[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 86 (Thursday, May 3, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 26185-26191]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10505]



[[Page 26185]]

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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


POSTNET Barcode Discontinuation

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Postal Service will revise the Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 
throughout various sections to discontinue price eligibility based on 
the use of POSTNETTM barcodes on all types of mail.

DATES: Effective date: January 28, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Chatfield, 202-268-7278 or Jeff 
Freeman, 202-268-2922.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On March 2, 2012, the Postal Service published a proposed rule in 
the Federal Register (77 FR 12764-12769) to discontinue price 
eligibility for POSTNET barcodes. For automation letters and flats and 
for Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM), an Intelligent Mail barcode 
(IMbTM) will be required.

Summary of Comments and USPS Responses

    The Postal Service received 27 comments from a variety of mailers 
and from several mailer associations. Some of the initial comments were 
critical of one proposed element to require a barcode clear zone on all 
letters. To maintain focus on the discontinuation of price eligibility 
based on the POSTNET barcode, USPS[supreg] quickly responded by 
deleting that element from the proposal. There were 11 comments 
specifically critical of the main proposal to discontinue POSTNET 
barcodes for automation letter and flat price eligibility. There were 
six comments specifically in agreement with the main proposal. One 
association strongly recommended that two IMbs be allowed on each 
piece, to facilitate processing by presort companies. We added language 
to specifically allow more than one barcode on automation letters under 
certain conditions. For flats, we also changed the proposed language to 
allow more than one barcode on each automation flat under certain 
circumstances, due to anticipated flats sortation software upgrades in 
early 2013. Other comments, and our responses, follow.
    Comment: Mailers may be forced to make considerable investments in 
new printers; and some felt they will not be able to and will be forced 
to stop mailing.
    Response: Print technology has evolved over the past several years 
increasing in efficiency, and in many instances, lowering unit cost. 
Additionally, instead of replacing printers, existing models may be 
able to be upgraded with fonts that assist in maintaining speed while 
printing IMbs. The Postal Service RIBBS[supreg] Web site 
(ribbs.usps.gov) has a tool that enables fonts to be downloaded to 
assist in printing IMbs.
    Comment: Allow the use of the POSTNET barcode for automation 
prices, but at higher prices than for the use of the Intelligent Mail 
barcode (IMb).
    Response: Since the POSTNET barcode is not capable of including 
information other than the routing code, we will not be including its 
use for any automation pricing as of January 2013.
    Comment: There were problems for some mailers when they tried to 
convert to IMb and not enough USPS support to surmount problems.
    Response: The staff of the district Business Mail Entry offices are 
available for customer assistance, RIBBS material and tools are being 
updated, and local Postal Customer Councils will be assisting 
customers. There will be designated support personnel at the district 
level to help with the transition.
    Comment: There is no perceived benefit to converting to IMb for 
local mailers who are satisfied with their current level of service.
    Response: Converting to IMb is an important first step on the way 
to full-service automation, which allows for free address correction as 
well as better mailpiece visibility. Increased mail visibility not only 
helps the mailers directly, but also helps them indirectly by allowing 
the Postal Service to fine tune its processes.
    Comment: The USPS has provided plenty of time to convert to IMb. 
The industry as a whole will benefit by standardizing to the use of one 
barcode format.
    Response: We appreciate the supportive comments.

Implementation

    The Postal Service will discontinue price eligibility for the use 
of POSTNET barcodes and allow only IMbs for automation price 
eligibility purposes (including QBRM prices). The Postal Service 
understands that some mailers currently use POSTNET barcodes and we are 
committed to providing information to and working with individual 
mailers and software providers to ensure that the use of an Intelligent 
Mail barcode is achievable for all mailing customers.

Change for Letters and Flats

    For the past several years, both USPS and the mailing industry have 
used the IMb to gain information about letters and flats as they move 
from induction to delivery. As of January 27, 2013, the use of the IMb 
will be required for all automation letters, including Business Reply 
Mail[supreg] letters that qualify for Qualified Business Reply Mail 
prices, Permit Reply Mail letters, and automation flats.

