[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 152 (Monday, August 9, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47717-47720]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-19619]



39 CFR Part 111

Content of Periodicals Mail

AGENCY: Postal Service\TM\

ACTION: Final rule; revised.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is revising Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 707.3, to 
update ``content requirements'' on materials eligible for mailing at 
Periodicals prices with authorized Periodicals publications.

DATES: Effective Date: August 9, 2010.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The final rule titled ``Content of 
Periodicals Mail'' published by the Federal Register on July 20, 2010 
(75 FR 41989-41991) is revised to incorporate minor changes in text and 
an earlier effective date. The DMM standards will be updated during its 
regular monthly update on September 7, 2010.
    After discussions with Periodicals customers, the Postal Service 
agreed to review the standards governing contents of Periodicals mail, 
and decided to update several standards. This rule removes the current 
advertising limitation on loose supplements, except for unwrapped 
copies of loose addressed supplements included in a mailing for an 
authorized Periodicals publication. The final rule also revises the 
regulations on pages, specifically multi-layer pages, giving publishers 
more latitude in page design. The provisions concerning the mailing of 
products and product samples have been updated and simplified. Finally, 
the standards governing protective covers and attachments have been 
updated for consistency with past rulings. This final rule was 
developed in collaboration with numerous publishers and Periodicals 
industry associations.


    In the 1980s, and again in the 1990s, the Postal Service undertook 
extensive reviews of the standards governing content that could be 
mailed as part of a periodical publication at Periodicals prices 
(formerly second-class rates). Advances in technology, and difficulty 
in applying the standards, were key factors in those reviews. On March 
27, 1995, the Postal Service published a final rule in the Federal 
Register (60 FR 10021-10029) revising the standards.
    Since that time, the standards governing contents of a publication 
eligible for Periodicals prices have not changed, except for several 
minor modifications. In addition, there has been no discernable 
movement of printed advertising materials, or other matter, from 
Standard Mail to Periodicals mail.
    The changes to the standards reflected in this final rule 
concentrate on four areas of ``content'' provisions and mailpiece 
     DMM 707.3.3.1, Pages.
     DMM 707.3.3.5, Supplements.
     DMM 707.3.4.3, Products.
     DMM 707.3.5, Mailpiece Construction.
    [cir] Specifically DMM 707.3.5.4, Without Mailing Wrapper.
    [cir] and DMM 707.3.5.6, Cover Page and Protective Cover.


    A requirement for all Periodicals publications is that they be 

[[Page 47718]]

of ``printed sheets.'' In the March 27, 1995 rulemaking, however, the 
printed sheet requirement was relaxed to allow small amounts of 
``fastening'' material, such as grommets, string, and rubber bands, 
used to assemble a page. The Postal Service concluded at that time 
allowing such materials was not a significant deviation from the 
``printed sheet'' rule because the changes were consistent with the 
existing practice of allowing Periodicals publications to be bound with 
staples, saddle stitching, or spiral binding.
    More recently, publishers have argued that the 1995 changes, unduly 
limit creativity in designing publications that appeal to their readers 
and advertisers. These publishers also point out advances in technology 
enable inclusion of sound devices and video as part of a printed page. 
Finally, they point out that private delivery companies do not impose 
similar restrictions on the delivery of their publications, nor are 
they prohibited from using such technologies in the newsstand editions 
of their publications.
    Accordingly, DMM 707.3.3.1a is revised to replace ``fastening'' 
with ``non-paper'' in the first sentence to permit non-paper materials 
other than fastening materials in the construction of a multilayer 
page. This change would allow additional creativity in page design. The 
sentence ``Not all elements that make up a multilayer page must be 
printed'' is added to 3.3.1a, for additional transparency That sentence 
is currently incorporated in Customer Support Ruling (CSR) PS-234, 
titled ``Multilayer pages in Periodicals Publications.'' Finally, the 
sentence ``In addition, multilayer pages may contain novel 
characteristics such as an LED display, a sound device, or battery 
operated movable parts'' is added to 3.3.1a, to allow publishers to 
take advantage of current technologies, within the boundaries of 
mailable versus nonmailable matter as described in DMM 601.
    In addition, it should be noted that publishers continue to be 
required to adhere to the mailing standards governing the Periodicals 
price category claimed.


