[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 24 (Friday, February 6, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 6250-6257]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-2515]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


New Standards for Domestic Mailing Services, Revised Proposal

AGENCY: Postal Service\TM\.

ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental.

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SUMMARY: On January 29, 2009, the Postal Service published a proposed 
rule to provide mailing standards that would accompany new prices for 
mailing services in 2009 and 2010. Upon further review, the Postal 
Service has determined that it is appropriate to make certain changes 
in its initial proposal. In particular, language has been inserted to 
clarify that proposed new standards relating to static charge and 
coefficient of friction standards for automation and machinable letters 
would be recommended, not mandatory, and a proposal to revise the 
standards for window envelopes on letter-size envelopes has been 
removed. For purposes of clarity and convenience, the entire revised 
version of the proposed rule is being published for comment.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 9, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Mailing 
Standards, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Room 3436, 
Washington, DC 20260-3436. You may inspect and photocopy all written 
comments at USPS Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., 11th 
Floor N, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through 
Friday. E-mail comments, containing the name and address of the 
commenter, may be sent to: MailingStandards@usps.gov, with a subject 
line of ``Price-related Proposal Comments.'' Faxed comments are not 
accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Chatfield, 202-268-7278.

[[Page 6251]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 29, 2009, the Postal Service 
published a proposed rule to provide mailing standards that would 
accompany new prices for mailing services in 2009 and 2010. Federal 
Register 74 FR 5130. This supplemental filing makes appropriate changes 
in the original proposed rule, as discussed below.
    The Postal Service's proposed rule includes: Several mail 
classification changes, modifications to mailpiece characteristics, and 
changes in classification terminology. This proposed rule contains the 
revisions to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, 
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) that we would adopt to implement the 
new prices. Additional changes will be included in a separate final 
rule to support prices established by the Governors.
    We think it is vital to share proposed modifications to mailing 
standards as far in advance as possible; therefore, included are 
additional proposed revisions scheduled for implementation in May 2010. 
We summarize the revisions by shape for 2009 and 2010, and provide 
proposed changes to the mailing standards in the DMM. We invite your 
comments on the proposed standards.

Proposed Changes for Letters and Flats for May 2009

Letters

    In May 2009, we propose alignment of standards for commercial 
machinable and automation letters so all machinable letters have the 
physical characteristics required of automation letters, with the 
exception of a qualifying barcode. Commercial letters that are not 
machinable are mailed as nonmachinable letters.
    We propose a new minimum 0.009 inch thickness standard for 
automation and machinable letters.
    If letter surfaces are too glossy, pieces may double-feed into 
processing machines, and it can be difficult to handle groups of 
letters when inducted or removed from machines. We propose new 
recommended static charge and coefficient of friction standards for 
automation and machinable letters to avoid excessive static charge and 
allow all letters to be handled efficiently when inducted and removed 
from processing equipment. We will continue to explore the development 
of testing methods and mailpiece design factors that impact static 
charge and coefficient of friction.
    Our proposed rule revises the list of nonmachinable 
characteristics. We clarify that letters with nonpaper surfaces, and 
letters with keys, coins or similar objects that are either loose or 
thick enough to make a letter nonuniform in thickness, render letters 
nonmachinable. Letters that do not meet the ``automation-compatible'' 
physical standards in DMM 201.3.0 would be considered nonmachinable 
letters.
    We propose to allow optional sortation of First-Class Mail[supreg] 
and Standard Mail[supreg] automation letters and Standard Mail 
machinable letters to all applicable sort levels, with prices matching 
the level of sortation chosen.

    Note: Language in the original version of this proposed rule 
which would have revised the standards for window envelopes on 
letter-size envelopes has been removed. Accordingly, this revised 
proposal no longer contains proposed changes to sections 202, 302, 
and 600 of Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, 
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), which appeared in the previously 
published proposal.

