203 Basic Postage Statement, Documentation, and Preparation Standards

Overview

1.0 Postage Statements

2.0 Documentation

3.0 Standardized Documentation for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, USPS Marketing Mail, and Flat-Size Bound Printed Matter

4.0 Bundles

5.0 Letter and Flat Trays

6.0 Sacks

7.0 Optional Endorsement Lines (OELs)

8.0 Carrier Route Information Lines

1.0 Postage Statements

1.1 Completing Postage Statements

Unless manifested using eVS under 705.2.9, any mailing claiming a discount and all permit imprint mailings must be accompanied by a postage statement completed and signed by the mailer (in duplicate if the mailer wants a receipted copy). A change made to any postage statement requires the mailer (agent) to correct the postage statement accordingly and document the correction.

1.2 Reporting Multiple Mailings on One Statement

Each group of pieces prepared as a separate mailing must be presented with a postage statement using the correct USPS form for the particular class, price, and postage payment method. A mailer may report more than one mailing from a single job on the same postage statement if the mailings are presented at the same time for verification, the pieces are in the same processing category, each mailing separately meets all applicable eligibility standards, and the number of pieces in each mailing is separately reported on the postage statement.

1.3 Facsimile Postage Statements

Facsimile postage statements must contain data and elements in locations as close as possible to where they appear on the USPS form. Data fields that do not pertain to information and prices claimed in the mailing and other extraneous information that appears on the USPS form do not have to be included. Facsimiles must include all other information pertaining to the mailing, including the class of mail (or subclass as appropriate), postage payment method (e.g., permit imprint), and four-digit form number (hyphen and suffix optional). All parts, and line numbers within each part, must reflect those on the USPS form. In some cases, this can include fields from multiple USPS forms onto a single facsimile. Most importantly, the facsimile must fully and exactly reproduce the “Certification” and “USPS Use Only” fields that appear on the USPS form. A facsimile postage statement produced by software certified by the USPS Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) or Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) program is considered a USPS-approved form for these standards. Others forms may be approved by the entry office postmaster. Periodicals mailers authorized centralized postage payment (CPP) procedures receive approval from the PCSC.

2.0 Documentation

2.1 Basic Documentation Standards

Generally, documentation is required from a mailer when a mailing is presented to the USPS. Supporting documentation (see 3.0) of postage is required for each mailing except for eVS mailings under 705.2.9, or unless the correct price is affixed to each piece or each piece is of identical weight and the pieces are separated by price and when applicable zone (including separation by In-County and Outside-County prices and destination entry for Periodicals) when presented for acceptance. Unless full postage is affixed, documentation presented with the postage statement must show the computation of the additional postage due for pieces not bearing full postage at the applicable price. Documentation describes the preparation, price levels, and content of the mailing; details the volume and postage data; and, by comparison with the actual mailing it describes, supports the claims contained on the postage statement accompanying the mailing and allows the USPS to verify its accuracy. Documentation must be submitted when specified for the price claimed or postage payment method used.

2.2 Documentation Standards for Automation Mailings

A complete postage statement must accompany each mailing. Each mailing also must be accompanied by presort and price documentation produced by PAVE-certified or MAC-certified software or by standardized documentation. Exception: For mailings of fewer than 10,000 pieces, presort and price documentation is not required if postage at the correct price is affixed to each piece or if each piece is of identical weight and the pieces are separated by price when presented for acceptance. Mailers may use a single postage statement and a single documentation report for all price levels in a single mailing. Mailings prepared under the value added refund procedures or as combined mailings must meet additional standardized documentation requirements under 604.9.0, and 705.

2.3 Documentation Submission—Full-Service Automation Option

Mailers entering pieces under the full-service automation option must electronically submit postage statements and mailing documentation, including qualification and container reports, to the PostalOne! system as described in 705.23.2d.

2.4 Preparing Documentation

As provided by standard, documentation may be presented in abbreviated form or on computer-readable media. Required documentation must be presented with every mailing unless, by standard, it may be provided to support multiple mailings or mailings that are part of the same job or cycle.

2.5 Multiple Standards

If multiple documentation standards apply to the same mailing, only one set of documentation is necessary if it provides enough information to meet all applicable standards. Redundant or duplicate documentation is not required simply to meet individual standards.

2.6 Standard Format for Documentation

Documentation must be produced by software certified under the Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) program or the Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) program, appropriate for the accompanying class of mail and price claimed, or the documentation must be prepared as standardized documentation. Standardized documentation contains the elements described in 3.0, as applicable. Documentation produced by PAVE-certified or MAC-certified software is considered standardized documentation.

2.7 Providing Additional Information

The postmaster of the office of mailing may require additional information if the documentation submitted does not allow the corresponding mailing to be verified. Failure to provide information is sufficient reason for the USPS to refuse a mailing. The mailer may appeal any determination to the PCSC under 607.2.0.

3.0 Standardized Documentation for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, USPS Marketing Mail, and Flat-Size Bound Printed Matter

3.1 Basic Standards

For First-Class Mail, Periodicals, USPS Marketing Mail, and Bound Printed Matter, documentation to support mail volume and preparation must be produced by standardized documentation according to this section. Standardized documentation contains the elements described in 3.2 through 3.8, as applicable. Documentation produced by Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE)-certified or Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC)-certified software is considered standardized documentation.

3.2 Format and Content

For First-Class Mail, Periodicals, USPS Marketing Mail, and Bound Printed Matter, standardized documentation includes:

  1. A heading identifying the listing as a “USPS Qualification Report” appearing at the top of each page. The heading must contain these elements:
    1. For First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail, the name of the mailer and the mailing, a mailing identification code corresponding to the postage statement, the date when the list was processed or the documentation was produced, the class of mail, and either the DMM standard under which the mail was prepared (e.g., 245.10.0 for USPS Marketing Mail automation letters) or the type of prices claimed.
    2. For Periodicals, each publication number and title corresponding to the postage statement and entry office, the date when the list was processed or the documentation was produced, the class of mail, and either the DMM standard under which the mail was prepared (e.g., 207.24.0 for letter-size barcoded Periodicals) or the type of prices claimed. For publications that are combined or copalletized and represented on the same documentation, list all publication titles and numbers in the header on the first page.
  2. Sequential page numbers.
  3. For mail in trays or sacks, list these required elements:
    1. Tray/sack sortation level. Note with an asterisk (“*”) all trays containing overflow mail moved into that tray under 235.6.5, 245.8.3 or 245.7.5.
    2. Tray/sack destination ZIP Code from top line of tray/sack label except that, for 3-digit carrier routes trays, list the individual 5-digit ZIP Codes in each tray.
    3. The number of pieces for each 5-digit ZIP Code in 5-digit/scheme bundles or trays; for each 3-digit ZIP Code in 3-digit/scheme bundles or trays; for each 3-digit/scheme in (A)ADC bundles or trays; for each (A)ADC in mixed (A)ADC bundles or trays (or, for Periodicals, origin mixed ADC trays). Exception: documentation for 3-digit/scheme letters in AADC trays or for AADC letters in mixed AADC trays is not required unless those trays contain overflow mail. For automation letter mailings, the number of pieces in the next higher level tray in lieu of overflow trays if applicable. For ECR letters prepared under 245.9.0, the number of pieces in carrier routes within full trays. For bundled mail, the number of pieces in each bundle level and presort destination.
    4. Separate columns with the number of pieces for each price reported in the mailing, and a continuous running total of pieces for each mailing (group information either in ZIP Code order and by sortation level or by sortation level and within each sortation level, by ZIP Code; report trays and sacks on pallets by pallet level and destination; include all information required in 3.2c for mail in trays or sacks). For pieces prepared in FSS scheme bundles, list by 5-digit ZIP Code within each bundle. For pieces prepared in 5-digit scheme bundles, list by 5-digit ZIP Code within each bundle. For pieces prepared in 3-digit scheme bundles, list by 3-digit ZIP Code within the bundle. Periodicals firm bundles may be listed in a separate firm bundle column or in the appropriate column based on container level.
    5. The tray identification number and size (1-foot or 2-foot) if available for letter mail in trays. The tray identification number is optional for tray-based automation flats.
    6. For all Periodicals mailings, include a separate “Zone” column. If all automation letters for a specific tray, group, or bundle destination are subject to the same zone price or entry discount, show the applicable zone or destination entry discount for those copies using the zone abbreviations in 3.6.3. If automation letters for a bundle or tray destination are for multiple zones, show all zones included (e.g., “3/4/6”) or show “Mixed” (or the authorized abbreviation “M”) in the “Zone” column.
    7. For Periodicals mailings that contain both In-County and Outside-County pieces, the listing may include a separate “Container Charge” and “Bundle Charge” column. Indicate which trays, sacks, and bundles are subject to the container or bundle charges and a total or a running total.
  4. For bundles on pallets, list these required elements:
    1. Pallet sortation level.
    2. Pallet destination ZIP Code.
    3. For each bundle, the sortation level and number of pieces claimed at each price. Periodicals firm bundles may be listed in a separate firm bundle column or in a column based on container level.
    4. Separate columns with the number of pieces for each price reported in the mailing, and a continuous running total of pieces (group information either in ZIP Code order and by sortation level or by sortation level and within each sortation level, by ZIP Code). Document SCF, ADC, or NDC pallets created as a result of bundle reallocation under 705.8.11, 705.8.12, or 705.8.13 by designating the protected pallet with an identifier of “PSCF” (for an SCF pallet), “PADC” (for an ADC pallet), or “PBMC” (for a NDC pallet). These identifiers are required to appear only on the USPS Qualification Report; they are not required on pallet labels or on any other documentation.
    5. For mailings of bundles on pallets under 705.12.0 and 705.13.0, provide a separate 5% threshold summary for each logical merged 5-digit scheme pallet and each logical merged 5-digit pallet.
    6. For all Periodicals mailings, include a separate “Zone” column. If all copies for a bundle destination are subject to the same zone price or entry discount, show the zone or entry discount for those copies using the abbreviations in 207.17.4.3. If copies for a bundle destination are for multiple zones, show all zones included (e.g., “3/4/6”) or show “Mixed” (or “M”) in the “Zone” column. Report foreign copies separately.
    7. For Periodicals mailings that contain both In-County and Outside-County pieces, the listing may include separate “Container Charge” and “Bundle Charge” columns. Indicate which pallets and bundles are subject to the container or bundle charges and a total or a running total.
    8. At the end, a summary report of the number of pieces claimed at each price on each pallet by postage payment method, and the number of pieces and the weight of the mail on each pallet.
  5. At the end of the documentation, a summary report of the number of pieces mailed at each price for each mailing by postage payment method (flat pieces mailed under FSS sort by 5-digit, 3-digit, saturation, high density, high density plus, basic carrier route and by entry point for drop shipment mailings) and the number of pieces in each mailing. This information must match the information reported on the postage statement(s). For Periodicals mailings, documentation also must provide:
    1. A summary of the number of each type of bundle in the mailing and, optionally, the total bundle charge paid. Report only bundles subject to the Outside-County bundle prices under 207.1.1.2.
    2. A summary of the number of each type of container in the mailing and, optionally, the total container charge paid. Report only trays, sacks, and pallets subject to the Outside-County container prices under 207.1.1.3.
    3. For combined mailings, a summary by mailer of the number of each type of bundle and container in the mailing and, optionally, the bundle and container price paid. Report only bundles, trays, sacks, and pallets subject to the Outside-County bundle and container prices.
    4. A summary of the number of copies for each zone, including In-County, DDU, SCF, and ADC prices. A separate summary report is not required if a PAVE-certified postage statement facsimile generated by the presort software used to prepare the documentation is presented for each mailing.
3.3 Price Level Column Headings

The actual name of the price level (or abbreviation) is used for column headings required by 3.2 and shown below:

  1. Automation First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, and barcoded Periodicals:
  2.  

    PRICE

    ABBREVIATION

    5–Digit [First-Class Mail letters and flats, Periodicals letters and flats, and USPS Marketing Mail letters and flats]

    5B

    3–Digit [First-Class Mail letters and flats, Periodicals letters and flats, and USPS Marketing Mail letters and flats]

    3B

    AADC [First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and USPS Marketing Mail letters]

    AB

    ADC [First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and USPS Marketing Mail Flats]

    AB

    Mixed AADC [First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and USPS Marketing Mail letters]

    MB

    Mixed ADC [First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and USPS Marketing Mail flats]

    MB

    Basic [In-County Periodicals]

    BB

    Firm [Outside-County Periodicals]

    FB

 

  1. Presorted First-Class Mail, barcoded and nonbarcoded Periodicals flats, nonbarcoded Periodicals letters, and machinable and nonmachinable USPS Marketing Mail:
  2.  

    PRICE

    ABBREVIATION

    Presorted [First-Class Mail letters/cards, flats, and parcels]

    Presort

    5–Digit [all USPS Marketing Mail and Periodicals letters]

    5D

    3–Digit [all USPS Marketing Mail and Periodicals letters]

    3D

    SCF [for USPS Marketing Mail parcels]

    SCF

    AADC [USPS Marketing Mail machinable letters]

    AB

    ADC [USPS Marketing Mail nonmachinable letters, flats, and irregular parcels, and all Periodicals]

    AD

    Basic [In-County Periodicals]

    BS

    Mixed AADC [USPS Marketing Mail machinable letters]

    MB

    Mixed ADC [USPS Marketing Mail nonmachinable letters, flats, irregular parcels; and all Periodicals]

    MD

    NDC [USPS Marketing Mail machinable parcels and Marketing parcels 6 ounces and over]

    NDC

    Mixed NDC [USPS Marketing Mail machinable parcels and Marketing parcels 6 ounces and over]

    MNDC

    Firm [Outside-County Periodicals]

    FB

 

  1. Carrier Route Periodicals and Enhanced Carrier Route USPS Marketing Mail:
  2.  

    PRICE

    ABBREVIATION

    Saturation [letters, flats, and irregular parcels]

    WS

    High Density [letters, flats, and irregular parcels]

    HD

    High Density Plus [USPS Marketing Mail only; letters and flats]

    HDP

    Basic [letters, flats, and irregular parcels]

    CR

    Firm [Outside-County Periodicals]

    FB

3.4 Sortation Level

The actual sortation level (or corresponding abbreviation) is used for the bundle, tray, sack, or pallet levels required by 3.2 and shown below:

 

SORTATION LEVEL

ABBREVIATION

Carrier Route

CRD

5–Digit Carrier Routes

CR5

5–Digit Scheme Carrier Routes [sacks and pallets, Periodicals flats and irregular parcels, USPS Marketing Mail flats]

CR5S

5–Digit Scheme [barcoded and machinable letters]

5DGS

5–Digit Scheme [pallets, Periodicals flats and irregular parcels,
USPS Marketing Mail flats, Bound Printed Matter flats]

5DGS

Merged 5–Digit [sacks and pallets, Periodicals flats and irregular parcels, USPS Marketing Mail flats]

M5D

Merged 5–Digit Scheme [sacks and pallets, Periodicals flats and irregular parcels, USPS Marketing Mail flats]

M5DS

5–Digit

5DG

3–Digit Carrier Routes

CR3

3–Digit Scheme [barcoded letters, barcoded and cobundled flats]

3DGS

Merged 3-Digit [sacks, Periodicals flats and irregular parcels]

M3D

3–Digit

3DG

ADC

ADC

ADC [pallets created from bundle reallocation]

