Contents Index
E700 Package Services

E710 Basic Standards

E710 gives the basic standards for all Package Services.

1.0 Basic Information


[8-10-03] Package Services mail consists of mailable matter that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals (unless permitted or required by standard) or as Customized MarketMail under E660. Package Services mail includes matter formerly classified as Standard Mail (B). There are four subclasses of Package Services: Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail (formerly Special Standard Mail), and Library Mail. Information on specific eligibility requirements to qualify for rates under each of the four subclasses is found in E711, E712, E713, and E714.


There is no minimum weight for Package Services. A single piece of Parcel Post, Media Mail, and Library Mail can weigh no more than 70 pounds. A single piece of Bound Printed Matter can weigh no more than 15 pounds.

1.3Postal Inspection

Package Services mail is not sealed against postal inspection. Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at Package Services rates constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents.

1.4Written Additions

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class rates. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class postage:

a. The sender’s and the addressee’s names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by “From” or “To,” and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as “Do Not Open Until Christmas” and “Happy Birthday, Mother.”

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.

e. A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.

f. Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.

g. Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.

h. Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.

i. Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.

j. Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label.


An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Package Services piece or in an envelope marked “Invoice Enclosed” and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:

a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.

b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).

c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker.

1.6Incidental First-Class Attachments and Enclosures

Incidental First-Class matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Package Services piece without payment of First-Class postage. An incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First-Class postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Package Services rate for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure.

2.0 Zoned Rates

2.1Mailing Office

Zoned Package Services (Parcel Post and Bound Printed Matter) must be mailed at the post office from which the zone rate postage was computed, except under 2.2 and 2.3.

2.2Redirected Mailings

A mailer who presents large mailings of zoned Package Services mail may be authorized or directed to deposit such mailings at another postal facility when processing or logistics make such an alternative desirable for the USPS, subject to these conditions:

a. Zoned postage need not be recomputed if both the original post office of mailing and the alternative facility use the same zone chart for computing zoned postage, based on the 3-digit prefix of their ZIP Codes.

b. Postage must be recomputed on pieces in mailings redirected to a postal facility that uses a different zone chart for computing zoned postage.

c. Postage for pieces claimed at the Parcel Post Intra-BMC local zone rates must be recomputed at the applicable zone rate for the alternative postal facility. Postage also may be recomputed for other pieces that are ineligible for the Parcel Post Intra-BMC local zone rates but could become eligible at the postal facility to which the mailing is redirected.

2.3BMC Acceptance

A mailer may present zoned Package Services at a BMC for acceptance if:

a. Metered postage is paid through a postage meter licensed at the BMC parent post office, or permit imprint postage is paid through an advance deposit account at the BMC parent post office or another post office in the BMC service area, unless otherwise permitted by standard.

b. Zoned postage is computed from the BMC parent post office.

c. The BMC is authorized by Form 4410 to act as acceptance agent for the entry post office.

3.0 Addressing

3.1Delivery and Return Addresses

[6-12-03] All Package Services mail must bear a delivery address. Except for single-piece rate Parcel Post, the delivery address on each piece must include the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under A020 or detached address labels under A060 may be used. Except for unendorsed Bound Printed Matter, each piece must bear the sender's return address.

3.2Address Correction Fees

The fee for manual or automated address correction service is charged per notice issued (R700).

4.0 Documentation

Each mailing must be accompanied by a correct, completed USPS postage statement form, or approved facsimile, signed by the mailer. A postage statement is not required for a Package Services mailing when the correct postage at the single-piece rate is affixed to each piece. Additional supporting documentation may be required by the standards for the rate claimed or postage payment method used.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)