Flats

    Effective in May 2009, we plan to extend the eligibility for 
automation prices to certain flat-size mailpieces that are not able to 
meet the flexibility standards in DMM 301.1.3, but that are able to 
demonstrate flats machine compatibility through a Pricing and 
Classification Service Center (PCSC)-administered testing process. Some 
flat-size mailpieces containing rigid items process adequately on 
USPS[supreg] flats-sorting equipment when the surface of the mailpiece 
does not fit too tightly around the contents. Once inducted, those 
pieces with rigid contents, but with a surface that can be grasped at 
induction, may be processed efficiently. Because machine compatibility 
for these mailpieces may be defined by a number of characteristics, 
each type of mailpiece must be individually analyzed to ensure that it 
will process efficiently. We propose to allow mailers of flat-size 
pieces containing rigid items to mail at automation flats prices after 
they obtain PCSC approval. Those pieces that do not meet the published 
flexibility standards for flats, but were authorized to mail at flats 
prices by PCSC approval, would be required to be marked ``Automation 
Flat.''
    We propose that the polywrap standards in DMM 301.3.3, currently 
applicable only to automation flats, be extended to all flat-size 
mailpieces using polywrap including saturation carrier route flats. The 
use of automation-compatible polywrap on all flat-size mailpieces 
improves mail processing efficiency and applies standardization and 
consistency for mailers of polywrapped flats. We also propose to 
redefine measurement of height and length dimensions by including 
polywrap selvage when measuring for maximum dimensions because selvage 
that extends beyond the maximum height or length may interfere with 
efficient processing. We would not include selvage when measuring for 
minimum dimensions, however, because the selvage is not substantial 
enough for it to be considered part of a uniformly thick flat. Polywrap 
products approved for flats are available from a number of independent 
vendors and the approval process for these products is described in DMM 
301 and on the USPS Rapid Information Bulletin Board (RIBBS\TM\) Web 
site at http://ribbs.usps.gov.
    Effective in May 2009, we propose to extend the deflection 
standards, currently applicable to automation flats, to all flat-size 
mailpieces, except those mailed at saturation carrier route prices. The 
deflection standards change to allow one inch less of vertical 
deflection (droop) than is currently allowed. We propose to eliminate 
the current exception for oblong flats (those with a bound edge on the 
shorter side) so all flats would be tested with the length placed 
perpendicular to the edge of a flat surface. The broader application 
and revision of deflection standards will improve processing 
efficiencies within USPS systems, assuring better machinability of 
flat-size mailpieces.
    We propose to simplify mail preparation by eliminating the bundling 
requirements for First-Class Mail commercial flats. The new tray-based 
standards streamline mail preparation and processing and improve 
efficiency for this type of mail. Similar to the current tray-based 
preparation option for First-Class Mail flats, prices will be based on 
the sort level of the tray. Mailers may improve efficiency by 
eliminating bundling, and the minimum number of pieces per tray will be 
changed to 50 pieces within a tray, rather than the 90 pieces required 
today.

Parcels

    We remove definitions of irregular parcels from the mail 
preparation standards in DMM 465, 475, and 485, and provide references 
to the current definition of irregular parcels in DMM 401.

Overview of Proposed Changes for 2010

    These initial changes proposed for May 2010 include modifications 
that enhance processing and delivery efficiency while continuing to 
offer mailers choices.

[[Page 6252]]

Flats

    We propose to merge standards for nonautomation and automation 
flats in May 2010; requiring all machinable flats, whether or not they 
are barcoded, to have the same physical characteristics. The 
terminology would likely change to machinable, barcoded machinable, and 
irregular flats.
    We propose new flexibility standards for May 2010. Current 
standards in DMM 301.1.3 describe minimum flexibility as demonstrated 
by ``tabletop'' flexibility tests. Effective May 2009, we are proposing 
to extend automation prices to certain flat-size mailpieces not able to 
meet the flexibility standards in 301.1.3, but able to demonstrate flat 
machine compatibility through a PCSC-administered testing process. 
Delivery of rigid pieces is often more costly than delivery of foldable 
flats. For May 2010, we propose the flexibility standards noted above, 
be replaced with a single flexibility standard requiring all machinable 
flat-size mailpieces to be foldable, parallel to the length, to a 
height no greater than 5 inches. Flat-size pieces failing to meet this 
level of flexibility may be categorized as irregular flats.
    We propose to modify standards in May 2010 for all flats, except 
those mailed as saturation carrier route, to prevent inserts from 
falling out of the host flat-size mailpiece during normal sortation and 
delivery. We propose that loose inserts less than 75% of the size of a 
host mailpiece be limited to single-ply unfolded cards, when the 
mailpiece is not enclosed in polywrap, an envelope, or other wrapper. 
Allowable loose inserts should be injected well into the body of the 
mailpiece.

Irregular Flats

    For May 2010, we propose a new ``irregular flats'' category. This 
category encompasses two types of flat-size mailpieces. One example is 
a flat-size piece that is machinable, but with parcel-like 
characteristics that affect deliverability, such as pieces with rigid 
contents because the pieces cannot be folded. Another type of irregular 
flat would be one that is foldable with favorable delivery 
characteristics, but is not machinable, such as flimsy pieces that are 
difficult to process on automation equipment.

