[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 93 (Friday, May 15, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 22835-22837]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-11321]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Standard Mail Volume Incentive Program (aka Summer Sale)

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

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 add 
section 709.2 which introduces new standards for a special volume 
incentive program for mailers of Standard Mail[supreg] letters and 
flats with mail volume exceeding their individual USPSTM-
determined threshold levels. The program period will be from July 1, 
2009 through September 30, 2009.

DATES: Effective Date: July 1, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Gunther at 202-268-7208.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service is implementing a volume 
incentive program for qualified high-volume mailers of commercial or 
Nonprofit Standard Mail letters and flats, for volume mailed between 
July 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009, above their USPS-determined 
threshold level. This program encourages mailers to provide new volume 
and to take advantage of our current excess capacity to process and 
deliver additional volume.
    To participate, mailers must be the permit holder (i.e., owner) of 
a permit imprint advance deposit account(s) or the owner of qualifying 
mail volume entered through the permit imprint advance deposit account 
of a mail service provider. Qualifying mailers must be able to 
demonstrate volume of at least one million pieces, within the program 
qualification period of October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, for a permit 
imprint advance deposit account(s), precanceled stamp permit(s), 
postage meter permit(s), or by a combination of these methods. 
Applicants may also qualify for the program with volume mailed through 
an account(s) owned by a mail service provider, when adequate 
documentation is provided that specifies the applicant is the owner of 
the mail. Those mailers eligible to participate in the program will be 
notified in writing before June 1, 2009. Mailers wishing to participate 
in the program, who believe they meet the eligibility standards under 
DMM 709.2.2 and were not notified by letter, may request a review of 
their eligibility by contacting the USPS at summersale@usps.gov.
    The Postal Service has a process, through its Business Service 
Network (BSN), to review questions from qualifying mailers regarding 
calculations of their respective threshold levels or their recorded 
volume within the program period. Qualifying mailers will be provided 
with program details and the procedure for questioning threshold 
calculations by letter before June 1, 2009.
    A Federal Register final rule, published April 6, 2009 (74 FR 8009-
8033) implemented a saturation mail volume incentive program 
encouraging mailers to increase their saturation Standard Mail letters 
or flats volume within the period beginning on May 11, 2009 and ending 
May 10, 2010. This program initially excluded mailers, entering into 
the saturation mail volume incentive program, from participating in 
other Postal Service-sponsored incentive programs. However, standards 
have been revised to allow mailers to be eligible for the Standard Mail 
volume incentive program independently of their status within the 
saturation mail volume incentive program.
    Participating mailers demonstrating Standard Mail letter or flat 
volume above their established threshold level will receive a credit 
following the close of the program period. Thresholds will be 
calculated independently for each applicant, by comparing the volume of 
Standard Mail letters and flats mailed within the period from October 
1, 2007 to March 31, 2008 to the volume of Standard Mail letters and 
flats mailed within the period of October 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. 
The change in recorded volume between these two periods will represent 
the applicant's volume trend. Trends that show growth for the period of 
October 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, versus that shown in the same period 
of the prior year, will appear as a ratio above 1.0 (expressed here in 
a decimal format). A volume decline from October 1, 2008 to March 31, 
2009 will appear as a ratio below 1.0. The applicable ratio will then 
be applied to the volume of Standard Mail letters and flats, for all of 
the applicant's permit volume or other qualifying volume recorded 
through the permit(s) of a mail service provider, demonstrated during 
the period from July 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008. This result 
represents the USPS-determined threshold level for an individual 
applicant.
    Mailers (applicants) are eligible to participate in the program 
with

[[Page 22836]]

qualifying volume prepared by a mail service provider when entered 
through a permit owned by the applicant. Mail volume through a mail 
service provider's permit, may also qualify for the program, but only 
if adequate documentation identifies the mail as being prepared on 
behalf of the applicant and demonstrates the applicant's prior mailing 
activity. Mail service providers are not eligible for the Standard Mail 
volume incentive program.
    Approved program participants, demonstrating an increase in their 
total Standard Mail letter and flat volume above their approved 
threshold level, will qualify for a credit to a designated permit 
imprint advance account. The total postage attributable to Standard 
Mail letters and flats within the program period will be identified for 
each participant and divided by the total number of recorded pieces, to 
generate the average price per piece. Participants receive a credit in 
the amount of 30 percent of the average price per piece for the total 
number of mailpieces of the incremental volume above their approved 
threshold level as recorded during the program period.
    The Standard Mail volume incentive program is introduced to 
encourage mailers to generate new mail volume. As a deterrent to 
mailers shifting previously planned fall volume into the program to 
obtain incentive credits, participating mailers will be monitored in 
the calendar month following the end of the program. The participant's 
previously determined volume trend will be applied to their volume of 
Standard Mail letters and flats mailed within the month of October 
2008, to determine the participant's October 2009 expected volume. Each 
participant's actual October 2009 volume will then be compared to their 
October 2009 expected volume. Participants failing to meet (or exceed) 
their October 2009 expected volume will have any demonstrated shortfall 
in volume deducted from the number of mailpieces eligible for an 
incentive credit within the program.
    Additionally, as part of the program administration, the Postal 
Service will require each program participant to certify the data used 
to calculate the volume trends, threshold levels and October 2009 
expected volumes. This certification requirement will be similar to 
what is currently used on a PS Form 3602, Postage Statement--Standard 
Mail, but may not require submission in hardcopy format. The 
certification requirement for this initiative is aimed at ensuring that 
the data used by the Postal Service to calculate the applicable volume 
trend, threshold level and October 2009 expected volume for each 
qualifying mailer is accurate.
    The Standard Mail volume incentive program is subject to review by 
the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for up to 45 days following May 
1, 2009.
    Upon completion of PRC review, the Postal Service adopts the 
following changes to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), incorporated by reference in the 
Code of Federal Regulations. See 39 CFR 111.1.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.