PADC

AADC

AADC

Mixed ADC

MADC

Origin Mixed ADC

OMX

Mixed AADC

MAAD

SCF [sacks and pallets, Periodicals flats, Bound Printed Matter, USPS Marketing Mail irregular parcels less than 6 ounces]

SCF

SCF [pallets created from bundle reallocation]

PSCF

NDC

NDC

ASF

ASF

NDC [pallets created from bundle reallocation]

PNDC

Mixed NDC [working]

MNDC

 

3.5 Combined, Copalletized, and Merged Mailings

For combined or copalletized mailings of Periodicals and USPS Marketing Mail, documentation must show this additional information:

  1. For mailings that require multiple postage statements:
    1. A column that identifies the contents of all trays/bundles by product or edition code.
    2. Prices for each product or edition shown in the correct “Price” column and summarized for each tray, sack, or pallet and for the entire mailing.
  2. For Periodicals, when copies of multiple editions or publications are combined in a firm bundle: report “1” in the appropriate “Piece Price” column for one edition or publication, and report “0” in the “Piece Price” and the “Product/Edition Code” columns for the other editions or publications in the firm bundle.
  3. For large-volume mailing jobs reported on a single listing, the mailer may provide abbreviated documentation that shows full bundle detail for the first 20 pallets/sacks and every twentieth pallet/sack after that. Mailers must maintain full bundle detail (by product or edition code and price) for the entire mailing job for 90 days and provide it to the USPS on request within 3 working days. This documentation must include the price summary by product or edition for each pallet/sack, including those for which full detail bundle listings are not reported.
3.6 Detailed Zone Listing for Periodicals
3.6.1 Definition and Retention

The publisher must be able to present documentation to support the number of copies of each edition of an issue, by entry point, mailed to each zone, and at DDU, DSCF, DADC, DNDC, and In-County prices. This listing is separate from the standardized documentation required to support presort and may be submitted with each mailing, or a publisher may keep these records for 2 months after the mailing date. A publisher must be able to submit detailed zone listings for specific mailings upon request by the USPS.

3.6.2 Characteristics

Report the number of copies mailed to each 3-digit ZIP Code area using either one of the following formats:

  1. Report copies by each 3-digit ZIP Code in ascending numeric order. Include columns for: 3-digit ZIP Code, zone, and number of copies per zone. Include a summary of the number of copies at each zone price at the end of the report. A 3-digit ZIP Code may appear more than once if there are copies at different zone prices (e.g., In-County and Outside-County copies) for that 3-digit ZIP Code.
  2. Report copies by each zone and by 3-digit ZIP Code in ascending numeric order. For each zone, include columns for: 3-digit ZIP Code and number of copies. Include a summary of the total number of copies for each zone at the end of each zone listing. A 3-digit ZIP Code may appear under more than one zone if there are copies at different zone prices for that 3-digit ZIP Code.
3.6.3 Zone Abbreviations

Use the actual price name or the authorized zone abbreviation in the listings in 3.0 and 207.17.4.2:

 

ZONE ABBREVIATION

RATE EQUIVALENT

ICD

In-County, DDU

IC

In-County, Others

DDU

Outside-County, DDU

SCF

Outside-County, DSCF

ADC

Outside-County, DADC

1-2 or 1/2

zones 1 and 2

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (as applicable)

zones 3 through 8 (as applicable)

M

mixed zones

3.7 Bundle and Container Reports for Outside-County Periodicals Mail

A mailer must present documentation to support the actual number of bundles and containers of each edition of an issue as explained in 3.7.1 and 3.7.2 below.

3.7.1 Outside-County Bundle Report

The bundle report must contain, at a minimum, the following elements:

  1. Container identification number.
  2. Container type.
  3. Container presort level.
  4. Bundle ZIP Code.
  5. Bundle level.
  6. Price category.
  7. Number of copies by version in the bundle.
  8. An indicator showing which bundles are subject to the bundle charge.
3.7.2 Outside-County Container Report

The container report must contain, at a minimum, the following elements:

  1. Container identification number.
  2. Container type.
  3. Container level.
  4. Container entry level (origin, DDU, DFSS, DSCF, DADC, or DNDC).
  5. An indicator showing which containers are subject to the container charge.
3.8 Optional Information

Standardized documentation may include additional information about the pieces mailed (such as individual tray or sack total piece counts, optional identification codes, bundle weights) if this information does not conflict with the information required under 3.2 through 3.7.

4.0 Bundles

4.1 Definition of a Bundle

Mailers assemble pieces available for different presort destinations into groups. A bundle is a group of addressed pieces secured together as a unit. The term bundle does not apply to pieces grouped loose in trays.

4.2 Arranging Pieces in a Bundle (“Facing”)

Except as noted in 4.7, all pieces in a bundle must be “faced” (arranged with the addresses in the same read direction), with an address visible on the top piece.

4.3 Preparing Bundles of Letters

Cards and letter-size pieces are subject to these bundling standards:

  1. The maximum thickness for bundles of carrier route mail is 4 inches. The maximum thickness for other bundles is 6 inches.
  2. Mailings consisting entirely of card-size pieces (i.e., pieces not larger than 6 by 4-1/4 by 0.016 inches) must always be prepared in bundles.
  3. Bundles must be prepared for: mail in all less-than-full trays, mail in 3-digit carrier routes trays, nonmachinable letters, and nonbarcoded Periodicals letters.
  4. For mailings consisting entirely of card-size pieces and mail in less-than-full trays, mailers must secure bundles with rubber bands, elastic strapping, flat plastic strapping, or string. Elastic strapping must be approved by USPS Engineering.
  5. Bundles of automation or machinable letters are not required to have an optional endorsement line or a bundle label when placed into a correctly labeled tray.
  6. Bundles up to 1 inch thick must be secured with appropriate banding placed once around the girth (narrow dimension). Bundles over 1 inch thick must be secured with at least two bands, one around the length and one around the girth.
4.4 Exception to Bundle Preparation—Full Trays

In mailings not entirely of card-size pieces, mailers need not prepare bundles when placing mail in a full tray (when applicable for the class and shape of mail) when none of the mail in that tray would have been more finely sorted if bundled. For example, mail in a full ADC tray need not be bundled if it would have all been prepared in ADC bundles to the same destination.

4.5 Securing Bundles of Flats

Bundles must be able to withstand normal transit and handling without breakage or injury to USPS employees, and are subject to the following requirements:

  1. Bundles must be secured with banding, shrinkwrap, or shrinkwrap plus one or more bands. Banding includes plastic bands, rubber bands, twine/string, and similar material. Use of wire or metal banding is not permitted.
  2. When one band is used, it must be placed tightly around the girth (narrow dimension).
  3. Bundles over 1 inch high must be secured with at least two bands or with shrinkwrap. When double banding is used to secure bundles, encircle the length and girth of the bundle at least once. Additional bands may be used if none lies within 1 inch of any bundle edge.
  4. Banding tension must be sufficient to tighten and depress the edges of the bundle. Loose banding is not allowed.
  5. When twine/string is used to band bundles, the knot(s) must be secure so the banding does not come loose during transit and processing.
  6. Bundles on pallets must be secure and stable, and are subject to 4.9 and the specific weight limits in 705.8.0.
4.6 Address Visibility for Flats and Parcels

Mailers preparing presort bundles of flats or parcels must ensure that the delivery address information, barcoded pressure-sensitive bundle labels, optional endorsement lines, carrier route information lines, or carrier route facing slips on the top mailpiece in each bundle are visible and remain readable by the naked eye. Mailers can avoid obstructing visibility by using clear, smooth strapping tightly secured around the bundle. Clear strapping with a transparency rated = 52% when tested using ASTM D1746 - 09, Standard Test Method for Transparency of Plastic Sheeting, methods meet readability needs. This standard does not apply to the following:

  1. Customized MarketMail.
  2. Bundles placed in or on 5-digit or 5-digit scheme (L001) sacks or pallets.
  3. Bundles placed in carrier route and 5-digit carrier routes sacks.
  4. Bundles of mailpieces at carrier route prices entered at a destination delivery unit (DDU).
  5. Bundles of USPS Marketing Mail flats prepared in letter trays.
4.7 Counterstacking Flats or Parcels in Bundles

Bundles of pieces of saddle-stitched pieces and pieces with one edge or corner thicker than the others may be prepared by counter-stacking under these conditions:

  1. Counter-stacking should be used only to create bundles of more uniform thickness that are more likely to maintain their integrity during transportation and processing.
  2. All pieces must have addresses facing up and be divided into no more than four approximately equal groups, with each group rotated 180 degrees from the preceding and succeeding group(s); prepare as few groups as possible to create a bundle of uniform thickness.
  3. When pieces are nonuniform in thickness because they are thicker in the center instead of along an edge or corner, counter-stacking is not likely to result in a bundle of uniform thickness. Instead of counter-stacking such pieces, limit the height of the bundle to 3 to 6 inches to ensure the bundle will stay together during normal transit and handling.
4.8 Preparing Bundles in Sacks

In addition to the standards in 4.5 through 4.7, mailers must prepare bundles placed in sacks as follows:

  1. The maximum weight for all bundles is 20 pounds.
  2. Measure bundles at the lowest point to determine the bundle height.
  3. Except for multi-carrier routes bundles, a bundle that exceeds the maximum height by less than the thickness of a single piece meets the standard.
  4. Bundles of pieces with covers of “coated stock” (glossy covers) that are not individually enclosed in an envelope or mailing wrapper are subject to these conditions:
    1. Bundles secured with rubber bands, twine, string, or only shrinkwrap must not exceed 3 inches in height.
    2. Bundles secured with shrinkwrap plus plastic straps, or with at least two plastic straps, must not exceed 6 inches in height.
  5. Bundles of pieces with covers of “uncoated stock” are subject to these conditions:
    1. Bundles must not exceed 8 inches in height (recommended maximum height is 6 inches).
    2. “Uncoated stock” refers to nonglossy paper covers and also to pieces with coated covers that are individually enclosed in an envelope, polybag, or mailing wrapper of uncoated stock.
4.9 Preparing Bundles on Pallets

In addition to general bundling standards in 4.1, bundles on pallets must meet the following standards:

  1. Bundles must be secured with appropriate banding, shrinkwrap, or shrinkwrap supplemented by one or more bands. Banding includes plastic bands (recommended), rubber bands, and twine or similar material.
  2. If only banding is used, banding material must be applied at least once around the length and once around the girth; wire and metal strapping are prohibited. Use tension sufficient to tighten and depress the edges of the bundle so that pieces do not slip out of the banding during transit and processing.
4.10 Additional Standards for Unsacked Bundles Entered at DDU Facilities

Mailers may enter unsacked, nonpalletized bundles of USPS Marketing Mail or Bound Printed Matter (BPM) flats or irregular parcels (BPM only) at destination delivery units (DDUs) if all the following conditions are met:

  1. The maximum weight for a bundle is 40 pounds; the maximum number of bundles per carrier route is one bundle for each 10 pounds (or increment) of mail for that route, as follows:
    1. Mailers must make the fewest number of bundles possible, up to the 40-pound maximum, while maintaining bundle integrity. To determine the maximum number of bundles for a route, divide the total weight of mail for that route by 10 and round up to the next whole number.
    2. Mailers may balance the weight of the bundles across the maximum number of bundles. For example, if there are 36 pounds of mail for a carrier route, the maximum number of bundles for that route is four, which may be in four 9-pound bundles.
  2. Mailers must enter bundles at DDUs according to the appropriate deposit and entry standards (for example, 246 for USPS Marketing Mail flats).
4.11 Pieces with Simplified Address

For mail prepared with a simplified address, pieces must be prepared in bundles of 50 when possible. If bundles of other quantities are prepared, the actual number of pieces must be shown on the facing slip. Bundles must be secure and stable subject to weight limits in 705.8.0 if placed on pallets, and weight and height limits in 4.8 if placed in sacks.

4.12 Bundles with Fewer Than the Minimum Number of Pieces Required

A bundle may be prepared with fewer than the minimum number of pieces required without loss of price eligibility under either of these conditions:

  1. A greater number of pieces would exceed the maximum physical size for a bundle and the total number of pieces for that presort destination meets the minimum volume standard.
  2. The pieces constitute the “last bundle” for a presort destination and previously prepared bundles met the minimum volume standard.
4.13 Labeling Bundles

Unless excepted by standard, the presort level of each bundle must be identified either with an optional endorsement line under 7.0 or with a barcoded pressure-sensitive bundle label. On letter-size mail, place the bundle label in the lower left corner of the address side of the top piece in the bundle. On flat-size mail, place the label anywhere on the address side of the top piece in the bundle. Bundle labels must not be obscured by banding or shrinkwrap. The following colors and characters apply to bundle labels as applicable (not all presort levels apply to all classes of mail):

  1. Firm (Periodicals use only), blue Label F.
  2. 5-digit scheme presort level, red Label 5 SCH.
  3. 5-digit presort level, red Label 5.
  4. 3-digit scheme presort level, green Label 3 SCH.
  5. 3-digit presort level, green Label 3.
  6. ADC presort level, pink Label A.
  7. Origin mixed ADC presort level, tan Label X.
  8. Mixed ADC presort level, tan Label X.
4.14 Identifying Carrier Route Information

Bundles for individual carrier routes, rural routes, highway contract routes, Post Office box sections, or general delivery units must be prepared with facing slips under 4.15, optional endorsement lines under 7.0, or carrier route information lines under 204.3.0. These standards apply to Carrier Route Periodicals, Enhanced Carrier Route USPS Marketing Mail, and Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter mailings.

4.15 Facing Slips—Carrier Route Bundles

All facing slips used on carrier route bundles must show this information:

  1. Line 1: Destination city, two-letter state abbreviation, and 5-digit ZIP Code.
  2. Line 2: Content (as appropriate to the class), followed by carrier route type and route number (e.g., “MKT FLTS CR R 012”).
  3. Line 3: City and two-letter state abbreviation of the origin Post Office.

5.0 Letter and Flat Trays

5.1 General Standards

Letter-size mailings must be prepared in letter trays with sleeves. First-Class Mail flat-size mailings must be prepared in flat trays with green lids under 235.7.0 and 235.7.0, unless prepared in extended managed mail (EMM) trays under 5.7. Periodicals flat-size mailings may be prepared in flat trays with green lids under 207.22.7 and 207.25.5.