Not Flat-Machinable (NFMs)

    In 2007, we created a NFM category for Standard Mail items that 
could not meet revised automation flats standards. In May 2010, we 
propose to discontinue or redefine the NFM category. Pieces that would 
have been mailed as NFMs can likely qualify as Standard Mail parcels. 
Some NFMs, with modifications, might be mailable as machinable or 
irregular flats in 2010.

General

    We encourage customers to comment on the May 2010 proposed changes 
and hope that this notice provides the opportunity for mailers to 
prepare for possible operation changes ahead of the proposed May 2010 
effective date.
    Although we are exempt from the notice and comment requirements of 
the Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C of 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 Part 111.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 111--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 
416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, 
and 5001.

    2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), as follows:

100 Retail Mail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels

101 Physical Standards

101.1 Physical Standards for Letters

* * * * *

1.2 Nonmachinable Criteria

    A letter-size piece is nonmachinable (see 6.4) if it has one or 
more of the following characteristics (see 601.1.4 to determine the 
length, height, top, and bottom of a mailpiece):
* * * * *
    [Revise item b to add that any nonpaper exterior surface is 
nonmachinable as follows:]
    b. Is polybagged, polywrapped, enclosed in any plastic material, or 
has an exterior surface made of a material that is not paper. Paper 
envelopes with windows prepared under 202.5.8 and 601.6.3 do not make 
mailpieces nonmachinable.
* * * * *
    [Revise item d to clarify that letters are nonmachinable when 
certain items are loose or when they cause the thickness to be uneven, 
as follows:]
    d. Contains items such as pens, pencils, keys, or coins that cause 
the thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven; or loose keys or coins or 
similar objects not affixed to the contents within the mailpiece. Loose 
items may cause a letter to be nonmailable when mailed in paper 
envelopes; see 601.2.3, Odd-Shaped Items in Paper Envelopes.
* * * * *
    [Revise item h by referring to sealing standards in 201.3.14.1 for 
all self-mailers as follows:]
    h. Is a self-mailer that is not prepared according to 201.3.14.1.
    [Revise item i by referring to sealing standards in 201.3.14.2 for 
all booklets as follows:]
    i. Is a booklet that is not prepared according to 201.3.14.2.
* * * * *

200 Commercial Mail Letters and Cards

201 Physical Standards

1.0 Physical Standards for Machinable Letters and Cards

1.1 Physical Standards for Machinable Letters

1.1.1 Dimensional Standards for Letters

    Letter-size mail is:
    [Revise item a to increase minimum thickness to 0.009 inch as 
follows:]
    a. Not less than 5 inches long, 3\1/2\ inches high, and 0.009-inch 
thick.
* * * * *

1.1.3 All Machinable Letters

    [Revise the first sentence of 1.1.3 as follows:]
    All pieces of First-Class Mail and Standard Mail machinable letters 
must meet the standards for automation-compatible letters in 201.3.0. * 
* *
* * * * *

2.0 Physical Standards for Nonmachinable Letters

2.1 Criteria for Nonmachinable Letters

    [Revise 2.1 by noting that letters not made of paper or that do not 
meet automation-compatibility standards are nonmachinable; that all 
letters over 3.3 ounces must have a barcode and claim an automation 
letter price to avoid a surcharge; and by removing the individual 
listed items as follows:]

[[Page 6253]]

    A letter-size piece is nonmachinable if it has an exterior surface 
that is not made of paper or if it does not meet the standards in 
201.3.0. In addition, a letter-size piece is nonmachinable if it weighs 
more than 3.3 ounces (up to 3.5 ounces) unless it has a barcode and is 
eligible for and claims automation letter prices or Standard Mail 
Enhanced Carrier Route letter prices.
* * * * *

3.0 Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards

* * * * *

3.2 Dimensions and Shape Standards for Automation Letters

    Each letter-size piece must be rectangular (see 1.1.1) and:
* * * * *
    [Revise item c to increase minimum thickness to 0.009 inch as 
follows:]
    c. For thickness, no more than 0.25 inch, or less than 0.009 inch 
thick, except for cards mailed at First-Class Mail postcard prices. 
Cards eligible for and mailed at postcard prices may be no more than 
0.016 inch thick or less than 0.007 inch thick.
    [Renumber current 3.3 through 3.15 as new 3.4 through 3.16.]
    [Add new 3.3 as follows:]

3.3 Static and Coefficient of Friction

    The exterior surface of letter-sized machinable and automation 
mailpieces must be made of paper material, with the following 
recommended characteristics:
    a. Static charge of less than 2 KV when tested using test method 
ASTM D4470.
    b. Kinetic coefficient of friction between 0.26 and 0.34 when 
tested as paper to same paper using test method ASTM D4917.
* * * * *

