News Byte: USPS Appeals the PRC's Intelligent Mail Barcode Decision

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In its decision approving the CPI postal rate increase in early December, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) simultaneously shot down the U.S. Postal Service's request to expand full-service Intelligent Mail barcode requirements. As a result, mailers emerged from the holiday season with at least one gift from Postal authorities, but now even that's not so sure.

Shortly before Christmas, the Postal Service filed a request with the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of appeals to review the PRC's ruling that the requirement constitutes a price increase and therefore must fall under the CPI price cap.

“We firmly believe the PRC's decision is based on a misreading of the relevant statute, hinders growth opportunities for the mailing industry and the Postal Service, and harms our efforts to ensure our financial stability,” said a statement from USPS announcing the filing of the petition.

A coalition of postal stakeholders including Quad/Graphics, R.R. Donnelley, and the Direct Marketing Association had applauded the release of the PRC's initial decision on IMb, saying in a joint statement that “the inflation-based price cap is the only protection that mailers have against the Postal Service's monopoly powers and potentially excessive rate increases.”

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