[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 18, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76548-76560]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30023]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


New Standards To Enhance Package Visibility

AGENCY: Postal Service TM.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service is revising Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 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. Included in these new requirements is a per-piece 
price adjustment for mailpieces not complying with the IMpb standards. 
The Postal Service is also adding DMM reference to a future requirement 
to use a complete destination delivery address or an 11-digit delivery 
point validated ZIP Code TM in the mailer's electronic 
documentation.

DATES: Effective date: January 26, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Juliaann Hess at 202-268-7663 or 
Rachel Devadas at 202-268-3881.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service takes the next step in 
the development of its package strategy by enhancing 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 use of IMpb.

[[Page 76549]]

    IMpb offers a number of benefits to mailers by providing piece-
level visibility throughout USPS TM processing and delivery 
operations. Benefits of IMpb use include:
     Access to the best prices for the mailing of parcel 
products.
     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 currently 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 now advances its package strategy by implementing 
new standards requiring an IMpb on all remaining commercial parcels, 
and requiring the transmission of supporting electronic documentation, 
including piece-level address or ZIP+4 Code information, to the USPS.
    Included in these new requirements is a per-piece price adjustment 
for mailpieces not complying with the IMpb standards. If approval is 
granted in response to Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Docket No. 
CP2014-5, this price adjustment will become effective for Competitive 
products concurrent with the effective date of this Final Rule. In 
addition, the Postal Service intends to apply the noncompliance price 
adjustment to Market Dominant mailpieces at a future date, after filing 
with, and receiving approval from, the PRC.

Background

    On January 27, 2013, the Postal Service implemented the initial 
phase of its package strategy by requiring IMpb use, including use of 
version 1.6 of the electronic Shipping Services File, 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, advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (78 FR 13006-13007) in 
which it announced its intention to require an IMpb on all remaining 
commercial parcels.
    On July 11, 2013, the Postal Service published a proposed rule in 
the Federal Register (78 FR 41721-41731) to announce its proposal to 
require an IMpb on all commercial parcels and to require the 
transmission of supporting electronic documentation including piece-
level address or ZIP+4 Code information. In addition, the Postal 
Service proposed to implement compliance thresholds for IMpb 
requirements and to assess a per-piece price adjustment for non-
compliant pieces. The Postal Service received comments in response to 
this proposed rule, 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 will now 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 a Priority Mail Express TM 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[supreg] 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. The Postal Service considers PC Postage stamp 
products to be similar to imprints generated by postage meter systems. 
As a result, mailpieces bearing postage paid by PC Postage stamp 
products will generally be subject to the same IMpb requirements as 
those applicable to mailpieces bearing postage meter imprints. As 
provided in the July 11, 2013 proposed rule, 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. Priority Mail letters and flats 
using stamps for postage payment and mailpieces using Priority Mail 
Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging will also not be subject to IMpb 
requirements.
    The Postal Service will allow, with USPS approval, domestic 
Priority Mail letters and flats that are prepared in a high-speed 
environment to use an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb TM) in 
lieu of an IMpb provided each of these pieces bear a unique IMb, that 
cannot be reused for 45 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 Tracking TM. However, mailers should also note that 
Priority Mail pieces entered under this exception will not be eligible 
for automatic insurance coverage. Mailers interested in obtaining 
authorization under this process can contact USPS Shipping Information 
Systems at IMPB@usps.gov.
    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 November 2013 for BPM and in 
April 2014 for Priority Mail. Once implemented, BPM and Priority Mail 
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.
    The Postal Service anticipates that the majority of mailers will be 
prepared for the transition to general IMpb use by the January 26, 2014 
implementation date. As a result, the Postal Service expects a limited 
need for exceptions to the basic

[[Page 76550]]

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 will require all parcels required to include an 
IMpb to be accompanied by a complete destination delivery address in 
the Shipping Services File. This information is critical to the Postal 
Service package strategy, specifically the implementation of dynamic 
routing processes and processes to enable package distribution without 
scheme-trained employees. Effective January 25, 2015, mailers must 
include the complete destination delivery address or an 11-digit ZIP 
Code (validated by USPS delivery point validation (DPV[supreg]) system, 
or an approved equivalent) in their Shipping Services File, or other 
approved electronic documentation. For the purpose of the standard, the 
Postal Service will require a complete delivery address to include:
     Addressee name or other identifier and/or firm name, when 
needed to support the requirements of an Extra Service (e.g. Adult 
Signature, Restricted Delivery service, etc.). Inclusion of the 
addressee name is strongly encouraged for all products.
     Private mail box designator and number (PMB 300 or 
300).
     Urbanization name (Puerto Rico only, ZIP Code prefixes 006 
to 009, if area is so designated).
     Street number and name (including predirectional, suffix, 
and postdirectional as shown in USPS ZIP+4 Product for the delivery 
address or rural route and box number (RR 5 BOX 10), highway contract 
route and box number (HC 4 BOX 45), or Post Office box number (PO BOX 
458), as shown in USPS ZIP+4 Product for the delivery address). (``PO 
Box'' is used incorrectly if preceding a private box number, e.g., a 
college mailroom.)
     Secondary address unit designator and number (such as an 
apartment or suite number (APT 202, STE 100)). Note that when secondary 
address elements are used, these elements must be included in the same 
field of the Shipping Services File as that used for the primary 
address elements.
     City and state (or authorized two-letter state 
abbreviation). Use only city names and city and state name 
abbreviations as shown in USPS City State Product. (City and state is 
not required when the correct ZIP Code is provided in detail 1 record 
of Shipping Services File version 1.7 or 2.0.)
     Correct 5-digit ZIP Code or ZIP+4 Code. If a firm name is 
assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product, the unique 
ZIP+4 Code must be used in the delivery address.

