The Postal Service has four key initiatives to streamline the acceptance, induction, and verification of commercial mailings: Full-Service Intelligent Mail, Move Update, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance. These key initiatives leverage existing technology to:
- Improve mail quality by sharing information on mail preparation, identification of trends as well as trend-based quality measurements
- Simplify the induction of mailings through automated and standardized acceptance, verification, and induction processes
- Provide end-to-end visibility through scan data
A new publication, Streamlined Mail Entry for Letters and Flats, provides the policies and procedures for these initiatives. The mailing industry is encouraged to review and provide feedback on the initial draft of this document. Feedback should be sent to email@example.com by January 23, 2016.
The Mail Entry Roadmap (PDF) provides the details for enhancements to the MEPT initiatives in 2015.
Exigent Surcharge Rollback
Effective April 10, 2016
As a reminder, the Postal Service Exigent surcharge will come to an end on April 10,
2015. We first notified the industry of this action on February 25th. The Postal Regulatory Commission approved the rollback plan on March 29th. An Industry webinar by Pricing and Costing was held to address the rollback and its implementation on March 9th. Industry customers will find a recording of this webinar, the presentation and the Q&A from the webinar on the Industry Outreach page located here: Webinar and Q&A. A copy of the questions can be found attached to this reminder as well.
Falling Prices: Mandated Rollback to Take Effect April 10
Absent Congressional or Court action to make the existing exigent surcharge for Market Dominant products and services part of the rate base, the Postal Service™ will be required to reduce prices for Forever stamps and other mailing products, effective Sunday, April 10.
The price of mailing a 1-ounce First-Class Mail letter will be 47 cents, down from 49 cents.
Letters with additional ounces will drop to 21 cents (from 22 cents), letters to international destinations will fall to $1.15 (from $1.20) and postcard prices will be 34 cents (from 35 cents).
Commercial prices will also decrease. The price reductions are required because the Postal Regulatory Commission has ordered USPS to reverse a 4.3 percent exigent surcharge that has been in place since January 2014.
This may worsen the Postal Service's financial condition by reducing revenue and increasing net losses by approximately $2 billion per year.
"The exigent surcharge granted to the Postal Service only partially alleviated our extreme multi-year revenue declines resulting from the Great Recession, which exceeded $7 billion in 2009 alone," PMG Megan J. Brennan said last month. "Removing the surcharge and reducing our prices is an irrational outcome considering the Postal Service's precarious financial condition."
The proposed pricing files are posted on Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com.
Postage Statement Changes
The following changes to postage statements are effective April 10, 2016:
- Standard Mail (PS Form 3602-EZ, 3602-N, 3602-NZ and 3602-R) – updates to all price cells
- First-Class Mail(PS Form 3600-EZ) – updates to postcard price cells
- Periodicals(PS Form 3541) – updates to all price cells
- International(PS Form 3700) – updates to price cells in Part A only.
Changes for the April 2016 release only affect price cells for Market Dominant products and services. Mailers are strongly encouraged to use the new postage statements to ensure accurate billing and postage payment. Mailers needing additional time to convert to the new statements beyond an initial 30 day period should contact the PCSC for an extension.
All mailers who use hard copy postage statements should convert to the 2016 versions no later than July 17, 2016.
Plant-Verified Drop Shipment Update
With the upcoming price change occurring on April 10, 2016, plant-verified drop shipment (PVDS) mailings will be verified and accepted as follows:
Current Prices – PVDS mailings verified and paid for before April 10, 2016, using the current prices, will be accepted at destination entry postal facilities through April 24, 2016, when presented using eInduction or eVs processes or with appropriate verification and payment documentation (PS Form 8125 or PS Form 8017).
- For mailings with electronic documentation, mailers must enter a Postage Statement Mailing Date before April 10, 2016.
- For mailings with hard copy postage statements, USPS acceptance employees must enter a Mail Arrival Date before April 10, 2016.
New Prices – PVDS mailings may be verified and paid for beginning March 27, 2016, using the new prices, only if the shipments are deposited at destination entry postal facilities April 10, 2016 or later, when presented using eInduction or eVs processes or with appropriate verification and payment documentation (PS Form 8125 or PS Form 8017).
- For mailings with electronic documentation, mailers must enter a Postage Statement Mailing Date on or after April 10, 2016.
- For mailings with hard copy postage statements, USPS acceptance employees must enter a Mail Arrival Date on or after April 10, 2016.
Guide to Seamless Acceptance
The Seamless Acceptance program promotes an automated process for entry and verification of mail leveraging electronic documentation, Intelligent Mail barcodes, samples collected from handheld devices, and mail processing equipment scan intelligence. The latest version of the Guide to Seamless Acceptance is available for download on the RIBBS Guides and Specs page or directly by clicking here.
PostalOne! Contingency Plan
The new PostalOne! Contingency Plans for external and internal customers are available. Key changes include the process for mailers submitting electronic mailing information, a process for delayed file transmissions and inclusion of the process for Electronic Verification System (eVS) mailers. Click here for the external plan.
TEM Process for Mailers
The Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) has been simplified for mailers to submit Full-Service test mailings using presort software that has already been validated by the Postal Service. A list of software vendors who have successfully validated their products is in this summary list of authorized vendors.