  1. Palletized mail is also subject to 705.8.0.
  2. A postmaster may authorize nonpostal containers for a small-volume presorted mailing if the mailing weighs no more than 20 pounds, consists primarily of mail or bundles of mail for local ZIP Codes, and requires no USPS transportation for processing.
5.2 Tray Sizes

These approximate measurements define the USPS-provided tray sizes that apply to all letter-size mail preparation standards and the USPS-provided flat tray size that applies to First-Class Mail flats preparation:

  1. 2-foot managed mail (MM) trays: 21 inches long by 10 inches wide (inside bottom dimensions) by 4-5/8 inches high.
  2. 1-foot MM trays: 10-1/4 inches long by 10 inches wide (inside bottom dimensions) by 4-5/8 inches high.
  3. 2-foot extended MM (EMM) trays: 21-3/4 inches long by 11-1/2 inches wide (inside bottom dimensions) by 6-1/8 inches high.
  4. Flat tray. Inside bottom dimensions: 14-3/4 inches long by 10-3/4 inches wide. Height: 8 inches to bottom of handhold, 11-1/4 inches to top of tray.
5.3 Letter Tray Preparation

Letter trays are prepared as follows:

  1. Subject to availability of equipment, standard 2-foot MM trays must be used for all letter-size mail, except that EMM trays must be used when available for letter-size mail that exceeds the inside dimensions of MM trays defined in 5.2. When using EMM trays, the 1-foot MM tray may be used in order to minimize the number of letter trays. When EMM trays are not available for those larger pieces, they must be placed in MM trays, angled back, or placed upright perpendicular to the length of the tray in row(s) to preserve their orientation.
  2. Pieces must be “faced” (oriented with all addresses in the same direction with the postage area in the upper right).
  3. Each tray must be filled before filling the next tray, with the contents in multiple trays relatively balanced. When preparing full trays, mailers must fill all possible 2-foot trays first; if there is mail remaining for the presort destination, mailers must use a combination of 1-foot and 2-foot trays that results in the fewest trays for that presort level. As an alternative, if there is mail remaining, mailers may move those pieces to the next higher presort level when the minimum piece quantity has been reached at the next tray level (e.g., 150 pieces) and the standards in 235.6.6 are met.
  4. For presort destinations that do not require full trays, pieces are placed in a less-than-full tray.
  5. Mailers must use as few trays as possible without jeopardizing price eligibility. For instance, a mailer will never have two 1-foot trays to a single destination; instead, that mail must be placed in a single 2-foot tray. A 1-foot tray is prepared only if it is a full tray with no overflow; or if there is less than 1 foot of mail for that destination; or if the overflow from a full 2-foot tray is less than 1 foot of mail.
  6. Each tray must bear the correct tray label.
  7. Each tray must be sleeved and strapped under 5.4, and 5.5.
  8. If a mailing is prepared using an MLOCR/barcode sorter and is submitted with standardized documentation, then pieces do not have to be grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code prefix (or by 3-digit scheme, if applicable) in AADC trays, or by AADC in mixed AADC trays.
5.4 Letter Tray Sleeving and Strapping

Letter trays are secured using USPS-provided sleeves. Each sleeved letter tray must then be secured with one plastic strap placed tightly around the length of the tray without crushing the tray or sleeve.

5.5 Letter Tray Strapping Exception

Strapping is not required for any letter tray placed on a 5-digit, 3-digit, or SCF pallet secured with stretchwrap. If the processing and distribution manager gives a written waiver, strapping is not required for any mixed AADC or ADC letter tray of First-Class Mail or for any letter tray that originates and destinates in the same SCF, ADC, or AADC (mail processing plant) service areas.

5.6 Use of Flat Trays
5.6.1 General

Flat tray sizes are as follows:

  1. Inside bottom dimensions: 14-3/4 inches long by 10-3/4 inches wide.
  2. Height: 8 inches to bottom of handhold, 11-1/4 inches to top of tray.
5.6.2 Preparation for Flats in Flat Trays

All flat tray preparation is subject to these standards:

  1. Addresses on all pieces must face upward in the same direction.
  2. Pieces must be placed in trays to maintain their orientation. Once the required minimum volume is reached to allow or require preparation of a tray, additional pieces must be placed in the same tray up to its capacity to minimize the number of trays used. When possible, pieces must be placed in two or more stacks to optimize tray use, but mail must not overfill the tray to inhibit adequate closure or covering of the content.
  3. The weight of a tray and its content must not exceed 70 pounds.
  4. Each tray must bear the correct tray label.
  5. Each tray must be covered (with the green side of the lid facing up). Each covered flat tray must then be secured with two plastic straps placed tightly around the width of the tray (the shorter dimension).
  6. For automation price mailings prepared under the optional tray-based preparation rules in 235.8.0, one less-than-full overflow tray may be prepared for a presort destination when the total number of pieces for that destination meets the minimum for preparation of the tray level, and when one or more full trays for that destination are also prepared.
  7. For automation price mailings prepared under the optional tray-based preparation rules in 235.8.0, if the total number of pieces for a presort destination meets or exceeds the minimum number of pieces required to prepare a tray for that destination, but the total volume does not physically fill a single tray, then the mail for that presort destination may be prepared in a less-than-full tray.
  8. Pieces prepared as automation flats under the tray-based preparation option in 235.8.0 do not have to be grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code prefix in ADC trays or by ADC in mixed ADC trays if the mailing is prepared using an MLOCR/barcode sorter and standardized documentation is submitted.
  9. When pieces in a Periodicals mailing remain after one or more full trays are prepared for a 5-digit scheme, 5-digit, 3-digit, SCF, or ADC destination, an additional tray to the destination must be prepared if the remaining pieces reach the required volume. If the remaining volume is below the required minimum, the pieces must be moved to the next tray level that meets the minimum volume.
5.7 Preparation for First-Class Mail Flats in EMM Letter Trays

Mailers may prepare First-Class Mail flat-size pieces in EMM letter trays instead of flat trays if the following standards are met:

  1. The pieces must fit completely within the dimensions for height, length, and width specified in 5.2c for an extended managed mail (EMM) letter tray. All pieces must be upright, faced toward the end of the tray (the short dimension), and perpendicular to the length of the tray.
  2. Trays must bear tray-size labels that meet all applicable physical and barcode standards under 235.8.0, with Line 1 and Line 2 information as required for flat-size mail in flat trays. Each label must contain a barcode as specified in 204.3.3.3 and the content identifier number required in Exhibit 204.3.2.1 for the same type of flat-size mail prepared in flat trays.
  3. All mail must be prepared under 235.8.0, and must not be prepared in bundles, except pieces in less-than-full trays must be bundled. Mailers using this option are not eligible to prepare their mail under 705.9.0.
  4. All other applicable standards in 235.8.0, must be met, including required preparation sequence and use of tray minimums.
5.8 Preparation for USPS Marketing Mail Flats in Letter Trays

USPS Marketing Mail flat-size pieces may be prepared in letter trays instead of sacks only if the following standards are met:

  1. At least 90% of the mailing job must be claimed at automation prices or Enhanced Carrier Route prices. No more than 10% of the mailing job may be claimed at Presorted prices. The following minimum volumes for USPS Marketing Mail must be met:
    1. For the portion claimed at automation nonletter prices, a separate 200-piece minimum must be met. For any portion of the job claimed at Presorted prices, no separate minimum is required.
    2. For any portion claimed at Enhanced Carrier Route nonletter prices, a separate 200-piece minimum must be met.
  2. Automation price pieces must meet the applicable flat-size dimensions in 201.6.0. Presorted and Enhanced Carrier Route pieces must meet the flat-size dimensions in 201.4.0.
  3. The pieces must fit completely within the dimensions for height and the bottom (floor) dimensions for length and width specified in 5.2 for a managed mail (MM) letter tray or an extended managed mail (EMM) letter tray. If a single row of pieces is placed in a tray, all pieces must be upright, faced toward the end of the tray (the short dimension), and perpendicular to the length of the tray. If two rows of pieces are placed in a tray, the rows must be parallel to each other and to the length of the tray and all pieces must be upright, faced toward the end of the tray, and perpendicular to the length of the tray. Other applicable standards in 245.3.0, must also be met.
  4. Trays must bear tray-size labels that meet all applicable physical and barcode standards under 5.17, with Line 1 and Line 2 information as required for flat-size mail in sacks. Each label must contain a barcode as specified in 204.3.3.3 and the content identifier number required in Exhibit 204.3.2.1 for the same type of flat-size mail prepared in sacks.
  5. All mail prepared under 245.8.0, 245.9.0, or 245.10.0, must be bundled except for full 5-digit trays and full carrier route trays. The exception to bundling in 203.4.4, may be used for other sort levels. All mail prepared under 705.9.0, must be bundled.
  6. All mail in the mailing job must be trayed. Sacking is not permitted except when the required minimum pallet load in 705.8.5.3 cannot be met.
  7. All trays must be palletized under 705.8.10.3, except for mail prepared in trays for Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express drop shipment or for mail prepared and claimed at Enhanced Carrier Route destination delivery unit prices. Trays of letter-size pieces must not be placed onto pallets with trays of flat-size pieces. Pallet labels must identify the mail as flat-size pieces.
  8. All other applicable standards in 245.8.0, 245.9.0, 245.10.0, or 705.9.0 must be met, including required preparation sequence and use of sack minimums as tray minimums.
5.9 Tray Labels