Returns

    The Postal Service will require a unique IMpb on all parcels using 
a Merchandise Return Service (MRS) label. The USPS will continue to 
provide a cloud-based application to 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. MRS labels will be required to use a 
concatenated IMpb construct that includes the ZIP+4 routing code. To 
assure that mailers have adequate time to prepare their systems and to 
notify their customers, the Postal Service will provide an extended 
transitional period for this new requirement until July 27, 2014.
    The Postal Service is also eliminating the option for any mailpiece 
meeting the 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. BRM permit holders 
who routinely receive parcel-shaped BRM returns will be required to 
discontinue this practice and to transition to MRS or a USPS Returns 
product for their parcel returns. The Postal Service will provide a 12-
month transitional period until January 25, 2015, to allow mailers to 
obtain a MRS or USPS Returns permit. The Postal Service will file 
notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of its intent to 
modify the Mail Classification Schedule to reflect this change.

Priority Mail Express

    The Postal Service will generally require all Priority Mail Express 
pieces entered through any commercial channel to be IMpb-compliant. 
This requirement would exclude Priority Mail Express pieces entered as 
part of a retail transaction, those mailpieces with postage paid 
through a postage meter imprint and using a Label 11-B, and those 
entered under a Priority Mail Express Manifesting Agreement (EMM) 
system with postage paid by a USPS Corporate Account (USPSCA). However, 
Priority Mail Express 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. As announced in the July 11, 2013, proposed 
rule, 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 signaling its 
intention to require eVS for EMM systems and anticipates publishing the 
applicable standards in the 2014 calendar year.

Standard Mail Parcels

    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 will also offer an 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, each 
parcel must bear a unique IMb that cannot be reused for 45 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 service with Standard Mail parcels 
will continue to be assessed the electronic fee. Mailers will 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.
    Although Standard Mail parcels will be required to meet the IMpb 
requirements effective January 26, 2014, mailers will be provided an 
extended transitional period until July 27, 2014, to allow additional 
time for mailers to modify their systems to prepare for these new 
requirements. During this transitional period noncompliant

[[Page 76551]]

Standard Mail pieces will not be subject to a monetary noncompliance 
fee.

Package Services

    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 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.
    The Postal Service is also clarifying the DMM to specify that BPM 
pieces including USPS Tracking may also bear an exceptional address 
format.
    Similar to the IMpb compliance process for Standard Mail parcels, 
Package Services parcels will also be required to meet the IMpb 
requirements effective January 26, 2014, but will also be subject to an 
extended transitional period until July 27, 2014, to allow additional 
time for mailers to modify their systems. Noncompliant Package Services 
pieces will also not be subject to a monetary noncompliance fee during 
the transitional period. The Postal Service acknowledges delays in 
implementing enhancements to translate Mail.dat files to Shipping 
Services files impacted some mailers' ability to change their systems 
to meet IMpb requirements and is therefore affording this extended 
transitional period.

Postage Meters

    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 be eligible for commercial plus or 
commercial base pricing. To support the less sophisticated meter 
mailers, the Postal Service will 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. This special version of 
the IMpb label does not qualify for commercial plus or commercial base 
pricing, or automatic insurance for Priority Mail (unless accompanied 
by acceptance information); however use of these preprinted USPS labels 
or other IMpb-compliant barcodes will be a requirement for eligibility 
to ship USPS parcel products.
    To afford meter mailers who currently receive commercial base 
pricing additional time to prepare for this new requirement, the Postal 
Service will provide a transitional period for these mailers until 
January 25, 2015. Effective January 25, 2015, meter mailers must meet 
all IMpb requirements to qualify for commercial base prices. After 
January 25, 2015, meter mailers unable to comply with these 
requirements may continue to mail at retail prices, but must affix a 
USPS tracking label (Special IMpb or Label 400) other IMpb-compliant 
label to each mailpiece. However, these mailers will not be required to 
transmit a Shipping Services File for mailpieces paid at retail prices. 
Whether claiming commercial or retail prices, postage meter mailers 
must affix preprinted USPS labels or other IMpb-compliant barcodes as a 
requirement for eligibility to ship USPS parcel products using a 
postage meter. However, Priority Mail pieces must include Priority Mail 
IMpb shipping labels or those special IMpb labels supported by a 
Shipping Services file to qualify for automatic insurance.
    Metered Priority Mail pieces using IMpb labels that are not 
supported by a Shipping Services file must have a full acceptance scan 
at a retail location in order to qualify for automatic insurance 
coverage.

Use of Non-IMpb Barcodes

    As stated in the July 11, 2013 proposed rule, the Postal Service 
has implemented 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. Requests for 
exceptions must be directed to the Vice President of Sales. All mailers 
must be fully IMpb-compliant, including use version 1.6 or higher of 
the Shipping Services File, by January 25, 2015.
    Effective July 28, 2013, the Postal Service provided automatic 
insurance coverage, at no additional charge, on domestic Priority Mail 
pieces bearing an IMpb. Mailers should note that Priority Mail pieces 
bearing barcodes prepared in the legacy format are not eligible for 
automatic insurance coverage.

