Modern Service Standards for Market-Dominant Products
The Postal ServiceTM establishes modern service standards for its market-dominant products. Section 301 of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Public Law 109-435, 120 Stat 3198 et seq. (December 20, 2006) requires the Postal Service, after consultation with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), to establish by regulation within a year of its enactment, a set of modern service standards for its market-dominant products. This notice responds to that requirement by establishing the required regulations.
Domestic Mail Service Offered to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia
This final rule revises the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]), by returning the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to ``mail treated as domestic'' status. Collect on Delivery (COD), Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, and electronic return receipt options will not be offered to FSM and RMI. Also, Express Mail service will be offered but without a guarantee. This decision was a result of high-level discussions with the RMI and the FSM and consultation with the U.S. Department of State. An additional final rule is being published to remove all references to these countries from the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM).
International Mail Service to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia Reverted to Domestic Mail Service
The Postal Service is amending the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM[supreg]) to remove references to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Mail to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia is no longer treated as international mail.
Modern Service Standards for Market-Dominant Products
The Postal Service proposes modern service standards for its market-dominant products. Section 301 of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) (codified at 39 U.S.C. 3691) requires the Postal Service, in consultation with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), to establish by regulation a set of modern service standards for market-dominant products, no later than December 20, 2007.
Purchasing of Property and Services
The Postal ServiceTM is making several minor revisions to its regulations governing the purchasing of property and services to comply with certain findings and suggestions of the Government Accountability Office, and to clarify a variety of procedural matters.
Elimination of Cash and Check Deposits Into Local Trust Accounts for Express Mail Corporate Accounts
The Postal Service proposes to revise its Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) by providing Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit as a new method of payment for Express Mail Corporate Account (EMCA) customers. The ACH system is a secure, private network that connects banks to one another by way of the Federal Reserve Board. This network enables electronic payments, such as debit card purchases, to be handled and processed. This proposed rule would also eliminate cash and check deposits made into local trust accounts. EMCA customers would still have three options to fund their accounts: Participate in the Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS), use a personal or business credit or debit card, or authorize the USPS to originate an ACH debit from a specified bank account.
New Address and Barcode Requirements for Automation, Presorted, and Carrier Route Flat-Size Mail
The Postal Service proposes new address placement requirements for Periodicals, Standard Mail, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, and Library Mail flat-size pieces sent at automation, presorted, or carrier route rates. We also propose to require an 11-digit POSTNET barcode or Intelligent Mail barcode on flat-size First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Bound Printed Matter sent at automation rates. In addition, we propose related revisions to the address requirements for automation and presorted First-Class Mail flats.
New Address Requirements for Automation, Presorted, and Carrier Route Rate Letters
The Postal Service proposes new type size and spacing requirements for delivery addresses on all automation, presorted, and carrier route rate letters.
Temporary Mail Forwarding Policy
The Postal Service published an interim rule and request for comment on amendments to the standards in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) concerning temporary change of address orders. The Postal Service is adopting the interim rule with clarifying revisions.
New Standards for Mailing Lithium Batteries
The Postal ServiceTM is revising the standards for mailing lithium and lithium-ion batteries. The new standards identify all small consumer-type lithium batteries as mailable when properly packaged and labeled.
New Move Update Standards for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail
The Postal ServiceTM is extending its effort to improve the percentage of deliverable mail by revising Move Update standards in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). The Move Update standards provide ways for mailers to reduce the number of mailpieces that require forwarding or return by the periodic matching of a mailer's address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders. Our final rule includes the following changes related to Move Update processing: increase the minimum frequency of Move Update processing from 185 days to 95 days prior to the date of mailing and extend the revised Move Update requirement to include all Standard Mail.
New Standards for Mailing Sharps Waste and Other Regulated Medical Waste
The Postal Service\TM\ is revising its standards for mailing medical waste so that medical professionals as well as individuals can use a larger container to mail medical waste to disposal sites. The new standards allow a maximum mailpiece weight limit of 35 pounds for packages approved as ``Medical Professional Packaging.''
Revisions to DMM 604.9.2 Postage and Fee Refunds
This proposed rule would revise the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) Sec. 604.9.2 through 604.9.3.6. The proposed revision would establish a minimum for refund of unused postage value in postage meters and PC Postage[supreg] accounts; provide a consistent time frame for submission of physical refunds for both PC Postage and postage meter indicia to 60 days; would specify procedures and a time frame for refund of items bearing a Product Identification Code (PIC) produced by a PC Postage system that must be processed electronically; and would establish refund procedures for undated PC Postage indicia.