230 First-Class Mail

* * * * *

235 Mail Preparation

* * * * *
    [Revise heading of 6.0 as follows:]

6.0 Preparing Automation Letters

* * * * *

6.6 Tray Preparation

    * * * Preparation sequence, tray size, and Line 1 labeling:
* * * * *
    [Revise items b through d to allow optional preparation and modify 
grouping requirement as follows:]
    b. 3-digit/scheme: Optional, but required for 3-digit price (150-
piece minimum except no minimum for origin or entry 3-digit/scheme); 
overflow allowed; for Line 1, use L002, Column B.
    c. AADC: Optional, but required for AADC price (150-piece minimum); 
overflow allowed; group pieces by 3-digit (or 3-digit scheme) ZIP Code 
when overflow pieces from 3-digit trays are placed in AADC trays. For 
Line 1, use L801, Column B.
    d. Mixed AADC: Required (no minimum); group pieces by AADC when 
overflow pieces from AADC trays are placed in mixed AADC trays. For 
Line 1 use L201; for mail originating in ZIP Code areas in Column A, 
use ``MXD'' followed by city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code prefix in 
Column C (use ``MXD'' instead of ``OMX'' in the destination line and 
ignore Column B).
* * * * *

240 Standard Mail

* * * * *

245 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

5.0 Preparing Nonautomation Letters

* * * * *

5.3 Machinable Preparation

* * * * *

5.3.2 Traying and Labeling

    * * * Preparation sequence, tray size, and labeling:
* * * * *
    [Revise first sentence of 5.3.2 b to allow optional preparation as 
follows:]
    b. AADC (optional, but required for AADC price); 150-piece minimum 
(overflow allowed); labeling: * * *
* * * * *
    [Revise heading of 7.0 as follows:]

7.0 Preparing Automation Letters

* * * * *

7.5 Tray Preparation

    * * * Preparation sequence, tray size, and Line 1 labeling:
* * * * *
    [Revise items b through d to allow optional preparation and modify 
grouping requirement as follows:]
    b. 3-digit/scheme; optional, but required for 3-digit price (150-
piece minimum, except no minimum for optional origin/entry 3-digit/
scheme(s)); overflow allowed; for Line 1, use L002, Column B.
    c. AADC: Optional, but required for AADC price (150-piece minimum); 
overflow allowed; group pieces by 3-digit (or 3-digit scheme) ZIP Code 
prefix when overflow pieces from 3-digit/scheme trays are placed in 
AADC trays. For Line 1, use L801, Column B.
    d. Mixed AADC: Required (no minimum); group pieces by AADC when 
overflow pieces from AADC trays are placed in mixed AADC trays. For 
Line 1 labeling: use L011, Column B. Use L010, Column B if entered at 
an ASF or BMC or for mail placed on an ASF, BMC, or SCF pallet under 
the option in 705.8.10.3.
* * * * *

300 Commercial Mail Flats

301 Physical Standards

1.0 Physical Standards for Flats

* * * * *

1.2 Length and Height of Flats

    [Revise the text of 1.2 by adding new third and fourth sentences 
about selvage as follows:]
    * * * When determining the maximum height or length of a flat, 
include any selvage of polywrap material that may enclose the piece. 
When determining the minimum height or length of a flat, do not include 
the selvage of any polywrap material that may enclose the piece.
* * * * *
    [Renumber current 1.5 as new 1.7.]
    [Move 301.3.2.3 in its entirety, renumber as 1.5, revise heading 
and text to extend maximum deflection standards to all flat-size 
mailpieces, and delete item c as follows:]

1.5 Maximum Deflection for Flat-Size Mailpieces

    Flat-size mailpieces must be flexible (see 1.3) and must meet 
maximum deflection standards. Flat-size pieces mailed at saturation 
carrier route prices are not required to meet these deflection 
standards. Test deflection as follows:
    a. For pieces 10 inches or longer (see Exhibit 1.5a):
    1. Place the piece on a flat surface with the length perpendicular 
to the edge of the surface and extend the piece 5 inches off the edge 
of the surface. Test square-shaped bound flats by placing the bound 
edge parallel to the edge. Turn the piece around and repeat the 
process.
    2. The piece is mailable at flat prices if it does not droop more 
than 3 inches vertically at either end.

