiver of Signature

    [Revise the first sentence of 2.2 as follows:]
    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F, Express Mail 
Post Office to Addressee, printed before January 2012, a mailer sending 
an Express Mail item may instruct the USPS to deliver an Express Mail 
Next Day Delivery or Express Mail Second Day Delivery item without 
obtaining the signature of the addressee or the addressee's agent by 
checking and signing the waiver of signature on Label 11-B or Label 11-
F, or indicating waiver of signature is requested on single-ply 
commercial label. * * *
    [Renumber current item 2.3 as 2.4 and add new 2.3 as follows:]

2.3 Signature Required

    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F printed on or 
after January 2012, a mailer sending an Express Mail item, and 
requiring the addressee's signature, must instruct USPS to obtain a 
signature from the addressee upon delivery of the item by checking the 
``signature required'' box on Label 11-B or Label 11-F or indicating 
signature is requested on single-ply commercial label. If the signature 
required box is selected, an image of the signature will be provided to 
mailers when accessing delivery information. A mailer must select 
signature service for Express Mail Custom Designed Service, Express 
Mail COD, or Express Mail with additional insurance.
* * * * *

200 Commercial Letters and Cards

* * * * *

210 Express Mail

213 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Service Features of Express Mail

4.1 General

    [Revise the text of current item 4.1 by combining the introductory 
text and the text of item a, and deleting item b in its entirety as 
follows:]
    Customers may access delivery information at www.usps.com or by 
calling 1-(800) 222-1811 toll-free and providing the article number. A 
delivery record, including the addressee's signature, will be faxed or 
mailed upon request. See 215.2.2 for more information regarding the 
addressee's signature.
* * * * *

215 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

2.0 Express Mail Next Day and Second Day

* * * * *

[[Page 75463]]

2.2 Waiver of Signature

    [Revise the first sentence of 2.2 as follows:]
    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F, Express Mail 
Post Office to Addressee, printed before January 2012, a mailer sending 
an Express Mail item may instruct the USPS to deliver an Express Mail 
Next Day Delivery or Express Mail Second Day Delivery item without 
obtaining the signature of the addressee or the addressee's agent by 
checking and signing the waiver of signature on Label 11-B or Label 11-
F, or indicating waiver of signature is requested on single-ply 
commercial label. * * *
    [Renumber 2.3 as 2.4 and add new 2.3 as follows:]

2.3 Signature Required

    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F printed on or 
after January 2012, a mailer sending an Express Mail item, and 
requiring the addressee's signature, must instruct USPS to obtain a 
signature from the addressee upon delivery of the item by checking the 
``signature required'' box on Label 11-B or Label 11-F or indicating 
signature is requested on single-ply commercial label. If the signature 
required box is selected, an image of the signature will be provided 
when accessing delivery information.
* * * * *

3.0 Express Mail Custom Designed

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 3.2 as follows:]

3.2 Signature Required

    The addressee's (or agent's) signature is required for all Express 
Mail Custom Designed service.
* * * * *

300 Commercial Flats

* * * * *

310 Express Mail

313 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Service Features of Express Mail

4.1 General

    [Revise the current text of 4.1 by combining the introductory text 
and the text of item a, and deleting item b in its entirety as 
follows:]
    Customers may access delivery information at www.usps.com or by 
calling 1-(800) 222-1811 toll-free and providing the article number. A 
delivery record, including the addressee's signature, will be faxed or 
mailed upon request. See 315.2.2 for more information regarding the 
addressee's signature.
* * * * *

315 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

2.0 Express Mail Next Day and Second Day

* * * * *

2.2 Waiver of Signature

    [Revise the first sentence of 2.2 as follows:]
    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F, Express Mail 
Post Office to Addressee, printed before January 2012, a mailer sending 
an Express Mail item may instruct the USPS to deliver an Express Mail 
Next Day Delivery or Express Mail Second Day Delivery item without 
obtaining the signature of the addressee or the addressee's agent by 
checking and signing the waiver of signature on Label 11-B or Label 11-
F, or indicating waiver of signature is requested on single-ply 
commercial label. * * *
    [Renumber current item 2.3 as 2.4 and add new 2.3 as follows:]

2.3 Signature Required

    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F printed on or 
after January, 2012, a mailer sending an Express Mail item, and 
requiring the addressee's signature, must instruct USPS to obtain a 
signature from the addressee upon delivery of the item by checking the 
``signature required'' box on Label 11-B or Label 11-F or indicating 
signature is requested on single-ply commercial label. If the signature 
required box is selected, an image of the signature will be provided 
when accessing delivery information.
* * * * *

3.0 Express Mail Custom Designed

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 3.2 as follows:]

3.2 Signature Required

    The addressee's (or agent's) signature is required for all Express 
Mail Custom Designed service.
* * * * *

400 Commercial Parcels

* * * * *

410 Express Mail

413 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Service Features of Express Mail

4.1 General

    [Revise the current text of 4.1 by combining the introductory text 
and text of item a, and deleting item b in its entirety as follows:]
    Customers may access delivery information at http://www.usps.com or 
by calling 1-(800) 222-1811 toll-free and providing the article number. 
A delivery record, including the addressee's signature, will be faxed 
or mailed upon request. See 415.2.2 for more information regarding the 
addressee's signature.
* * * * *

