Rules for Un-enveloped Pieces
As we told you back in January, the United States Postal Service® (USPS)® published the final regulations for folded self-mailers (FSM's) in the December 1, 2011 Federal Register. One area of confusion with regards to these new rules is that the regulations for pieces defined as "un-enveloped" are different than the rules for folded self-mailers. There are two types of mailpieces that currently fall into the un-enveloped piece category: Open-Sleeve (also known as the Lunch bag style, and is not very commonly used) and the Letter–Size Mailpieces With Tear-Off Strips. These pieces with the tear-off strips are often used for checks and other financial notifications.
Rules for un-enveloped pieces
The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) section 22.214.171.124 details the requirements for the Letter–Size Mailpieces With Tear-Off Strips: When letter-size mailpieces have tear-off strips on the leading and/or trailing edge, any unfolded edges must be sealed with an adhesive (glue) or by a cohesive (pressure seal) method. A cohesive seal requires two fixative patterns placed on two separate surfaces that are compressed to form a bond. A perforated horizontal line that runs between and joins the leading and trailing edge perforation lines is permitted. Mailpieces with sealed sides must meet the following conditions.
- Be constructed of a minimum of 60 pound paper.
- Tear-off strips may be up to 9/16 inch (0.5625) wide.
- Tear lines (single lines of perforations) on pieces that weigh 1 ounce or less; recommended minimum cut/tie pattern of 1 mm cut (max)/1 mm tie (min) ratio or equivalent.
- Tear lines (single lines of perforations) on pieces that weigh more than 1 ounce; minimum cut/tie pattern of 1 mm cut/2 mm tie (min) ratio or equivalent.
Although the USPS is not making these new rules effective until
January 5, 2013, we strongly encourage mailers to review these new regulations and start making plans for any necessary design changes to future mailpieces. Many mailpieces, or components of mailpieces, are designed and prepared months in advance of actual mailing 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. You may also consult with your local Business Mail Entry Analyst for advice on mailpiece design.
Thanks to Laine Ropson from Ropson & Associates, LLC for the information in this e-tip. Laine may be contacted at LaineCR@centurytel.net.
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