[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 25 (Wednesday, February 6, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 8407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02514]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 501


Authorization To Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing 
Systems; Discontinued Indicia

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service is amending the rules concerning the 
manufacture and distribution of postage evidencing systems to clarify 
that effective January 1, 2016, all postage evidencing systems (postage 
meters and PC Postage[supreg] products) will be required to produce 
Information-Based Indicia (IBI) or Intelligent Mail[supreg] Indicia 
(IMI) for evidence of pre-paid postage, and that indicia from 
noncompliant systems will not be recognized as valid postage.

DATES: Effective date: January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marlo Ivey, Business Programs 
Specialist, Payment Technology, U.S. Postal Service, (202) 268-7613.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1999, the Postal Service introduced the 
Information Based Indicia Program (IBIP). Under IBIP, postage 
evidencing systems submitted for Postal Service test and evaluation 
were required to produce IBI--digital indicia that use a two-
dimensional (2-D) barcode. In 2012, the next generation of postage 
evidencing was introduced through the publication of the IMI 
performance criteria. Both IBI and IMI contain a 2-D barcode that 
includes revenue security-related data elements and product and service 
information.
    On July 13, 2012, the Postal Service published a proposed rule (77 
FR 41336) stating that after January 1, 2016, all postage evidencing 
systems (postage meters and PC Postage products) will be required to 
produce IBI or IMI for evidence of pre-paid postage. Indicia from 
postage evidencing systems that are not IBI-compliant or IMI-compliant 
will not be recognized as valid after December 31, 2015. The following 
amendment to 39 CFR part 501 is intended to clarify that noncompliant 
indicia will be decertified, and will not be recognized as valid after 
that date.
    One comment was received. The vendor understands the need to 
implement such changes to maintain revenue protection and 
accountability. However, by discontinuing the non-IBI or non-IMI 
indicia over such a short period of time it would put them at risk in 
the market due to the amount of resources needed to complete upgrading 
their customers in just 3 years.
    Our response noted that this proposed rule was expected over the 
past several years, since the Postal Service has discussed with the 
industry the need to discontinue these indicia. Since the introduction 
of the IBI, the Postal Service has made significant investment in 
infrastructure to enhance the revenue security and processing of the 
mail. Postage meter indicia that do not bear an IBI or IMI indicia are 
inconsistent with these enhanced systems and processes and pose a 
threat to their effectiveness. Also, they do not have the enhanced 
revenue security features required under today's performance criteria. 
Recent experiences have demonstrated that these meters pose revenue 
risks to the Postal Service.
    In addition, metering systems producing non-IBI or IMI do not 
provide the Postal Service and its customers the product level and mail 
processing visibility needed to manage business in today's information 
rich environment.
    Given these compelling reasons, the Postal Service does not intend 
to delay the discontinuance of non-IBI or IMI beyond December 31, 2015. 
We believe this date (about 3 years in the future) provides the best 
compromise for all parties impacted by this ruling.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 501

    Postal Service.

    Accordingly, the Postal Service amends 39 CFR part 501 as follows:

PART 501--AUTHORIZATION TO MANUFACTURE AND DISTRIBUTE POSTAGE 
EVIDENCING SYSTEMS

0
1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 501 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 410, 
2601, 2605, Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (Pub. L. 95-
452, as amended); 5 U.S.C. App. 3.


0
2. Add Sec.  501.20 to read as follows:


Sec.  501.20  Discontinued Postage Evidencing Indicia.

    (a) Decertified indicia (evidence of pre-paid postage) are indicia 
that have been withdrawn by the Postal Service as valid forms of 
postage evidence through publication by the Postal Service in the 
Federal Register, or by voluntary withdrawal undertaken by the 
provider.
    (b) Effective January 1, 2016, all Postage Evidencing Systems 
(postage meters and PC Postage products) will be required to produce 
Information-Based Indicia (IBI) or Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI) for 
evidence of pre-paid postage. Non-IBI and non-IMI indicia will be 
decertified effective January 1, 2016, and may not be used as a valid 
form of postage evidence. These decertified indicia will not be 
recognized as valid postage after December 31, 2015.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2013-02514 Filed 2-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P