Electronic Documentation

    In response to input from the mailing industry, the Postal Service 
will modify the requirements described in the July 11, 2013, proposed 
rule relative to the identification of the mail owner, mailing agent 
By/For relationship. After consultation and discussion with multiple 
industry groups, mailers, and other stakeholders, the Postal Service 
will strongly encourage, but not require, mailing agents (mail service 
providers and consolidators) to include information in their electronic 
documentation that identifies both the mailing agent and mail owner 
(i.e. By/For mailing relationship) for all mailings made on behalf of 
mail owners who mail, or are expected to mail, more than 7,500 parcels 
per year. As part of past and current visibility initiatives, 
onboarding processes, and payment programs, the Postal Service notes 
that package mailing agents generally provide By/For information at a 
relatively high level. In recognition of this fact and in consideration 
of its recent discussions with the mailing industry, the Postal Service 
now believes it to be mutually beneficial to work collaboratively 
toward maintaining and improving the level of disclosure of By/For 
relationships without introducing formalized requirements and 
compliance enforcements. The Postal Service is generally pleased with 
the progress made in providing this information for package mailings.
    Going forward, the Postal Service expects By/For identification to 
continually improve for all mailing agents, and will monitor each 
mailing agent's performance to ensure the level of disclosure of the 
mail owner information consistently increases towards the thresholds 
provided in this Federal Register Notice for Shipping Services File 
versions 1.6 or higher. The Postal Service intends to examine the 
progress of disclosure of the By/For information 6 months following the 
implementation of this final rule. In the event the level of By/For 
disclosures degrades below these thresholds, the Postal Service will 
consider making By/For information a compliance requirement.
    When mailing agents make mailings on behalf of one or more clients 
(mail owners) the Postal Service expects agents to continue to make 
requests for a unique mailer ID (MID) for each client

[[Page 76552]]

to designate package ownership. Both eVS and non-eVS mailing agents are 
to use this process to assign a unique MID for each client. This unique 
MID will be used exclusively for that client, for mailings with that 
particular mailing agent, and shall not be reassigned to other clients.
    In addition, mailing agents may include a unique Customer 
Registration ID (CRID) for the mail owner in the electronic 
documentation to identify By/For relationships. Fields are provided in 
Shipping Services File version 1.6 or higher, Mail.dat and Mail.XML for 
this purpose.
    However, the Postal Service will require mail owners who claim 
commercial plus prices or Nonprofit Standard Mail prices and mail 
owners of parcels containing hazardous material to disclose the By/For 
mailing relationship regardless of volume.
    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

    Mailers using an IMpb will be required to use a conforming MID. 
Mailers who are not currently 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 in regard to converting to conforming MIDs may be 
directed to the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) by calling 877-
264-9693 and selecting option 3 or by sending an email to 
IMpb@usps.gov.

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. Furthermore, to simplify the processing and 
coding requirements for mailers, the Postal Service itself and software 
vendors, the rules for populating fields (e.g. required versus optional 
fields, defaults, content values) in file type 2 will now be the same 
as for file type 1. Mailers can reference Publication 199 for details 
on Shipping Services Files Types 1 and 2.
    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, but are not limited 
to, 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 of mailing, and 
`' is the numeric sequence number 
to support multiple postage statements on the same day. For example, 
TID 201311130001 represents the first postage statement created for 
November 13, 2013.
     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 OfficeTM issuing the permit number, meter license, 
or precanceled stamp, and should agree with the information on the 
postage statement. The Transaction ID (TID) in conjunction with the 
Payment Account Number, Method of Payment, and Post Office of Account, 
enable the Postal Service to calculate IMpb compliance for each mailing 
at the postage statement level. If any of these fields are missing or 
inaccurate, an IMpb compliance fee will be assessed for each 
competitive product mailpiece.

Electronic Nesting Data

    As stated in the July 11, 2013 proposed rule, 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, price categories or value added services. Technical 
requirements for the electronic association of parcels to containers 
will be provided in Publication 199.

Noncompliant Mailpieces

    The Postal Service will adopt the recommendations of the mailing 
industry, and will implement 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 and will implement a per-piece price 
adjustment for non-compliant pieces. The Postal Service will 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 will 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. Each record in Shipping Services Files will 
be subject to 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

[[Page 76553]]

can be calculated separately for each of the three compliance 
categories. MRS and other returns mailpieces will be sampled for 
compliance under these new 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, a per-piece 
price adjustment will be assessed against the category yielding the 
highest number of noncompliant pieces. Noncompliant pieces will be 
assessed the per-piece price adjustment only once, even when failing 
more than one compliance category. The Postal Service will enforce 
compliance thresholds as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Compliance category                     January 2014 (%)    July 2014 (%)     January 2015 (%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unique Trackable Barcode...............................                 98                 99                 99
Destination Delivery Address or ZIP+4 Code in the File.                 93                 95                *98
Shipping Services File 1.6 or Higher, Including                         90                 95                 97
 Required Data Elements................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Destination delivery address or 11-Digit DPV ZIP Code required effective January 25, 2015.

    For competitive products (i.e. Priority Mail Express, Priority 
Mail, First-Class Package Service[supreg] and Parcel Select[supreg]), 
the Postal Service will implement the thresholds and per-piece price 
adjustments described above for noncompliant pieces. In conformance 
with the recently filed competitive price case (PRC Docket No. CP2014-
5) the Postal Service will begin enforcement of the thresholds and per-
piece price adjustments on January 26, 2014.
    For market-dominant products (i.e. First-Class Mail[supreg] 
parcels, Standard Mail parcels, and Package Services parcels), the 
Postal Service intends to apply the thresholds and noncompliance price 
adjustment to Market Dominant mailpieces at a future date, after filing 
with, and receiving approval from, the PRC. Regulatory review will take 
up to 45 days from the date of that filing. The proposed effective date 
for the per-piece price adjustments for Market Dominant products will 
be predicated on the PRC's decision.