Conduct on Postal Property; Technical Amendment
The Postal Service is amending two provisions in title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, to correct an outdated citation to a superseded Executive Order.
Changes in Domestic Rates and Fees
This notice sets forth the changes to domestic rates, fees, and classifications to be implemented as a result of the decision of the Board of Governors (Governors) of the United States Postal Service[reg] on the Opinion and Recommended Decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission on Changes in Postal Rates and Fees, Docket No. R2006-1 (March 19, 2007), and the decision of the Governors of the United States Postal Service on the Opinion and Recommended Decision on Reconsideration of the Postal Regulatory Commission on Changes in Postal Rates and Fees, Docket No. R2006-1 (May 1, 2007).
Authority of Office of Inspector General and Postal Inspection Service
The Postal Service is revising portions of title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, to clarify the division of investigatory responsibilities between the Office of the Inspector General of the Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service.
International Product Change
The Postal Service \TM\ is issuing a final rule revising requirements contained in the International Mail Manual (IMM) concerning the contents of notifications of International Customized Mail (ICU) agreements.
Rules of Practice Before the Board of Contract Appeals
The Postal Service is amending its rules regarding small claims (expedited) and accelerated proceedings before the Board of Contract Appeals.
Electronic Verification System (eVS) for Parcel Select Mailings
This final rule delays the date set for the required use of electronic data and automated processes of the Electronic Verification System (eVS) for permit imprint Parcel Select[reg] manifest mailings, which currently are paper-driven and rely on manual processes for handling verification and postage reconciliations. The delay in required use also extends to Standard Mail[reg] machinable parcels and parcels from other Package Services subclasses (Bound Printed Matter, Library Mail, or Media Mail[reg]) that are authorized to be commingled with permit imprint Parcel Select parcels. Parcel mailers and shippers may continue to use eVS as an option if they meet the required business standards and technical specifications in the Domestic Mail Manual.
Revisions to the Requirements for Authority to Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems
In this final rule, the Postal ServiceTM amends its regulations on authorization to manufacture and distribute postage evidencing systems. The amendment corrects language that conflicts with the way we do business with PC Postage vendors.
Customs Forms for Priority Mail To or From “969” ZIP Codes and 96799
The Postal ServiceTM is revising the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual to require customs declarations on certain Priority Mail[supreg] mailpieces to or from ZIP CodeTM 96799 and ZIP CodesTM beginning with the prefix 969.
New Standards for Periodicals Mailing Services
This final rule provides the revisions to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that we will adopt to support the new Periodicals prices effective on July 15, 2007. The new prices enhance efficiency, offer more choices, and better ensure that all types of Periodicals mail cover their costs. Periodicals mailers have new incentives to use efficient containers and bundles, and copalletization becomes a permanent offering to encourage more publishers to combine mailings. We also add new prices for the nonadvertising portion of a mailing to give mailers of high-editorial- content publications access to lower destination entry rates.
Electronic Option for Delivery Confirmation Service Required for Priority Mail Open and Distribute
The Postal Service currently allows mailers to use the electronic option for Delivery Confirmation service on Priority Mail Open and Distribute containers. We are proposing to make this optional extra service a requirement.
New Address Quality Standards for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail
This proposed rule provides revisions to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that we will adopt no earlier than 18 months from the publication date of this notice. Move Update, the process for updating names and addresses, is currently required for mailers to obtain discounted rates for First- Class Mail. All address records used on pieces in discounted-rate mailings of First-Class Mail must be matched with customer-filed change-of-address orders received and maintained by the USPS using a USPS-approved method within 185 days of the date of mailing. Our proposal includes the following changes related to move update processing: (1) Extending the Move Update requirement to all Standard Mail and (2) reducing the window for move update processing of names and addresses used for mailings of discounted First-Class Mail from 185 days to 95 days prior to mailing. The revised timeframe would apply to all pieces in Standard Mail mailings.
New Standards for First-Class Mail and Priority Mail Services
The Postal Service will adopt new mailing standards and prices on May 14, 2007, to support most of the pricing change recommended by the Postal Regulatory Commission and approved by the Governors of the United States Postal Service. After a reconsideration by the Postal Regulatory Commission, we are lowering the price for the Priority Mail flat-rate box to $8.95 from the previously recommended $9.15, and extending the $0.17 nonmachinable surcharge to all nonmachinable single-piece and presorted First-Class Mail letters, regardless of weight.