    Many publishers have considered the 25 percent nonadvertising 
standard for loose supplements to be burdensome, and inappropriate as a 
means of limiting advertising in Periodicals mail. It is often viewed 
as an unnecessary restriction on a publisher's ability to choose 
whether to place advertising matter in the host publication or 
accompanying loose supplement.
    Moreover, the existing standards are hard to apply. This problem 
exists for customers and postal personnel, as demonstrated by the 
numerous requests for guidance directed to the Pricing and 
Classification Service Center (PCSC) and headquarters Mailing Standards 
concerning what is advertising or nonadvertising matter. Often, when 
supplements are produced by third parties, it becomes particularly 
difficult to make such judgments. Contracts must be reviewed to 
evaluate the relationship(s) between parties. Payment arrangements by 
outside parties for the advertising portion of supplements must be 
examined in determining whether the material qualifies as 
nonadvertising matter.
    The Postal Service agrees that the 25 percent nonadvertising 
requirement should be eliminated except for separately addressed loose 
supplements mailed with the host publication outside a wrapper or 
polybag. The Postal Service is revising DMM 707.3.3.5 as follows:
     In the first sentence of 3.3.5a., the words ``on the front 
cover/page'' are added to ensure that the required ``Supplement to * * 
* '' endorsement is shown on the front of the supplement.
     The words ``contain at least 25% nonadvertising material 
and'' are deleted from the first sentence of 3.3.5a.
     The words ``must contain at least 25% nonadvertising 
material'' apply only to loose addressed supplements when a wrapper is 
not required.

Product Samples

    Product samples in Periodicals are not new. However, no explicit 
DMM standard acknowledges product samples are mailable at Periodicals 
prices. Mailability at Periodicals prices of product samples is 
achieved by ``altering'' a product, such as by changing the ingredients 
in fragrance samples, limiting significantly the size of a cosmetics 
sample, and requiring a disclaimer that the sample ``simulates'' or is 
a ``rendition'' of an actual product. Preparation guidelines are 
contained in Customer Support Ruling (CSR) PS-273. However, the Postal 
Service finds these guidelines difficult to administer, with 
documentation and verification of compliance burdensome on publishers 
and postal personnel.
    In earlier rulemakings, the Postal Service expressed the view that 
applying the general requirement that all Periodicals publications must 
be formed of printed sheets is a sufficient standard to limit the 
inappropriate mailing of products and products samples at Periodicals 
prices (see DMM 707.4.5). Changes to the standards described in this 
rule will continue to exclude products such as stationery, cassettes, 
floppy disks, DVDs, CDs, and similar media, since they are not printed 
    But allowing de minimis product samples will reduce the burden of 
the current guidelines. Consequently, and consistent with requests by 
many Periodicals publishers and Periodicals association 
representatives, the Postal Service has adopted a new provision in the 
DMM allowing product samples in de minimis form to be included as part 
of a printed sheet. This change will enhance both the value of some 
advertisements to the reader, and the overall value of the publication 
to the reader. Although not explicitly required, including the name of 
the host publication and the issue or issue date on the sample, and 
relating the sample to advertising or nonadvertising within the content 
of the host publication, will provide further support that the piece is 
properly prepared as a printed page (or a portion of a multilayer page) 
in the publication.
    Product samples may not be included in a Periodicals publication 
mailed at letter-sized prices. The combined weight of product samples 
in an issue of a Periodicals publication cannot exceed 3.3 ounces. Any 
product sample that is a ``packet'' is limited to a weight of no more 
than one ounce with a burst strength minimum of 3,000 pounds per square 
inch (PSI). Attachable product samples, including packets weighing no 
more than one ounce, may not be affixed to either the front or back 
cover page of a Periodicals publication, or permissible component of a 
Periodicals publication, even if the publication is enclosed in a 
wrapper. Placement of attachable product samples must conform to 
machinability and uniform thickness standards, and must be placed no 
closer than \3/4\ inch from any open edge of any interior page.
    Publishers are aware that in an environment of ever-increasing 
automated processing by the Postal Service of all types of mail 
including letters, flats, and parcels, it is critical that Periodicals 
publications not impede postal processing or damage postal processing 
equipment. Accordingly, it is reemphasized that any mailpiece to which 
a product sample is added under this new provision must meet the 
standards for physical characteristics related to basic mailability and 
to the eligibility for the specific postage prices claimed. In 
addition, all of the mailability restrictions and prohibitions in DMM 
601 apply. See specifically DMM 601.2.1, Packaging, and 601.10.5,

[[Page 47719]]

Mailer Responsibility for Mailing Hazardous Materials.


    Under impermissible mailpiece components, ``products'' are 
redefined to update the examples of impermissible products in 
    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); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-
1737; 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:

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual (DMM)

* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *

707 Periodicals

* * * * *

3.0 Physical Characteristics and Content Eligibility

* * * * *

3.3 Permissible Mailpiece Components

3.3.1 Pages

    * * * Pages are also subject to these standards:

[Revise 3.3.1a. to replace ``fastening'' with ``non-paper'' 
materials in the first sentence and to include new language to 
further describe a multilayer page as follows:]

    a. Multilayer pages (including pages formed by sheets glued 
together and pages that have unusual shapes, such as cutouts, 
movable flaps, or ``pop-ups'') may include small amounts of non-
paper material such as grommets, string, or rubber bands as needed 
to assemble the page. Not all elements that make up a multilayer 
page must be printed. In addition, multilayer pages may contain 
novel characteristics such as an LED display, a sound device, or 
battery operated movable parts. Multilayer pages may also be formed 
as pouches or pockets, but may contain only permissible loose 
enclosures (see 3.3.4) or other securely affixed permissible 
* * * * *

