[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 2 (Friday, January 3, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 375-376]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31443]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 2 / Friday, January 3, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 375]]



POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Revised Postage and Fee Refund Criteria

AGENCY: Postal Service TM.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Postal Service TM proposes to revise Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM[supreg]) section 604.9 to update the hourly charges and related 
postage threshold used in assessing certain types of postage refunds 
and to provide the allowable time periods for requesting refunds for 
extra service fees.

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Product 
Classification, U.S. Postal Service[supreg], 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 N, Washington, DC by appointment only between the 
hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling 202-268-
2906 in advance. Email comments, containing the name and address of the 
commenter, may be sent to: ProductClassification@usps.gov, with a 
subject line of ``Revised Postage and Fee Refund Criteria''. Faxed 
comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Germer, Revenue/Field 
Accounting, douglas.g.germer@usps.gov, 202-268-8522; Karen Key, Manager 
Shipping Products, karen.f.key@usps.gov, 202-268-7492; or Suzanne 
Newman, Product Classification, suzanne.j.newman@usps.gov, 202-268-
5581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 14, 2013, the Postal Service 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking (78 FR 16213-16220) to 
eliminate hourly charges for processing refunds and replace it with a 
charge of 10% of the face value of the postage refund amount being 
requested. This proposal affected postage refunds for dated or undated, 
unused postage meter indicia and for stamps affixed to Business Reply 
Mail[supreg] (BRM) pieces.
    The proposed rule also included adding general language to the DMM 
on refund periods for extra service fees of not less than 10 days, or 
more than 18 months, for services not rendered. The proposed rule 
included a 30-day comment period. After review of the comments and 
further analysis, the Postal Service is publishing this revision of its 
proposed rule.
    The Postal Service proposes to align the current assessments for 
processing postage refunds, in effect since 2003, with current costs. 
Therefore, if this revised rule is adopted, the Postal Service will 
update the hourly factor used in various refund assessments from $35.00 
an hour to $50.00 an hour. Additionally, the threshold for assessing 
certain postage refunds at the hourly factor will be updated from 
postage amounts exceeding $350.00 to postage amounts exceeding $500.00. 
The refund assessment amounts in this proposed rule would not revise 
the current standards for providing service failure refunds or when 
USPS[supreg] is at fault.
    The Postal Service also proposes to add language to the DMM to 
provide customers with information on refund time periods for extra 
service fees that align with the revised claims filing periods (being 
made effective January 26, 2014) to promote timely adjudication. 
Therefore, if this proposed rule is adopted, the Postal Service will 
include the following information in the DMM: Refund requests for 
Registered Mail TM, Certified Mail[supreg], Signature 
Confirmation TM, USPS Tracking TM, Adult 
Signature services, and insurance fees must be made by the mailer no 
sooner than 10 days, or more than 60 days, from the date the service 
was purchased.
    Additionally, if these proposed changes are adopted, PS Form 3533, 
Application for Refund of Fees, Products and Withdrawal of Customer 
Accounts, will be revised to reflect the changes.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    Although we are exempted 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), we invite 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. 
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)

* * * * *

600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

* * * * *

604 Postage Payment Methods

* * * * *

9.0 Exchanges and Refunds

* * * * *

9.2 Postage and Fee Refunds

* * * * *

9.2.4 Postage Refunds Not Available

    Refunds are not made for the following:
* * * * *
    [Add new item 9.2.4h to read as follows:]
    h. For extra service fees paid for Registered Mail, Certified Mail, 
Signature Confirmation, USPS Tracking, Adult Signature services and 
insurance when a refund request is made by the mailer less than 10 
days, or more than 60 days, from the date the service was purchased.
* * * * *

[[Page 376]]

9.2.6 Postage Affixed to Business Reply Mail

    [Revise the seventh sentence of 9.2.6 to read as follows:]
    * * * A charge of $50.00 per hour, or fraction thereof, is assessed 
for the workhours used to process the credit or refund. * * *
* * * * *

9.3.2 General Standards for Metered Indicia Refunds

    * * * For both types of unused metered indicia, submit refund 
requests as follows:
* * * * *
    b. * * * Charges for processing a refund request for unused, dated 
meter indicia are as follows, depending on the total face value of the 
indicia:
    [Revise 9.3.2b1 and 9.3.2b2 to read as follows:]
    1. When the total face value of the indicia is $500.00 or less, the 
amount refunded is 90% of the face value. USPS may process the refund 
payment via a no-fee postal money order; or
    2. When the total face value of the indicia is more than $500.00, 
the amount refunded is the total face value reduced by $50.00 per hour 
for the USPS time to process the refund, with a minimum charge of 
$50.00. The charge is $50.00 for each hour spent, with the last 
fraction of an hour treated as a full hour. Payment processing for 
refunds of $500.01 or more is through the Accounting Service Center.
* * * * *
    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. 2013-31443 Filed 1-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P