0
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); 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)

* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *
    [Revise title of 709 as follows:]

709 Experimental and Temporary Classifications

* * * * *
    [Add a new section 709.2.0 to introduce new standards for the 
Standard Mail volume incentive program as follows:]

2.0 Standard Mail Volume Incentive Program

2.1 Program Description

    The Standard Mail Volume Incentive Program provides special volume 
pricing for qualified mailers of commercial and Nonprofit Standard Mail 
letters and flats that are able to document mail volume exceeding their 
individual USPS-determined threshold level. The program period is July 
1, 2009 through September 30, 2009. Participating mailers documenting 
Standard Mail letter or flat volume above their established threshold 
level will receive a credit to a designated permit imprint advance 
deposit account, or Centralized Account Payment System (CAPS) account 
following the close of the program period. Program participants must 
review and certify the accuracy of the data used by the USPS to 
calculate their individual volume trend, threshold level and October 
2009 expected volume.

2.2 Eligibility Standards

    Mailers are considered eligible for the program as follows:
    a. Applicants must be the permit holder (i.e., owner) of one or 
more permit imprint advance deposit accounts or the owner of qualifying 
mail volume entered through the permit imprint advance deposit account 
of a mail service provider.
    b. Applicants must be able to document, in aggregate, volume of at 
least one million pieces of Standard Mail letters or flats, within the 
program qualification period of October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, as 
follows:
    1. Volume through one or more permit imprint advance deposit 
accounts, precanceled stamp permits, or postage meter permits owned by 
the applicant, or
    2. Volume prepared by a mail service provider when entered through 
a permit owned by the applicant, or
    3. Volume within a mail service provider's permit, which can be 
identified as being prepared on behalf of the applicant.
    c. Mail service providers are not eligible to participate in this 
program.

2.3 Program Threshold Level

    Threshold level figures will be calculated independently for each 
applicant as follows:
    a. Total documented volume of Standard Mail letters and flats 
recorded within the period from October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008 will 
be compared to that recorded within the period of October 1, 2008 to 
March 31, 2009.
    b. The change in recorded mailing volume between these two periods 
will represent the applicant's volume trend. Trends that show growth 
for the period of October 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, versus that shown 
in the same period of the prior year, will appear as a ratio above 1.0 
(expressed here in a decimal format). A volume decline from October 1, 
2008 to March 31, 2009 will appear as a ratio below 1.0.
    c. The applicable ratio will then be applied to the volume of 
Standard Mail letters and flats, for all of the applicant's permit 
activity, or other qualifying volume recorded through the permit of a 
mail service provider, demonstrated

[[Page 22837]]

during the period from July 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008.
    d. The product of the calculation in 2.3c will represent the USPS-
determined threshold level for the selected applicant.

2.4 Application

    Mailers meeting the eligibility criteria will be contacted by 
letter, describing the application process and requirements. Mailers 
interested in applying will be provided with a registration Web site 
and their USPS-determined threshold level. Mailers meeting the 
eligibility standards under 709.2.2, and not notified by letter, may 
request a review of their eligibility by contacting the USPS at 
summersale@usps.gov. Mailers wishing to dispute their threshold level 
calculations will be provided with instructions on that process. 
Following registration, mailers will be notified of their approval for 
participation in the program, their approved threshold level, and their 
revised threshold level (if applicable).

2.5 Program Participation

    Mailers may participate in the program with qualifying volume as 
follows:
    a. Standard Mail letter and flat volume mailed by the participant 
through the participant's own permit imprint advance account, 
precanceled stamp permit(s), or postage meter permit(s);
    b. Standard Mail letter and flat volume prepared by a mail service 
provider, when entered through a permit owned by the participant;
    c. Standard Mail letter and flat pieces mailed through a mail 
service provider's permit, only when the pieces can be identified as 
being prepared for the participant and when the applicant's prior 
mailing activity through the mail service provider's permit can be 
validated.

2.6 Incentive Program Credits

    Approved participants demonstrating an increase in Standard Mail 
letter and flat volume above their approved threshold level qualify for 
a credit to their applicable permit imprint advance account or, if 
approved, the permit imprint advance account of a designated mail 
service provider as follows:
    a. The total postage paid for commercial and Nonprofit Standard 
Mail letters and flats recorded during the program will be identified 
for each participant.
    b. The total postage paid during the program period will be divided 
by the total number of recorded pieces to generate the average price 
per piece for the program period.
    c. Participants will receive a credit in the amount of 30 percent 
of the average price per piece applied to the total number of 
mailpieces, for the incremental volume above their approved threshold 
level, recorded during the program period.

2.7 Mailing Activity Review

    Mailing activity by participants will be reviewed in the calendar 
month following the end of the program. The qualifying volume recorded 
for participants may be adjusted in accordance with the following:
    a. The participant's previously determined volume trend will be 
applied to the volume of Standard Mail letters and flats mailed by the 
participant within the month of October 2008, to determine the program 
participant's October 2009 expected volume.
    b. The participant's actual October 2009 volume will then be 
compared to their October 2009 expected volume.
    c. Participants failing to meet their October 2009 expected volume 
will have any shortfall in volume deducted from the number of 
mailpieces eligible for an incentive credit within the program.
* * * * *

Stanley F. Mires,
Chief Counsel, Legislative.
[FR Doc. E9-11321 Filed 5-14-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P