[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 7 (Tuesday, January 12, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1540-1541]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-387]



39 CFR Part 111

Treatment of Undeliverable Books and Sound Recordings

AGENCY: Postal Service TM.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is revising Mailing Standards of the United 

[[Page 1541]]

Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual, for the disposal or treatment of 
books and sound recordings that are undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) in 
their original packaging. The disposal of these items as waste will 
simplify handling procedures and reduce costs.

DATES: Effective Date: February 1, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bert Olsen, 202-268-7276, Mary 
Collins, 202-268-5440.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service published a Federal 
Register proposed rule (73 FR 39272-39273) on July 9, 2008 to remove 
DMM section 507.1.9.2. The intent of this section was to facilitate a 
process for identifying and returning books and recordings that had 
become undeliverable as a result of being ``loose in the mail'' 
(contents separated from packaging and other address information), to 
the original publisher or distributor. This standard was misinterpreted 
to allow some publishers and distributors to reclaim ownership of all 
UAA mail and not just mail that was truly identified as ``loose'' in 
the mail.


    We received comments from three respondents on the proposed rule. 
One respondent represented several trade associations and two other 
respondents were from separate publishing companies. All comments 
received were in opposition to the proposal and are summarized and 
presented below followed by our responses:
    1. Comment: The Postal Service did not work closely and discuss the 
proposal with affected mailers.
    The Postal Service previously offered an opportunity for mailers to 
provide input well before the proposal was published. Additionally, 
publication of the proposed rule and requests for comments (July 9, 
2008) afforded mailers an additional opportunity to contribute to the 
rule-making process prior to issuing a final rule.
    2. Comment: Due to copyright concerns and privacy issues, mailers 
are opposed to the Postal Service selling at auction undeliverable-as-
addressed books and sound recordings.
    Obligations concerning privacy issues and copyright concerns are 
the publisher's obligations. USPS[reg] ancillary services 
allow mailers to fulfill their obligations by having undeliverable 
books returned to them, but only in accordance with postal services and 
endorsements currently available to mailers. One option when using 
Standard Mail[reg] is that UAA mail can be forwarded or 
returned at the appropriate Media Mail or Library Mail price if the 
content of the mail qualifies as Media Mail under DMM 507.1.5.3, 173, 
373, or 473 or Library Mail under DMM 183, 383, or 483 and the mail is 
marked ``Media Mail'' or ``Library Mail'' directly below the ancillary 
service endorsement.
    3. Comment: The Postal Service should recycle undeliverable-as-
addressed items.
    We are currently exploring a recycling offering by adding a new 
ancillary endorsement that mailers could use to assure undeliverable-
as-addressed mail would be destroyed so it could not be used as 
originally intended. This potential offering is in its formative stage 
but if adopted may provide an attractive endorsement alternative for 
manufacturers and distributors of books and sound recordings who desire 
destruction of their undeliverable products for a fee.
    4. Comment: Provide electronic notification for the reason a 
mailpiece was undeliverable as addressed when using the ``Return 
Service Requested'' endorsement.
    The Return Service Requested endorsement provides the reason of 
nondelivery by hardcopy at the time of return of the product. However, 
we understand that mailers would prefer to know as quickly as possible 
why a piece was undeliverable via electronic data. We intend to 
evaluate the development of an electronic notification option with the 
Return Service Requested endorsement for a fee as a future service 
    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM), incorporated by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. 
See 39 CFR 111.1.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

Accordingly, 39 CFR Part 111 is amended as follows:


1. The authority citation for 39 CFR Part 111 continues to read as 

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 
416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, 
and 5001.

2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) as follows:
* * * * *

500 Additional Services

* * * * *

507 Mailer Services

1.0 Treatment of Mail

* * * * *

1.9 Dead Mail

* * * * *
[Delete 1.9.2 in its entirety and renumber current 1.9.3 as new 1.9.2]
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR Part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Neva R. Watson,
Attorney, Legislative.
[FR Doc. 2010-387 Filed 1-11-10; 8:45 am]