Competitive Postal Products, 24828-24829 [2019-11085]

Download as PDF 24828 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 103 / Wednesday, May 29, 2019 / Notices Rochelle McCallister at (202) 314–6305 or by email at Rochelle.McCallister@ ntsb.gov by Wednesday, June 12, 2019. The public may view the meeting via a live or archived webcast by accessing a link under ‘‘News & Events’’ on the NTSB home page at www.ntsb.gov. Schedule updates, including weatherrelated cancellations, are also available at www.ntsb.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Candi Bing at (202) 314–6403 or by email at bingc@ntsb.gov. FOR MEDIA INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Holloway at (202) 314–6144 or by email at hollowk@ntsb.gov. Friday, May 24, 2019. LaSean McCray, Assistant Federal Register Liaison Officer. II. Background [FR Doc. 2019–11247 Filed 5–24–19; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. CP2019–155; Order No. 5102] Competitive Postal Products Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is acknowledging a recent filing by the Postal Service of its intention to change prices not of general applicability to reflect a range of prices to take effect on a date determined by the Postal Service Governors. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: June 21, 2019. SUMMARY: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Proposed Rates IV. Initial Administrative Actions V. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction On May 20, 2019, the Postal Service filed a notice of a proposed range of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 May 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 prices for Inbound Letter Post Small Packets and Bulky Letters (E format), and for associated Inbound Registered Service.1 The Postal Service intends for the prices to take effect on a date to be determined by the Postal Service Governors. Notice at 1. The Postal Service concurrently filed a notice of filing of non-public library references.2 The Postal Service’s Notice requests the Commission’s review and approval of new rates for Inbound E format Letter Post, but does so in a unique and unprecedented manner. As described further below, the Postal Service, in lieu of providing specific rates, has proposed a range of rates for both the piece and weight components of the proposed pricing structure. Current Inbound E format Letter Post prices, known as terminal dues, were set through the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Notice at 2. The UPU terminal dues system has long been a concern of the Commission, and the Commission has noted that the current pricing regime results in noncompensatory terminal dues.3 The Commission has described UPU terminal dues as discriminatory because they are not equivalent to domestic postage rates in the destination country. Order No. 4980 at 3. On August 23, 2018, President Donald J. Trump issued a presidential memorandum to the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the Commission, among others, entitled ‘‘Modernizing the Monetary Reimbursement Model for the Delivery of Goods Through the International Postal System and Enhancing the Security and Safety of International Mail.’’ 4 The Postal Service states that the Presidential Memorandum identifies economic distortion as a result of foreign merchants receiving the benefit of lower distribution costs in the United States 1 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Rates Not of General Applicability for Inbound EFormat Letter Post, and Application for Non-Public Treatment, May 20, 2019 (Notice). 2 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing of Non-Public Library References, May 20, 2019 (Non-Public LR Notice). 3 Docket No. MC2019–17, Order Conditionally Approving Transfer, January 9, 2019, at 3 (Order No. 4980). 4 Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Homeland Security, Postmaster General, and Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, August 23, 2018 (Presidential Memorandum), available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ presidential-actions/presidential-memorandumsecretary-state-secretary-treasury-secretaryhomeland-security-postmaster-general-chairmanpostal-regulatory-commission/. PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 compared to domestic vendors. Notice at 3. Consistent with the policy objectives outlined in the Presidential Memorandum, the Secretary of State gave notice to the UPU on October 17, 2018, that the United States would withdraw as a member country, effective one year from the announcement.5 The White House Press Secretary issued a statement indicating that the President concurred with the recommendation from the Department of State that the United States should adopt self-declared rates for terminal dues as soon as practical, but no later than January 1, 2020.6 Since issuing its notice to withdraw from the UPU, the United States has continued to negotiate with other UPU member countries to ‘‘reach a mutually acceptable solution to satisfy the aims of the Presidential Memorandum.’’ Notice at 5. The Postal Service states that because it does not yet know the result of current State Department negotiations on achieving ‘‘the President’s stated goal to remain within the UPU following elimination of the economic distortion’’ in the current system, it posits that a range of rates for E format items that accommodates those negotiations is ‘‘in the best interests of the United States and the Postal Service.’’ Id. The Postal Service states that this range allows the Postal Service to preserve flexibility, enabling it to institute rates for E format Letter Post whether the United States is in or out of the UPU. Id. In Order No. 4980, the Commission conditionally approved the transfer of Inbound E format Letter Post items from the market dominant to competitive products list. Order No. 4980 at 23. III. Proposed Rates The Postal Service’s Notice includes an application for non-public treatment of materials filed under seal (Attachment 1), a Statement of Explanation and Justification for the proposed rate range (Attachment 2), and a certification of prices (Attachment 3). Notice, Attachments 1–3. The Postal Service filed the proposed rates and underlying workpapers under seal in this docket. See Notice at 2. The Postal Service states that the price range and workpapers include ‘‘commercially sensitive information, such as price, volume, cost, and revenue data, certain non-published rates, negotiated contract data, and underlying calculations.’’ Non-Public LR Notice at 2. The Postal 5 See Statement from the Press Secretary, October 17, 2018, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-38/. 6 Id.; see Order No. 4980 at 4. E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 103 / Wednesday, May 29, 2019 / Notices Service further explains its request for non-public treatment of the price range in its application for non-public treatment, filed pursuant to 39 CFR 3007. Notice, Attachment 1 at 1. The Postal Service states that the proposed range of prices would conform to the requirements for competitive products under 39 U.S.C. 3633. Notice at 12. The Postal Service states that the proposed prices cover attributable costs, avoid cross-subsidization, and do not impede competitive products’ collective ability to cover the appropriate share of institutional costs. Id. The Postal Service states that the proposed prices will be available only to postal operators, citing fundamental differences between postal operators and private carriers. Id. at 13. The Postal Service states that the risk of ‘‘creamskimming’’ and operational concerns dictate that the rates be not of general applicability, but notes that private carriers can receive similar service through negotiated service agreements. Id. at 14. The Postal Service addresses concerns regarding Private Express Statutes (PES). Id. at 15. The Postal Service states that most Inbound E format Letter Post containing letter content would fall under exceptions for letters relating to goods, or suspensions for certain advertising. Id. The Postal Service states that absent exceptions or suspensions, proposed maximum rates exceed the price test even at the lowest rate increment, and the minimum rates satisfy the price test at the average weight per piece. Id. at 15–16. The Postal Service states that for minimum rates evaluated at individual weight steps, whose prices do not alone satisfy the price test, the total postage paid (including foreign postal operators’ costs for legs 1 and 2), would likely exceed the PES price test. Id. at 17. The Postal Service states that in addition to satisfying all statutory requirements, the proposed prices are consistent with the policies and reforms outlined in the Presidential Memorandum. Id. at 18. The Postal Service states that the proposal fully reimburses the Postal Service for its costs, avoids a preference for foreign postal operators over private carriers, and avoids a preference for foreign mailers over domestic mailers. Id. at 18– 19. Although Inbound E format Letter Post prices would not be identical to domestic retail and commercial rates, the proposed range is justified under domestic equivalent principles. Id. at 19. The Postal Service notes one particular exception. The Postal Service states that E format volume dispatched by countries in UPU Group IV will be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 May 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 subject to lower prices, of which the Postal Service will provide notice at a later time. Id. at 10–11. The Postal Service states that the proposal achieves rate ‘‘parity’’ and would eliminate the economic distortion identified in the Presidential Memorandum. Id. at 19. IV. Initial Administrative Actions The Commission establishes Docket No. CP2019–155 to consider the Postal Service’s Notice. Interested persons may express views and offer comments on whether the planned changes are consistent with 39 U.S.C. 3632 and 3633 and 39 CFR part 3015. The Commission also invites comments on whether the proposed prices are consistent with the policies outlined in the Presidential Memorandum.7 Comments are due no later than June 21, 2019. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Katalin K. Clendenin is appointed to serve as Public Representative to represent the interests of the general public in this docket. ACTION: Notice. The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission’s consideration concerning negotiated service agreements. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: May 31, 2019. SUMMARY: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: V. Ordering Paragraphs Table of Contents It is ordered: 1. The Commission establishes Docket No. CP2019–155 to provide interested persons an opportunity to express views and offer comments on whether the planned changes are consistent with 39 U.S.C. 3632 and 3633 and 39 CFR part 3015. 2. The Commission also invites interested persons to express views and offer comments on whether the proposed prices are consistent with the policies outlined in the Presidential Memorandum. 3. Comments are due no later than June 21, 2019. 4. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints Katalin K. Clendenin to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this docket. 5. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register. I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) By the Commission. Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–11085 Filed 5–28–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2019–142 and CP2019–157; MC2019–143 and CP2019–158] 24829 I. Introduction The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list. Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request’s acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request. The public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s) can be accessed via the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.301.1 New Postal Products AGENCY: 7 See PO 00000 Postal Regulatory Commission. Order No. 4980 at 20. Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1 See Docket No. RM2018–3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19–22 (Order No. 4679). E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 103 (Wednesday, May 29, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24828-24829]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-11085]