Exhibit 1.5a Deflection Test--Pieces 10 Inches or Longer

    [Placeholder for new exhibit reflecting new standards.]
    b. For pieces less than 10 inches long (see Exhibit 1.5b):
    1. Place the piece on a flat surface with the length perpendicular 
to the edge of the surface and extend the piece one-half of its length 
off the edge of the

[[Page 6254]]

surface. Test square-shaped bound flats by placing the bound edge 
parallel to the edge. Turn the piece around and repeat the process.
    2. The piece is mailable at flat prices if it does not droop more 
than 2 inches less than the extended length. For example, a piece 8 
inches long would extend 4 inches off a flat surface. It must not droop 
more than 2 inches vertically at either end.

Exhibit 1.5b Deflection Test--Pieces Less Than 10 Inches Long

    [Placeholder for new exhibit reflecting new standards.]
* * * * *
    [Renumber 301.3.3 in its entirety as new 1.6 and revise text to 
extend polywrap standards to all flats as follows:]

1.6 Polywrap Coverings

1.6.1 Polywrap Films and Similar Coverings

    [Revise renumbered 1.6.1 as follows:]
    Mailers using polywrap film or similar material to enclose or cover 
flat-size mailpieces must use a product meeting the standards in 1.6. 
Film approved for use under 1.6.5 must meet the specifications in 
Exhibit 1.6.1 as follows:
    a. Films or similar coverings must meet all six properties in 
Exhibit 1.6.1.
    b. If the address label is affixed to the outside of the polywrap, 
the haze property (property 2) does not apply.
    c. Only products listed as approved on the USPS RIBBS Web site 
(http://ribbs.usps.gov) may be used on flat-size mailpieces.

Exhibit 1.6.1 Polywrap Specifications

    [Revise the introductory sentence of renumbered exhibit 1.6.1 as 
follows:]
    Mailers who polywrap flats must use polywrap that meets all of the 
properties in this exhibit.
* * * * *
    [Delete renumbered 1.6.4, Polywrap on Mailpieces, in its entirety 
and redesignate renumbered 1.6.5 to new 1.6.4.]

1.6.4 Polywrap Certification Process for Manufacturers

    [Revise the first sentence of the introductory paragraph in 1.6.4 
as follows:]
    To ensure that all polywrap manufacturers use the same criteria, 
the Postal Service developed specification USPS-T-3204, Test Procedures 
for Polywrap Films. * * * Manufacturers should follow this procedure 
before submitting the letter certifying compliance with the 
specifications:
    [Revise item a as follows:]
    a. Test each film according to procedures listed in USPS-T-3204, 
Test Procedures for Polywrap Films.
* * * * *

1.7 Flat-Size Pieces Not Eligible for Flat-Size Prices

    [Revise text of renumbered 1.7 as follows:]
    Mailpieces that do not meet the standards in 1.1 through 1.6 are 
not eligible for flat-size prices and must pay applicable prices as 
follows:
    a. First-Class Mail--parcel prices.
    b. Standard Mail--Not Flat-Machinable or parcel prices.
    c. Bound Printed Matter--parcel prices.
* * * * *

3.0 Physical Standards for Automation Flats

* * * * *
    [Further renumber 3.3 through 3.7 as the new 3.5 through 3.9, and 
add new 3.3 and 3.4 as follows:]

3.3 Flats--Machine Compatibility

    Flat-size mailpieces meeting the standards in 1.0 and 3.0, but 
unable to meet the minimum flexibility standards described in 1.3, are 
not eligible for automation prices unless the mailpieces demonstrate 
flats-machine compatibility. Until May 2010, rigid flat-size mailpieces 
in paper, polywrap or similar packaging that allows for the pieces to 
be grasped and inducted into USPS flat-sorting equipment may qualify 
for automation prices when meeting the following standards:
    a. Mailpieces must be enclosed in envelopes or similar packaging 
capable of withstanding normal processing on USPS flat-sorting 
equipment.
    b. Mailpieces must be approved for automation flats prices by the 
USPS. Mailers seeking approval for mailpieces under this standard must 
contact the Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) for 
instructions on submitting sample mailpieces for testing (see 608.8.0 
for address). Mailpieces having a previous approval from the PCSC for 
automation flats prices, granted after May 2007, are not required to be 
resubmitted for a new approval. These and all other approvals granted 
under 3.3 expire in May 2010.
    c. Mailpieces approved for automation flats pricing under this 
standard must print the endorsement ``Automation Flat'' directly under 
the postage imprint.