Withdrawn Change for Letters Only

    To maintain focus on the POSTNET barcode discontinuation, the 
Postal Service removed the proposal to require barcode clear zones on 
all automation letters and cards and all letters and cards claiming an 
automation carrier route letter price, and to require all machinable 
letters to have barcode clear zones. We will retain the current 
language for barcode clear zones.

Changes for Parcels

    Currently, the POSTNET barcode is an available option to satisfy 
the parcel barcode requirement for Standard Mail[supreg] parcels. We 
will discontinue the eligible use of the POSTNET barcode on parcels, 
and disallow its use on parcels unless it is printed in the address 
block. EVS[supreg] parcels would not be allowed to bear POSTNET 
barcodes in any location.
    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM), which is 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)

* * * * *

[[Page 26186]]

200 Commercial Letters and Cards

201 Physical Standards

* * * * *

3.0 Physical Standards for Machinable and Automation Letters and Cards

* * * * *

3.17 Enclosed Reply Cards and Envelopes

3.17.1 Basic Standard

    [Revise the text of 3.17.1 as follows:]
    Mailers may enclose reply cards or envelopes, addressed for return 
to a domestic delivery address, within automation mailings subject to 
provisions in 3.0 for enclosures. See 505.1.0 for Business Reply Mail 
(BRM) standards, 604.4.5.2 for postage evidencing reply mail (also 
known as Metered Reply Mail or MRM) standards, and 3.17.2 regarding 
Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM).
    [Revise the title and text of 3.17.2 as follows:]

3.17.2 Courtesy Reply Mail

    Courtesy reply mail (CRM) is reply mail other than BRM or MRM 
enclosed in other mail, with or without prepayment of postage, for 
return to the address on the reply piece. If postage is required, the 
customer returning the piece affixes the applicable First-Class Mail 
postage. Each piece must meet the physical standards in 1.0 or 2.0.
* * * * *

202 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

* * * * *

3.0 Placement and Content of Mail Markings

* * * * *

3.5 Exceptions to Markings

    Exceptions are as follows:
    [Revise the first sentence in item 3.5a as follows:]
    a. Automation letters. Automation letters do not require an 
``AUTO'' marking if they bear an Intelligent Mail barcode with a 
delivery point routing code in the address block or on an insert 
visible through a window. * * *
* * * * *

5.0 Barcode Placement

5.1 Barcode Clear Zone

    [Add a new first sentence and revise the second sentence of 5.1 as 
follows:]
    Each reference to letter or letter-size piece in 5.0 includes both 
letters and postcards. Each letter-size piece in an automation price or 
an Enhanced Carrier Route mailing at automation letter prices must have 
a barcode clear zone unless the piece bears an Intelligent Mail barcode 
with a delivery point routing code (see 708.4.3) in the address block. 
* * *
* * * * *

5.2 General Barcode Placement for Letters

    [Revise the first sentence of 5.2, and add a new second sentence, 
as follows:]
    Each automation price letter and each letter claimed at Enhanced 
Carrier Route automation saturation or high density letter prices must 
bear an Intelligent Mail barcode with a correct delivery point routing 
code. A nonautomation letter may bear an Intelligent Mail barcode or a 
POSTNET barcode, under 708.4.0. * * *
* * * * *
    [Revise the title and the first two sentences of 5.4 as follows:]

5.4 Additional Barcode Permissibility

    An automation letter or a letter claimed at Enhanced Carrier Route 
saturation or high density automation letter prices may not bear a 
POSTNET barcode or a 5-digit or ZIP+4 Intelligent Mail barcode in the 
lower right corner (barcode clear zone). The piece may bear a POSTNET 
barcode or an additional Intelligent Mail barcode in the address block 
only if a qualifying Intelligent Mail barcode with a delivery point 
routing code appears in the lower right corner.
* * * * *
    [Delete current 5.6, DPBC Numeric Equivalent, in its entirety, and 
renumber current 5.7 through 5.11 as new 5.6 through 5.10.]