=======================================================================
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POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. CP2019-155; Order No. 5102]


Competitive Postal Products

AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Commission is acknowledging a recent filing by the Postal 
Service of its intention to change prices not of general applicability 
to reflect a range of prices to take effect on a date determined by the 
Postal Service Governors. This notice informs the public of the filing, 
invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

DATES: Comments are due: June 21, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing 
Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments 
electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing 
alternatives.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 
202-789-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Background
III. Proposed Rates
IV. Initial Administrative Actions
V. Ordering Paragraphs

I. Introduction

    On May 20, 2019, the Postal Service filed a notice of a proposed 
range of prices for Inbound Letter Post Small Packets and Bulky Letters 
(E format), and for associated Inbound Registered Service.\1\ The 
Postal Service intends for the prices to take effect on a date to be 
determined by the Postal Service Governors. Notice at 1. The Postal 
Service concurrently filed a notice of filing of non-public library 
references.\2\ The Postal Service's Notice requests the Commission's 
review and approval of new rates for Inbound E format Letter Post, but 
does so in a unique and unprecedented manner. As described further 
below, the Postal Service, in lieu of providing specific rates, has 
proposed a range of rates for both the piece and weight components of 
the proposed pricing structure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Notice of the United States Postal Service of Rates Not of 
General Applicability for Inbound E-Format Letter Post, and 
Application for Non-Public Treatment, May 20, 2019 (Notice).
    \2\ Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing of Non-
Public Library References, May 20, 2019 (Non-Public LR Notice).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Background

    Current Inbound E format Letter Post prices, known as terminal 
dues, were set through the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Notice at 2. 
The UPU terminal dues system has long been a concern of the Commission, 
and the Commission has noted that the current pricing regime results in 
noncompensatory terminal dues.\3\ The Commission has described UPU 
terminal dues as discriminatory because they are not equivalent to 
domestic postage rates in the destination country. Order No. 4980 at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Docket No. MC2019-17, Order Conditionally Approving 
Transfer, January 9, 2019, at 3 (Order No. 4980).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On August 23, 2018, President Donald J. Trump issued a presidential 
memorandum to the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the 
Commission, among others, entitled ``Modernizing the Monetary 
Reimbursement Model for the Delivery of Goods Through the International 
Postal System and Enhancing the Security and Safety of International 
Mail.'' \4\ The Postal Service states that the Presidential Memorandum 
identifies economic distortion as a result of foreign merchants 
receiving the benefit of lower distribution costs in the United States 
compared to domestic vendors. Notice at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State, 
Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Homeland Security, 
Postmaster General, and Chairman of the Postal Regulatory 
Commission, August 23, 2018 (Presidential Memorandum), available at: 
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-secretary-state-secretary-treasury-secretary-homeland-security-postmaster-general-chairman-postal-regulatory-commission/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consistent with the policy objectives outlined in the Presidential 
Memorandum, the Secretary of State gave notice to the UPU on October 
17, 2018, that the United States would withdraw as a member country, 
effective one year from the announcement.\5\ The White House Press 
Secretary issued a statement indicating that the President concurred 
with the recommendation from the Department of State that the United 
States should adopt self-declared rates for terminal dues as soon as 
practical, but no later than January 1, 2020.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See Statement from the Press Secretary, October 17, 2018, 
available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-38/.
    \6\ Id.; see Order No. 4980 at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since issuing its notice to withdraw from the UPU, the United 
States has continued to negotiate with other UPU member countries to 
``reach a mutually acceptable solution to satisfy the aims of the 
Presidential Memorandum.'' Notice at 5. The Postal Service states that 
because it does not yet know the result of current State Department 
negotiations on achieving ``the President's stated goal to remain 
within the UPU following elimination of the economic distortion'' in 
the current system, it posits that a range of rates for E format items 
that accommodates those negotiations is ``in the best interests of the 
United States and the Postal Service.'' Id. The Postal Service states 
that this range allows the Postal Service to preserve flexibility, 
enabling it to institute rates for E format Letter Post whether the 
United States is in or out of the UPU. Id.
    In Order No. 4980, the Commission conditionally approved the 
transfer of Inbound E format Letter Post items from the market dominant 
to competitive products list. Order No. 4980 at 23.