3.4 Additional Flexibility Standards for Automation Flats

    It is recommended that all automation flats be foldable to a height 
no greater than 5 inches. Effective May 2010, flat-size automation 
mailpieces must be foldable, parallel to the length, to a height no 
greater than 5 inches (in addition to meeting the flexibility standards 
in 1.3). With a postal employee observing, customers may demonstrate 
the flexibility, according to these standards, of their own mailpieces. 
The employee does not then need to perform the test.
* * * * *

330 First-Class Mail Flats

333 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *
    [Revise the heading of 5.0 as follows:]

5.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Automation First-Class Mail 
Flats

5.1 Basic Standards for Automation First-Class Mail

    All pieces in a First-Class Mail automation mailing must:
* * * * *
    [Revise item e to require an 11-digit barcode as follows:]
    e. Bear an accurate barcode meeting the standards in 708.4.0, a 
delivery point barcode (DPBC), or an Intelligent Mail barcode with a 
delivery point routing code, either on the piece or on an insert 
showing through a barcode window.
* * * * *
    [Delete 5.2 and renumber current 5.3 through 5.5 as new 5.2 through 
5.4.]
    [Revise the heading and text of renumbered 5.2 as follows:]

5.2 Price Application

    Automation prices apply to each piece that is sorted under 335.6.5, 
First-Class Mail Tray-Based Preparation, into the corresponding 
qualifying groups:
    [Revise items a through c to change eligibility from 90 pieces or 
more to 50 pieces or more as follows:]
    a. Groups of 50 or more pieces in 5-digit trays qualify for the 5-
digit price. Preparation to qualify for the 5-digit price is optional 
and need not be done for all 5-digit destinations.
    b. Groups of 50 or more pieces in 3-digit trays qualify for the 3-
digit price.
    c. Pieces in origin 3-digit trays and groups of 50 or more pieces 
in ADC trays qualify for the ADC price.
* * * * *

335 Mail Preparation

1.0 General Definition of Terms

* * * * *

[[Page 6255]]

1.2 Definition of Mailings

    Mailings are defined as:
* * * * *
    [Revise item b as follows:]
    b. The types of First-Class Mail listed below must not be part of 
the same mailing despite being in the same processing category (see 
705.9.0, Combining Automation and Nonautomation Flats in Trays and 
Sacks for a preparation option for flat-size mail):
    1. Automation and any other type of mail, except under 705.9.0.
    2. Presorted and any other type of mail, except under 705.9.0.
    3. Single-piece and any other type of mail.
    4. Machinable and nonmachinable pieces.
* * * * *

1.4 Preparation Definitions and Instructions

    For purposes of preparing mail:
* * * * *
    [Revise item b to change the definition of an automation flats full 
tray as follows:]
    b. For purposes of preparing automation flats, a full flat tray is 
one that contains at least 50 pieces of automation flats or one that is 
physically full. For nonautomation flats, a full flat tray is one that 
is physically full. A physically full tray contains at least a single 
stack of mail lying flat on the bottom of the tray and filling the tray 
to the bottom of the handholds. Before additional trays for the same 
destination are prepared, trays must be filled with additional 
available pieces (up to the reasonable capacity of the tray).
* * * * *
    [Delete current items e through g and redesignate current items h 
through j as new e through g.]
    [Revise redesignated item g as follows:]
    g. An instruction to ``group pieces'' means the pieces are to be 
sorted as a unit (as if bundled) but not actually secured into a 
bundle.
    [Delete current item k in its entirety.]
    [Redesignate current item l as new item h and revise as follows:]
    h. A ``logical'' presort destination represents the total number of 
pieces that are eligible for a specific presort level based on the 
required sortation, but which might not be contained in a single 
container due to applicable preparation requirements or the size of the 
individual pieces.
    [Delete current item m in its entirety.]
* * * * *
    [Delete 2.0 in its entirety.]
    [Renumber current 3.0 through 6.0 as new 2.0 through 5.0.]
* * * * *

2.0 Flat Trays

* * * * *

2.4 Preparation for Flats in Flat Trays

    All flat tray preparation is subject to these standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise items f through h, to delete the ``optional'' phrasing, as 
follows:]
    f. For automation mailings, one less-than-full overflow tray may be 
prepared for a presort destination when the total number of pieces for 
that destination meets the minimum for preparation of the tray level, 
and when one or more full trays for that destination are also prepared.
    g. For automation mailings, if the total number of pieces for a 
presort destination meets or exceeds the minimum number of pieces 
required to prepare a tray for that destination, but the total volume 
does not physically fill a single tray, then the mail for that presort 
destination may be prepared in a less-than-full tray.
    h. Pieces prepared as automation flats do not have to be grouped by 
3-digit ZIP Code prefix in ADC trays or by ADC in mixed ADC trays if 
the mailing is prepared using an MLOCR/barcode sorter and standardized 
documentation is submitted.
* * * * *