Hazardous, Perishable and Restricted Materials

    Effective January 26, 2014, 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. 
For the purposes of this requirement mailpieces containing hazardous 
material would include any package containing material requiring 
hazardous material markings, requiring special packaging, contents 
limitations or transportation restrictions provided for in DMM 601 or 
Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted or Perishable Mail. Mailers will 
be provided an extended transitional period until July 27, 2014, to 
allow additional time for mailers to modify their systems for these new 
requirements.
    The Postal Service has also developed similar identifying 
indicators to provide enhanced visibility of shipments containing 
cremated remains. Mailer use of the cremated remains indicators is 
strongly recommended, but will not be required.

Certified Mail and Registered Mail Service

    In response to feedback from the mailing industry, the Postal 
Service will not adopt its proposal to limit Certified Mail[supreg] 
service to use with only First-Class Mail. Effective July 27, 2014, the 
Postal Service expects to provide a new option for mailers to combine 
restricted delivery service with Signature ConfirmationTM 
service. 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 Service, Package 
Services, Standard Post and Parcel Select pieces without also having to 
purchase insurance for more than $200 to obtain this service.
    The Postal Service will also provide a transitional period for IMpb 
compliance with Certified Mail and Registered Mail TM until 
January 25, 2015. This transitional period will provide additional time 
for mailers to prepare their systems, change label and envelope stock 
and deplete their inventories of preprinted forms.
    The Postal Service expects to provide new Registered Mail and 
Certified Mail ``banner only'' labels for mailer use early in the 2014 
calendar year. These ``banner only'' labels will help identify these 
specific products when used in an IMpb-compliant barcode format, and 
will meet USPS mailing standards for privately printed forms when used 
as specified.

Comments and USPS Responses

    The Postal Service received a total of eight comments in response 
to the July 11, 2013, Federal Register proposed rule, with some 
comments addressing more than a single issue. In general, commenters 
relate concern with the penalties for noncompliance and the policies 
relating to the electronic transmission of Shipping Services Files. 
These comments are summarized as follows:

Noncompliance Adjustments and Thresholds

    Comment: Several commenters state that both the starting and ending 
compliance thresholds provided in the proposed rule are unrealistically 
high and are arguably unachievable by industry. These commenters 
request more liberal thresholds.
    USPS Response: Many mailers are currently meeting or exceeding the 
January 2014 IMpb compliance thresholds communicated in the July 11, 
2013, proposed rule, and others are rapidly closing their compliance 
gaps. However, in response to mailer concerns, the Postal Service has 
revised the January 2015 threshold levels. In addition, the Postal 
Service will provide an extended transitional period for IMpb 
compliance for all Market Dominant parcels until July 27, 2014. This 
extended transitional period will afford mailers of market dominant 
parcels more time to prepare their systems and to take advantage of 
USPS enhancements that support Mail.dat file conversion to Shipping 
Services Files.
    Comment: A commenter states that ad hoc reports are not available 
on a basis consistent enough to allow mailers to determine if they are 
meeting compliance thresholds. This commenter asks how the USPS will 
prove noncompliance and how will the USPS will be able to determine if 
noncompliance results from a failure on the part of the mailer or from 
some USPS related problem.

[[Page 76554]]

    USPS Response: The Postal Service recognizes that adhoc reports 
could have been provided on a more consistent basis. In November 2013, 
the Postal Service will be enhancing its systems to measure compliance 
for each record transmitted through Shipping Services Files or received 
in scan event data. These enhancements will identify pieces that fail 
to meet IMpb requirements at the record level. Mailers not entering 
parcels under an approved exception will automatically receive 
compliance performance feedback in the context of Confirmation Error/
Warning reports. In addition, new Scan Event Extract file versions will 
be available in November 2013. These optional, upgraded versions of the 
Scan Event Extract file provide new data fields with IMpb compliance 
results at the piece level.
    The Postal Service will also implement processes to mitigate file 
receipt and posting delays that may be caused by system issues. The 
Postal Service will continue to work with mailers to improve file 
transmission timeliness. In addition, the Postal Service has provided a 
new option to advance electronic package level detail address 
information earlier in the creation/fulfillment process through the new 
Shipping Partner Event File Version 3.0. This option is available to 
mailers who want to send address information at earlier stages in the 
order/fulfillment process where this information is initially captured.
    Comment: A commenter asks what the noncompliance per-piece price 
adjustment will be for January 2014.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service expects to provide a per-piece 
price adjustment for IMpb noncompliant competitive products effective 
January 26, 2014. If this adjustment factor is implemented as expected, 
the price will be included in the Federal Register notice announcing 
the 2014 prices for competitive products. This Federal Register notice 
is expected to publish in November 2013.
    Comment: A commenter suggests that the Postal Service set penalties 
for noncompliance at a price reasonably related to the cost of the work 
required by the Postal Service to handle these noncompliant pieces, and 
specifically suggests that the original industry thresholds as 
recommended by the Task Team (TT 19) be adopted for the 
January 2014 implementation.
    USPS Response: The IMpb Compliance Fee is intended to be reflective 
of the work required to apply barcodes and capture piece level detail 
information about parcels failing to meet IMpb requirements. The 
compliance thresholds will be set at the levels described earlier in 
this Federal Register notice. Although several key recommendations from 
MTAC Task Team 19 were adopted, including the concept of using 
compliance threshold levels, the numerical values for those thresholds 
were not adopted.

