USPS Offers Final Rule on EVS for Parcel Select Mailings

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The U.S. Postal Service published a final rule July 10 on standards that it will adopt to implement the Electronic Verification System for certain Parcel Select mailings.

The EVS eliminates the current paper-driven and manual processes used to verify such mailings. The rule was published in the Federal Register.

EVS will be required beginning Aug. 1, 2007. The USPS said this time period will provide mailers and shippers with sufficient time to meet

EVS standards and to perform the testing necessary for satisfactory operations.

The required change will also extend to Standard Mail machinable parcels and parcels from other Package Services subclasses (Bound Printed Matter, Library Mail, or Media Mail) with permit imprint Parcel Select parcels.

Current procedures for accepting and verifying parcel mailings are paper-driven and can be challenging for the shipping industry, the USPS said.

For example, operational cycles of parcel mailers and shippers tend to be tied to the schedule of USPS clerks who visit their plants to verify and accept mail before it can be entered into the mailstream or transported to USPS destination entry facilities for induction.

For destination entry parcel mailers or shippers, scheduling poses an even greater challenge because they must prepare paper documentation for each scheduled induction event at the time of acceptance and verification at their plants.

Mailers and shippers decided they needed a more convenient and flexible way to provide and update documentation and present mail. Likewise, the

USPS decided it needed a more consistent and accurate way to verify parcel mailings at destination entry facilities.

As a result, the USPS and the parcel shipping industry worked together for more than three years to develop EVS as a new manifesting model that simplifies acceptance, verification and induction of parcel mailings.

Under this model, mailers or shippers barcode and manifest all parcels before transmitting an electronic manifest to the agency. The manifest lists all barcoded parcels in a mailing and includes pertinent information for each parcel to support postage and fee payment.

Under EVS, the USPS no longer verifies parcel mailings at a mailer or shipper's plant, and the mailer or shipper is no longer required to create paper documentation for induction activities.

Mailers or shippers manifest the parcels, transmit the electronic files to the USPS, schedule appointments through the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking system, and present the parcels at the desired destination entry facilities according to the appointments.

On Nov. 7, the USPS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register soliciting comments from mailers and parcel shippers on requiring the use of EVS.

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