III. Proposed Rates

    The Postal Service's Notice includes an application for non-public 
treatment of materials filed under seal (Attachment 1), a Statement of 
Explanation and Justification for the proposed rate range (Attachment 
2), and a certification of prices (Attachment 3). Notice, Attachments 
1-3. The Postal Service filed the proposed rates and underlying 
workpapers under seal in this docket. See Notice at 2. The Postal 
Service states that the price range and workpapers include 
``commercially sensitive information, such as price, volume, cost, and 
revenue data, certain non-published rates, negotiated contract data, 
and underlying calculations.'' Non-Public LR Notice at 2. The Postal

[[Page 24829]]

Service further explains its request for non-public treatment of the 
price range in its application for non-public treatment, filed pursuant 
to 39 CFR 3007. Notice, Attachment 1 at 1.
    The Postal Service states that the proposed range of prices would 
conform to the requirements for competitive products under 39 U.S.C. 
3633. Notice at 12. The Postal Service states that the proposed prices 
cover attributable costs, avoid cross-subsidization, and do not impede 
competitive products' collective ability to cover the appropriate share 
of institutional costs. Id.
    The Postal Service states that the proposed prices will be 
available only to postal operators, citing fundamental differences 
between postal operators and private carriers. Id. at 13. The Postal 
Service states that the risk of ``cream-skimming'' and operational 
concerns dictate that the rates be not of general applicability, but 
notes that private carriers can receive similar service through 
negotiated service agreements. Id. at 14.
    The Postal Service addresses concerns regarding Private Express 
Statutes (PES). Id. at 15. The Postal Service states that most Inbound 
E format Letter Post containing letter content would fall under 
exceptions for letters relating to goods, or suspensions for certain 
advertising. Id. The Postal Service states that absent exceptions or 
suspensions, proposed maximum rates exceed the price test even at the 
lowest rate increment, and the minimum rates satisfy the price test at 
the average weight per piece. Id. at 15-16. The Postal Service states 
that for minimum rates evaluated at individual weight steps, whose 
prices do not alone satisfy the price test, the total postage paid 
(including foreign postal operators' costs for legs 1 and 2), would 
likely exceed the PES price test. Id. at 17.
    The Postal Service states that in addition to satisfying all 
statutory requirements, the proposed prices are consistent with the 
policies and reforms outlined in the Presidential Memorandum. Id. at 
18. The Postal Service states that the proposal fully reimburses the 
Postal Service for its costs, avoids a preference for foreign postal 
operators over private carriers, and avoids a preference for foreign 
mailers over domestic mailers. Id. at 18-19. Although Inbound E format 
Letter Post prices would not be identical to domestic retail and 
commercial rates, the proposed range is justified under domestic 
equivalent principles. Id. at 19. The Postal Service notes one 
particular exception. The Postal Service states that E format volume 
dispatched by countries in UPU Group IV will be subject to lower 
prices, of which the Postal Service will provide notice at a later 
time. Id. at 10-11. The Postal Service states that the proposal 
achieves rate ``parity'' and would eliminate the economic distortion 
identified in the Presidential Memorandum. Id. at 19.

IV. Initial Administrative Actions

    The Commission establishes Docket No. CP2019-155 to consider the 
Postal Service's Notice. Interested persons may express views and offer 
comments on whether the planned changes are consistent with 39 U.S.C. 
3632 and 3633 and 39 CFR part 3015. The Commission also invites 
comments on whether the proposed prices are consistent with the 
policies outlined in the Presidential Memorandum.\7\ Comments are due 
no later than June 21, 2019. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Katalin K. 
Clendenin is appointed to serve as Public Representative to represent 
the interests of the general public in this docket.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See Order No. 4980 at 20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:
    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. CP2019-155 to provide 
interested persons an opportunity to express views and offer comments 
on whether the planned changes are consistent with 39 U.S.C. 3632 and 
3633 and 39 CFR part 3015.
    2. The Commission also invites interested persons to express views 
and offer comments on whether the proposed prices are consistent with 
the policies outlined in the Presidential Memorandum.
    3. Comments are due no later than June 21, 2019.
    4. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints Katalin K. 
Clendenin to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public 
Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in 
this docket.
    5. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the 
Federal Register.

    By the Commission.
Stacy L. Ruble,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-11085 Filed 5-28-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P