Meter Users

    Comment: Several commenters request that the Postal Service clarify 
its intent with regard to postage meter mailers. These commenters ask 
whether payment by postage meter will be an option for packages in the 
future, and if the Postal Service plans to develop a special IMpb label 
for postage meter mailers. These commenters further suggest that the 
Postal Service develop a methodology that can accommodate postage meter 
customers and that provides an IMpb option that is not predicated on 
the entry of a 9- or 11-digit zip code.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service will continue to allow mailers to 
use meters to pay postage for parcels. However, this Final Rule will 
require all metered parcels to bear an IMpb barcode. The Postal Service 
is developing a new version of the IMpb specifically for postage meter 
mailers that will be available to mailers by January 26, 2014. These 
labels will be made available both through meter venders and the Postal 
Service at no additional charge. Effective January 25, 2015, postage 
meter mailers who are unable to meet all IMpb requirements, including 
transmission of electronic documentation and use of a complete 
destination delivery address or DPV 11-digit ZIP Code, will not be 
eligible for Commercial Base or Commercial Plus pricing but will be 
allowed to ship parcels that bear IMpb barcodes at retail prices, when 
these pieces bear a USPS tracking label (Label 400) or other IMpb-
compliant label.
    Comment: Three commenters requested clarification on how to create 
a Shipping Services file when using a postage meter and what Mailer ID 
would be used when affixing metered postage to a package.
    USPS Response: Publication 199, Intelligent Mail Package Barcode 
(IMpb) Implementation Guide for: Confirmation Services and Electronic 
Verification System (eVS) Mailers, provides information on how to 
create and transmit Shipping Services electronic manifest files to 
USPS. The Mailer ID (MID) used in the barcode may be either that of the 
meter vendor or the mail owner. Of equal importance for meter users is 
the two-digit Source ID which is uniquely assigned to meter, online, 
and PC Postage vendors. This two-digit code must also be included in 
the barcode to identify the respective vendor. Unless otherwise 
required, a unique MID identifying the mail owner should generally be 
provided when the mail owner ships more than 7,500 parcels per year, 
without regard to the method of postage payment used. However, mailers 
claiming Commercial Plus Pricing must use a unique MID to identify the 
mail owner.
    Comment: One commenter requests clarification of when a mailer 
using detached address labels (DALs) will be required to meet the new 
IMpb standards.
    USPS Response: Parcels using DALs in compliance with DMM standards 
are not subject to IMpb requirements.

Certified Mail

    Comment: Three commenters expressed concern with the proposal to 
limit Certified Mail to First-Class Mail only. These commenters request 
the Postal Service to ensure that a comparable set of services are 
available for Priority Mail pieces that today use the Certified Mail 
service, and that these services provide the same acceptable 
capabilities and options as Certified Mail service.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service will continue to offer Certified 
Mail service for use with Priority Mail pieces. The Postal Service will 
proceed with the enhancement to Signature Confirmation service to 
include Restricted Delivery.
    Comment: Several commenters state that the Postal Service should 
communicate details regarding the specific requirements for the 
proposed use of Certified Mail and Registered Mail Service. These 
commenters ask if there is an alternate method to replace the function 
of Certified Mail service for packages.
    USPS Response: Registered Mail and Certified Mail users are 
required to meet IMpb requirements, including the use of electronic 
documentation and the inclusion of the destination delivery address or 
ZIP+4 Code (or an 11-digit delivery point validated ZIP Code effective 
January 25, 2015). These mailers will be provided with an extended 
transitional period until January 25, 2015 to prepare their systems to 
comply with IMpb requirements. During this transitional period, mailers 
may continue to use barcodes prepared in legacy formats.
    Comment: One commenter asks if the Postal Service plans to provide 
a green Certified Mail indicator label that can be used in conjunction 
with an IMpb shipping label. This commenter asks if mailer-generated 
shipping labels will be

[[Page 76555]]

required to be nearly identical in design and color as PS Form 3800, or 
to have an additional green label affixed and if these labels must be 
placed at the top of the mailpiece, similar to the requirements for the 
use of Certified Mail labels today. This commenter also asks if the 
proposed standards will impact a vendor's ability to create privately-
printed Certified Mail labels.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service expects to distribute Registered 
Mail and Certified Mail banner only labels during the 2014 calendar 
year. These labels can be used on mailpieces where the barcode is 
printed on a shipping label or location other than near the top edge of 
a mailpiece. These labels will allow for greater visibility of 
Registered Mail or Certified Mail articles, while also allowing the 
barcode to be placed in a location separate from the applicable colored 
label. Mailer-generated labels are required to be nearly identical in 
design and color to their corresponding Extra Service retail labels; 
however Registered Mail or Certified Mail banner only labels may be 
used to fulfill this requirement when used in conjunction with IMpb 
shipping labels. Vendors are allowed to continue to create their own 
labels; however IMpb requirements must be met.

Commercial Mail Pieces at Retail Prices

    Comment: One commenter states that the Postal Service should 
specify whether or not the proposed standards would require commercial 
parcels paying postage at retail prices to have a corresponding record 
in the Shipping Services File, including a valid ZIP+4 or delivery 
address information.
    USPS Response: Generally, all commercial parcels are required to 
meet IMpb standards, including those mailed at retail prices. This 
requirement will be modified for parcels using postage meter imprints, 
provided these mailpieces bear label 400 or a similar IMpb-compliant 
barcode.
    Comment: One commenter asks why retail-priced parcels included in a 
commercial mailing would be required to meet additional requirements 
above and beyond that required for similarly prepared priced and 
processed retail parcels.
    USPS Response: All mailers and their customers will benefit from 
the visibility and additional features provided by a fully IMpb 
barcoded package environment. Parcels presented at retail will have an 
IMpb applied as part of the retail transaction. Therefore, mailers 
unable or unwilling to present parcels as part of a retail transaction 
will be required to meet IMpb standards.

