USPS seeks comment on proposed rules for Intelligent Mail barcode

The US Postal Service is seeking public comment on proposed rules related to the use of Intelligent Mail barcodes on automation mailings of letters and flats. These rules are scheduled to go into effect by May 2009.

Existing mailing standards for automation prices require the use of either Postnet or Intelligent Mail barcodes on letters and flats.

The Intelligent Mail barcode was developed by the USPS to encode routing and tracking information on mail. The Postnet barcode only contains the routing code.

According to the proposed rules, mailers would have a choice between two Intelligent Mail options. With the basic option, mailers would use the Intelligent Mail barcode on letters and flats in place of the Postnet barcode. (Postnet barcodes will be accepted on automation letters and flats until May of 2010.)

The full-service option would require mailers to use unique Intelligent Mail barcodes on mailpieces and to use Intelligent Mail tray and container barcodes. When required, mailers would also have to electronically submit postage statements and mailing documentation before mailings are inducted, among other requirements.

Those using the full-service option would receive greater benefits and qualify for lower prices than the basic option, according to the USPS.

Comments on the proposed rules are due to the USPS by May 30.

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