[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 176 (Thursday, September 11, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 54188-54190]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21510]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Simplifying Threshold Volume Requirements for USPS Return 
Services

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: To minimize customer confusion and ensure consistent 
administration, the Postal Service proposes to change the total annual 
volume thresholds required for USPS Return Services products to qualify 
for Commercial Plus[supreg] pricing. A minimum volume of 50,000 will be 
established for these products across the board to simplify the product 
and make it easier for customers to do business with the Postal 
Service.

DATES: Effective date: The interim rule is effective September 15, 
2014.
    Comment date: Comments are due on or before November 10, 2014.

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 the 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 ``Threshold Volume for USPS Return Services''. Faxed 
comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Karen F. Key at 202-268-7492 
(karen.f.key@usps.gov); John F. Rosato at 202-268-8597 
(john.f.rosato@usps.gov); or Suzanne Newman at 202-695-0550 
(suzanne.j.newman@usps.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service has determined that it is 
immediately necessary to simplify its returns shipping options. 
Currently, there are different annual volume threshold requirements to 
qualify for Commercial Plus[supreg] pricing for products under the USPS 
Return Services umbrella. These products are Priority Mail[supreg] 
Return Service, First-ClassTM Package Return[supreg] 
Service, and Ground Return Service.
    As the requirements now exist, Commercial Plus pricing is available 
for cumulative Priority Mail Return Service and First-Class Package 
Return Service volume exceeding a combined total of 25,000 return 
pieces in the previous calendar year. Additionally, Commercial Plus 
cubic volume must exceed a combined total of 85,000 pieces returned in 
approved packaging in the previous calendar year, or cumulative returns 
and outbound volume must exceed a combined total of 90,000 pieces in 
the previous calendar year to qualify. Commercial Plus pricing customer 
commitments may differ depending on the individual signed agreements 
with USPS. The Postal Service has discovered that these varied and 
overlapping criteria are confusing to customers, and increasingly 
difficult to administer. Additionally, this change better aligns with 
recently adopted changes to the Priority Mail cubic threshold, and to 
the outbound Priority Mail CPP threshold, of 50,000 pieces.
    To provide consistency for customers without signed agreements, the 
Postal Service proposes to establish a minimum total annual threshold 
volume requirement of 50,000 for all USPS Return Services products in 
order to qualify for Commercial Plus pricing. This simplified approach 
will not affect customers with the 25,000 piece threshold until their 
agreements expire. At that time, the 50,000 piece threshold will apply 
unless an extension is requested and approved by the Vice President, 
Sales.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    The Postal Service adopts the following interim 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)

* * * * *

[[Page 54189]]

200 Commercial Mail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels

* * * * *

220 Commercial Mail Priority Mail

* * * * *

223 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

1.2 Commercial Base Prices

    For prices, see Notice 123--Price List. The Commercial Base prices 
are available for:
    [Revise the text of 1.2e to read as follows:]
    e. Permit holders using Merchandise Return Service, including 
Priority Mail Return Service, for mailpieces returned at Priority Mail 
prices when all requirements are met (505.0).
* * * * *

1.3 Commercial Plus Prices

1.3.1 Basic Eligibility

    [Revise the entire text of 1.3.1 to read as follows:]
    For prices, see Notice 123--Price List. Commercial Plus prices are 
available to Priority Mail (including Critical Mail) customers who 
qualify for Commercial Base prices and whose cumulative account volume 
exceeds a combined total of 5,000 letter-size and flat-size pieces 
(including Flat Rate Envelopes, but not the Padded Flat Rate Envelope) 
or 50,000 total pieces in the previous calendar year (except Priority 
Mail Open and Distribute) and who have a customer commitment agreement 
with USPS (New Priority Mail customers see 1.3.2), and are:
    a. Registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products.
    b. Permit imprint customers.
    c. Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) customers whose account 
volume exceeds 600 PMOD containers (see 705.18.5.1).
    d. Permit holders using Merchandise Return Service, including USPS 
Returns, for mailpieces returned at Priority Mail prices, when all 
requirements are met (505.0).
    e. Customers using USPS-approved IBI postage meters that print the 
IBI with the appropriate price marking for commercial price items 
(202.3.3) and electronically transmit transactional data daily to USPS 
for all mailpieces and mail categories.
* * * * *