415 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

2.0 Express Mail Next Day and Second Day

* * * * *

2.2 Waiver of Signature

    [Revise the first sentence of 2.2 as follows:]
    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F, Express Mail 
Post Office to Addressee, printed before January 2012, a mailer sending 
an Express Mail item may instruct the USPS to deliver an Express Mail 
Next Day Delivery or Express Mail Second Day Delivery item without 
obtaining the signature of the addressee or the addressee's agent by 
checking and signing the waiver of signature on Label 11-B or Label 11-
F, or indicating waiver of signature is requested on single-ply 
commercial label. * * *
    [Renumber 2.3 as 2.4 and add new 2.3 as follows:]

2.3 Signature Required

    For editions of Express Mail Label 11-B or Label 11-F printed on or 
after January 2012, a mailer sending an Express Mail item, and 
requiring the addressee's signature, must instruct USPS to obtain a 
signature from the addressee upon delivery of the item by checking the 
``signature required'' box on Label 11-B or Label 11-F or indicating 
signature is requested on single-ply commercial label. If the signature 
required box is selected, an image of the signature will be provided 
when accessing delivery information.
* * * * *

3.0 Express Mail Custom Designed

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 3.2 as follows:]

[[Page 75464]]

3.2 Signature Required

    The addressee's (or agent's) signature is required for all Express 
Mail Custom Designed service.
* * * * *

500 Additional Mailing Services

503 Extra Services

1.0 Extra Services for Express Mail

1.1 Available Services

* * * * *

1.1.6 COD

    [Revise 1.1.6 by adding a new last sentence as follows:]
    * * * A signature is required for COD service.

1.1.7 Insurance and Indemnity

    Express Mail is insured against loss, damage, or missing contents, 
subject to these standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 1.1.7b as follows:]
    b. All Express Mail signed for by the addressee or the addressee's 
agent constitutes a valid delivery, and no indemnity for loss is paid. 
For Express Mail items not requiring a signature, a delivered scan 
event constitutes a valid delivery, and no indemnity for loss is paid.
* * * * *

1.1.8 Additional Insurance

    [Revise the last sentence of 1.1.8 as follows:]
    * * * When ``signature required'' service is not requested, or when 
``waiver of signature'' is requested additional insurance is not 
available.
* * * * *

12.0 Collect on Delivery (COD)

* * * * *

12.2 Basic Information

* * * * *

12.2.5 Express Mail COD

    [Revise the first sentence of 12.2.5 as follows:]
    Any article sent COD also may be sent by Express Mail Next Day and 
Express Mail Second Day service when a signature is requested. * * *
* * * * *

600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

601 Mailability

* * * * *

11.0 Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco

* * * * *

11.5 Exception for Business/Regulatory Purposes

* * * * *

11.5.2 Mailing

    * * * All mailings under the business/regulatory purposes exception 
must:
    [Revise item 11.5.2a as follows:]
    a. Be entered in a face-to-face transaction with a postal employee 
as Express Mail with Hold For Pickup service (Carrier Pickup service 
not permitted);
* * * * *

11.6 Exception for Certain Individuals

* * * * *

11.6.2 Mailing

    No customer may send or cause to be sent more than 10 mailings 
under this exception in any 30-day period. Each mailing under the 
certain individuals exception must:
    [Revise item 11.6.2a as follows:]
    a. Be entered as Express Mail with an Adult Signature extra service 
(see 503.8.0), or Express Mail with Hold For Pickup service (Carrier 
Pickup service not permitted); unless shipped to APO/FPO/DPO addresses 
under 11.6.4.
* * * * *

11.7 Consumer Testing Exception

* * * * *

11.7.2 Mailing

    * * * Mailings must be tendered under the following conditions:
* * * * *
    b. All mailings under the consumer testing exception:
    [Revise 11.7.2b1 as follows:]
    1. Must be entered in face-to-face transactions with postal 
employees as Express Mail with Hold For Pickup service requested 
(Carrier Pickup service not permitted);
* * * * *

604 Postage Payment Methods

* * * * *

9.0 Refunds and Exchanges

* * * * *

9.5 Express Mail Postage Refund

* * * * *

9.5.2 Conditions for Refund

    [Revise 9.5.2 to change the refund request days from 90 to 30 days, 
and consolidate the text in the introductory paragraph and items a and 
b as follows:]
    A postage refund request must be made within 30 days after the date 
of mailing. Except as provided in 114.2.0, 214.3.0, 314.3.0, and 
414.3.0, a mailer may file for a postage refund only if the item was 
not delivered, delivery was not attempted, or if the item was not made 
available for claim by the delivery date and time specified at the time 
of mailing.

9.5.3 Refunds Not Given

    [Revise the DMM references in 9.5.3 to include 214.3.0 and 314.3.0 
as follows:]
    A postage refund will not be given if the guaranteed service was 
not provided due to any of the circumstances in 114.2.0, 214.3.0, 
314.3.0, and 414.3.0.
* * * * *

700 Special Standards

703 Nonprofit Standard Mail and Other Unique Eligibility

* * * * *

2.0 Overseas Military Mail

* * * * *

2.6 Express Mail Military Service (EMMS)

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 2.6.10 as follows:]

2.6.10 Signature Required

    A signature is required for Express Mail Military Service.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2011-30974 Filed 12-1-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P