[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 133 (Thursday, July 11, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41721-41731]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16524]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


New Standards to Enhance Package Visibility

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service is proposing to revise Mailing Standards of 
the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) to 
require the use of Intelligent Mail[supreg] package barcodes (IMpb) on 
all commercial parcels, and to require the transmission of supporting 
electronic documentation including piece-level address or ZIP+4[supreg] 
Code information effective January 2014. In January 2015 the complete 
destination delivery address or an 11-digit delivery point validated 
ZIP Code will be required in the electronic documentation.

DATES: Submit comments on or before August 1, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Product 
Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 4446, 
Washington, DC 20260-5015. You may inspect and photocopy all written 
comments at USPS[supreg] Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
11th Floor North, Washington, DC, by appointment only, between 9 a.m. 
and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 1-202-268-2906 in advance. 
Email comments, containing the name and address of the commenter, may 
be sent to: MailingStandards@usps.gov, with a subject line of ``Package 
Visibility.'' Faxed comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Juliaann Hess at 202-268-7663 or Kevin 
Gunther at 202-268-7208.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service continues to enhance its 
operational capability to scan Intelligent Mail package barcodes (IMpb) 
and other extra services barcodes via automated processing equipment 
and Intelligent Mail scanning devices. Full implementation of the 
Postal Service's package strategy relies on the availability of piece-
level information provided through the widespread use of IMpb.
    IMpb can offer a number of benefits to mailers by providing piece-
level visibility throughout USPS processing and delivery operations. 
Benefits of IMpb use include:
     A routing code to facilitate the processing of packages on 
automated sorting equipment.
     A channel-specific Application Identifier (AI) that 
associates the barcode to the payment method, supporting revenue 
assurance.
     A 3-digit service type code, which will identify the exact 
mail class and service combination, eliminating the need for multiple 
barcodes on a package.
     An option to use a 6-digit or 9-digit numeric Mailer ID 
(MID), to accommodate all mailers.
     The ability to nest packages to containers and sacks, 
increasing visibility for aggregate units as well as packages moving 
through the network.
     Access to tracking information at no additional charge for 
most products.
     Access to new products, services and enhanced features.
    Mailing standards recently added to the DMM now require an IMpb on 
all commercial parcels, except Standard Mail[supreg] parcels, claiming 
presort or destination-entry prices and all parcels of any class 
including tracking, and all mailpieces of any shape requesting extra 
services. The Postal Service will now advance its package strategy by 
proposing new standards requiring an IMpb on all remaining commercial 
parcels, and requiring the transmission of supporting electronic 
documentation,

[[Page 41722]]

including piece-level address information, to the USPS.

Advanced Notice

    The mailing industry was first provided notice of the intent of the 
Postal Service to require the mandatory use of IMpb on all domestic 
parcels via an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, Federal Register 
notice (75 FR 56922-56923) on September 17, 2010. In response to input 
from the mailing community, this broad requirement was narrowed to 
apply only to commercial parcels mailed at presort or destination-entry 
prices and to parcels bearing PC Postage[supreg]. On January 27, 2013, 
the Postal Service implemented this initial phase of its package 
strategy by requiring IMpb use, including use of version 1.6 of the 
electronic shipping services manifest, for all commercial parcels 
(except Standard Mail parcels) claiming presort or destination-entry 
pricing and all mailpieces including a trackable extra service.
    On February 26, 2013, the Postal Service published a Federal 
Register notice (78 FR 13006-13007) in which it announced its intention 
to require an IMpb on all remaining commercial parcels. This notice 
also invited comments from the mailing industry and other interested 
individuals. The Postal Service received several comments in response 
to its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, which are summarized 
later in this notice.

General IMpb Requirements

    Technical and general specifications for IMpb use are provided in 
Publication 199, Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation 
Guide for: Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System 
(eVS) Mailers, and DMM 708.5.1. Mailing standards require mailings of 
mailpieces bearing an IMpb to:
    1. Use a unique tracking barcode, prepared in accordance with DMM 
708.5.1, on each mailpiece,
    2. Be accompanied by a version 1.6 of the electronic Shipping 
Services File (or subsequent versions) including required data 
elements, and to
    3. Include the correct destination delivery address or ZIP+4 code 
for each record in the Shipping Services File.
    The Postal Service now proposes to require an IMpb on all 
commercial parcels. For the purposes of this notice, commercial parcels 
are defined as any item meeting the physical description of a parcel in 
DMM 401, or an Express Mail[supreg] or Priority Mail[supreg] piece of 
any shape, size, or price category entered through any commercial 
channel. This includes pieces with postage paid by permit imprint, 
postage meter, PC Postage or precanceled stamps, and would include 
pieces paying postage through the Official Mail Accounting System 
(OMAS) and franked mail. All parcels mailed at Commercial Base[supreg] 
or Commercial Plus[supreg] prices will also be required to bear an 
IMpb. However, parcels paid at the retail price and inducted through a 
retail transaction, Periodicals parcels, and Standard Mail Marketing 
parcels sent as product samples that bear a simplified address or those 
that use a detached address label (DAL) would not be required to bear 
an IMpb.
    The Postal Service proposes to allow, with USPS approval, domestic 
Priority Mail flats that are prepared in a high-speed environment to 
use an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMbTM) in lieu of an IMpb 
provided each of these pieces bear a unique IMb, that cannot be reused 
for 180 days, and are supported by Mail.dat or Mail.XML electronic 
documentation. Mailers should note that mailpieces entered under this 
authorization must not include any extra service, including USPS 
TrackingTM/Delivery Confirmation. In addition, effective 
July 28, 2013, the Postal Service plans to include, at no additional 
charge, automatic insurance coverage on domestic Priority Mail pieces 
bearing an IMpb. Mailers should also note that Priority Mail pieces 
entered under this exception will not be eligible for automatic 
insurance coverage. The authorization to use an IMb instead of an IMpb 
would not be applicable for Priority Mail InternationalTM 
pieces or domestic Express Mail or Express Mail International[supreg] 
pieces.
    At a future date, the Postal Service expects to implement an 
exception process for Bound Printed Matter (BPM) parcels and Priority 
Mail that would allow mailers to use Mail.dat instead of Shipping 
Services File version 1.6 or higher. This exception process will be 
tied to the scheduled upgrades to USPS systems that will allow for this 
functionality. These upgrades are expected to be completed by October 
2013 for Bound Printed Matter and in January 2014 for Priority Mail. 
Once implemented, parcel mailers using Mail.dat may use this file 
format to submit electronic documentation to the Postal Service to 
fulfill their IMpb documentation requirements. The use of Mail.dat will 
not be authorized when mailers ship products and services that 
exclusively require use of Shipping Services file version 1.6 or 
higher.
    Although it is expected that the anticipated delay in 
implementation until January 26, 2014 should eliminate the need for 
most exceptions, the Postal Service expects to provide limited 
exceptions to the basic IMpb requirements. Requests for exceptions will 
be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Mailers requesting an exception 
must provide a plan to assure compliance with standards within a 
defined timeframe. Beginning on January 26, 2014, any such requests 
must be directed to the Vice President of Sales for consideration.