5.6 Barcode in Address Block

    When the barcode is included as part of the address block:
* * * * *
    [Revise renumbered items 5.6c through 5.6e as follows:]
    c. The minimum clearance between the Intelligent Mail barcode and 
any information line above or below it within the address block must be 
at least 0.028 inch. The separation between the barcode and top line or 
bottom line of the address block must not exceed 0.625 (\5/8\) inch. 
The clearance between the leftmost and rightmost bars and any adjacent 
printing must be at least 0.125 (\1/8\) inch.
    d. If a window envelope is used, the clearance between the leftmost 
and rightmost bars and any printing or window edge must be at least 
0.125 (\1/8\) inch. The clearance between the Intelligent Mail barcode 
and the top and bottom window edges must be at least 0.028 inch. These 
clearances must be maintained during the insert's range of movement in 
the envelope. Address block windows on heavy letter mail must be 
covered. Covers for address block windows are subject to 5.10.
    e. If an address label is used, a clear space of at least 0.125 
(\1/8\) inch must be left between the barcode and the left and right 
edges of the address label. The clearance between the Intelligent Mail 
barcode and the top and bottom edges of the address label must be at 
least 0.028 inch.
* * * * *
    [Revise the title and introductory text of renumbered 5.7 as 
follows:]

5.7 Barcode on Insert in Barcode Window

    If the barcode is printed on an insert to appear through a barcode 
window in the lower right corner of an envelope:
    [Revise renumbered item 5.7a as follows:]
    a. The envelope and window must meet the physical standards in 5.9 
through 5.10.
* * * * *
    [Revise renumbered item 5.7c as follows:]
    c. When the insert showing through the window is moved to any of 
its limits inside the envelope, the entire barcode must remain within 
the barcode clear zone. In addition, a clear space must be maintained 
that is at least 0.125 (\1/8\) inch between the barcode and the left 
and right edges of the window, at least 0.1875 (\3/16\) inch between 
the barcode and the bottom edge of the mailpiece, and at least 0.028 
inch between the barcode and the top edge of the window.
* * * * *

220 Priority Mail

223 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.2 Additional Standards for Critical Mail Letters

    * * * Critical Mail letters also must:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 3.2b as follows:]
    b. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets address quality standards in 233.5.5 and 708.3.0.
* * * * *

[[Page 26187]]

230 First-Class Mail

233 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Nonautomation First-Class Mail 
Letters

* * * * *

4.2 Barcodes

    [Revise the text of 4.2 as follows:]
    Any Intelligent Mail barcode on a mailpiece in nonautomation First-
Class Mail mailings must be correct for the delivery address and meet 
the standards in 202.5.0, 708.3.0, and 708.4.0.
* * * * *

5.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Automation First-Class Mail 
Letters

5.1 Basic Standards for Automation First-Class Mail Letters

    All pieces in a First-Class Mail automation mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 5.1e as follows:]
    e. Bear an accurate 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.
* * * * *

5.5 Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 5.5.3 as follows:]

5.5.3 Numeric Delivery Point Routing Code

    The numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code is formed 
by adding two digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.
* * * * *
    [Delete 5.6, Reply Cards and Envelopes Enclosed in Automation Price 
First-Class Mail, in its entirety.]
* * * * *

240 Standard Mail

243 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Standard Mail Letters

* * * * *

3.3 Additional Basic Standards for Standard Mail

    Each Standard Mail mailing is subject to these general standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 3.3i as follows:]
    i. Any Intelligent Mail barcode on a mailpiece must be correct for 
the delivery address and meet the standards in 202.5.0, 708.3.0, and 
708.4.0.
* * * * *

6.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Enhanced Carrier Route 
Standard Mail Letters

6.1 General Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

* * * * *

6.1.2 Basic Eligibility Standards

    All pieces in an Enhanced Carrier Route or Nonprofit Enhanced 
Carrier Route Standard Mail mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise the introductory text of item 6.1.2d as follows:]
    d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets these address quality standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 6.1.2g as follows:]
    g. Meet the requirements for automation compatibility in 201.3.0 
and bear an accurate 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, except as provided in 6.1.2h. 
Pieces prepared with a simplified address format are exempt from the 
automation-compatibility and barcode requirements. Letters entered 
under the full-service Intelligent Mail automation option also must 
meet the standards in 705.24.0.
* * * * *

6.4 High Density Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

    [Revise the title and text of 6.4.1 as follows:]