Tray labels are subject to these basic standards:

  1. Use 2-inch labels.
  2. Illegible labels are not acceptable. Machine-printed labels (available from the USPS) ensure legibility. Legible hand-printed labels are acceptable.
  3. Tray labels for automation price mailings are subject to 5.17, and 204.3.0.
  4. Intelligent Mail tray labels are subject to the standards in 204.3.3, and to the specifications posted at http://ribbs.usps.gov.
5.10 Physical Characteristics of a Tray Label

A tray label must meet these specifications:

  1. Color: white or manila (pink for Periodicals).
  2. Weight: minimum 70-pound stock (500 sheets, 24 by 36 inches).
  3. Height (perpendicular to printing): 1.860 inches minimum; 2.015 inches maximum.
  4. Length (parallel to printing): 3.250 inches minimum; 3.515 inches maximum.
  5. Thickness: 0.005 inch minimum.
5.11 Line 1 (Destination Line)

Line 1 (destination line) must meet these standards:

  1. Placement. Line 1 must be the first visible line on the label. It must be completely visible and legible when placed in the label holder. This visibility is ensured if the top of this line is no less than 1/8 (0.125) inch below the top of the label when the label is cut and prepared.
  2. Information. Line 1 must contain only the information specified by standard, including the appropriate destination facility prefix (e.g., “ADC”). Two zeros may follow the 3-digit ZIP Code prefix required by labeling standards (e.g., 223 as 22300).
  3. Overseas Military Mail. On 5-digit trays and sacks for overseas military destinations, Line 1 shows, from left to right, “APO” or “FPO,” followed by “AE” (for ZIP Codes within the ZIP Code prefix range 090-098), “AA” (for ZIP Codes within the 3-digit ZIP Code prefix 340), or “AP” (for ZIP Codes within the ZIP Code prefix range 962-966), followed by the destination 5-digit ZIP Code of the mail in the tray.
5.12 Line 2 (Content Line)

[3-5-18] Line 2 (content line) must meet these standards:

  1. Placement: Line 2 must be the second visible line on the label. This line must show the class and processing category of the mail in the tray and other information as specified by standards.
  2. Codes: The codes shown below must be used as appropriate on Line 2 of tray, sack, and pallet labels.
  3.  

    CONTENT TYPE

    CODE

    Barcoded

    BC

    Barcoded and Nonbarcoded

    BC/NBC

    Carrier Route

    C (type of route)

    Carrier Routes

    CR-RT or CR-RTS

    Digit

    D

    First-Class Mail

    FCM

    First-Class Package Service — Commercial

     

    Flats

    FLTS

    General Delivery Unit

    G

    Highway Contract Route

    H

    Irregular Parcels

    IRREG

    Letters

    LTR or LTRS

    Machinable

    MACH

    Marketing Parcels

    MKTG

    Mixed

    MXD

    Mixed Machinable and Irregular Parcels

    MACH & IRREG

    Nonmachinable

    MAN or MANUAL

    Nonbarcoded

    NON BC (sacks) NBC (pallets and cotrayed or cosacked mail under 705.9.0)

    Package Services

    PSVC

    Parcels

    PARCELS

    Post Office Box Section

    B

    Periodicals

    PER

    Periodicals

    NEWS*

    Rural Route

    R

    Scheme

    SCH

    USPS Marketing Mail

    STD

    Working

    WKG

* “News” if published weekly or more often or if authorized newspaper treatment as of March 1, 1984.

5.13 Line 3 (Office of Mailing or Mailer Information Line)

Line 3 (origin line showing office of mailing or mailer information) must be the bottom line of required information unless the sack contains mail manifested using the Electronic Verification System (eVS) under 705.2.9. Line 3 must show either the city and state of the entry Post Office or the mailer‘s name and the city and state of the mailer‘s location. It is recommended that the mailer‘s name also appear with the city and state of the entry Post Office. As an alternative to adding a fourth line for eVS mailings as required by 5.6, “eVS” may appear as the first element on Line 3.

5.14 Abbreviations for Lines 1 and 3

Lines 1 and 3 may contain abbreviated information if such abbreviations are those in the USPS City State Product.

5.15 Placement of Extraneous Information

Extraneous information is not permitted on the destination and content lines. It may be placed away from required lines, subject to these conditions:

  1. It may be placed above Line 1 in not more than 0.083 inch high type (6-point type).
  2. It may appear to the right of required Line 3 information but it must not consist of numerals that resemble a ZIP Code or 3-digit ZIP Code prefix.
  3. It must not appear between Lines 1 and 2 (a blank line is permitted), but may appear between Lines 2 and 3 if it does not consist of numerals that resemble a ZIP Code or 3-digit ZIP Code prefix.
  4. It may appear below Line 3.
  5. A mailer code assigned by the USPS or such words as “Mailer,” “From” (or “FR”), or “Entered at” may appear before the required information on Line 3.
5.16 Placement of Tray Label

A tray label must be securely placed in an adhesive-backed label holder that is affixed to the specific location designated on the tray. When no specific location is indicated the label must be securely placed in an adhesive-backed label holder that is affixed horizontally to the top left corner of one end of the tray. Do not use tape. Insert labels completely into the label holder to ensure that they do not fall out during processing. Do not insert labels upside down.

5.17 Barcoded Tray and Sack Labels

Barcoded tray labels must be used for automation-price letter-size mailings, automation-price flat-size mailings, and flat-sized mailings cobundled and cotrayed under 705.9.0 through 705.13.0. Barcoded labels must meet these general standards:

  1. Use the appropriate size label as described in 5.10 and 6.2.
  2. Mailer-produced barcoded labels must meet the standards in 204.3.0 and to the specifications posted at http://ribbs.usps.gov.
  3. All information on barcoded labels must be machine-printed. Alterations to preprinted barcoded labels (e.g., handwritten changes) may not be made.
  4. Mailers must insert barcoded labels completely into the label holder on the tray or sack to prevent their loss during transport and processing.
  5. Intelligent Mail Tray labels must be used on all trays and sacks for mailings entered under the full-service automation option (see 705.23.0).

Exhibit 5.17 Required Barcoded Container Labels

 

PRICE OR TYPE

PROCESSING CATEGORY

USPS Marketing Mail

Automation price

Letter-size

Enhanced Carrier Route

Letter-size (barcoded labels not required for letter-size pieces with simplified addresses or paid at nonletter prices)

Automation

Flat-size

Cobundled and cosacked under 705.9.0 through 705.13.0

Flat-size

Automation, Presorted, and Enhanced Carrier Route in letter trays under 245.3.0

Flat-size

Automation and Presorted in letter trays cotrayed under 705.9.0 using 245.3.0 option

Flat-size

6.0 Sacks

6.1 General Standards

Applicable mailings must be prepared in sacks, except for Product Samples, which may be in cartons, sacks, or bundles directly on pallets. Also, see 602.4.0 when Product Samples are mailed with DALs. Containers for Customized MarketMail are specified in 705.1.0. The following additional standards apply:

  1. Palletized mail is also subject to 705.8.0.
  2. A postmaster may authorize nonpostal containers for a small-volume presorted mailing if the mailing weighs no more than 20 pounds, consists primarily of mail or bundles of mail for local ZIP Codes, and requires no USPS transportation for processing.
6.2 Sack Preparation

All sack preparation is subject to these standards:

  1. Each sack must bear the correct sack label.
  2. The weight of a sack and its content must not exceed 70 pounds.
6.3 Sack Labels

Sack labels are subject to the following:

  1. Use 1-inch labels for sacks with metal 1-inch label holders/closures.
  2. Use 2-inch labels for sacks with 2-inch label holder pockets.
  3. Use 2-inch labels for sacks with dual plastic label holders/closures. One-inch labels may be used but are not recommended.
  4. Illegible labels are not acceptable. Machine-printed labels (available from the USPS) ensure legibility. Legible hand-printed labels are acceptable.