Communication Plans

    Comment: One commenter requests the Postal Service to improve its 
communication plans. This commenter states that communication plans 
should be both coordinated and collaborative in order to mitigate the 
impact of these new requirements on mailers.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service plans to increase and better 
target its communications and outreach efforts regarding IMpb 
implementation and its timing through all available channels. The 
Postal Service plans to collaborate with its shipping partners and 
industry to communicate requirements in this regard.

Shipping Services File Transmission

    Comment: Several commenters request the Postal Service to make 
accommodations to avoid adjustments, and to ensure parcels are 
processed expeditiously, when Shipping Services Files are unavailable. 
With regard to the timing for transmittal of electronic documentation, 
these commenters state that allowances must be made to account for 
system outages, either on the USPS or mailing industry side. These 
commenters request the Postal Service to recognize that system outages 
do occur and ensure that penalties are not charged for system outages 
beyond a shipper's control. These commenters specifically ask what the 
Postal Service will do when the Shipping Services File is not yet 
available for a parcel mailing already in acceptance and ready for 
processing and delivery. These commenters state that there should be 
some kind of mitigation policy to offset or remove the fees when the 
noncompliance is not the fault of the shipper.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service will evaluate the specific 
circumstances of late arriving Shipping Services files on a case-by-
case basis. Mailers submitting late files through no fault of their own 
will generally be accommodated.
    Comment: One commenter asks if the Postal Service will hold 
packages until the Shipping Services File is received or will it 
proceed with the sortation and delivery of the mailing.
    USPS Response: Although Postal Service processes are dependent on 
the receipt of Shipping Services files prior to the actual arrival of 
the mailpieces, the Postal Service will make every effort to process 
parcels in an operationally effective manner. The Postal Service 
response in these situations may vary according to particular 
circumstances of the case and the resources available to the Postal 
Service at the time of the occurrence.
    Comment: One commenter requests clarification as to what was meant 
by the statement ``to simplify the requirements to populate the field'' 
with regard to populating the fields within the Shipping Services File.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service currently uses different business 
rules for processing type 1 and type 2 Shipping Services files. 
Furthermore, to simplify the processing and coding requirements for 
mailers, the Postal Service itself and software vendors, the rules for 
populating fields (e.g. required versus optional fields, defaults, 
content values) in file type 2 will now be the same as for file type 1. 
Mailers may reference Publication 199 for details on Shipping Services 
Files, type 1 and type 2.

Electronic Documentation

    Comment: One commenter states that there should be symmetry in how 
the Postal Service will require the identification of the mailing 
agent/mail owner relationship for IMb and IMpb mailings. This commenter 
states that currently the processes relating to IMb and IMpb mailings 
are disconnected.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service recognizes that the business 
model for package mailers is typically different from that for mailers 
of letters and flats. In response and after consultation with 
customers, industry groups, and stakeholders, the Postal Service has 
modified the By/For disclosure process for parcel mailers. The Postal 
Service will strongly encourage and work with mailing agents (mail 
service providers and consolidators) to include information in their 
electronic documentation that identifies both the mailing agent and 
mail owner (i.e. By/For mailing relationship) for all mailings made on 
behalf of mail owners who are expected to mail more than 7,500 parcels 
per year. As part of past and current visibility initiatives, 
onboarding, and payment programs, package mailing agents already 
provide By/For information at a high level. Given this information and 
discussions, it is in our mutual best interest to collaboratively work 
toward provision of By/For relationships without adding more 
requirements, rules and compliance enforcements. In addition, mailers 
who claim commercial plus pricing (CPP) or Nonprofit Standard Mail 
prices and the mail owners of parcels containing hazardous material 
must disclose the By/For relationship regardless of volume.
    Comment: One commenter requests the Postal Service to change the 
requirements for IMpb and allow either a Mailer ID (MID) or customer

[[Page 76556]]

registration ID (CRID) to identify the mail owner/mailing agent 
relationship in the electronic documentation. This commenter states 
that this change is important for Mail.dat applications.
    USPS Response: In response to this and other comments, the Postal 
Service will provide an option for mailing agents to include a unique 
Customer Registration ID (CRID) for the mail owner in the electronic 
documentation on an exception basis. Exception requests must be 
submitted to the Vice President of Sales. Submit exception requests to 
IMpb@usps.gov.
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the Postal Service follow the 
model set by letters and flats mailings, following an order of 
precedence to allow fields (CRID and MID) available in the 
eDocumentation to identify Mail Owner. When the CRID field is populated 
it would take precedence over the Mailer ID in the piece barcode. This 
commenter states that this approach would provide greater functionality 
and flexibility to mailers, and establish consistency among USPS 
product lines.
    USPS Response: As mentioned in response to a previous comment, the 
Postal Service will provide an option for mailing agents to include a 
unique Customer Registration ID (CRID) for the mail owner in the 
electronic documentation on an exception basis. Exception requests must 
be submitted to the Vice President of Sales. Submit exception requests 
to IMpb@usps.gov.
    Comment: One commenter suggests that if the Postal Service insists 
on collecting By/For information in connection with IMpb use, they 
should keep the same requirements for IMpb as for Full Service IMb.
    USPS Response: As previously discussed, the business model for 
package mailers is generally dissimilar from that of letters and flats 
mailers. As a result of consultations with the industry, the Postal 
Service will strongly encourage and work with service providers to 
identify By/For relationships for customers shipping 7,500 pieces per 
year. In addition, an exception process will be implemented that allows 
use of the By/For CRID in electronic documentation to identify mail 
owners.