Destination Delivery Addresses

    The Postal Service now recognizes the need for all parcels to be 
accompanied by a complete destination delivery address. This 
information will be a critical element in future plans to implement 
dynamic routing strategies with USPS delivery operations. As a result, 
the Postal Service proposes to require mailers, effective January 25, 
2015 to include the complete destination delivery address (as described 
in DMM 601.1.4) or an 11-digit ZIP Code (validated by the USPS delivery 
point validation (DPV[supreg]) system, or an approved equivalent) in 
their Shipping Services file, or other approved electronic 
documentation.

Returns

    The Postal Service proposes to require a unique IMpb on all parcels 
using a Merchandise Return Service (MRS) label. The USPS currently 
provides a cloud-based application that would allow less sophisticated 
permit holders to generate unique IMpb-compliant MRS labels with a 
minimal level of technological capability and software support. This 
tool is expected to adequately assist MRS permit-holders and their 
customers in the generation of IMpb-compliant labels. Except for permit 
holders using MRS as part of a PC Postage-based returns solution, MRS 
permit holders will not generally be required to submit shipping 
manifests to support these mailpieces. Under these proposed standards, 
MRS labels would be required to use a concatenated IMpb construct that 
includes the ZIP+4 routing code.
    The Postal Service also proposes to eliminate the option for any 
mailpiece meeting physical characteristics of a parcel in DMM 401 to 
include postage paid by Business Reply Mail[supreg] (BRM). Over time, 
BRM service has evolved into a product that is operationally aligned to 
accommodate cards, letters and flats. As a result, BRM is no longer an 
ideal product for use with parcel-shaped mailpieces. If these standards 
are adopted, BRM permit holders who routinely receive parcel-shaped BRM

[[Page 41723]]

returns would be required to discontinue this practice and to 
transition to MRS or a USPS Returns product for their parcel returns.

Express Mail

    The Postal Service proposes to generally require all Express Mail 
pieces entered through any commercial channel to be IMpb-compliant. 
This requirement would exclude Express Mail pieces entered as part of a 
retail transaction, those with postage paid through a postage meter 
imprint and using a Label 11-B, and those entered under an Express Mail 
Manifest (EMM) system with postage paid by an Express Mail Corporate 
Account (EMCA). However, Express Mail pieces with postage paid through 
a postage meter imprint and using a Label 11-B will not be eligible for 
Commercial Base or Commercial Plus pricing. At a future date, the 
Postal Service expects to transition EMM mailers to the Electronic 
Verification System (eVS[supreg]), including an IMpb-compliance 
requirement. The Postal Service is now signaling its intention to 
require eVS for EMM systems and anticipates publishing the applicable 
standards in the 2015 calendar year.

Standard Mail Parcels

    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service will 
require all Standard Mail Marketing parcels (including those paid at 
nonprofit prices) and all Nonprofit Standard Mail parcels to bear an 
IMpb, or a unique IMb. Regular and Nonprofit Standard Mail parcels 
mailed as product samples under DMM 443.6.0 would also be required to 
bear an IMpb or a unique IMb, with the exception of those using 
detached address labels (DAL) and those bearing simplified addresses. 
The Postal Service is also offering the option to use an IMb in lieu of 
an IMpb for all Standard Mail parcels which are presorted and 
containerized in 5-digit sacks or other approved containers prepared to 
the 5-digit level. When the IMb option is selected, the package must 
bear a unique IMb that cannot be reused for 180 days. In situations 
where the IMb is used in lieu of the IMpb, a Mail.dat or Mail.XML file 
will be accepted in lieu of a Shipping Service File.
    Mailers requesting USPS Tracking/Delivery Confirmation service with 
Standard Mail parcels would continue to be assessed the electronic fee. 
Mailers would also have the option of affixing an IMpb-compliant mail 
class only tracking barcode to their Standard Mail parcels at no 
charge. Under either of these IMpb options, mailers must use version 
1.6 or higher of the Shipping Services File, including required data 
elements, and must include the destination delivery address or ZIP+4 
code in the file.

Package Services

    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service will 
require all commercial BPM, Media Mail[supreg] and Library Mail parcels 
to bear an IMpb. When Media Mail and Library Mail parcels are entered 
at retail, pay the retail price and are entered through a retail 
transaction the Postal Service will apply an IMpb-compliant barcode, if 
one is not already affixed. Mailers requesting USPS Tracking/Delivery 
Confirmation service for their Package Services parcels would continue 
to be assessed the electronic fee. Mailers would also have the option 
of affixing an IMpb-compliant mail class only tracking barcode to their 
Package Services mailpieces at no charge.

Postage Meters

    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service will 
require all parcels bearing metered postage to bear a unique IMpb, meet 
the Shipping Services File requirements, and to include the correct 
destination delivery address or ZIP+4 code for each record in the file. 
To support the less sophisticated meter mailers, the Postal Service 
plans to continue to provide pre-printed IMpb-compliant labels to 
mailers who are unable to print their own labels. A special version of 
the IMpb label will be made available to customers who ship parcels but 
do not use a postage meter capable of transmitting electronic manifest 
and address information. Use of these preprinted USPS labels or other 
IMpb-compliant barcodes will be a requirement for eligibility to ship 
USPS parcel products.

Use of Non-IMpb Barcodes

    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service plans 
to implement a process to allow mailers to temporarily use unique 
tracking barcodes, prepared in a legacy format, on parcels and 
mailpieces that include extra services. Any such authorization would be 
granted via an exception process. Mailers requesting an exception must 
be able to demonstrate their ability to transmit piece-level 
documentation to the Postal Service through a Shipping Services File 
and to include a destination delivery address or ZIP+4 code for each 
record in the file. These exceptions are intended to provide additional 
time, when needed, to transition to the use of IMpb. If these proposed 
standards are adopted, all mailers must be fully IMpb-compliant, 
including use version 1.6 or higher of the Shipping Services File, by 
January 25, 2015.
    In addition, effective July 28, 2013, the Postal Service plans to 
include, at no additional charge, automatic insurance coverage on 
domestic Priority Mail pieces bearing an IMpb. Mailers should also note 
that Priority Mail pieces bearing barcodes prepared in the legacy 
format will not be eligible for automatic insurance coverage.