3.3.5 Supplement

    * * * Supplements are also subject to these conditions as 

[Revise 3.3.5a. to make clear that the required supplement 
endorsement must be shown on the front/cover page. In addition, the 
requirement that a supplement to a bound Periodicals publication 
contain at least 25% nonadvertising is eliminated except for 
unwrapped loose supplements.]

    a. A loose supplement to a bound Periodicals publication must 
bear on the front/cover page the endorsement ``Supplement to'' 
followed by one of the following: The title of the publication, the 
name of the publisher, or ``Periodicals Publication.'' A bound 
publication with one or more supplements must be enclosed in a 
wrapper. However, a wrapper is not required when a loose supplement 
is included within the same mailing as the host publication, bears a 
proper delivery address, contains at least 25% nonadvertising 
material, and includes on the front/cover page the endorsement 
``Periodicals Supplement to'' followed by the exact title and issue 
date of the host publication. The external dimensions of such 
unwrapped supplements may exceed those of the host publication 
provided they are of the same processing category as the host 
publication. If a supplement to a bound publication is formed of 
more than one sheet, all sheets making up the supplement must be 
bound together.
* * * * *
[Renumber current 3.3.9 and 3.3.10 as 3.3.10 and 3.3.11 accordingly, 
and add new 3.3.9 to provide for ``product samples'' in Periodicals 
publications as follows:]

3.3.9 Product Samples

    Subject to the requirements in 3.3.1 and 3.4.5, product samples: 
Related to print advertising in the issue and are not offered for 
sale within the meaning of 3.4.2a and 3.4.3 may be included in a 
Periodicals publication as a page, or part of a multilayer page. 
Examples include, but are not limited to, a swatch of cloth; a paper 
towel as part of a printed page, or printed paper towel; a bandage; 
and fragrance, cosmetics, lotions, or edibles in packet form. The 
combined weight of product samples in an issue is limited to 3.3 
ounces. Any product sample in the form of a packet is limited in 
total weight to no more than one ounce, but does not include the 
page weight upon which the packet is affixed. Packet product samples 
also must have a minimum burst strength of 3,000 pounds per square 
inch (psi). Travel size and similar small products in commercially 
available form or packaging do not qualify as permissible product 
samples, even if less than 3.3 ounces. In addition, CDs, DVDs, and 
similar media do not qualify as permissible product samples. 
Permissible product samples:
    a. Are not eligible with letter-size pieces;
    b. Must comply with hazmat standards (601.10.5);
    c. Must comply with machinability standards, e.g. uniform 
thickness (301.1.4);
    d. Must not be attached to the front or back cover page of the 
host Periodicals publication, or any other permissible component;
    e. Must be secured in place (spine or tip-on interior page) to 
prevent shifting (601.2.1); and,
    f. Must be placed at least \3/4\ inch from all non-bound edges 
of any interior page.
* * * * *

3.4 Impermissible Mailpiece Components

* * * * *

3.4.3 Products

[Revise 3.4.3 to update examples of impermissible ``products'' in 
Periodicals publications as follows:]

    Except as provided for in 3.3.9, products may not be mailed at 
Periodicals prices. Examples include stationery (such as pads of 
paper or blank printed forms); cassettes; floppy disks; CDs; DVDs; 
merchandise, including travel-size merchandise in commercially 
available form or packaging; and wall, desk, and blank calendars. 
Printed pages, including oversized pages and calendars, are not 
considered products if they are not offered for sale.
* * * * *

3.5 Mailpiece Construction

* * * * *

3.5.4 Without Mailing Wrapper

[Revise the last sentence of 3.5.4 to allow for \3/4\ inch clearance 
of any open edge on attachments to a Periodicals publication as 

    When the mailpiece does not have a mailing wrapper, all the 
components of an unbound publication must be combined with and 
inserted inside the publication. Only enclosures mailable at 
Periodicals prices under 3.3.4 may be included loose inside a bound 
unwrapped publication. An enclosure under 3.3.3c, Enclosures at 
First-Class Mail or Standard Mail Prices, or 3.3.4, Loose Enclosures 
at Periodicals Prices, or a single sheet prepared as an attachment 
under 3.3.8c, may be securely attached along the bound edge on the 
outside of an unwrapped publication if it does not exceed any 
dimension of the cover of the publication and comes within \3/4\ 
inch of any open edge.
* * * * *

3.5.6 Cover Page and Protective Cover

[Revise the first sentence of 3.5.6 to allow for \3/4\ inch 
clearance of any open edge on a protective cover to a Periodicals 
publication as follows:]

    If the piece is not completely enclosed in a mailing wrapper, 
then any protective cover or cover page must cover both the front 
and back of the host publication and extend to within at least \3/4\ 
inch of any open edge. Exception: Flat-size pieces may have short 
covers as provided in 301.3.5.2. If the host publication is bound, 
the protective cover must be permanently attached to the 
* * * * *

[[Page 47720]]

    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Neva R. Watson,
Attorney, Legislative.
[FR Doc. 2010-19619 Filed 8-6-10; 8:45 am]