Customer Support Ruling
Sealed See-through Pouches in Periodicals Publications
UPDATED July 2014
PS- 339 (207.3.3)
This Customer Support Ruling discusses perishable matter that may be inserted in copies of a Periodicals publication as unsolicited promotional product samples prepared in completely sealed, sift-proof see-through pouches.
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 207.3.3. describes the types of permissible mailpiece components that may be included with copies of a publication mailed at the Periodicals prices.
Product samples are permitted to be included in bound and unbound publications if the contents of the sample are not for sale in any market in a similar size or packaging. Travel size and similar small products in commercially available form or packaging do not qualify as permissible product samples even if they weigh less than 1 ounce or when combined with all samples in a publication, less than 3.3 ounces.
Mailable perishable foods that do not rapidly decay or generate obnoxious odors in the mail may be sent at the mailer’s risk. To accommodate inclusion of product samples that require additional protection, perishable products and samples of powdered, granular, or pellet-type substances inserted in Periodicals must be enclosed in completely sealed, sift-proof see-through pouches. All standards in DMM 188.8.131.52 for packets must be met.
Printed matter related to the enclosed sample may be inserted in the pouch. Inclusion of samples of mailable perishable foods may not change the processing category of the host publication. When pouches are included in a Periodicals they must be attached to an interior page.
Lizbeth J. Dobbins
Headquarters, US Postal Service
Washington, DC 20260-5015