Electronic Documentation

    If these proposed standards are adopted, mailers will be required 
to include information in their electronic documentation that 
identifies the mailing agent and mail owner (i.e. by/for mailing 
relationship). When mailing agents make mailings on behalf of one or 
more clients (mail owners) a request must be made for a unique mailer 
ID (MID) for each client to designate package ownership. Both eVS and 
non-eVS mailing agents must assign a unique MID for each client. This 
MID will be used exclusively for that client, for mailings with that 
particular mailing agent. Fields are provided in Shipping Services File 
version 1.6 or higher, Mail.dat and Mail.XML for this purpose. The 
Postal Service defines these entities as follows:
     Mail Owner: The mail owner is the business entity, 
organization, or individual who makes business decisions regarding the 
parcel or mailpiece content, directly benefits from the mailing, and 
ultimately pays for postage on the mailpiece directly or by way of a 
mailing agent.
     Mailing Agent: The mailing agent is a business entity, 
consolidator, organization, or individual acting on behalf of one or 
more mail owners by providing mailing services for which the mail 
owners compensate the mailing agent. A business entity, organization, 
or individual whose services define it as a mailing agent may also be 
considered a mail owner, but only for its own mail or the mail of its 
subsidiaries. Mailing agents include, but are not limited to parcel 
consolidators, printers, address list providers/managers mail 
preparers, postage payment providers, mailing logistics providers, 
mailing tracking providers, ad agencies, and mailing information 
managers.

Conforming Mailer Identification Numbers

    If these proposed standards are adopted, all mailers using an IMpb 
will be required to use a conforming mailer MID. Mailers who are not 
currently

[[Page 41724]]

compliant with this requirement must obtain and use a conforming MID as 
soon as possible and must use a conforming MID by January 26, 2014.
    A MID is considered to be compliant when the following requirements 
are met:
     A conforming six-digit MID must begin with 0 through 8.
     A conforming nine-digit MID must begin with 9.

Questions about converting to conforming MIDs may be directed to the 
National Customer Support Center (NCSC) by calling 877-264-9693, and 
selecting option 3.

Shipping Services File

    Electronic documentation requirements in support of IMpb include 
the use of Shipping Services file version 1.6 or higher, identifying 
serialization of each parcel or trackable Extra Services mailpiece 
supported by the file and destination delivery address information or 
accurate ZIP+4 code for each record in the file. Shipping Services 
Files must be transmitted to the Postal Service prior to the physical 
presentation of the mailing for acceptance. Mailers will be required to 
correctly populate Shipping Services electronic manifest files with the 
piece level detail information that describes the parcels and 
mailpieces being shipped. The Postal Service expects to simplify the 
requirements to populate data fields. All mailers will be required to 
use the same rules as those for eVS mailers for determining which data 
fields must be populated. In addition to accurate piece level 
information, the proper definition of the mailing by/for relationship 
and the use of a conforming MID, Shipping Services files include the 
following fields:
     Transaction ID (TID). This is a unique 12-digit number 
assigned to associate Shipping Services File manifests to file 
transmissions. The TID must also be included on the Postage Statement 
and must match the Shipping Services manifest file for the 
corresponding mailing. The TID field must follow the format of 
YYYYMMDD, where YYYY is the year, 
MM is the month, DD is the date, and 
`' is the numeric sequence number.
     Payment Account number. This is the USPS account number 
from which the mailing will be paid.
     Method of payment. This is the approved payment method 
(permit imprint, postage meter, PC Postage, OMAS, franked mail and 
stamps) for the mail being entered.
     Post Office of Account. This is the 5-digit ZIP Code of 
the Post Office issuing the permit number, meter license, or 
precanceled stamp, and should agree with the information on the postage 
statement.

Electronic Nesting Data

    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service will 
strongly encourage, but not require, mailers to provide an electronic 
association between IMpb piece-level record and Intelligent Mail tray 
labels and/or Intelligent Mail container placards. However, the Postal 
Service may require these electronic associations for certain products 
or price categories at a future date. Technical requirements for the 
electronic association of parcels to containers will be provided in 
Publication 199.

Noncompliant Mailpieces

    In response to recommendations made by a group of mailing industry 
and Postal Service representatives, the Postal Service is proposing to 
implement a process to apply a schedule of gradually increasing 
compliance thresholds for mailings including mailpieces without IMpb-
compliant barcodes, without a compliant destination delivery address or 
ZIP+4 code in the electronic documentation for each mailpiece or not 
supported by an approved Shipping Services file (or a Shipping Services 
file with missing or erroneous data elements), or authorized 
alternative documentation. The Postal Service proposes to apply these 
compliance thresholds at the manifest level for PC Postage and postage 
meter mailings, and at the postage statement level for permit imprint 
or precanceled stamp mailings. A new sampling procedure for barcode 
evaluation is expected to be added to the current acceptance process 
for the purpose of evaluating compliance with these new barcode 
thresholds. Barcode and file compliance will be measured against the 
specifications defined in Publication 199. Shipping Services files will 
be subject to census data evaluation for file version and required 
elements within the file. Assessments for non-eVS packages are expected 
to be due at the time of mailing. eVS mailers will be assessed monthly 
for non-compliant mailpieces in excess of the established thresholds. 
For any mailing, compliance can be calculated separately for each of 
the three compliance categories. MRS and other returns mailpieces will 
be sampled for compliance under these new proposed compliance 
thresholds at the facility where the pieces are rated and/or prepared 
for shipment to the permit holder. When a mailing fails more than one 
compliance category, the per piece adjustment will be assessed against 
category yielding the highest number of noncompliant pieces. 
Noncompliant pieces will be assessed the fee adjustment only once, even 
when failing more than one compliance category. The Postal Service 
proposes enforcement of compliance thresholds as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              January 2014        July 2014       January 2015
                    Compliance category                         (percent)         (percent)         (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unique Trackable Barcode..................................                98                99               100
ZIP+4 Code or Destination Delivery Address in the File....                93                96               100
Shipping Services File 1.6 or Higher, Including Required                  95                98               100
 Data Elements............................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Postal Service also proposes to implement a per piece price 
adjustments for noncompliant pieces, instead of driving noncompliant 
pieces to retail pricing. The amount of any such piece-level price 
adjustment(s) or assessment(s), and the methodology of their 
application have not yet been determined. In accordance with the Postal 
Accountability and Enhancement Act, the Postal Service will file a 
Notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) if it chooses to 
adopt this per piece price proposal. Regulatory review will take up to 
45 days from the date of that filing; and the Postal Service will 
proceed based on the results of that review.
    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service 
currently plans to replace its rules that disqualify IMpb-noncompliant 
pieces for presort or destination entry prices with a process that 
assesses per piece price adjustments for IMpb-noncompliant pieces. 
Mailer compliance with the requirement to define the by/for 
relationships will be deferred to a future date in calendar year 2014.

