Compliance Rates Are High for New Merlin Requirements

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WASHINGTON -- The first stage of changes to the U.S. Postal Service's Merlin address validation program have been successful, John Sadler, manager of business mail acceptance, said at the quarterly MTAC meeting at postal headquarters here yesterday.


Merlin, or Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument, checks address accuracy for mailers receiving automation rates. The USPS began its next round of Merlin implementation on Jan. 17 with a change in rules to allow zero tolerance for the incorrect use of ZIP+4 codes 0000 or 9999.


Sadler said that since then 99.9 percent of the almost 35,000 mailings that were tested, have passed.


"These are very god results," he said. "I think the industry has stepped up, vendors of software have stepped up since we announced this six months ago."


Sadler also said all Merlin machines have been implemented throughout the county, Currently, 1,203 machines are deployed.


Merlin samples all mailings of letters or oversized envelopes that exceed 10,000 pieces and about one in six mailings of less than 10,000 pieces.


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