DMM TOC > 600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services|
Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) contains the basic standards of the United States Postal Service (USPS) governing its domestic mail services; descriptions of the mail classes and extra services and conditions governing their use; and standards for price eligibility and mail preparation. Domestic mail is classified by size, weight, content, service, and other factors.
[7-28-14] The DMM is available online on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com). Copies of the DMM may be inspected during normal business hours at USPS Headquarters; area and district offices. A copy is also filed at the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration.
USPS may change the standards in the DMM. Substantive revisions are published in the Postal Bulletin and, when appropriate, the Federal Register.
1.4 Terms in the DMM
[7-28-14] Terms in the DMM referring to the singular also apply to the plural, unless the context indicates otherwise. The term postmaster also applies to an officer-in-charge and, in district host cities, to the district manager.
2.0 Domestic Mail
[3-3-14] Domestic mail is mail transmitted within, among, and between the United States of America, its territories and possessions, Army Post Offices (APOs), Fleet Post Offices (FPOs), Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO), and the United Nations, NY. For this standard, the term “territories and possessions” comprises the following:
[3-3-14] Mail originating in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, APOs, FPOs, DPOs, and the United Nations, NY, for delivery in the Freely Associated States, and mail originating in the Freely Associated States for delivery within, among, and between the Freely Associated States and the United States of America, its territories and possessions, APOs, FPOs, DPOs, and the United Nations, NY, is treated as if it were domestic mail. The term “Freely Associated States” comprises the following:
International mail is mail addressed to or received from foreign countries, except under 2.2. Provisions for international mail are published in the International Mail Manual.
Except for items sent via Priority Mail Express, or Priority Mail combined with Registered Mail service, any mailpiece (regardless of contents) weighing 16 ounces or more must bear a properly completed PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22, or, if the customer prefers, a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note – CP 72, when the item is:
a. Sent from the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the ZIP Code destinations listed in the table below.
b. Sent from the ZIP Code destinations listed in the table below to the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
c. Sent between two different destinations listed in the “Territory, Possession, or Freely Associated States” column in the table below.
d. Sent within American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This standard does not apply to items sent within Guam or Palau.
2.4.2 Items Containing Goods
Regardless of mail class or weight, items containing goods (i.e., contents other than documents; see IMM 123.63 for “document” eligibility) must bear a properly completed PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22, or, if the customer prefers, a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note – CP 72, when the items are sent to the United States or Puerto Rico from the ZIP Code destinations listed in the table in 2.4.1, or from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mailpieces deposited without a properly completed customs form under 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 will be returned to the sender.
2.4.4 Overseas Military Mail
For determining customs declarations' required usage when mailing to or from APO, FPO, or DPO addresses, see 703.2.3.6 through 703.2.3.8.
Items under 2.4.1 bearing a computer-generated customs form (e.g., using Click-N-Ship service, an authorized PC Postage vendor, or the USPS Web Tools system) may be deposited through any of the following methods, provided postage is paid by a means other than the use of postage stamps:
a. In a mailbox bearing a return address that matches the address at the point of pickup, when the customer or business is known to reside or do business at that location.
Except for items under 2.4.7, customers must present the following items requiring a customs form to an employee at a Post Office retail service counter. Deposit and pickup methods listed items under 2.4.5 are prohibited. The Postal Service will return these improperly presented items to the sender for proper entry and acceptance:
Items requiring a customs form and paid with permit imprint may be entered at a business mail entry unit (BMEU) regardless if the customs form is computer-generated or handwritten.
Items sent to the Freely Associated States listed in 2.2 that require an export license under 2.5.8, regardless of weight or class of mail, always require a PS Form 2976-A. See IMM 530 for additional information on export licenses.
