USPS 13 oz. rule takes effect next week

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Starting Monday, July 30, customers mailing packages and envelopes that weigh more than 13 ounces can use a convenient online postage application and leave packages and envelopes in Postal Service collection boxes or Post Office lobby mail slots. Customers can even leave items for pickup by their letter carriers.

The process of mailing out larger envelopes and packages has just become a little easier and speedier for customers.

"This is part of an ongoing initiative of security," said Yvonne Yoerger, media relations representative at USPS. "We are aiming for safer and more secure mail."

Postal Service's Click-N-Ship service on www.usps.com and PC Postage from an authorized USPS vendor are some examples of online postage applications. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If a customer is unable to use one of the above methods to prepare and affix postage, items weighing more than 13 ounces must be presented for mailing to an employee at a Post Office retail service counter. Business customers who use postage meters may continue to use meter postage for packages of any weight and mailing method.

Customers will notice new decal on USPS collection boxes, and Post Office lobby and Automated Postal Center mail drop slots. The new red, white and blue decals inform customers that deposit of stamped mail over 13 ounces is prohibited, and any such mail will be returned.

Previously, the prohibition applied to mail over 16 ounces. The change is part of ongoing security measures established by the Postal Service, in cooperation with other government agencies to keep the public, customers, employees and the US Mail safe.

"For residential customers the change will be mostly transparent," Yoerger said. "The new rule is a change for customers if they had previously mailed packages over 13 ounces using stamps as postage, from their home, in a collection box or in a lobby drop slot. The new rule means they can no longer do so if they use only regular postage stamps. They have to use one of the other postage methods or go to a Post Office and present the mail to an employee at the counter.
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"The biggest change would be for our retail associates, letter carriers and processing employees, who have to know how to accept mail and handle it if it falls into the new weight limit," she said. "The change is significant especially for the letter carriers because they are potentially the first employee to see a package in a collection box or at the customer's home, so it's their job to return the package to sender, or explain to the customer the change."

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