[[Page 41725]]

    If these compliance thresholds and price adjustments are adopted, 
enforcement of such thresholds and price adjustments will be expected 
to begin on January 26, 2014.

Implementation Date

    If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal Service expects 
to implement the requirements described in this notice on or about 
January 26, 2014. In response to the comments offered in response to 
the February 26, 2013 Federal Register notice, the Postal Service has 
delayed implementation in order to provide more time for mailers to 
prepare for the transition. Many mailers and mail service providers 
have already made the changes necessary to support IMpb use for other 
mail classes and price categories, and for these mailers much of the 
significant preparation has already been completed. Therefore, the 
Postal Service believes that it has provided sufficient notification to 
the mailing industry, from the date of publication of the February 26, 
2013 Federal Register notice to the proposed January 26, 2014 
implementation date, to allow mailers to prepare their systems.

Hazardous, Perishable and Restricted Materials

    If these proposed standards are adopted, mailers inducting parcels 
containing mailable hazardous material or mailable live animals will be 
required to include an indicator in the appropriate field of the 
Shipping Services File, or other authorized electronic documentation, 
identifying each applicable mailpiece as containing either hazardous 
material or live animals. MRS and other returns mailpieces containing 
hazardous materials will be required to bear a unique IMpb barcode, 
including a specific 3-digit service type code specifying the class of 
mail and identifying the mailpiece as containing hazardous material. 
The Postal Service is also developing similar identifying indicators to 
provide enhanced visibility of shipments containing cremated remains. 
The Postal Service expects to have these indicators available in the 
2014 calendar year.

Certified Mail and Registered Mail Service

    If these proposed standards are adopted the Postal Service plans to 
provide new Certified Mail[supreg] and Registered MailTM 
``banner only'' labels to help identify these specific products when 
used in an IMpb-compliant format. The Postal Service also plans to 
limit Certified Mail service to use with First-Class Mail[supreg] only. 
The Postal Services expects this limitation to simplify the Extra 
Service options available to mailers and also reduce the number of 
service type codes associated with these products. The Postal Service 
also expects to provide a new option for mailers to combine restricted 
delivery service with Signature ConfirmationTM service. This 
new option is expected to be effective on January 26, 2014, and will be 
introduced as part of a separate Federal Register notice. The 
combination of restricted delivery service with Signature Confirmation 
service will provide an option for mailers to restrict delivery of 
Priority Mail, First-Class Package ServiceTM, Package 
Services, Standard PostTM and Parcel Select[supreg] pieces 
without also having to purchase insurance for more than $200 to obtain 
this service.

Comments and USPS Responses

    The Postal Service received a total of thirteen comments in 
response to the February 26, 2013 Federal Register notice, with some 
comments addressing more than a single issue. In general, commenters 
relate their recognition of the value that the enhanced visibility and 
tracking data provided by IMpb provides to mailers and the Postal 
Service. These comments are summarized as follows:

General Comments

    Comment: One commenter asks if the use of Coding Accuracy Support 
System (CASSTM) address matching software will be required 
with IMpb use.
    USPS Response: If these proposed standards are adopted, the use of 
CASS software is not expected to be required as a condition of IMpb 
use, however it will be strongly encouraged. When a mailer chooses to 
provide a ZIP+4 code instead of an address in the shipping manifest, 
the mailer must ensure the ZIP+4 code is valid for each address. The 
Postal Service intends to implement processes to validate the accuracy 
of ZIP+4 code information provided in shipping manifests. CASS products 
are integral to many customers' business processes and the shipments 
they tender to USPS. Including a CASS process for mailings that use 
IMpb will improve deliverability, reduce waste and provide benefits 
similar to those associated with letter and flat mailings. When mailers 
use addresses instead of ZIP+4 codes, the Postal Service will validate 
these addresses relative to the Address Management System (AMS) 
database and will provide feedback to customers via Shipping Services 
Confirmation Error/Warning files.
    Comment: A commenter asks if the IMpb requirements will extend to 
Media Mail and Library Mail with metered postage.
    USPS Response: Yes, if these standards are adopted customers 
mailing Media Mail and Library Mail pieces paid with metered postage 
will be required to comply with the IMpb requirements. However, the 
Postal Service recognizes that some small businesses using postage 
meters will be unable to comply with all IMpb requirements, which 
include the use of Shipping Services File version 1.6 or higher and the 
inclusion of a destination delivery address or a ZIP+4 code in the 
file. As a result, the Postal Service plans to make preprinted IMpb-
compliant barcodes available for such small volume meter customers.
    Comment: A commenter asks why machinable presorted BPM parcels that 
receive no tracking are required to meet the same IMpb requirements as 
that for other parcels that receive tracking at no charge. This 
commenter states that presorted BPM is not a shipping service, and asks 
if the Postal Service is trying to standardize the requirements for all 
parcels.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service has not contemplated the 
standardization of parcel mail classes with regard to content 
eligibility, preparation requirements, and similar characteristics. 
However, the benefits of IMpb, to both mailers and the Postal Service, 
are generally applicable to every parcel class and product. The general 
use of unique IMpb barcodes will allow the Postal Service to manage 
service and delivery performance to improve the customer experience and 
business outcome for all shippers, including catalog mailers. As a 
function of these operational improvements, the Postal Service expects 
the expanded use of IMpb to contribute to greater pricing stability for 
all parcel mailers. Specifically, the widespread use IMpb including the 
associated files and related address information is expected to 
automate and simplify USPS distribution processes, and aid in the 
management and predictability of workloads for all postal products. In 
addition, IMpb usage will allow the Postal Service to automate its data 
collection processes for each product and payment channel, providing 
for more accurate costing and pricing data.
    Comment: A commenter requests that the Postal Service provide more 
support to help mailers understand the new IMpb requirements.
    USPS Response: If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal 
Service plans to host monthly webinars