Destination Delivery Address vs. 11-Digit Zip Code

    Comment: Several commenters request the Postal Service to define 
what is meant by a ``complete destination delivery address.''
    USPS Response: The elements of a complete address are described in 
DMM 602.1.4.2 and are summarized earlier in this Federal Register 
notice. Generally, a complete destination delivery address should be 
able to successfully undergo the delivery point validation process.
    Comment: Two commenters ask what evidence the Postal Service would 
require to demonstrate a validity of an address, other than the use of 
CASS TM software. These commenters ask if CASS certification 
and destination delivery addresses will be required for IMpb use, both 
on the physical mail piece and within the version 1.6 upload field.
    USPS Response: Although strongly encouraged, the Postal Service 
will not require mailers to demonstrate CASS certification. The Postal 
Service will instead require and confirm addressing elements, Delivery 
Point Validation 11-digit ZIP Code, and ZIP+4 Code information as part 
of its validation processes.
    Comment: Several commenters request clarification as to whether the 
Postal Service prefers a destination delivery address or an 11-digit 
Zip Code. These commenters ask if the Postal Service plans to develop 
an 11-Digit IMpb format for packages and how this would impact the 
Shipping Services File. A commenter asks if the Postal Service requires 
the addressee name in the file, will the 47-space requirement be 
changed to reflect the additional space needed.
    USPS Response: For parcel mailings, the Postal Service permits 
several variations in regards to supplying address information. These 
options, in order of preference by the USPS, are as follows:

 Destination Delivery Address and DPV 11-digit ZIP Code
 DPV 11-Digit ZIP Code
 Destination Delivery Address and DPV 9-digit ZIP Code
 Destination Delivery Address
 9-digit ZIP Code

    The Postal Service originally considered requiring an IMpb barcode 
format with an 11-digit ZIP Code; however upon investigation determined 
that this would not be a practical requirement given the increased 
risks for barcode readability problems. Readability problems would 
negatively impact operational costs, visibility, and revenue assurance.
    Comment: One commenter asks why the complete delivery address is 
needed for package sortation or dynamic routing. This commenter asks 
for further clarification on the exact information needed to enable 
these processes.
    USPS Response: The electronic representation of full address or DPV 
11-digit ZIP Code is required prior to the actual receipt of the 
mailing. This information is required to facilitate the dynamic 
sortation and assignment of delivery territory based on parcel volume, 
distance, and other factors that optimize costs and efficiencies.

Timing for New Requirements

    Comment: Several commenters request the Postal Service to remove 
the proposed standards relating to hazardous, perishable, and 
restricted materials from the IMpb final rule and make a separate 
proposed rule to address these additional requirements. These 
commenters also request the Postal Service to adjust the timing for the 
implementation of the new requirements introduced in the proposed rule 
to provide sufficient preparation time for mailers to comply.
    USPS Response: The visibility of mailpieces containing hazardous, 
perishable and restricted materials is essential to the Postal Service 
for a number of reasons, including regulatory concerns and the 
determination of volume and acceptance characteristics of these 
materials. The Postal Service will extend the transitional period for 
identifying hazardous, perishable, and restricted materials until July 
27, 2014, to allow customers more time to modify their systems to meet 
these requirements. However, mailpieces must bear markings as required 
by current mailing standards.

MRS Labels

    Comment: One commenter states that because their documents are 
handled by two different entities, they will be unable to comply with 
the new requirement to include the transaction ID, payment account 
number, method of payment and Post Office account number in the 
Shipping Services File. This commenter asks if they will be able to 
obtain an exception for this process.
    USPS Response: In general, MRS mailers are not expected to provide 
a Shipping Services Files for returned parcels. MRS mailers must 
concatenated IMpb barcode constructs that include a 9-digit routing ZIP 
Code. This mailer is encouraged to contact USPS shipping information 
systems at IMPB@usps.gov if they believe an exception is needed.
    Comment: Four commenters request information on how the Postal 
Service plans to educate MRS customers on the new requirement to 
include a unique IMpb on each MRS mailpiece, and the tools available to 
mailers to create barcoded MRS labels.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service will be developing a 
communication plan to advise mailers of the new IMpb requirements, 
including those for MRS

[[Page 76557]]

mailers, and to provide details on the enhanced services provided by 
the USPS to assist mailers on meeting these requirements.
    Comment: Two commenters ask how the Postal Service will reach out 
to small and medium-size MRS mailers that are not connected through the 
Mailers Technical Advisory Council. These commenters ask if tracking 
will be free and what type of service codes would apply for the unique 
barcode on MRS.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service will be developing a 
communication plan that separately targets mailers of all types, 
including MRS mailers. MRS will be eligible for free tracking, 
dependent on the mail class selected by the permit holder. Service type 
codes specifically for MRS parcels are outlined in Publication 199. In 
addition, the Postal Service will extend the transitional period for 
MRS mailers to July 27, 2014.

Transaction ID

    Comment: One commenter asks for the reason why the Postal Service 
is requiring a Transaction ID (TID) in the Shipping Services File.
    USPS Response: The Transaction ID electronically identifies and 
links the Shipping Services Electronic File(s) and associated data to 
the corresponding postage statement for shipments presented at BMEUs 
and DMUs. The TID in conjunction with the Payment Account Number, 
Method of Payment, and Post Office of Account, enable the Postal 
Service to calculate IMpb compliance for each mailing at the postage 
statement level. If any of these fields are missing or inaccurate, an 
IMpb compliance fee will be assessed for each competitive product 
mailpiece.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    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 part 111.1. 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)

* * * * *

200 Commercial Letters and Cards

* * * * *

210 Priority Mail Express

213 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail Express

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Priority Mail Express pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, those bearing postage meter 
imprints and using Label 11-B, or those pieces paying postage through 
USPSCA, must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared 
under 708.5.0. Unless otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

