Revised Options to Combine Standard Mail® & Periodicals Mail
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) revised the regulations that allow mailers to combine individual flat-size pieces of Standard Mail and Periodicals Mail into the same bundles (comailing), or to combine flat-size bundles of Standard Mail and Periodicals Mail on to the same pallets (co-palletizing). As we told you in our March 11, 2011 e-tip, the first draft of proposed regulations for this combination of mail was planned for implementation on June 6, 2011. However, based on input from the mailing industry, the regulations have been revised, and a new implementation date of January 22, 2012 established.
Rules on Mailing Regulations
The new regulations for these new options are fairly complex:
- The new options do not change the current DMM content and eligibility requirements for Standard and Periodicals Mail. For example, the minimum volume requirement for Standard Mail in these combined mailings is 200 pieces or 50 pounds, and Periodicals publications must be authorized or have a pending authorization to mail at Periodicals prices.
- The current processes that identify and isolate Periodicals origin mixed area distribution center (OMX) mailpieces, for integration into the First-Class Mail® mailstream, will not be available when combining Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats on pallets.
- All mailpieces included in a combined mailing of Standard Mail and Periodicals flats on pallets must be machinable in accordance with DMM 301.3.0.
- Mailers wishing to combine Standard Mail and Periodicals flats under this option will be required to submit a request for authorization, in writing, to the Manager, Business Mailer Support.
- Participating mailers are required to present standardized electronic mailing documentation (eDoc) for each combined mailing, and at the time of mailing, the following additional documentation:
- An edition or version summary for all pieces in the mailing.
- A consolidated postage statement register and postage statement for each Periodicals publication in the combined mailing.
- A consolidated postage statement register and postage statement for each Standard Mail mailing in the combined mailing. Mailers may provide a single consolidated postage statement and postage statement register of all Standard Mail mailings if they are itemized.
- A register of Forms 8125, Plant Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) Verification and Clearance, (PS 8125C) that consolidates all of the mailings to the destinations where the mail is entered.
- When using this option, postage on all Standard Mail pieces must be paid through a permit imprint using a special postage payment system at the Post Office serving the mailer. Postage for Periodicals may be paid through an advance deposit account or through a Centralized Account Payment System (CAPS) account.
- Participating mailers will be required to apportion the Periodicals bundle charge based on the number of Periodicals copies in the bundles and container charge based on the weight of the Periodicals portion of the container.
- Mailers combining Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats will not have the option to form ADC pallets or to drop ship to ADCs. As a result, Periodicals publications included in combined mailings will not have access to DADC prices.
- Other specific prices for Periodicals flats in a combined mailing will be assessed as follows:
- The bundle prices applicable to the ADC container level will be applied to the ASF/NDC container level.
- The container prices applicable to the ADC pallet level will apply to the ASF/NDC pallet level.
- The bundle price applicable to the ADC bundle placed on the ADC container level will apply to mixed ADC bundles placed on mixed NDC pallets.
- The container price applicable to the ADC pallet level will also apply to the mixed NDC pallet level.
- Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats combined on pallets will be processed as Standard Mail; and the Periodicals mailpieces included within these combined mailings may receive deferred handling. Periodicals mailpieces included within mailings of combined Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats will be subject to the USPS service standards applicable to Standard Mail. These mailings must also be identified as Standard Mail when scheduling drop ship appointments in the Facility Access and Shipment (FAST®) system.
- Mailers combining Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats on pallets must populate field 10, ‘‘Product or Publication Title or Names,’’ of PS Form 8125 and/or field 11b, ‘‘Product Name/ID,’’ of PS Form 8125C with ‘‘MIX COMAIL’’ when preparing drop ship documentation for these mailings.
- Each Standard Mail and Periodicals mailpiece prepared under a combined mailing of Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats are required to be identified as containing mixed classes through the use of an optional endorsement line (OEL) in accordance with these standards.
- On March 14, 2011, the Postal Service published a proposed rule, Federal Register notice, New Origin Entry and Containerization Standards (75 FR 13704-13767). If that proposal is adopted, standards for combined mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals flats will be modified to reflect these new preparation standards, including one significant change that will require the separation of mixed ADC pallets into an origin NDC pallet (required over 150 pounds), if not already prepared, and a Tier 2 Network pallet.
The DMM will be updated in January 2012 to reflect these new options. For more details, consult the Tuesday, June 28, 2011 Federal Register Notice.
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