[[Page 41726]]

and provide technical assistance to assist mailers with their 
transition to IMpb. The Postal Service will also compile a listing of 
qualified vendors who can assist customers in complying with IMpb 
requirements.
    Comment: A commenter relates that their local Post Office currently 
has trouble with the tracking, mailing and delivery of the commenter's 
parcels, and opines that the new IMpb would be more expense to mailers 
without enough of an improvement in quality.
    USPS Response: The features of IMpb, especially the inclusion of 
addressing information in the file, greatly improve the ability of the 
Postal Service to provide excellent service while driving down costs. 
It is recommended that this commenter address their operational issues 
with their local postmaster and their district manager, Business Mail 
Entry. Contact information for the manager, Business Mail Entry can be 
obtained from the locator/lookup tool on the Rapid Information Bulletin 
Board (RIBBS[supreg]) at https://ribbs.usps.gov/.
    Comment: Several commenters request that the Postal Service 
specifically define what it means by the use of the term ``commercial 
parcel,'' especially in regards to Priority Mail, Standard Mail and MRS 
pieces.
    USPS Response: For the purposes of this notice, commercial parcels 
are defined as any item meeting the physical description of a parcel in 
DMM 401, or an Express Mail or Priority Mail piece of any shape or 
size, entered through any commercial channel. This includes pieces with 
postage paid by permit imprint, postage meter, PC Postage or 
precanceled stamps, and would include pieces paying postage through the 
Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS) and franked mail.
    Comment: A commenter states that mailers using self-service 
shipping options require a solution to implement these new standards 
that do not introduce new steps or require the entry of additional 
information into the shipping process.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service offers options, such as Click-N-
Ship for Business[supreg], that allow mailers preparing their own 
parcels to meet IMpb requirements. Mailers using premium shipping 
products such as Express Mail and Priority Mail also have access to 
Click-N-Ship. In addition, PC Postage and other vendors offer IMpb-
compliant options for customers.
    Comment: As a result of the operational process changes and 
significant capital investment required, a mailer's association urges 
the Postal Service to not require compliance with an enhanced package 
visibility mandate, and to make these standards optional and incented 
through pricing and service enhancements.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service recognizes the investments 
required and timelines needed for mailers to prepare their systems for 
the barcoding, electronic documentation, and addressing information 
required to support IMpb. However, these investments are expected to 
lead to improved efficiency and consistency in postal operations, 
translating to better service, stable prices and an improved customer 
experience. Some products currently include full end-to-end tracking, 
including confirmation of delivery, at no charge. The Postal Service is 
investigating the feasibility of providing mailer access to IMpb 
tracking and delivery data for additional products at no charge, and 
offering address correction service (ACS) at a reduced price. To 
qualify for ACS service at a reduced price, Shipping Services file 1.7 
or 2.0, including unique piece-level destination delivery address 
information or delivery point validated 11-digit ZIP Codes, would be 
required.
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the Postal Service should 
develop its optical scanning technology to read the delivery address 
instead of requiring barcodes. This commenter opines that the delivery 
address would have greater value to the Postal Service than the ZIP+4 
code.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service has added scanning technology to 
the majority of its parcel sorters that enable this equipment to read 
address information and to perform sortation based on that address. 
However, the barcode remains critical to the maintenance of the address 
to package association that will uniquely identify each package 
throughout the processing network and delivery chain. Barcoded packages 
supported by electronic information are industry standards and a best 
practice to enable superior service while managing costs.

Retail Parcels

    Comment: One commenter asks if retail-priced parcels will fall 
under the IMpb requirements, be required to bear a simple routing 
barcode, or have some other requirement placed on them. Another 
commenter asks if retail parcels that request extra services, such as 
Certified Mail[supreg] or Signature ConfirmationTM, will be 
subject to the IMpb requirements.
    USPS Response: Parcels presented as part of a retail transaction 
currently have an IMpb-compliant barcode affixed by the retail 
associate. The Postal Service is also enhancing its systems to 
electronically capture delivery address or delivery point 11-digit ZIP 
Code information for pieces where the IMpb is affixed at retail. In the 
future, Point of Service (POS) One terminals will print IMpb-compliant 
extra services barcodes dynamically or use preprinted IMpb-compliant 
labels. Commercial mailpieces paid at retail prices, but not entered as 
part of a retail transaction as described above, will be required to be 
IMpb-compliant.

Standard Mail Parcels

    Comment: Several commenters request clarification on the intention 
of the Postal Service with regard to Standard Mail parcels. These 
commenters request clarification on the categories of Standard Mail 
parcels that would be permitted to use an Intelligent Mail barcode 
(IMb) in lieu of an IMpb. Two commenters encourage the Postal Service 
to adopt a policy of allowing the use of IMb with a Mail.dat or 
Mail.XML solution for Standard Mail parcels.
    USPS Response: If these standards are adopted, the Postal Service 
will require all Standard Mail Marketing parcels (including those 
paying nonprofit prices) and all Nonprofit Standard Mail parcels to 
bear an IMpb. Regular and Nonprofit Standard Mail Marketing parcels 
mailed as product samples under DMM 443.6.0 are currently required to 
use detached address labels (DAL) or simplified addresses, and 
therefore would not be required to meet IMpb standards. When mailers 
apply, and are granted the appropriate exception, the Postal Service 
would allow the use of an IMb in lieu of an IMpb on Standard Mail 
parcels which are presorted and containerized in 5-digit sacks or other 
approved containers prepared to the 5-digit level.

Electronic Verification System (eVS)

    Comment: One commenter requests assurances that the standards being 
proposed would not affect eVS mailers, and that eVS mailers would not 
be required to use one barcode or the other, or to report data in one 
format or the other.
    USPS Response: These standards are proposed to apply to all mailers 
shipping parcels through the Postal Service, including those who pay 
via eVS. If these standards are adopted, all eVS mailers will be 
required to apply an IMpb to each parcel, use Shipping Services File 
version 1.6 or higher, and include the destination delivery address or 
ZIP+4 code in the manifest file. The Postal Service is also proposing 
to require the destination delivery address or delivery point validated 
(DPV) 11-

[[Page 41727]]

digit ZIP Code to be included in the file effective January 25, 2015.

Merchandise Return Service (MRS)

    Comment: Two commenters request clarification regarding the 
proposed requirements relating to MRS. One commenter asks if MRS pieces 
would be subject to the proposed IMpb standards, and specifically 
requests MRS pieces to be excluded from these new requirements. This 
commenter states that the production of MRS labels, each bearing a 
unique IMpb, would be more costly and time consuming to mailers.
    USPS Response: If these proposed standards are adopted, all parcels 
using a MRS label will also be required to bear a unique IMpb. The 
Postal Service currently provides a cloud-based application to assist 
MRS permit-holders and their customers in the generation of unique 
IMpb-compliant labels.

