Changes for Folded Self-Mailers in 2013
As we told you in an eTip earlier this year, the United States Postal Service®
(USPS®) published the final regulations for folded self-mailers
other unenveloped pieces in the
December 1, 2011 Federal Register
. These final rules take effect on January
5, 2013, so mailers
need to make plans to use up remaining stock and to make
for affected mailpieces that will mail after the effective date.
As part of the changes
, the USPS renamed pieces designed to carry discs and
expanded the standards that apply to tabs to include folded self-mailers
(FSM's). These new rules do not apply to cards, envelopes, booklet style letters
or mailpieces designed to carry discs.
The notice lays out the specifications for the size requirements for FSM's:
- Length: A minimum of 5 inches and a maximum of 10 1/2 inches.
Height: A minimum of 3 1/2 inches and a maximum of 6 inches.
- Thickness: A minimum of 0.007 inch; (0.009 inch if the height exceeds 4 1/4
inches or if the length exceeds 6 inches); the maximum thickness is 1/4 inch.
- Maximum Weight: 3 ounces.
- Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides.
- Within an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of 1.3 to 2.5, inclusive (see
Domestic Mail Manual 601.1.4).
- Maximum number of panels, bi-fold, tri-fold and oblongs: 12 for FSM's
constructed of non-newsprint paper
- Exception: Quarter folded self-mailers made of a minimum of 100 lb book grade
paper may have 4 panels and those made of 55 lb newsprint must have at least 8
panels and may contain up to 24 panels. The proposals include the definition of
a "panel" and lengthy descriptions of permissible fold and panel configurations.
The sealing options provided are numerous, including the optimal continuous glue
line as well as three or four glue spots, three or four elongated glue lines,
and various tabbing options. Many of the options are dependent on the paper
basis weight and number of folds or panels. There are also a number of options
for other design elements, such as die cuts, perforations, loose enclosures and
Due to the looming January 5, 2013 effective date, we strongly encourage mailers
to review these new regulations and start making plans for any necessary design
to future mailpieces. Many mailpieces, or components of mailpieces, are
designed and prepared months in advance of the actual mailing date and may be
kept in stock for remailings. Before you design and order mailpieces for 2013,
please review these new rules so that you do not get stuck with additional
postage charges or, worse, unmailable pieces.
For more detailed information on these new rules, click on the links above for
the Federal Register notice or the Folded Self-Mailer Reference Material
document, the Folded
Self-Mailer landing page
on the RIBBS web site.
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