6.4.1 Additional Eligibility Standards for High Density Prices

    In addition to the eligibility standards in 6.1, high density 
letter-size mailpieces must be in a full carrier route tray or in a 
carrier route bundle of 10 or more pieces placed in a 5-digit (or 3-
digit) carrier routes tray. Except for pieces with a simplified 
address, pieces that are not automation-compatible or not barcoded with 
an Intelligent Mail barcode under 202.5.0 are mailable only at the 
nonautomation high density letter prices.
* * * * *

6.5 Saturation ECR Standards

    [Revise the title and text of 6.5.1 as follows:]

6.5.1 Additional Eligibility Standards for Saturation Prices

    In addition to the eligibility standards in 6.1, saturation letter-
size mailpieces must be in a full carrier route tray or in a carrier 
route bundle of 10 or more pieces placed in a 5-digit (or 3-digit) 
carrier routes tray. Except for pieces with a simplified address, 
pieces that are not automation-compatible or not barcoded with an 
Intelligent Mail barcode under 202.5.0 are mailable only at 
nonautomation saturation letter prices.
* * * * *

7.0 Eligibility Standards for Automation Standard Mail

7.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for Automation Standard Mail

    All pieces in a Regular Standard Mail or Nonprofit Standard Mail 
automation mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise the introductory text of item 7.1d as follows:]
    d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets these address quality standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 7.1e as follows:]
    e. Bear an accurate 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.
* * * * *

7.5 Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces

7.5.1 Basic Address Standards for Barcodes

    [Revise the text of 7.5.1 as follows:]
    To qualify for automation prices, addresses must be sufficiently 
complete to enable matching to the current USPS ZIP+4 Product when used 
with current CASS-certified address matching software. Any barcode as 
defined in 202.5.0 and 708.4.0 that appears on a mailpiece claimed at 
an automation price must be the correct barcode for the corresponding 
delivery address on the piece.
* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 7.5.3 as follows:]

7.5.3 Numeric Delivery Point Routing Code

    The numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code is formed 
by adding two digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.
* * * * *

[[Page 26188]]

    [Delete 7.6, Enclosed Reply Cards and Envelopes, in its entirety.]
    [Renumber current 7.7 as new 7.6.]
* * * * *

300 Commercial Mail Flats

* * * * *

302 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

* * * * *

2.0 Address Placement

* * * * *

2.4 Type Size and Line Spacing

    * * * These additional standards apply to automation pieces:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 2.4c as follows:]
    c. For pieces that bear an Intelligent Mail barcode with a delivery 
point routing code under 708.4.3, mailers may print the delivery 
address in a minimum of 6-point type (each character must be at least 
0.065 inch high) if all capital letters are used.
* * * * *

5.0 Barcode Placement

    [Revise the title and text of 5.1 as follows:]

5.1 Barcode Placement for Flats

    On any flat-size piece claimed at automation prices, the piece must 
bear an Intelligent Mail barcode with a delivery point routing code. 
The barcode may be anywhere on the address side as long as it is at 
least \1/8\ inch from any edge of the piece. The portion of the surface 
of the piece on which the barcode is printed must meet the barcode 
dimensions and spacing requirements in 708.4.2.5, and the reflectance 
standards in 708.4.4. Intelligent Mail barcodes are subject to 
standards in 708.4.3.2. A POSTNET barcode or an additional Intelligent 
Mail barcode may also appear in the address block of an automation 
flat, when the qualifying Intelligent Mail barcode is not in the 
address block. Other non-USPS barcodes may appear on the address side 
of a flat if the barcode format is not discernable to automated postal 
flat-sorting equipment.
* * * * *
    [Delete current 5.2, Applying One Barcode, and 5.3, Applying Second 
Barcode, in their entirety.]
    [Renumber current 5.4 through 5.7 as new 5.2 through 5.5.]

5.2 5-Digit and ZIP+4 Barcodes

    [Revise the text of renumbered 5.2 as follows:]
    An automation flat-size piece must not bear a 5-digit or a ZIP+4 
barcode.
    [Revise the title and text of renumbered 5.3 as follows:]

5.3 Delivery Point Routing Code Numeric Equivalent

    In automation mailings only, the numbers corresponding to the 
delivery point routing code may appear in the delivery address. If read 
from left to right: a correct numeric equivalent consists of five 
digits, a hyphen, and six digits.