For sack label line standards see 5.12 through 5.16.

6.4 Electronic Verification System

All sacks containing parcels prepared and identified using the Electronic Verification System (eVS) under 705.2.9 must show “eVS” (or the alternatives “EVS” or “E-VS”) directly below Line 3 using the same size and lettering used for Line 3. As an option, “eVS” may be placed as the first element on Line 3.

6.5 Physical Characteristics of a Sack Label

A sack label must meet these specifications:

  1. Color: white or manila (pink for periodicals).
  2. Weight: 70-pound or heavier stock (required for mailings of automation-compatible flats, optional for others).
  3. Length (parallel to printing): 3.250 inches minimum; 3.515 inches maximum.
  4. Height (perpendicular to printing):
    1. For 1-inch labels: 0.937 inch minimum; 0.980 inch maximum.
    2. For 2-inch labels: 1.860 inches minimum; 2.015 inches maximum.
6.6 Additional Standards for Barcoded Sack Labels
6.6.1 General

In addition to 6.3, barcoded sack labels must meet the standards in 5.17, 204.3.2, and 204.3.3.

6.6.2 Additional Standards for Automation-Compatible Flats

For sack labels used on mailings of automation-compatible flats only:

  1. The text content of sack labels must be machine-printed at five lines per inch. If the information cannot be shortened by postal abbreviations, it may be printed at a pitch of up to 15 characters per inch, if at least 22 human-readable characters fit on a line without interfering with the “quiet zone.”
  2. The minimum acceptable height for the destinating ZIP Code is 0.111 inch.
  3. The minimum acceptable character height for all other information on Lines 1, 2, and 3 is 0.083 inch.

7.0 Optional Endorsement Lines (OELs)

7.1 OEL Use
7.1.1 Basic Standards

An optional endorsement line (OEL) may be used to label bundles instead of applying pressure-sensitive bundle labels or facing slips to the top piece of bundles except each mailpiece in a FSS bundle must bear an optional endorsement line in human-readable text, including the correct ZIP code listed in Column B of L006, as described in Exhibit 7.1.1. The OEL must show carrier route information or the type of bundle and ZIP Code information as shown in Exhibit 7.1.1. Use of OELs on bundles is subject to the standards for the price claimed. At the mailer‘s option, pieces in trays of noncarrier route automation letter-size mail may bear OEL information that corresponds to the sortation level of the tray in which the pieces are placed. The ZIP Code for use on OELs must include the 3-digit ZIP Code prefix or 5-digit ZIP Code as required.

Exhibit 7.1.1 OEL Formats

 

Sortation Level

OEL Example

Firm—BPM machinable parcels

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * FIRM 12345

Firm—Periodicals

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * FIRM 12345

Origin Mixed ADC—Periodicals (3-digit ZIP Code prefix)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ORIGIN MIXED ADC 117

Carrier Route—Periodicals basic

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * CAR-RT LOT**C-001

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * CR LOT 1234A**C-001

Carrier Route—basic FSS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSC

Carrier Route—Periodicals high density

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * CAR-RT WSH**C-001

Carrier Route—High density FSS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSB

Carrier Route—Periodicals saturation

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * CAR-RT WSS**C-001

Carrier Route—Periodicals Saturation FSS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSH

ECR—USPS Marketing Mail basic

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ECRLOT**C-001

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ECRLOT 1234A**C-001

ECR—USPS Marketing Mail high density or high density plus

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ECRWSH**C-001

ECR—High Density Plus FSS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSA

ECR—USPS Marketing Mail saturation

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ECRWSS**C-001

Carrier Route—Bound Printed Matter

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * CAR-RT SORT**C-001

Carrier Route FSS—Bound Printed Matter

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSC

5–Digit

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 5-DIGIT 12345

5-Digit (Nonautomation FSS flats)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSE

5-Digit Scheme (Automation flats)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * SCH 5-DIGIT 12345

5-Digit Scheme (Automation FSS flats)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSD

3-Digit

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 3-DIGIT 771

3-Digit (Nonautomation FSS flats)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSG

3-Digit Scheme (Automation flats)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * SCH 3-DIGIT 006

3-Digit Scheme (Automation FSS flats)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * SCH 5-Digit 12345 FSSF

ADC (3-digit ZIP Code prefix)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *ALL FOR ADC 105

ADC (5-digit ZIP Code)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *ALL FOR ADC 90197

Mixed ADC (3-digit ZIP Code prefix)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * MIXED ADC 640

Mixed ADC (5-digit ZIP Code)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * MIXED ADC 60821

Optional tray level piece ID for automation letters:

AADC (3-digit ZIP Code prefix)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ALL FOR AADC 050

AADC (5-digit ZIP Code)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *ALL FOR AADC 07099

Mixed AADC (3–digit ZIP Code prefix)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * MIXED AADC 870

Mixed AADC (5-digit ZIP Code)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * MIXED AADC 75197

Additional required human-readable text for use with combined mailings of USPS Marketing Mail and Periodical flats:

5-Digit Scheme (and other sortation levels as appropriate)

* * * * * * * * * SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 MIX COMAIL

5-Digit Scheme (Automation FSS flats)

* * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSD COMAIL

5-Digit (Nonautomation FSS flats)

* * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSE COMAIL

3-Digit (Automation FSS flats)

* * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSF COMAIL

3-Digit (Nonautomation FSS flats)

* * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSG COMAIL

Carrier Route high density plus (FSS flats)

* * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSA COMAIL

Carrier Route high density (FSS flats)

* * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSB COMAIL

Carrier Route basic

* * * * * * *SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSSC COMAIL

7.1.2 Intelligent Mail Barcodes

When flat-size pieces bear an Intelligent Mail barcode (under 204.1.3) for automation-price eligibility, the barcode on a piece that contains an optional endorsement line (OEL) must contain OEL coding that includes information in Exhibit 7.1.1 that corresponds to the correct sortation level of each bundle. When automation-priced flat-size pieces bear an Intelligent Mail barcode that contains OEL coding information corresponding to the correct sortation, an OEL is also required on the piece. See the Intelligent Mail Barcode Resource Guide available on PostalPro at http:// postalpro.usps.com/ for more information on incorporating OELs in Intelligent Mail barcodes.

7.1.3 Keyline

A mailer‘s keyline or comparable information may not be placed on the same line as the OEL or on the line above the OEL. A keyline used on valid ACS mailpieces is subject also to 7.2.4.

7.1.4 Firm Bundles

On a firm bundle of carrier route presorted Periodicals, “FIRM” may precede “CAR-RT SORT” in the carrier route information line under 204.3.0.

7.1.5 Price Markings

At the mailer’s option, price markings required by the standards for the price claimed may be included in the OEL if the OEL appears on each piece in the mailing and if it remains a single line with the basic bundle label information (required by 7.1.1) at the right end (e.g., on a carrier route bundle of Enhanced Carrier Route Saturation USPS Marketing Mail: * * * * ECRWSS**C-001; on an automation USPS Marketing Mail 3-digit bundle: * * * * AUTO**3-DIGIT 750).

7.1.6 Exceptional Address Format

The exceptional address format may appear above the OEL as specified in 602.3.0.