Implementation Schedule

    Comment: Several comments responded to the Postal Service's 
proposal to implement these new standards on or about July 28, 2013. 
Two commenters state that a July 2013 implementation is both 
unreasonable and unrealistic in that it provides an insufficient 
timeframe for mailers to prepare for the new requirements. Another 
commenter requests the opportunity to provide input into the 
implementation timeline. One commenter compares the proposed 
implementation schedule of approximately five months to the nearly two-
year lead time provided to the presort and destination-entry mailers in 
the previous IMpb implementation. One commenter suggests that the 
Postal Service establish a mailer technical advisory council (MTAC) 
workgroup to allow for the airing of mailers concerns prior to 
finalizing its requirements and implementation timeline.
    USPS Response: To provide customers more time to prepare for the 
transition, if these standards are adopted the Postal Service will 
delay the implementation date to January 26, 2014. Because many mailers 
and mail service providers have already made the changes necessary to 
support IMpb use for other mail classes and price categories, it is 
expected that for many mailers much of the preparation has already been 
completed.

Electronic Nesting

    Comment: Several commenters responded to the Postal Service's 
reference to the feasibility of electronically associating individual 
parcel tracking numbers with specific sacks, trays, pallets or similar 
containers. Three commenters relate that such a requirement could pose 
a significant challenge to some mailers. Two commenters state that the 
process should be optional, and not required for mailers who lack the 
resources or capability to provide such data. Another mailer's 
association suggests that the Postal Service consider providing options 
to mailers based on their operational capacity. This commenter 
describes these options as full nesting functionality for larger 
mailers, a logical/virtual nesting option where individual mailpieces 
could be associated to a group of possible containers, or a no-nesting 
option for the less sophisticated mailers. These commenters requested 
an opportunity to supply input into any future decision by the Postal 
Service to require the electronic transmission of nesting data.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service does not expect to require 
mailers to provide nesting information as a condition of these proposed 
standards. In most cases, it is expected that electronic transmission 
of nesting data to the Postal Service relating to IMpb use will be 
optional. However, some products, price categories or extra services 
features may require the transmission of nesting data as a condition of 
qualification for that price or service.

Exception Process

    Comment: One mailer's association commends the Postal Service for 
its past policy of providing exceptions to specific elements of its 
IMpb requirements, as needed, on a case-by-case basis. This commenter 
and others express their desire for this policy to continue going 
forward with the implementation of these proposed standards. Another 
commenter requests that the Postal Service provide a transition period 
of at least 12 months from the mandatory implementation of these 
proposed standards to afford mailers the opportunity to effect the 
changes needed to comply with the new requirements.
    USPS Response: If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal 
Service will continue to offer limited exceptions on a case-by-case 
basis when mailers have provided a plan that assures compliance with 
standards within a defined timeframe. It is expected that the proposed 
January 26, 2014 implementation date should also eliminate the need for 
most exceptions. After January 26, 2014, any such requests for an 
exception must be directed to the Vice President of Sales for 
consideration.

Enforcement of Standards

    Comment: A mailer's association suggests that the Postal Service 
establish a separate rulemaking to establish compliance thresholds, 
penalties and other enforcement issues relating to IMpb. This commenter 
asks the Postal Service to remain cognizant of the impact of these 
proposed standards relative to the enforcement requirements for IMb 
full-service. A commenter asks that the Postal Service explicitly 
confirm that the existing waivers and extensions already approved for 
those IMpb standards currently in place will remain in effect. Another 
commenter asks what the penalty will be for mailers inducting 
commercial packages not complying with the proposed requirements. A 
commenter asks that since the Postal Service proposes that all 
commercial parcels must bear an IMpb, will a surcharge for noncompliant 
pieces still be an option.
    USPS Response: If these proposed standards are adopted, the Postal 
Service plans to provide gradually increasing compliance thresholds for 
mail owners and mailing agents, applied across timeframes specified by 
the Postal Service. The Postal Service is also proposing to apply per 
piece price adjustments for noncompliant pieces, instead of the current 
practice of disqualifying noncompliant pieces for all but retail 
prices. If the use of compliance thresholds and price adjustments are 
agreed upon at the corporate level, enforcement of these standards 
relative to compliance thresholds and price adjustments are planned to 
begin on January 26, 2014.

Postage Meter Mailers

    Comment: Two postage meter vendors state that they are in the 
development stage of a lower cost alternative to the shipping systems 
currently available to meter mailers. One provider states that this new 
alternative solution will not be ready by July 2013, and requests an 
extension for compliance of the proposed standards for meter mailers 
until January 2014. Another postage meter vendor requests information 
about the Postal Service's communication plans, and urges the Postal 
Service to work collaboratively with vendors in this regard.
    USPS Response: The proposed January 26, 2014 implementation date 
provides additional time for mailers to prepare their mailing systems, 
as requested by this commenter. The Postal Service plans to communicate 
these proposed IMpb standards through the usual mailer communications 
channels and welcomes the opportunity to work

[[Page 41728]]

with vendors. In the past, some vendors have been reluctant to share 
their customer lists. This is understandable and the Postal Service 
will provide standard language that vendors can use to communicate the 
changes and compliance dates to their customers.

Label 400/Extra Service Labels

    Comment: Two commenters request clarification of the Postal 
Service's intent with regards to meter mailers and the use of Label 
400, and other extra service labels. These commenters ask if Label 400 
can be uploaded by electronic means, associated to a particular 
mailpiece, and if this would then allow mailers to qualify for 
commercial parcel prices. This commenter continues by asking if an 
uploaded label process would still require transmission of a 
destination delivery address or ZIP+4 code and a mailer ID (MID) to the 
Postal Service, and whether commercial prices would be available when 
other extra service labels are applied (e.g. Label 200, Registered 
Mail). This commenter asks if meter mailers may similarly apply USPS-
provided Labels 11-B or 11-F to their mailpieces, upload the barcode 
data to the Postal Service via USPS-approved shipping manifests, and 
have these mailpieces qualify for commercial prices. This commenter 
also asks if privately printed Certified Mail labels must include the 
green coloration used on USPS-provided PS Forms 3800. Another commenter 
asks if the Postal Service intends to provide preprinted, IMpb-
compliant extra service labels, such as Certified Mail labels.
    USPS Response: If these proposed standards are adopted, each 
applicable requirement must be met to be IMpb-compliant. These 
requirements include the use of the IMpb barcode format, the use of 
Shipping Services File version 1.6 or higher, and the inclusion of the 
destination delivery address or ZIP+4 code in the file. In addition, 
the Postal Service plans to continue to provide pre-printed IMpb-
compliant labels to mailers who are unable to print their own labels. A 
special version of the IMpb label will be made available to customers 
who ship parcels but do not use a postage meter capable of transmitting 
electronic manifest and address information.
    For Certified Mail and Registered Mail, the green or red coloring 
will continue to be required. However, the Postal Service plans to 
provide new Certified Mail and Registered Mail ``banner only'' labels 
to help identify these specific products when used in an IMpb-compliant 
format. Also, if these standards are adopted, Certified Mail will 
become eligible for First-Class Mail only, which will simplify this 
option and reduce the number of service type codes associated with this 
product.