5.4 Barcode in Address Block

    When an Intelligent Mail barcode is included as part of the address 
block:
* * * * *
    [Revise renumbered items 5.4c through 5.4e as follows:]
    c. The minimum clearance between the barcode and any information 
line above or below it within the address block must be at least 0.028 
inch, and the separation between the barcode and top line or bottom 
line of the address block must not exceed 0.625 (\5/8\) inch. The 
clearance between the leftmost and rightmost bars and any adjacent 
printing must be at least 0.125 (\1/8\) inch.
    d. If a window envelope is used, the clearance between the leftmost 
and rightmost bars and any printing or window edge must be at least 
0.125 (\1/8\) inch, and the clearance between the barcode and the top 
and bottom window edges must be at least 0.028 inch. These clearances 
must be maintained during the insert's range of movement in the 
envelope. Covers for address block windows are subject to 5.5. Window 
envelopes also must meet the specifications in 601.6.3.
    e. If an address label is used, a clear space of at least 0.125 
(\1/8\) inch must be left between the barcode and the left and right 
edges of the address label, and the clearance between the barcode and 
the top and bottom edges of the address label must be at least 0.028 
inch.
* * * * *

320 Priority Mail

323 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.2 Additional Standards for Critical Mail Flats

    [Revise the introductory text of 3.2 as follows:]
    Critical Mail, a category of Priority Mail, is available for 
barcoded, automation-compatible letters and barcoded, automation flats, 
using IMbs under 708.4.3. With the exception of restricted mail as 
described in 601.8.0, any mailable matter may be mailed via Critical 
Mail. USPS-produced Critical Mail flat-size envelopes must be used for 
all Critical Mail flats. Flats may not exceed 13 ounces in weight or 
\3/4\ inch in thickness. Critical Mail flats also must:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 3.2b as follows:]
    b. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets address quality standards in 333.5.5 and 708.3.0.
* * * * *

330 First-Class Mail

333 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Nonautomation First-Class Mail 
Flats

* * * * *

4.2 Barcodes on Nonautomation First-Class Mail

    [Revise the text of 4.2 as follows:]
    Any barcode on a mailpiece in a First-Class Mail nonautomation 
flats mailing must be correct for the delivery address and meet the 
standards in 708.3.0 and 708.4.0.
* * * * *

5.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Automation First-Class Mail 
Flats

5.1 Basic Standards for Automation First-Class Mail

    All pieces in a First-Class Mail automation flats mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise items 5.1d through e as follows:]
    d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets these address quality standards:
    1. The address matching and coding standards in 5.5 and 708.3.0.
    2. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional 
standards in 602.3.0.
    e. Bear an accurate Intelligent Mail barcode encoded with the 
correct delivery point routing code, matching the delivery address and 
meeting the standards in 302.5.0 and 708.4.0, either on the piece or on 
an insert showing through a window.
* * * * *

5.5 Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces

* * * * *

[[Page 26189]]

    [Revise the title and text of 5.5.3 as follows:]

5.5.3 Numeric Delivery Point Routing Code

    A numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code is formed 
by adding two digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.
* * * * *
    [Delete 5.6, Reply Cards and Envelopes Enclosed in Automation Price 
First-Class Mail, in its entirety.]
* * * * *

340 Standard Mail

343 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Standard Mail Flats

* * * * *

3.3 Additional Basic Standards for Standard Mail

    Each Standard Mail mailing is subject to these general standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 3.3i as follows:]
    i. Any barcode on a mailpiece must be correct for the delivery 
address and meet the standards in 302.5.0, 708.3.0, and 708.4.0.
* * * * *

6.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Enhanced Carrier Route 
Standard Mail Flats

6.1 General Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

* * * * *

6.1.2 Basic Eligibility Standards

    All pieces in an Enhanced Carrier Route or Nonprofit Enhanced 
Carrier Route Standard Mail mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise the introductory text of item 6.1.2d as follows:]
    d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets these address quality standards:
* * * * *

7.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Automation Standard Mail Flats

7.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for Automation Standard Mail