2.5 Preparation for Flats in EMM Letter Trays

    Mailers may prepare First-Class Mail flat-size pieces in EMM letter 
trays instead of flat trays if the following standards are met:
* * * * *
    [Revise item c as follows:]
    c. All mail must be prepared under 6.6, and must not be prepared in 
bundles.
* * * * *

4.0 Preparation of Nonautomation Flats

4.1 Basic Standards

    [Revise 4.1 to specifically prohibit bundling as follows:]
    Each mailing of Presorted First-Class Mail must be prepared under 
4.0 and 333.3.0, Eligibility Standards for First-Class Mail Flats. All 
pieces must be in the flat-size processing category. Flat-size pieces 
must be prepared loose (unbundled) in flat trays under 2.4 and 4.0. All 
pieces must be marked ``Presorted'' and ``First-Class Mail.''
* * * * *
    [Delete 4.4 and renumber 4.5 and 4.6 as new 4.4 and 4.5.]
    [Revise the heading and text of renumbered 4.5 as follows:]

4.5 Cotraying With Automation Flats

    If a single mailing job contains an automation mailing and a 
Presorted mailing, and both mailings are reported on the same postage 
statement, the mailing job must be presorted under the cotraying 
standards in 705.9.0.
    [Revise the heading of renumbered 5.0 as follows:]

5.0 Preparation of Automation Flats

5.1 Basic Standards

    [Revise 5.1 to specifically prohibit bundling as follows:]
    Automation First-Class Mail flats must be prepared under 5.0 and 
meet the eligibility standards for the price claimed; trays must bear 
the appropriate barcoded container labels under 708.6.0, Standards for 
Barcoded Tray Labels, Sack Labels, and Container Placards. Flat-size 
pieces must be prepared loose (unbundled) in flat trays under 2.4 and 
5.0.
* * * * *
    [Delete renumbered 5.4 and 5.5.]
    [Renumber current 6.6 as new 5.4 and revise heading and text as 
follows:]

5.4 First-Class Mail Preparation

    Tray size, preparation sequence, and Line 1 labeling:
    a. 5-digit: Optional, but 5-digit trays required for price 
eligibility (50-piece minimum); one overflow tray allowed; for Line 1, 
use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination of pieces (for 
military mail see 3.3c). (Preparation to qualify for 5-digit price is 
optional and need not be done for all 5-digit destinations.)
    b. 3-digit: Required (50-piece minimum); one overflow tray allowed; 
for Line 1, use L002, Column A for 3-digit destinations.
    c. Origin 3-digit: Required for each 3-digit ZIP Code served by the 
SCF of the origin (verification) office; no minimum; for Line 1, use 
L002, Column A for 3-digit destinations.
    d. ADC: Required (50-piece minimum); one overflow tray allowed; 
group pieces by 3-digit ZIP Code prefix, except under 2.4h; for Line 1, 
use L004 (ZIP Code prefixes in Column A must be combined and labeled to 
the corresponding ADC destination shown in Column B).
    e. Mixed ADC (required); no minimum for price eligibility. Group 
pieces by ADC, except under 2.4h. For Line 1 use L201; for mail 
originating in ZIP Code areas in Column A, use ``MXD'' followed by 
city, state, and 3-

[[Page 6256]]

digit ZIP Code prefix in Column C (use ``MXD'' instead of ``OMX'' in 
the destination line and ignore Column B).
    [Delete current 6.7.]
    [Renumber current 6.8 as new 5.5 and revise as follows:]

5.5 Cotraying With Presorted Mail

    If the mailing job contains an automation mailing and a Presorted 
mailing, and both mailings are reported on the same postage statement, 
the mailing job must be prepared under the cotraying standards in 
705.9.0.
* * * * *

400 Commercial Mail Parcels

401 Physical Standards

* * * * *

2.0 Additional Physical Standards by Class of Mail

* * * * *

2.2 Standard Mail Parcels and Not Flat-Machinable Pieces

* * * * *

2.2.2 Not Flat-Machinable Pieces

    [Revise introductory text of 2.2.2 to indicate ending date of NFM 
category as follows:]
    Rectangular Standard Mail pieces with any of the following 
characteristics must be prepared as Not Flat-Machinable (NFM) pieces 
(until May 2010) or as parcels:
* * * * *

460 Bound Printed Matter

* * * * *

465 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

5.0 Preparing Presorted Parcels

5.1 Basic Standards

5.1.1 General Preparation Requirements

    All mailings of Presorted Bound Printed Matter (BPM) are subject to 
these general standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item b as follows:]
    b. All pieces in a mailing must be within the same processing 
category. See 401.1.0 for definitions of machinable and irregular 
parcels.
* * * * *

