505a, Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM)
505b, Meter Reply Mail (MRM)
Business Reply Mail (BRM) service enables a permit holder to receive First-Class Mail and Priority Mail back from customers and pay postage and a per piece fee for only the pieces returned. BRM cards, envelopes, self-mailers, flats, cartons, and labels may be distributed by a BRM permit holder in any quantity for return to any Post Office in the United States and its territories and possessions, including military Post Offices overseas. The BRM permit holder guarantees payment of the applicable fees and First-Class Mail or Priority Mail postage plus a per piece charge for pieces returned by the USPS (see payment options below).
When designing a BRM mailpiece or label, mailers must consult with their local Post Office. The piece must conform to a specific format to qualify as BRM, including a unique ZIP+4 Code, or equivalent Intelligent Mail barcode assigned by the USPS. Proofs for regular BRM should be approved by the USPS before printing. Proofs for Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) must be approved by the USPS and must bear an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb). On page three is a layout example for a BRM envelope. For reusable envelopes using BRM with two-way indicia, see 601.6.5.4 for requirements.
BRM pieces distributed in automation mailings are required to meet the standards in 201.3.0. BRM templates are available on the Postal Explorer Web site at pe.usps.com by selecting “Mailpiece Design” under the “Business Solutions” in the top frame.
Payment Options (505.1.0)
For a complete listing of Business Reply Mail prices and fees, see Notice 123–Price List.
Basic BRM—Except for BRM parcel (only) permits, an annual permit fee is required.
Per piece charge in addition to the Retail First-Class Mail (metered for letters) or Priority Mail postage. Paid through an advance deposit account or by cash/check on delivery.
Best suited for BRM customers with fewer than 930 returned BRM pieces expected annually.
High-Volume BRM—Except for BRM parcel (only) permits, an annual permit fee is required, plus a BRM annual account maintenance fee at each Post Office where a permit holder holds an advance deposit account.
Per piece charge in addition to the Retail First-Class Mail (metered for letters) or Priority Mail postage. Paid through an advance deposit account.
Best suited for BRM customers with approximately 930 or more returned BRM pieces expected annually.
Basic Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM)—Annual account maintenance fee is required.
Per piece charge in addition to QBRM First-Class Mail postage. Paid through an advance deposit account.
Used only on barcoded automation-compatible cards and letter-size mail weighing up to 2 ounces if design is approved for QBRM by USPS before distribution (505.1.3). A unique ZIP+4 code is assigned by the USPS for each price category of QBRM to be returned (one for card-price pieces, one for letter-size pieces weighing 1 ounce or less, and one for letter-size pieces weighing over 1 ounce up to and including 2 ounces).
Best suited if QBRM customers return volume is approximately 614 letters or more, or 591 cards or more, expected annually.
High-Volume QBRM—Annual account maintenance fee, and a separate quarterly fee is required. Mailers can pay quarterly fee for any consecutive 3-calendar-month period.
Per piece charge in addition to QBRM First-Class Mail postage. Paid through an advanced deposit account.
Best suited if QBRM customer’s return volume is approximately 42,727 pieces or more quarterly or 170,909 pieces or more annually.
Other Post Offices
A BRM permit holder can allow its authorized representatives or agents to use that permit number to distribute and receive BRM at any Post Office. The original permit holder must supply the representative with a letter authorizing the use of the BRM permit and if applicable, a copy of the USPS receipt showing the annual fee payment for that permit. See 505.1.7 for additional requirements.
Authorized users of official mail may distribute BRM, subject to 703.7.0 and 505.1.0.
For general use, the minimum size of a BRM label is 2 inches high and 3 inches long. BRM labels are not required to have a FIM or a ZIP+4 barcode. For all other format standards see 505.1.5. In cases where a BRM card or letter is used improperly as a label, USPS treats the item as waste.
Letter-sized Pieces (505.1.4.9)
For Business Reply Mail (BRM) labels on letter-size pieces the following standards apply:
n The minimum size of a BRM label is 2-5/8 inches high and 4-1/4 inches long. All format elements, including a FIM, must be printed on the label. The vertical series of horizontal bars must be at least 3/4–inch high. (Exception: Horizontal bars may be omitted on BRM letter-size pieces bearing Intelligent Mail barcodes.) The back of the label must be coated with a permanent adhesive strong enough to firmly attach the label to an envelope.
n The permit holder must provide instructions to the user describing how the label should be applied to a mailpiece and what precautions must be observed when applying the label (see Exhibit 1.4.9). A pictorial diagram showing proper placement of the label must be included with the instructions. At a minimum, the instructions must include the following directions:
• Place the label squarely in the upper right corner of the envelope.
• Do not write on the envelope or label.
• Do not use a window envelope, an envelope that is less than 1 inch higher than the label, an envelope that is more than 4-1/2 inches high, or an envelope with any printing other than a return address.
• Do not use tape to affix the label.
n When the label is affixed to an envelope, the address must be placed within the OCR read area.
n Pieces with business reply labels cannot qualify for QBRM prices.
Exhibit 1.4.9 Instructions for Affixing Business Reply Label