This section describes the various U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of the Census requirements when shipping goods to, from, and between U.S. territories, possessions, and Freely Associated States. Shipments to APO/FPO/DPO addresses are not subject to these requirements. Customers may be subject to civil and criminal penalties if they fail to electronically file their export information when required, or if they fail to comply with the Foreign Trade Regulations in any other way. Refer to IMM 520 for additional standards about the Census Bureau's requirements.The following are not subject to these requirements:
d. Items mailed to or from American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
2.5.1 Mandatory Electronic Filing—U.S. Territories, Possessions, and Freely Associated States
[7-28-14] Under the authority of 13 U.S.C. Chapter 9, as amended by the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2002, P.L. 107-228, U.S. Census Bureau regulations require electronic filing of export information through the U.S. Census Bureau's Automated Export System or AESDirect website for certain shipments of goods. Electronic filing of export information is required when any of the following applies, subject to certain exemptions (see 2.5.4):
a. The item requires an export license under U.S. law when sent to the Freely Associated States. See 2.5.5 and 2.5.6.
b. One or more classes of goods (per Schedule B Export Codes at www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b) within the item is valued at more than $2,500 and the item is mailed as follows:
3. From the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Freely Associated States.
2.5.2 Value Criterion
a. A package contains one mechanically operated watch (Schedule B item # 9101.11.0000) valued at $2600. The total value of goods to be mailed is $2600, and the value of all items within the same Schedule B number is over $2500. Consequently, electronic filing and an ITN would be required (unless an exemption applies).
b. A package contains one mechanically operated watch (Schedule B item # 9101.11.0000) valued at $2400, and one electronically operated watch (Schedule B item # 9101.91.0000) valued at $2400. The total value of goods to be mailed is $4800, but no group of items within the same Schedule B number is valued over $2500. Consequently, electronic filing and an ITN would not be required, because the mechanical watch and electronic watch are in different Schedule B groups,
c. A package contains two mechanically operated watches (Schedule B item # 9101.11.0000) one valued at $1400 and one valued at $1500. The total value of goods to be mailed is $2900 and the value of all items within the same Schedule B number is over $2500. Consequently, electronic filing and an ITN would be required, unless an exemption applies.
2.5.3 How to File Electronic Export Information and Obtain an Internal Transaction Number
[7-28-14] For additional information on electronic filing, call the U.S. Census Bureau's toll-free information hotline at 800-549-0595. To file electronic export information through AESDirect and obtain an Internal Transaction Number (ITN), customers should use the following steps:
b. Register for an AESDirect account or log into your existing account.
g. After successfully filing electronic export information, AESDirect will provide an alphanumeric Internal Transaction Number (ITN) as confirmation. The ITN consists of the letters AES followed by the ITN: for example, AES X20080930987654.
2.5.4 AES Downtime Citation
If electronic information filing is required but U.S. Census Bureau's Automated Export System or AESDirect website is unavailable, the goods may be shipped but the customer is responsible for providing the appropriate AES Downtime Citation instead of an ITN. This citation includes the word “AESDOWN,” the customer's AES filer identification number, and the date: for example, “AESDOWN 123456789 09/30/2009.” If the Automated Export System system is down, call 800-549-0595, option 1.
2.5.5 AES Exemption
In many circumstances, electronic export information filing and an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) may not be required. In these circumstances, and only when a customs declaration form is required under 2.4, customers are responsible for presenting an applicable AES Exemption on the customs declaration form upon mailing. Customers may forgo this requirement if no customs declaration form is required. When a customs declaration form is used, customers should enter the applicable AES Exemption on the customs declaration form. Customers must only enter one AES Exemption per addressed mailpiece. When multiple AES Exemptions may apply, the mailer may select any one that applies. For more information on these and other exemptions, customers should consult Appendix C of the Foreign Trade Regulations, 15 C.F.R. Part 30. The following is a list of the most commonly applicable AES Exemption for items mailed to, from, or between destinations under 2.0.
a. Regardless of value, for all goods shipped to, from, or between the following U.S. Territories, use NOEEI 30.2(d)(2):
2. Guam Island.
b. For items destined to the Freely Associated States listed in 2.2, customers may apply “NOEEI 30.37(a)” if the value of each class of goods is $2,500 or less, provided an export license is not required (see 2.5.7 and 2.5.8).
