Customer Support Ruling
Calendars - Bound Printed Matter
UPDATED June 2014
This CSR discusses the eligibility of calendars as Bound Printed Matter (BPM).
Postal standards provide that Bound Printed Matter is Package Services Mail matter within specified weight limits. Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 263.3.1 provides that Bound Printed Matter must:
a. Weigh no more than 15 pounds.
b. Consist of advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material (or any combination of such material).
c. Be securely bound by permanent fastenings such as staples, spiral binding, glue, or stitching. Loose-leaf binders and similar fastenings are not considered permanent.
d. Consist of sheets of which at least 90% are imprinted by any process other than handwriting or typewriting with words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them).
e. Not have the nature of personal correspondence.
f. Not be stationery, such as pads of blank printed forms.
The regulatory history for Bound Printed Matter shares insight into what matter may be eligible for BPM rates. That history, specifically the testimony underlying the establishment of Bound Printed Matter in the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule, indicates that “stationery” including “calendar pads,” among other items, are not intended to be eligible for BPM prices. However, that testimony did not provide any further description of the calendars that would be considered stationery nor did it state that all calendar-type material is considered ineligible for Bound Printed Matter.
Calendars often take different forms. Some materials solely consist of calendar material, whether monthly pages or page-per-day material. These can take the form of wall calendars, which generally include monthly pages; bound pads, which generally are page-per-day calendars; or material bound similar to books, which may be diary or page-per-day in nature. The nature of the pages may vary in each of these formats; some may include a substantial number of pages with text or pictures or have individual pages of text or pictures interleaved between the calendar pages. Others may include little or no text other than the year, month, date, and day of the week, but primarily consist of blank space in which the user may write notes, appointments, or other material. Calendar material containing little or no textual/editorial/picture material is ineligible for BPM prices consistent with the regulatory history. However, other calendar-type matter, as described above, which incorporates textual/editorial/picture matter, is deemed eligible for the BPM prices if such matter is substantial. As a rule of thumb, calendar-type material, of which 50 percent or more of the pages contain textual/editorial/picture matter, is deemed eligible for BPM prices.
This rule of thumb may not apply to calendar-type matter that are part of hybrid pieces combining book and calendar material, e.g., appointment books consisting of textual matter and calendar pages containing blank spaces for notetaking. This material differs from pure calendars in that the calendar pages are appended to a series of pages of text and/or pictures (as opposed to pages of text or pictures interleaved between calendar pages). With these pieces, there is a preliminary issue whether the piece is a calendar that should be subject to the test set out above. These pieces will not be considered calendars if the separate text/pictorial pages consist of at least 30% of the pages in the piece.
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