New USPS Marking Requirement for Bound Printed Matter Machinable Parcels

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The U.S. Postal Service proposed in the Federal Register yesterday a new marking requirement for Bound Printed Matter machinable parcels consisting of multiple pieces secured with transparent shrink-wrap.

Bound Printed Matter is Package Services mail (typically catalogs, books, and other printed material) that weighs up to 15 pounds and meets specific eligibility standards

Under the proposal, mailers must use an optional endorsement line or apply a pressure-sensitive bundle Label F. The USPS proposes to implement these changes on May 11.

An optional endorsement line is used by mailers to label bundles instead of applying pressure-sensitive bundle labels or facing slips to the top piece of bundles. Pressure-sensitive firm bundle label Fs are blue labels required by the USPS to be used on specific bundles.

The USPS said the new marking will allow its new automated equipment to recognize that a Bound Printed Matter parcel is intended for a single address.

The new equipment, called the Automated Package Processing System, simultaneously sorts parcels and bundles of mail.

When the Automated Package Processing System currently sees a Bound Printed Matter machinable parcel consisting of multiple pieces like catalogs shrink-wrapped together and destined for a single address, it is programmed to identify the parcel as a presort destination bundle.

When the system fails to find an optional endorsement line or bundle label, it diverts the parcel to a reject bin.

The USPS said the new rule would require mailers to place either a firm optional endorsement line or a firm bundle Label F on Bound Printed Matter machinable parcels that the automated system otherwise might mistake as bundles.

If using a firm optional endorsement line, mailers must place it and the five-digit destination ZIP code of the Bound Printed Matter parcel in the address block in the same location designated for all optional endorsement lines.

The firm optional endorsement line or bundle Label F will indicate to the automated system that the parcel is destined for a single address, allowing the automated system to properly sort the parcel. This new marking requirement is for Bound Printed Matter machinable parcels only.

In addition to the USPS' proposal for the firm optional endorsement line or bundle Label F, mailers must make the delivery address information and the bundle Label F or optional endorsement line visible and readable by the naked eye.

The USPS published these readability standards in the Federal Register on October 20. Comments on the notice must be received by Jan. 26.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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