7.1.7 OEL With LOT Information

At the mailer’s option, line-of-travel (LOT) information for carrier route Periodicals and Enhanced Carrier Route USPS Marketing Mail may be included in the OEL using the applicable format in 7.1.1. All other OEL requirements apply. If there is insufficient space within the OEL to include any other information required (e.g., ACS participant code), this OEL format may not be used.

7.1.8 Required OEL Use in Combined Mailings of USPS Marketing Mail and Periodicals Flats

Mailers authorized to combine USPS Marketing Mail flats and Periodicals flats, under 705.15.0, must apply an OEL identifying the presort level of the bundle and other applicable information as specified in 7.1 to each mailpiece. The following additional standards also apply:

  1. Each OEL must contain the format elements described in 7.2 and must include a “MIX COMAIL” human-readable text, as its most right-justified element.
  2. Mailpieces may include LOT information, in accordance with 7.1.7, only when there is sufficient space for the human-readable text in item a and all other required information.
  3. When combined mailings of USPS Marketing Mail and Periodicals flats are prepared to FSS zones under 705.15.1.11, each mailpiece must bear an optional endorsement line in human-readable text, including the correct ZIP code listed in Column B of L006, as described in Exhibit 7.1.1.
7.2 OEL Format
7.2.1 Presort Identification

Except when an address block barcode is placed above the optional endorsement line (OEL), the appropriate presort identification must be the first line at the top of the address block or label. A mailer receiving address corrections through Address Change Service (ACS) may use the first eight positions on the left side of the OEL for an ACS human-readable participant code.

7.2.2 Style and Size of Type

The information in the OEL must meet the following conditions:

  1. Letters must be the same type font as those in the address block.
  2. The OEL must contain only capital letters of the alphabet, Arabic numerals, or asterisks.
  3. Font size and line spacing must be no less than the size and line spacing of the largest letters or characters in the address block or any part of the address label, except as provided under 7.2.2d.
  4. At the mailer‘s option, characters are a minimum of 8 point font size on mailpieces that do not bear a traditional ACS printed participant code (see 507.4.0). Under this option, characters may not overlap and must be evenly spaced.
7.2.3 ACS Code in OEL

If an ACS human-readable participant code (see 507.4.2) is used in an OEL on a label or in an address block, the delimiter symbol (#) must be in the first position at the left margin of the OEL, followed by the seven-character USPS-assigned ACS participant code, then one blank space. The remaining blank spaces between the left-justified delimiter and ACS participant code and the first character of the right-justified mail sortation information of the OEL must be filled with asterisks.

7.2.4 No ACS Code in OEL

If an ACS human-readable participant code is not placed in the OEL as permitted by 507.4.2.4, the OEL must be filled with asterisks from the left margin of the label or address block up to the first character in the OEL. A keyline prepared under 7.1.3 is required on valid ACS mailpieces if an ACS participant wants to receive notification of nondelivery information under 507.1.4.1 in addition to address correction service.

7.2.5 ZIP Code Information

Except for carrier route bundles, the OEL must include the ZIP Code information (5-digit ZIP Code or 3-digit ZIP Code prefix) determined by the sortation level and, when applicable, by the labeling list designated in Exhibit 7.2.5 for ADC, mixed ADC, AADC, or mixed AADC sortation levels. Carrier route OELs must show carrier route information as specified in 8.2.

Exhibit 7.2.5 OEL Labeling Lists

 

PROCESSING CATEGORY AND
PRESORT TYPE

ADC/
AADC

MIXED ADC/
MIXED AADC

First-Class Mail

Letters, nonmachinable

L004

L201, Column C

Letters, machinable

L801

L201, Column C

Letters, automation

L801

L201, Column C

Flats, nonautomation

L004

L201, Column C

Flats, automation

L004

L201, Column C

Periodicals 1

Letters, nonbarcoded (nonautomation)

L004

L011

Letters, barcoded (automation)

L801

L011 2

Flats, nonbarcoded

L004

L201, L009

Flats, barcoded

L004

L201, L009

Irregular parcels

L004

L201, L009

USPS Marketing Mail 1

Letters, nonmachinable

L004

L011 2

Letters, machinable

L801

L011 2

Letters, automation

L801

L011 2

Flats, nonautomation

L004

L009

Flats, automation

L004

L009

Bound Printed Matter 1

Flats, nonbarcoded

L004

L009

Flats, barcoded

L004

L009

Irregular parcels

L004

L009

Media Mail

Flats, nonautomation

L004

L009

Irregular parcels

L004

L004 2

 

 

Library Mail

Flats, nonautomation

L004

L009

Irregular parcels

L004

L004 2

1. For automation-compatible flats, label according to L007 for optional 5-digit scheme preparation.

2. L010 if mail entered by mailer at a destination ASF or NDC or for mail placed on an ASF or NDC pallet under 705.8.0.

8.0 Carrier Route Information Lines

8.1 Basic Information

Mailers must prepare bundles of all mailpieces mailed at carrier route prices with optional endorsement lines under 7.0, carrier route information lines under 8.2, or facing slips (see 203.4.0). Carrier route information lines may be on all pieces in a mailing, regardless of presort level. Mailers must use optional endorsement lines or carrier route information lines on all pieces in mailings of USPS Marketing Mail letters prepared under 245.9.7, except for pieces in full carrier route trays.

8.2 Format and Content
8.2.1 Route Information

Carrier route information consisting of a descriptive prefix (or its abbreviation), plus a route number or numeric code, must be on the top line of the address, either alone or with other information (e.g., addressee, account data). Alternatively, when permitted by standard, the carrier route information may appear with the applicable carrier route endorsement on the line above or two lines above the address if the carrier route price marking is in the address area (see Exhibit 8.2.1).

Exhibit 8.2.1 Address Format With Carrier Route Information

Exhibit 8.2.1 Address Format With Carrier Route Information

8.2.2 Descriptive Prefix

The authorized descriptive prefixes and their abbreviations are “Carrier Route” (“C”), “Rural Route” (“R”), “Highway Contract Route” (“H”), “Post Office Box Section” (“B”), and “General Delivery Unit” (“G”).

8.2.3 Route Code

These conditions apply to the carrier route code:

  1. The one-character descriptive prefix in 8.2.2 must be followed by a 3-digit route or Post Office box section number.
  2. On Periodicals and USPS Marketing Mail pieces bearing a simplified address that does not include a ZIP Code, the descriptive prefix in 8.2.2 must be followed by the last two digits of the 5-digit ZIP Code and the 3-digit route number or Post Office box section number.
  3. The route code required for simplified address mailings in 8.2.3b may also be used on mailings of any class that contain a ZIP Code in the address.
8.2.4 Other Elements

The following elements also are included in the carrier route information line:

  1. The carrier route code must be preceded by at least two asterisks (**).
  2. At least 10 spaces must be reserved for the carrier route code if other information is included on the top line.
  3. The carrier route information line may also contain the basic markings required by standard for the class of mail and price claimed, prepared under 202 for letters, 202 for flats, and 202 for parcels.
  4. The carrier route information line may also include information to identify bundles of Periodicals matter mailed at:
    1. carrier route saturation prices (“SATURATION WALK-SEQUENCED CARRIER ROUTE MAIL” or the abbreviation “CAR-RT WSS”),
    2. high density walk-sequenced prices (“HIGH DENSITY WALK-
      SEQUENCED CARRIER ROUTE MAIL” or the abbreviation “CAR-RT WSH”), or
    3. basic carrier route prices (“CARRIER ROUTE LINE-OF-TRAVEL” or the abbreviation “CAR-RT LOT”).
8.2.5 Firm Bundle

On a firm bundle of carrier route presorted Periodicals, “FIRM” may precede “CAR-RT LOT” or “CAR-RT WSH” or “CAR-RT WSS,” as applicable, in the carrier route information line.