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Quick Service Guide 340b
Discount Flats Standard Mail
Automation Flats

January 2006
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Related QSG

301a, Designing Flats for Automated Processing


Physical Standards (301)

Maximum weight: less than 16 ounces.
For an overview of the physical standards for discount flats, see Quick Service Guide 301.


Rates and Fees (343.1)




For pieces weighing 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pounds) or less:
3/5 $0.275 $0.171
Basic 0.316 0.195
For pieces weighing more than 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pounds):
Per piece rates:
3/5 $0.121 $0.047
Basic 0.162 0.071
PLUS per pound rates: $0.746 $0.602

Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination BMC/ASF or SCF (346.2).

Annual $160.00 presort mailing fee.


Content (343.2)

Flats containing mailable items not required to be sent using First-Class Mail can be sent using Standard Mail. Standard Mail is typically used for advertisements, flyers, and catalogs. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers (703.1).


Eligibility Standards (343.7)

Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces (or 50 pounds of addressed pieces) must be automation compatible (301.3), 100% ZIP+4 barcoded or delivery point barcoded (708.4), sorted and marked as described below. Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class rates or not eligible for Periodicals rates. Nonprofit rates require specific authorization (703.1).

Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.

For address standards, see 343.7.3; for barcode quality standards, see 708.4; and for CASS/MASS standards, see 708.3. Addresses must be matched using a CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing date.

All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (business reply, courtesy reply, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.14.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes ("sticky notes") for an additional charge of $0.015. See 709.7.


Postage Payment and Documentation (344)

Precanceled stamp (604.3), meter (604.4), or permit imprint (604.5).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.

  • Postage statement:
    Regular: Form 3602-R or approved facsimile.
    Nonprofit: Form 3602-N or approved facsimile.
  • Form 3553 must be retained by mailer for 1 year (708.3.5.2).
  • Supporting documentation: required unless correct rate is affixed to each piece or unless each piece is of identical weight and separated by rate when presented for acceptance; documentation generated by PAVE-certified software (or printed in standardized format).


Mail Preparation (345.7)

Marking on each piece in the postage area (302.2):

  • Regular: "Presorted Standard" or "PRSRT STD."
  • Nonprofit: "Nonprofit Organization" or "NONPROFIT ORG." or "NONPROFIT."

Use of the "AUTO" marking is optional.

Barcoded sack labels required (345.4.9).

Pallets are preferred (see Quick Service Guide 707d).

Pieces meeting specifications for the automated flat sorting machine (AFSM) 100 in 301.3.3 must be prepared in separate bundles from pieces meeting specifications for the upgraded flat sorting machine (UFSM) 1000 in 301.3.4. Separate bundle minimums (345.2) must be met for each bundle type. Within each bundle, mailers may combine pieces of nonidentical weights if authorized under 344.3.1. AFSM 100 and UFSM 1000 bundles may be combined in the same sacks or on the same pallets.

Any mailing job that contains bundles of Presorted flats and bundles of automation flats must be cosacked using 705.9.3.


Enter and Deposit (346)

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS. For the specific DMM standards applicable to this category of mail, consult the DMM sections referenced above and the general sections within each DMM module.


Packaging and Sacking Sequence (345.7.5.1 )


Bundles: Required with 15 pieces for mailings containing only pieces weighing 5 ounces or less and 3/4 inch thick or less. Required with 10 pieces for mailings containing any pieces weighing more than 5 ounces or more than 3/4 inch thick. Fewer pieces in a bundle not permitted.

Labels: Red Label 5 or optional endorsement line (OEL) (708.7).

Rate: 3/5


Bundles: Required if 10 or more pieces to same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix; fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.

Labels: Green Label 3 or OEL.

Rate: 3/5


Bundles: Required if 10 or more pieces to same ADC (see L004); fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.

Labels: Pink Label A or OEL.

Rate: Basic

Mixed ADC

Bundles: Any remaining pieces must be bundled in mixed ADC bundles.

Labels: Tan Label X or OEL.

Rate: Basic

This graphic shows the packaging and Sacking sequence for Standard Mail Automation Flats as described in the text.

Sacks: Required at 125 pieces or 15 pounds; smaller quantities not permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.

Sacks: Required at 125 pieces or 15 pounds; smaller quantities not permitted. (Exception: A sack must be prepared for any remaining bundles for each 3-digit ZIP Code prefix of SCF serving post office where mail is verified.)

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column A, for destination facility.

Sacks: Required at 125 pieces or 15 pounds; smaller quantities not permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L004, Column B for destination facility.

Sacks: Required, no minimum for any remaining bundles placed in mixed ADC sacks.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L009, Column B.

Rate is based on type of bundle regardless of sack in (or pallet on) which it is placed.


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