1.5 Commercial Plus Cubic

1.5.1 Commercial Plus Cubic Eligibility

    [Revise the entire text of 1.5.1 to read as follows:]
    Commercial Plus cubic prices are available to Priority Mail 
customers whose account volumes exceeded 50,000 pieces in the previous 
calendar year and have a customer commitment agreement with the USPS. 
New Priority Mail customers see 1.5.5. Each mailpiece must measure .50 
cubic foot or less, weigh 20 pounds or less, and the longest dimension 
may not exceed 18 inches. Cubic-priced mailpieces may not be rolls or 
tubes. The Commercial Plus cubic prices are available for:
    a. Registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products.
    b. Permit imprint customers. Customers are required to use the 
Electronic Verification System (eVS) program or submit an electronic 
postage statement with a computerized manifest under 705.2.0. Mailings 
must contain at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail. Mailpieces are 
not required to be identical in weight.
    c. Permit holders using Merchandise Return Service, including USPS 
Returns, for parcels returned at Priority Mail prices when all 
requirements are met (505.0).
* * * * *

280 Commercial Mail First-Class Package Service

* * * * *

283 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 Prices and Fees for First-Class Package Service

* * * * *
    [Revise the entire text of 1.3 to read as follows:]

1.3 Commercial Base Prices

    Commercial Base prices are available for presorted mailings or the 
residual portion of a presorted mailing, prepared under 285.4.0, or 
single-piece mailings, paid by one of the following methods:
    a. Registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products when 
using a qualifying shipping label, managed by the PC Postage system.
    b. USPS-approved IBI postage meters that electronically transmit 
transactional data to USPS.
    c. Permit imprint.
    d. Permit holders using Merchandise Return Service, including 
First-Class Package Return Service, for First-Class Package Service 
mailpieces being returned, when all applicable requirements are met 
(505.0).

1.4 Commercial Plus Prices

    [Revise the entire text of 1.4 to read as follows:]
    First-Class Package Service prices are available for presorted or 
single-piece mailings, and when customers:
    a. Establish a customer commitment agreement with the Postal 
Service to mail, or receive, more than 5,000 First-Class Package 
Service machinable parcels at Commercial Plus prices in a calendar 
year.
    b. Pay for postage by one of the following methods:
    1. Permit imprint using the Electronic Verification System (eVS) or 
submit an electronic postage statement with a computerized manifest.
    2. Are registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products 
when using a qualifying shipping label, managed by the PC Postage 
system.
    3. Permit holders using Merchandise Return Service, including USPS 
Returns, for First-Class Package Service mailpieces, when all 
applicable requirements are met (505.0).
* * * * *

500 Additional Mailing Services

* * * * *

505 Return Services

* * * * *

3.0 Merchandise Return Service

3.1 Prices and Fees

* * * * *
    [Revise the entire text of 3.1.5 to read as follows:]

3.1.5 Priority Mail Commercial Base and Commercial Plus Prices

    See Notice 123--Price List for applicable prices. Priority Mail 
Commercial Base and Commercial Plus prices are available to MRS permit 
holders when the following criteria are met:
    a. Commercial Base prices are available for permit holders using 
MRS for Priority Mail items (223.1.2) when all MRS requirements for 
Priority Mail are met.
    b. Commercial Plus prices are available for permit holders using 
MRS for Priority Mail items who qualify for Commercial Base prices 
(223.1.2) and whose account volume exceed 50,000 pieces in the previous 
calendar year or who have a customer commitment agreement with the USPS 
(223.1.3.2).
* * * * *

4.0 USPS Return Services

* * * * *

4.4 Pricing

* * * * *
    [Revise the entire text of 4.4.2 to read as follows:]

4.4.2 Commercial Plus Prices

    Eligibility for Commercial Plus prices are available to permit 
holders who

[[Page 54190]]

qualify for Commercial Base prices, and at least one of the following:
    a. Have cumulative volumes of Priority Mail Return Service, First-
Class Package Return Service, or Ground Return Service exceeding a 
combined total of 50,000 return pieces in the previous calendar year.
    b. Have cumulative returns and outbound Commercial Plus cubic 
volume exceeding a combined total of 50,000 pieces returned in approved 
packaging in the previous calendar year.
    c. Have cumulative returns and outbound volume exceeding a combined 
total of 50,000 pieces in the previous calendar year.
    d. Have a signed Commercial Plus returns customer commitment 
agreement with USPS.
    e. Have a signed Commercial Plus Critical Mail commitment agreement 
with USPS.
* * * * *
    Following the expiration of the comment period, the Postal Service 
will publish its responses to any adverse comments in a subsequent 
Federal Register notice, together with its determination whether to 
confirm the interim rule as published, or modify the rule in response 
to the comments received.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Federal Requirements.
[FR Doc. 2014-21510 Filed 9-10-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P