If no customs declaration form is required (e.g., items sent between the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), no other action for recording the ITN or AES Downtime Citation on the package is required. However, when a shipment requires an ITN, or AES Downtime Citation, or AES Exemption, and a PS Form 2976-A is used under 2.4, it is the customer’s responsibility to legibly write one ITN, AES Downtime Citation, or applicable AES Exemption in block 10 of PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note — CP 72. The only authorized editions for this form are September 2012 and July 2013.
The Freely Associated States listed in 2.2 are foreign destinations for the purposes of the Foreign Trade Regulations and other laws and regulations governing imports and exports. As such, certain goods shipped to these destinations from the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or other U.S. territories may require an export license. To determine if an export license is required, go to http://www.export.gov/regulation/index.asp or call: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723).
[7-28-14] When an export license is required under 2.5.7, a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note — CP 72, is always required. The only authorized editions for this form are September 2012 and July 2013. The electronically generated License Number must appear in Block 16, and an ITN or AES Downtime Citation must appear in block 10 of the form. See IMM 520 and 530 for complete requirements. In addition, it is the mailer's responsibility to comply with the U.S. Census Bureau's requirements for filing electronic export information, as described in 2.5.1 and 2.5.2.
2.6.2 Price Eligibility
[10-6-14] Requirements for Alaska Bypass Service are provided in Handbook PO 508.
[7-28-14] Information on discontinuing, consolidating, and suspending services can be found in United States Code 39 U.S. C. §404(b), and the Postal Operations Manual (POM). Information on holidays observed by the USPS can be found in the POM and online at USPS.com.
[7-28-14] Information on philatelic (stamp collecting) services and special cancellations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (39 CFR Part 123).
[7-28-14] By the laws known as the Private Express Statutes, Congress has generally conferred on the USPS the exclusive right to carry letters for others over post routes. USPS regulations under the Private Express Statutes are in the Code of Federal Regulations, 39 CFR 310 and 320, as amended by final rules published in the Federal Register. These regulations take precedence over all prior rulings and USPS publications. Information on the Private Express Statutes can also be found in Publication 542, Understanding the Private Express Statutes.
Any postal customer may complain or inquire about postal products, services, or employees at any Post Office or directly to the USPS Consumer Advocate (see 8.1 for address). A complaint or inquiry may be made in person, by telephone, by e-mail, or by letter. A complaint or inquiry about the handling of a specific piece of mail should include the related envelope or wrapper and copies of all postal forms filed. A customer who is dissatisfied with the local handling of a complaint or inquiry may send a written appeal to the Consumer Advocate. A court of law can require such appeal as a legal prerequisite for hearing a customer’s suit against the USPS.
Instructions on mail security as it relates to unauthorized opening, inspection, tampering, or delay of mail are in Administrative Support Manual 274. Information and complaints on a possible postal law violation must be sent to the appropriate address according to the ZIP Code ranges shown below:
7.0 Trademarks and Copyrights of the USPS
7.1 USPS Trademarks
Inquiries about USPS copyrights or use of USPS trademarks and service marks, copyright materials, and intellectual property other than patents and technical data rights in USPS contracts must be sent to USPS Stamp Development (see 8.1 for address). Inquiries about licenses to publish or reproduce ZIP Code information must be sent to the National Customer Support Center (see 8.1 for address).
8.1 Postal Service
8.2 Federal Agencies
8.3 Other Agencies
[7-28-14] The Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) and the district business mail entry offices provide guidance on mail classification, prices, and mail preparation standards. Questions about mail classification and special mail services should be directed to local postal officials. The PCSC can help local officials by providing guidance in answer these questions.
[7-28-14] Pricing and Classification Service Center contact information is as follows:
90 Church St Ste 3100
PCSC, PACT MAILING OFFICE