    All pieces in a Regular Standard Mail or Nonprofit Standard Mail 
automation mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise the introductory text of item 7.1d as follows:]
    d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets these address quality standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 7.1e as follows:]
    e. Bear an accurate Intelligent Mail barcode encoded with the 
correct delivery point routing code, matching the delivery address and 
meeting the standards in 302.5.0 and 708.4.0.
* * * * *

7.4 Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 7.4.3 as follows:]

7.4.3 Numeric Delivery Point Routing Code

    A numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code is formed 
by adding two digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.
* * * * *
    [Delete 7.5, Enclosed Reply Cards and Envelopes, in its entirety.]
* * * * *

360 Bound Printed Matter

363 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees for Bound Printed Matter

* * * * *

1.1.4 Barcoded Discount--Flats

    [Revise the text of 1.1.4 as follows:]
    For discount, see Notice 123-Price List. See 4.1 and 6.1 for 
eligibility information.
* * * * *

4.0 Price Eligibility for Bound Printed Matter Flats

4.1 Price Eligibility

    * * * Price categories are as follows:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 4.1d as follows:]
    d. Barcoded Discount--Flats. The barcoded discount applies to BPM 
flats that meet the requirements for automation flats in 301.3.0 and 
bear an accurate Intelligent Mail barcode encoded with the correct 
delivery point routing code. See 6.1 for more information.
* * * * *

6.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Barcoded Bound Printed Matter 
Flats

6.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for Barcoded Bound Printed Matter

    [Revise the text of 6.1 as follows:]
    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 302.5.0 and 708.4.0. The pieces must be part of a nonpresorted price 
mailing of 50 or more flat-size pieces or part of a presorted mailing 
of at least 300 BPM flats prepared under 365.7.0, 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 
301.3.0.
* * * * *

6.4 Address Standards for Barcode Discounts

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of 6.4.3 as follows:]

6.4.3 Numeric Delivery Point Routing Code

    A numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code is formed 
by adding two digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.
* * * * *

400 Commercial Parcels

* * * * *

402 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

* * * * *

4.0 General Barcode Placement for Parcels

* * * * *
    [Revise the title and text of current 4.3 as follows:]

4.3 Intelligent Mail Barcodes and POSTNET Barcodes

    Intelligent Mail barcodes and POSTNET barcodes do not meet barcode 
eligibility requirements for parcels and do not qualify for any 
barcode-related prices for parcels, but one barcode may be included 
only in the address block on a parcel, except on eVS parcels. An 
Intelligent Mail barcode or POSTNET barcode in the address block must 
be placed according to 302.5.4.
    [Delete current 4.3.1, General Placement of POSTNET Barcodes, 
4.3.2, POSTNET Barcode in Address Block, and 4.3.3, Window Cover, in 
their entirety.]
* * * * *

440 Standard Mail

443 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

4.0 Price Eligibility for Standard Mail

* * * * *

[[Page 26190]]

4.4 Surcharge

    Unless prepared in carrier route or 5-digit/scheme containers, 
Standard Mail parcels are subject to a surcharge if:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 4.4c as follows:]
    c. The irregular parcels do not bear a GS1-128 routing barcode or 
an Intelligent Mail package barcode for the delivery address.
* * * * *

6.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Enhanced Carrier Route 
Standard Mail Marketing Parcels

6.1 General Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

* * * * *

6.1.2 Basic Eligibility Standards

    All pieces in an Enhanced Carrier Route or Nonprofit Enhanced 
Carrier Route mailing of Standard Mail Marketing parcels must:
* * * * *
    [Revise the introductory text of item 6.1.2d as follows:]
    d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, 
ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point routing code 
and that meets these addressing standards:
* * * * *

500 Additional Mailing Services

503 Extra Services

* * * * *

14.0 Confirm Service and IMb Tracing

* * * * *

14.2 Barcodes

* * * * *

14.2.2 Intelligent Mail Barcode Requirements

    [Revise the introductory text of 14.2.2 as follows:]
    To obtain IMb Tracing, mailers must apply Intelligent Mail barcodes 
on letter-size pieces or on flat-size pieces meeting automation-
compatibility standards in 201.3.0 (letters) or 301.3.0 (flats). The 
following standards apply:
* * * * *