220 Priority Mail

223 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.3 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.3 as follows:]
    Unless authorized to use a unique IMb on Priority Mail letters and 
flats prepared in high-speed environments, all Priority Mail pieces 
(except Critical Mail pieces without an extra service) must bear an 
Intelligent Mail package barcode prepared under 708.5.0. To obtain 
information on how to acquire an authorization to use an IMb on 
Priority Mail letters and flats, mailers can contact USPS Shipping 
Information Systems at IMPB@usps.gov. Mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

300 Commercial Flats

* * * * *

310 Priority Mail Express

313 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail Express

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Priority Mail Express pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, those bearing postage meter 
imprints and using Label 11-B or those pieces paying postage through 
USPSCA, must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared 
under 708.5.0. Unless otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

320 Priority Mail

323 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.3 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.3 as follows:]
    Unless authorized to use a unique IMb on Priority Mail letters and 
flats prepared in high-speed environments, all Priority Mail pieces 
(except Critical Mail pieces without an extra service) must bear an 
Intelligent Mail package barcode prepared under 708.5.0. To obtain 
information on how to acquire an authorization to use an IMb on 
Priority Mail letters and flats, mailers can contact USPS Shipping 
Information Systems at IMPB@usps.gov. Mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

400 Commercial Parcels

* * * * *

401 Physical Standards

1.0 Physical Standards for Parcels

* * * * *

[[Page 76558]]

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:
* * * * *
    [Delete 1.5.2b and renumber 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 Priority Mail Express

413 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Standards for Priority Mail Express

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise 3.2 as follows:]
    All Priority Mail Express pieces, unless inducted through a retail 
transaction or a USPS self-service kiosk, those bearing postage meter 
imprints and using Label 11-B or those pieces paying postage through 
USPSCA, must bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared 
under 708.5.0. Unless otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

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. Mailpieces not meeting 
the requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

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 and renumber 1.4g as new 1.4f.]

1.5 Surcharge

    [Delete 1.5b, restructure and revise 1.5 as follows:]
    Unless prepared in 5-digit/scheme containers, a surcharge applies 
for 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. Mailpieces not 
meeting the requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package 
barcodes or extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will 
be assessed an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web 
site at https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

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, except those using detached address labels 
(DAL) and those bearing simplified addresses, must bear an Intelligent 
Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 708.5.0. Standard Mail 
parcels may optionally use an IMb in lieu of an IMpb when parcels which 
are presorted and containerized in 5-digit sacks or other approved 
containers prepared to the 5-digit level, provided each parcel bears a 
unique IMb that cannot be reused for 45 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.
* * * * *

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.

[[Page 76559]]

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. Mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in Publication 199 will be assessed 
an IMpb noncompliance fee. For details see the RIBBS Web site at 
https://ribbs.usps.gov.
* * * * *

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 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:
* * * * *
    [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 and 2.5 as follows:]

2.4 USPS Tracking

    BPM parcels with alternative address formats may be mailed with 
USPS Tracking, but must not bear an ancillary service endorsement (see 
602.3.1.2).

2.5 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:]

2.5 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

    [Delete 6.3c in its entirety.]
* * * * *

475 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

5.0 Preparing Media Mail and Library Mail Parcels

* * * * *

5.2 Preparing Machinable Parcels

* * * * *
    [Delete 5.2.3 in its entirety.]
* * * * *

500 Additional Mailing Services

503 Extra Services

* * * * *

3.0 Insured Mail

* * * * *

3.2 Insurance Coverage--Priority Mail

    Priority Mail pieces bearing an Intelligent Mail package barcode 
(IMpb) or USPS retail tracking barcode (see 10.3.1) are insured against 
loss, damage, or missing contents, up to a maximum of $50.00 or 
$100.00, subject to the following:
* * * * *
    [Renumber the current 3.2d as the new 3.2e and add a new 3.2d as 
follows:]
    b. Priority Mail pieces meeting the requirements under 3.2, but not 
supported by a Shipping Services file must have a full acceptance scan 
in order to qualify for automatic insurance coverage.
* * * * *

5.0 Return Receipt

* * * * *

5.2 Basic Information

5.2.2 Eligible Matter

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

7.0 Restricted Delivery

* * * * *

7.2 Basic Information

* * * * *

[[Page 76560]]

7.2.2 Eligible Matter

    Restricted Delivery service is available for:
    [Renumber 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 second sentence of, and add a new 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, flats, 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

    [Revise 3.3.3 as follows:]
    USPS Tracking service is optional, but provided without charge for 
mailpieces bearing authorized MRS labels. MRS labels requesting USPS 
Tracking must meet the standards in 503.10.0. USPS Tracking may be 
combined with insurance and special handling, or both.
* * * * *

3.5 Preparation

* * * * *

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 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 Service
    [Placeholder for revised Exhibit 3.5.13d]
* * * * *

507 Mailer Services

1.0 Treatment of Mail

* * * * *

1.5 Treatment for Ancillary Services by Class of Mail

* * * * *

507.1.5.4 Standard Post, Package Services and Parcel Select

    Undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) Standard Post, Package Services, 
and Parcel Select mailpieces are treated as described in Exhibit 1.5.4, 
with these additional conditions:
* * * * *
    [Revise the first sentence of 1.5.4b as follows:]
    b. Except for Bound Printed Matter pieces including USPS Tracking, 
the exceptional address format under 602.3.0 may not be used on mail 
with any ancillary service endorsement or mail with any extra service 
(see 463.2.4). * * *
* * * * *

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.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy and Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2013-30023 Filed 12-17-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P