470 Media Mail

* * * * *

475 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

5.0 Preparing Media Mail Parcels

5.1 Basic Standards

    All mailings of Presorted Media Mail are subject to the standards 
in 5.0 and to these general requirements:
* * * * *
    [Revise item b as follows.]
    b. All parcels in a mailing must be within the same processing 
category. See 401.1.0 for definitions of machinable and irregular 
parcels.
* * * * *

480 Library Mail

* * * * *

485 Mail Preparation

* * * * *

5.0 Preparing Library Mail Parcels

5.1 Basic Standards

    All mailings of Presorted Library Mail are subject to the standards 
in 5.0, Preparing Library Mail Parcels, and to these general standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item b as follows:]
    b. All pieces in a mailing must be within the same processing 
category. See 401.1.0 for definitions of machinable and irregular 
parcels.
* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *

705 Advanced Preparation and Special Postage Payment Systems

* * * * *
    [Revise the heading of 9.0 as follows:]

9.0 Combining Automation and Nonautomation Flats in Trays and Sacks

9.1 First-Class Mail

9.1.1 Basic Standards

    [Revise text of 9.1.1. to delete references to bundling as 
follows:]
    Flats in an automation mailing prepared under 335.6.5 must be 
cotrayed with flats in a Presorted mailing under the following 
conditions:
    a. The automation pieces and Presorted pieces are part of the same 
mailing job and reported on the same postage statement.
    b. Pieces in the automation mailing must meet the criteria for a 
flat under 301.3.0. Pieces in the Presorted mailing must meet the 
criteria for a flat under 301.1.0.
    c. The automation mailing must meet the eligibility criteria in 
333.5.0, except that the traying criteria in 9.1.4 must be met rather 
than the traying criteria in 335.5.0.
    d. The Presorted mailing must meet the eligibility criteria in 
333.3.0, except that the traying and documentation criteria in 9.1.1 
and 9.1.4 must be met rather than the traying and documentation 
criteria in 335.4.0.
    [Delete item e and redesignate current items f through i as new 
items e through h.]
* * * * *
    [Revise redesignated item f as follows:]
    f. The pieces from the automation mailing and the pieces from the 
Presorted mailing must be sorted into the same trays as described in 
9.1.2.
* * * * *
    [Delete 9.1.2 and 9.1.3 in their entirety.]
    [Renumber current 9.1.4 as new 9.1.2 and revise as follows:]

9.1.2 Tray Preparation and Labeling

    Presorted and automation pieces must be presorted together into 
trays (cotrayed) in the sequence listed below. Trays must be labeled 
using the following information for Lines 1 and 2 and 335.4.0 for other 
tray label criteria.
    a. 5-digit, required, 50 piece minimum; one less-than-full or 
overflow tray allowed; labeling:
    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 
335.4.3 for military mail).
    2. Line 2: ``FCM FLTS 5D BC/NBC.''
    b. 3-digit, required, 50 piece minimum; one less-than-full or 
overflow tray allowed; labeling:
    1. Line 1: Use L002, Column A.
    2. Line 2: ``FCM FLTS 3D BC/NBC.''
    c. Origin/entry 3-digit, required for each 3-digit ZIP Code served 
by the SCF of the origin (verification) office, optional for each 3-
digit ZIP Code served by the SCF of an entry office other than the 
origin office, no minimum; labeling:
    1. Line 1: Use L002, Column A.
    2. Line 2: ``FCM FLTS 3D BC/NBC.''
    d. ADC, required, 50 piece minimum; one less-than-full or overflow 
tray allowed; use L004 to determine ZIP Codes served by each ADC; 
labeling:
    1. Line 1: Use L004, Column B.
    2. Line 2: ``FCM FLTS ADC BC/NBC.''
    e. Mixed ADC, required, no minimum; labeling:
    1. Line 1: Use L201; for mail originating in ZIP Code areas in 
Column A, use ``MXD'' followed by the city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code 
prefix in the corresponding row in Column C (use ``MXD'' instead of 
``OMX'' in the destination line and ignore Column B).
    2. Line 2: ``FCM FLTS BC/NBC WKG.''
* * * * *

[[Page 6257]]

    [Revise heading of 11.0 as follows:]

11.0 Combining Automation and Nonautomation Flats in Bundles

    [Delete 11.1 and renumber current 11.2 through 11.4 as new 11.1 
through 11.3.]
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes if our proposal is adopted.

Stanley F. Mires,
Chief Counsel, Legislative.
[FR Doc. E9-2515 Filed 2-5-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P