Comment Period

    Note that the Postal Service has established a 21-day comment 
period for this proposed rule in order to assure there is sufficient 
time to for mailers to prepare their systems for a January 26, 2014 
implementation if these proposed standards are adopted.
    Although exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the 
Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553 (b), (c)) regarding proposed 
rulemaking by 39 U.S.C. 410 (a), the Postal Service invites public 
comments on the following proposed revisions 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 proposed to be 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)

* * * * *

200 Commercial Letters and Cards

* * * * *

210 Express Mail

213 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Express Mail

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Express Mail pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, must bear an Intelligent Mail 
package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

220 Priority Mail

223 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.3 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.3 as follows:]
    All Priority Mail pieces (except Critical Mail pieces without an 
extra service) must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode prepared 
under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

300 Commercial Flats

* * * * *

310 Express Mail

313 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Express Mail

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Express Mail pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, must bear an Intelligent Mail 
package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

320 Priority Mail

323 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.3 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.3 as follows:]
    All Priority Mail pieces (except Critical Mail pieces without an 
extra service) must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode prepared 
under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

400 Commercial Parcels

* * * * *

401 Physical Standards

1.0 Physical Standards for Parcels

* * * * *

1.5 Machinable Parcels

* * * * *

1.5.2 Criteria for Lightweight Machinable Parcels

    A parcel that weighs less than 6 ounces (but not less than 3.5 
ounces) is machinable if it meets all of the following conditions:
* * * * *

[[Page 41729]]

    [Delete 1.5.2b and resequence the current 1.5.2c and 2d as the new 
2b and 2c.]
* * * * *

2.0 Additional Standards by Class of Mail

* * * * *

2.5 Parcel Select

2.5.1 General Standards

    These standards apply to Parcel Select:
* * * * *
    [Delete 2.5.1c in its entirety.]
* * * * *

410 Express Mail

413 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Express Mail

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Express Mail pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, must bear an Intelligent Mail 
package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

420 Priority Mail

423 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Priority Mail pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, must bear an Intelligent Mail 
package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

430 First-Class Package Service

433 Price and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees for First-Class Package Service

* * * * *

1.4 Commercial Plus Prices

    First-Class Package Service machinable parcels less than 16 ounces 
and Merchandise Return Service parcels are eligible for Commercial Plus 
prices for customers that:
* * * * *
    [Delete 1.4f in its entirety.]

1.5 Surcharge

    [Revise and restructure 1.5 as follows:]
    Unless prepared in 5-digit/scheme containers, a surcharge applies 
to presorted parcels that are irregularly shaped, such as rolls, tubes, 
and triangles.
* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for First-Class Package Service Parcels

* * * * *

3.3 Additional Basic Standards

    All presorted First-Class Package Service parcels must:
* * * * *
    [Delete 3.3c in its entirety.]

3.4 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.4 as follows:]
    All First-Class Package Service parcels must bear an Intelligent 
Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

440 Standard Mail

443 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Standard Mail Parcels

* * * * *

3.3 Additional Basic Standards for Standard Mail

    Each Standard Mail mailing is subject to these general standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise 3.3g as follows:]
    g. The IMpb applied to each Standard Mail parcel must be correct 
for the delivery address and must meet the standards in 708.5.0.
* * * * *
    [Renumber the current 3.4 through 3.9 as the new 3.5 through 3.10, 
and add a new 3.4 as follows:]

3.4 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.4 as follows:]
    All Standard Mail parcels, except Standard Mail Marketing parcels 
mailed as product samples, must bear an Intelligent Mail package 
barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

4.0 Price Eligibility for Standard Mail

* * * * *
    [Delete 4.4 in its entirety and renumber the current 4.5 as the new 
4.4.]
* * * * *

450 Parcel Select

* * * * *

453 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *
    [Renumber the current section 453.3 as the new 453.4, and add a new 
section 453.3 as follows:]

3.0 Basic Standards for Parcel Select Parcels

3.1 Service Objectives

    The USPS does not guarantee the delivery of Parcel Select 
mailpieces within a specified time. Parcel Select mailpieces might 
receive deferred service. The local Post Office can provide more 
information concerning delivery times within its area.

3.2 Delivery and Return Addresses

    All Parcel Select mailpieces must bear a delivery address. The 
delivery address on each piece must include the correct ZIP Code or 
ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under 602.3.0 may be used. 
Each piece must bear the sender's return address.

3.3 IMpb Standards

    All Parcel Select mailpieces must bear an Intelligent Mail package 
barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

4.0 Price Eligibility for Parcel Select and Parcel Select Lightweight

4.1 Destination Entry Price Eligibility

* * * * *

4.1.2 Basic Standards

    For Parcel Select destination entry, pieces must meet the 
applicable standards in 455.4.0 and the following criteria:
* * * * *
    [Delete renumbered 4.1.2f in its entirety.]
* * * * *

4.2 Parcel Select NDC and ONDC Presort Price Eligibility

    [Delete the last two sentences of renumbered 4.2 in their 
entirety.]

4.3 Parcel Select Barcoded Nonpresort Price Eligibility

    [Delete the first sentence of the introductory paragraph of 
renumbered 4.3.]
* * * * *

4.4 Parcel Select Lightweight

* * * * *

4.4.1 General Eligibility

    Parcel Select Lightweight parcels are presorted machinable or 
irregular parcels. The following also applies:
* * * * *

[[Page 41730]]

    [Delete renumbered 4.41e in its entirety, and renumber the 
renumbered 4.4.1f as the new renumbered 4.4.1e.]
* * * * *

460 Bound Printed Matter

463 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Bound Printed Matter

* * * * *
    [Add a new 2.4 as follows:]

2.4 IMpb Standards

    All BPM parcels must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode 
(IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

4.0 Price Eligibility for Bound Printed Matter Parcels

4.1 Price Eligibility

    * * * Price categories are as follows:
* * * * *
    [Revise 4.1b and 4.1c as follows:]
    b. Presorted Price. The Presorted price applies to BPM prepared in 
a mailing of at least 300 BPM pieces, prepared and presorted as 
specified in 465.5.0, 705.8.0, or 705.22.0.
    c. Carrier Route Price. The Carrier Route price applies to BPM 
prepared in a mailing of at least 300 pieces presorted to carrier 
routes, prepared and presorted as specified in 465.6.0, or 705.8.0.
* * * * *