Revised Standards for Mailing Lithium Batteries
The Postal Service is proposing to revise our mailing standards for lithium batteries. Currently, our standards limit customers and battery manufacturers from using the mail to send consumer-type lithium batteries, and prohibit the mailing of devices powered by lithium batteries when the batteries are in the device. These standards are excessively restrictive because they obstruct the mailing of commonly used consumer-type batteries that are permitted to be transported by air under Department of Transportation (DOT) and International Air Transportation Association (IATA) regulations. In addition, under our current standards, it is difficult to determine which lithium batteries meet mailing standards and which do not. Therefore, by identifying all small consumer-type lithium batteries as mailable when properly labeled and packaged, this proposal would increase the safety of the mail. Our proposed standards are based on, yet more restrictive than, DOT shipping regulations for lithium batteries.
Revised Standards for Mailing Sharps Waste and Other Regulated Medical Waste
The Postal ServiceTM is proposing to revise the mailing standards for medical waste so that medical professionals can more easily use the mail to ship waste to disposal sites. For over 15 years we have safely permitted approved vendors to use the mail for return of sharps and other regulated medical waste for disposal. Under our current standards, mail-back medical waste containers are most often used by individuals who self-inject medications to control diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. By increasing the maximum allowable weight of medical waste mail-back containers and at the same time requiring additional packaging safeguards, we intend to provide small medical offices the option of using the mail for sending medical waste for disposal. This proposal would allow medical professionals a safe, easy, and cost-effective means of disposing of sharps and other regulated medical waste.
Philadelphia, PA 30th Street Post Office Property Disposition
Notice is hereby given of the disposition of Postal Service(tm) property, the 30th Street Main Post Office located in Philadelphia, PA.
New Standards for Mailing Adult Fowl
The Postal Service revises the requirements for containers used for mailing adult chickens. The new standards require all mailable adult fowl, including chickens, to be mailed in containers approved by the manager of Mailing Standards.
New Standards for Periodicals Mailing Services
This proposed rule provides the revisions to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that we propose to adopt in support of the new Periodicals pricing and price structure to be implemented on July 15, 2007. The new prices will enhance efficiency, offer more choices, and better ensure that all types of Periodicals mail cover their costs. Periodicals mailers will have new incentives to use efficient containers and bundles, and copalletization will become a permanent offering to encourage more publishers to combine mailings. We also add new prices for the editorial portion of a mailing to give mailers of high-editorial-content publications access to lower destination entry rates.
International Product and Price Changes
The Postal Service, after considering comments on its proposal to change international postal rates, fees, and mail classifications, is implementing the new published prices and mailing standards. The Postal Service may negotiate customized prices and mailing standards.
New Standards for Domestic Mailing Services
In this final rule the Postal Service provides new mailing standards to support most of the pricing change recommended by the Postal Regulatory Commission and approved by the Governors of the United States Postal Service. We will implement most of the new prices on May 14, 2007. We will implement new prices and mailing standards for Periodicals mail on July 15, 2007. Our pricing change includes a new ``forever stamp'' to make future price changes more convenient for consumers. The forever stamp will always equal the First-Class Mail single piece 1-ounce letter price. We also offer new shape-based prices for First-Class Mail, with lower rates for letter-size pieces over 1 ounce. We make the Priority Mail flat-rate boxes a permanent product offering, and we add a new 1-pound price for Express Mail. For commercial mailers we offer new sorting options to reduce the number of trays in a mailing of letter-size pieces. We also offer new scheme preparations to give mailers access to lower rates and to better align flat-size mail preparation with mail processing. We add a new automated Address Change Service option to reduce the costs associated with undeliverable-as-addressed mail. First-Class Mail parcel mailers have new barcode options, and we provide new opportunities for mailers to combine Standard Mail Not Flat-Machinable pieces, Standard Mail parcels, and Package Services parcels in the same mailing.
Conduct on Postal Property; Weapons Prohibition
The U.S. Postal Service is amending the rules for conduct on Postal Service property to clarify the prohibition of carrying or storing on Postal Service property any firearms or other dangerous weapons, or deadly weapons or explosives, except for official purposes.
Conduct on Postal Property; Postal Service Security Force
The U.S. Postal Service is amending the enforcement provisions of the rules for conduct on Postal Service property to restate the statutory basis for the powers of members of the Postal Service security force. Enactment of permanent law defining these powers and authority necessitates this amendment. The Postal Service infers and intends no substantive change to the referenced powers and authority.