USPS Changes Merlin Rules

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The U.S. Postal Service has changed the rules for its next round of Merlin implementation that takes effect Jan. 17.

Merlin, or Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument, is used to validate address accuracy for mailers receiving automation rates. The USPS had said that it would allow a 1 percent tolerance for multiple instances of identical ZIP+4 codes and other address accuracy errors, but no tolerance for the incorrect use of ZIP+4 codes 0000 or 9999.

Last week, however, the agency changed the rule so that mailings with multiple instances of identical ZIP+4 codes or other errors will still receive automation rates. There will still be no tolerance if any piece has "0000" or an incorrectly assigned "9999."

Merlin will sample 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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