1.0 Prices and Fees
2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Priority Mail
3.0 Content Standards for Priority Mail
Except under 1.3 through 1.6, Priority Mail retail prices are based on weight and zone and are charged per pound; any fraction of a pound is rounded up to the next whole pound. For example, if a piece weighs 1.2 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 2 pounds. The minimum postage amount per addressed piece is the 1-pound price. Other charges may apply.
See Notice 123—Price List for applicable Priority Mail retail prices.
Postage for parcels addressed for delivery to Zones 1-9 and exceeding 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches) is based on the actual weight or the dimensional weight (as calculated in 1.3.1 or 1.3.2), whichever is greater.
Follow these steps to determine the dimensional weight for a rectangular parcel:
- Measure the length, width, and height in inches. Round off (see 604.7.0) each measurement to the nearest whole inch.
- Multiply the length by the width by the height.
- If the result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 166 and round up (see 604.7.0) to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds.
- If the dimensional weight exceeds 70 pounds, the customer pays the 70-pound price.
Follow these steps to determine the dimensional weight for a nonrectangular parcel:
- Measure the length, width, and height in inches at their extreme dimensions. Round off (see 604.7.0) each measurement to the nearest whole inch.
- Multiply the length by the width by the height.
- Multiply the result by an adjustment factor of 0.785.
- If the final result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 166 and round up (see 604.7.0) to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds.
- If the dimensional weight exceeds 70 pounds, the mailer pays the 70-pound price.
Only USPS-produced Flat Rate Envelopes or Flat Rate Boxes are eligible for the Flat Rate price and are charged a flat rate, regardless of the actual weight (up to 70 pounds) of the mailpiece or domestic destination. Customers must only use USPS-produced Flat Rate containers at the applicable Flat Rate price. USPS-produced packaging, including Flat Rate containers, is not eligible for shipping live animals.
All USPS-produced Priority Mail envelopes smaller than the EP14F envelope (9.5 inches by 12.5 inches) are eligible for the Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope price whether or not they are marked “Flat Rate Envelope.” Each type of USPS-produced Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope is priced at a flat rate regardless of the actual weight (up to 70 pounds) of the mailpiece or domestic destination.
[4-4-22] Only USPS-produced Flat Rate Boxes are eligible for the Flat Rate Box prices. Mailers are charged a flat rate per each USPS-produced Priority Mail Flat Rate Box regardless of the domestic destination or actual weight (up to 70 pounds) of the mailpiece. See Notice 123—Price List for applicable prices. Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are as follows:
- Small Flat Rate Box to domestic, APO/FPO, and DPO destinations.
- Medium Flat Rate Boxes (FRB-1) or (FRB-2) to domestic, APO/FPO, and DPO destinations.
- [4-4-22] Large Flat Rate Box to domestic destinations.
- [4-4-22] Large Flat Rate Box and “special version of this box” identified with the additional logo: “Americasupportsyou.mil.” to APO/FPO and DPO destinations. This box is priced less to mail than the conventional domestic Large Flat Rate Box. If the special version of the APO/FPO Flat Rate Box is used for non-APO/FPO and DPO destination addresses, domestic or international Large Flat Rate Box prices will apply.
Priority Mail Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging is available for the following Priority Mail Flat Rate products: Regular Flat Rate Envelope, Padded Flat Rate Envelope, Legal Flat Rate Envelope, Small Flat Rate Box, Medium Flat Rate Boxes, and Large Flat Rate Box. Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging may be purchased only online at www.usps.com and is only available to domestic and APO/FPO and DPO locations. The discounted military Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box is not available as a Forever Prepaid packaging option, but all Forever Prepaid packaging may be sent to APO/FPO and DPO destinations, although no APO/FPO and DPO discounted prices will apply. All Forever Prepaid Flat Rate packaging is equivalent in price to the retail price for Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging. Each Forever Prepaid Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box bears a shipping label with affixed Forever Prepaid postage and may not be removed from the existing packaging and placed on any other packaging. The Forever Prepaid label bears the USPS watermark, which validates the postage.
Regional Rate Box prices are available to Priority Mail Commercial Base or Commercial Plus customers who use USPS-produced Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes under 223.1.8. Regional Rate Boxes paid at retail are charged a fee based on zone (1-4 or 5-9), in addition to the applicable Commercial Base or Commercial Plus postage. Regional Rate Boxes that exceed the maximum weight as specified in 223.1.8 or have container flaps that do not close within the normal folds are not eligible for Regional Rate Box prices and are assessed the applicable single-piece Priority Mail price.
Keys and identification devices (e.g., identification cards or uncovered identification tags) that weigh 13 ounces or less are charged the applicable First-Class Mail or Priority Mail price and a fee. Keys and identification devices that weigh more than 13 ounces but not more than 1 pound are returned at the 1 pound Priority Mail price for zone 4 plus the fee. Keys and identification devices weighing more than 1 pound but not more than 2 pounds are mailed at the 2 pound Priority Mail price for zone 4 plus the fee. The key or identification device must bear, contain, or have securely attached the name and complete address of a person, organization, or concern, with instructions to return the key or identification device to that address and a statement guaranteeing payment of postage due on delivery.
Except for Flat Rate and Regional Rate packaging, a Priority Mail piece is subject to a nonstandard fee (see Notice 123—Price List) as follows:
- A piece measures more than 22 inches up to 30 inches long.
- A piece measures more than 30 inches long.
- A piece measures more than 2 cubic feet (3,456 cubic inches). Dimensions for rectangular pieces are determined by measuring the length, width, and height in inches, rounding off (see 604.7.0) each measurement to the nearest whole inch and multiplying the length by the width by the height. Dimensions for nonrectangular pieces are calculated as above and the result multiplied by an adjustment factor of 0.785. If either calculation exceeds 3,456 cubic inches, the piece is subject to the nonstandard fee.
- A piece may be subject to both a length (1.7a, 1.7b) and a cube (1.7c) nonstandard fee.
Priority Mail is an expedited service and may contain any mailable matter weighing no more than 70 pounds except for APO and FPO mail subject to 703.2.0, 703.4.0, and Department of State mail subject to 703.3.0. Service objectives for delivery are 1 to 3 days; however, the USPS does not guarantee the delivery time.
Priority Mail matter is closed against postal inspection.
All mailable matter may be sent as Priority Mail, except matter prohibited by standards (e.g., certain hazardous materials).
Unless Priority Mail Express is used, Priority Mail prices are required for a mailpiece that weighs more than 13 ounces when the mailpiece contains matter that must be mailed as First-Class Mail. Complete descriptions of matter requiring the use of First-Class Mail are provided in 133.3.0.