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Quick Service Guide 340b
Standard Mail Automation Flats
January 4, 2010
301a, Designing Flats for Automated Processing
703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility
Physical Standards (301)
Maximum weight: less than 16 ounces.
For an overview of the physical standards for commercial flats, see Quick Service Guide 301.
Prices and Fees (343.1.0)
For a complete list of commercial Standard Mail prices, see Notice 123-Price List.
Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination BMC/ASF or SCF (346.2.0).
Annual presort mailing fee applies.
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 (703.1.0).
Eligibility Standards (343.7.0)
Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces (or 50 pounds of addressed pieces) must be automation compatible (301.3.0), bear a delivery point POSTNET or Intelligent Mail barcode (708.4.0), and be sorted and marked as described below. Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices or not eligible for Periodicals prices. Nonprofit prices require specific authorization (703.1.0).
Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.
For address standards, see 343.7.4; for barcode quality standards, see 708.4.0; and for CASS/MASS standards, see 708.3.0. 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 Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.17.
Rigid, nonrectangular, and pieces that are not uniformly thick must be prepared as parcels or Not Flat-Machinable pieces and pay parcel or Not Flat-Machinable prices (322.214.171.124).
Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes for an additional charge. See 705.21.0.
Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement (except Forwarding Service Requested) under 507.1.5.3). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.
Postage Payment and Documentation (344)
Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).
Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.
Mail Preparation (345.7.0)
Marking on each piece in the postage area (302.3.0):
Use of the "AUTO" marking is optional.
Barcoded sack labels required (345.4.0).
Palletization is preferred (see Quick Service Guide 705d).
Any mailing job that contains bundles of Presorted flats and bundles of automation flats must be co-sacked
Enter and Deposit (346)
Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.