505 Return Services

1.0 Business Reply Mail (BRM)

* * * * *

1.3 Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) Basic Standards

1.3.1 Description

    Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) is First-Class Mail that:
* * * * *
    [Revise item 1.3.1d as follows:]
    d. Is authorized to mail at QBRM prices and fees under 1.3.2. 
During the authorization process, the mailer is assigned a unique ZIP+4 
code for each price category of QBRM to be returned under the system 
(one for card-price pieces, one for letter-size pieces weighing 1 ounce 
or less, and one for letter-size pieces weighing over 1 ounce up to and 
including 2 ounces).
* * * * *
    [Revise item 1.3.1f as follows:]
    f. Bears the correct Intelligent Mail barcode that corresponds to 
the unique ZIP+4 code in the address on each piece distributed. The 
barcode must be correctly prepared under 1.9 and 708.4.0.
* * * * *

1.8 Format Elements

* * * * *

1.8.6 Delivery Address

    The complete address (including the permit holder's name, delivery 
address, city, state, and BRM ZIP Code) must be printed directly on the 
piece, except as allowed under 1.7.5 or under item a below, subject to 
these conditions:
    [Revise item 1.8.6a as follows:]
    a. Preprinted labels with only delivery address information 
(including an Intelligent Mail barcode under 1.9) are permitted, but 
the permit holder's name and other required elements must be printed 
directly on the BRM piece.
* * * * *

1.9 Additional Standards for Letter-Size and Flat-Size BRM

    [Revise the text of 1.9 to incorporate the current item 1.9a, 
including items a1 and a2, into the introductory text and revise the 
new introductory text as follows:]
    In addition to the format standards in 1.8, QBRM letters and cards 
must be barcoded with an Intelligent Mail barcode. When an Intelligent 
Mail barcode is printed on any BRM pieces, it must contain the barcode 
ID, service type ID, and correct ZIP+4 routing code, as specified under 
708.4.3. QBRM pieces must bear the ZIP+4 codes and equivalent 
Intelligent Mail barcodes assigned by the USPS. The IMb must be placed 
on the address side of the piece and positioned as part of the delivery 
address block under 202.5.7 or within the barcode clear zone in the 
lower right corner of the piece if printed directly on the piece.
* * * * *

2.0 Permit Reply Mail (PRM)

* * * * *

2.3 Format Elements

* * * * *

2.3.6 Delivery Address

    [Revise the text of 2.3.6 as follows:]
    The complete address (including the permit holder's name, delivery 
address, city, state, and ZIP+4 code) must be printed on the piece. PRM 
pieces must 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.
* * * * *

600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

601 Mailability

* * * * *

6.0 Mailing Containers--Special Types of Envelopes and Packaging

* * * * *

6.5 Reusable Mailpiece

    * * * Except for reusable mailpieces that originate as permit 
imprint mailings, the piece must meet these standards:
    [Revise the first sentence of 6.5a as follows:]
    a. Basic Design. The piece must be designed and constructed to 
allow the recipient to reconfigure the piece to remove or obscure the 
address, barcode, postage, and any marking or endorsement applied to 
the piece when it was originally mailed so that these elements are not 
mistaken by the USPS as applying to the returned piece. * * *
* * * * *

602 Addressing

* * * * *

4.0 Detached Address Labels (DALs) and Detached Marketing Labels (DMLs)

* * * * *

4.2 Label Preparation

* * * * *

4.2.2 Addressing

    * * * [Revise the last sentence of 4.2.2 as follows:] In addition, 
if DALs accompany saturation mailings of Periodicals or Standard Mail 
flats, a correct Intelligent Mail barcode with an 11-digit routing code 
must be printed on each DAL except when using a simplified address.
* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *

708 Technical Standards

* * * * *

[[Page 26191]]

    [Revise the title of 4.0 as follows:]

4.0 Standards for Intelligent Mail and POSTNET Barcodes

4.1 General

    [Revise the text of 4.1 as follows:]
    Intelligent Mail barcodes and POSTNET (Postal Numeric Encoding 
Technique) barcodes are USPS-developed methods to encode ZIP Code 
information on mail that can be read for sorting by automated machines. 
Intelligent Mail barcodes also encode other tracking information. 
POSTNET barcodes do not qualify for automation pricing.
* * * * *
    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. 2012-10505 Filed 5-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P