470 Media Mail and Library Mail

473 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *
    [Revise the title of 2.0 as follows:]

2.0 Basic Standards for Media Mail and Library Mail Parcels

* * * * *
    [Add a new 2.5 as follows:]

2.4 IMpb Standards

    All Media Mail and Library Mail parcels, unless inducted through a 
retail transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, must bear an 
Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

6.0 Price Eligibility for Media Mail and Library Mail Parcels

* * * * *

6.2 Price Eligibility Standards

    [Delete the second and third sentences of 6.2 in their entirety.]
* * * * *

6.3 Price Categories for Media Mail and Library Mail Parcels

    Media Mail and Library Mail prices are based on the weight of the 
piece without regard to zone. The price categories and discounts are as 
follows:
* * * * *
    [Delete 6.3c in its entirety.]

500 Additional Mailing Services

503 Extra Services

* * * * *

3.0 Certified Mail

* * * * *

3.2 Basic Information

* * * * *

3.2.2 Eligible Matter

    [Revise 3.2.2 as follows:]
    Only mailable matter prepaid with postage at the First-Class Mail 
prices may be sent as Certified Mail.
* * * * *

6.0 Return Receipt

* * * * *

6.2 Basic Information

6.2.2 Eligible Matter

    Return receipt service is available for:
* * * * *
    [Resequence the current 2c and 2d as the new 2d and 2e, and revise 
2b and add a new 2c as follows:]
    b. First-Class Mail when purchased with Certified Mail, COD, 
insured mail (for more than $200.00) or Registered Mail service.
    c. First-Class Package Service, and Priority Mail (excluding 
Critical Mail) when purchased at the time of mailing with COD, insured 
mail (for more than $200.00), or Registered Mail service.
* * * * *

8.0 Restricted Delivery

* * * * *

8.2 Basic Information

* * * * *

8.2.2 Eligible Matter

    Restricted Delivery service is available for:
    [Resequence the current 2b and 2c as the new 2c and 2d, and revise 
2a and add a new 2b as follows:]
    a. First-Class Mail when purchased with Certified Mail, COD, 
insured mail (for more than $200.00) or Registered Mail service.
    b. First-Class Package Service, and Priority Mail (excluding 
Critical Mail) when purchased at the time of mailing with COD, insured 
mail (for more than $200.00), or Registered Mail service.
* * * * *

505 Return Services

1.0 Business Reply Mail (BRM)

* * * * *

1.4 General Information

1.4.1 Description

    [Revise the first sentence of, and add a new second sentence to, 
1.4.1 as follows:]
    Business Reply Mail (BRM) service enables a permit holder to 
receive First-Class Mail and Priority Mail back from customers and pay 
postage and a per piece fee for only the pieces returned. BRM cards, 
envelopes, self-mailers, and labels may be distributed by a BRM permit 
holder in any quantity for return to any Post Office in the United 
States and its territories and possessions, including military Post 
Offices overseas. Only card-, letter- and flat-sized pieces are 
eligible for BRM service. * * *

3.0 Merchandise Return Service

* * * * *

3.2 Basic Standards

* * * * *
    [Renumber the current 3.2.5 through 3.2.13 as the new 3.2.6 through 
3.2.14, and add a new 3.2.5 as follows:]

3.2.5 IMpb Standards

    All MRS labels must bear a unique Intelligent Mail package barcode 
(IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0.
* * * * *

3.3 Additional Standards for Permit Holder

* * * * *

3.3.3 USPS Tracking/Delivery Confirmation

    [Revise 3.3.3 as follows:]
    USPS Tracking/Delivery Confirmation service is optional, but 
provided without charge for mailpieces bearing authorized MRS labels. 
MRS labels requesting USPS Tracking/Delivery Confirmation must meet the 
standards in 503.11.0. USPS Tracking/Delivery Confirmation may be 
combined with insurance and special handling, or both.
* * * * *

3.5.13 Format Elements

    Format standards required for the merchandise return label are 
shown in Exhibit 3.5.13a through Exhibit 3.5.13d, and described as 
follows:
* * * * *
    Exhibit 3.5.13a Merchandise Return Label With No Extra Services or 
With

[[Page 41731]]

Insurance, Special Handling, or Pickup on Demand Service (*see 3.5.13d)
    [Placeholder for revised Exhibit 3.5.13a]
* * * * *
    Exhibit 3.5.13b Merchandise Return Label With Registered Mail 
Service
    [Placeholder for revised Exhibit 3.5.13b]
* * * * *
    Exhibit 3.5.13c Merchandise Return Label With Mailing 
Acknowledgment (*see 3.5.13d)
    [Placeholder for revised Exhibit 3.5.13c]
* * * * *
    Exhibit 3.5.13d Merchandise Return Label With USPS Tracking/
Delivery Confirmation Service
    [Placeholder for revised Exhibit 3.5.13d]
* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *

705 Advanced Preparation and Special Postage Payment Systems

* * * * *

7.0 Combining Package Services and Parcel Select Parcels for 
Destination Entry

7.1 Combining Parcels--DSCF and DDU Entry

7.1.1 Qualification

    [Delete the last three sentences of 7.1.1 in their entirety.]
* * * * *

708 Technical Specifications

* * * * *

5.0 Standards for Package and Extra Service Barcodes

5.1 Intelligent Mail Package Barcode

* * * * *

5.1.7 Electronic File

    * * * Electronic files must include the following elements:
* * * * *
    [Revise 5.1.7d as follows:]
    d. Version 1.6 (or subsequent versions) of the electronic shipping 
services manifest files including each destination delivery address or 
ZIP + 4 Code. Effective January 25, 2015, shipping services manifests, 
or other approved electronic documentation, must include the 
destination delivery address or delivery point validated (DPV) 11-digit 
ZIP Code for each record in the file.
    [Delete the current 5.1.7e in its entirety and add a new 7e as 
follows:]
    e. Electronic shipping manifest files, or approved alternative 
electronic documentation, must include data identifying the mailing 
agent and mail owner, as applicable.
* * * * *

5.2 Other Package Barcodes

5.2.1 Basic Standards for Postal Routing Barcodes

    [Revise the first sentence of 5.2.1 as follows:]
    A separate postal routing barcode may be used on parcels to provide 
routing information, when used in conjunction with an IMpb.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes if our proposal is adopted.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2013-16524 Filed 7-10-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P