[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 133 (Tuesday, July 12, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 40849-40850]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-17386]



39 CFR Part 111

Post Office (PO) Box Fee Groups for Merged Locations

AGENCY: Postal Service.TM

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service proposes to revise Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 508.4 
to allow Post Office TM (PO) Box fee groups to be merged due 
to Post Office mergers and to have the ability to change a box fee 
group more than one higher or lower level at a time in limited 

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before August 11, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Mailing 
Standards, U.S. Postal Service[supreg], 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Room 
4446, Washington, DC 20260-5015. You may inspect and photocopy all 
written comments at USPS[supreg] Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant 
Plaza, SW., 11th Floor N, Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday. E-mail comments concerning the proposed price 
eligibility, containing the name and address of the commenter, may be 
sent to: [email protected], with a subject line of ``PO Box Fee 
Group for Merged Locations.'' Faxed comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nan McKenzie at 202-268-3089, David 
Rubin at 202-268-2986, or Richard Daigle at 202-268-6392.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Current mailing standards limit changes for 
a PO BoxTM fee group assignment for a 5-digit ZIP 
CodeTM to one level higher or lower, and only once per 
calendar year. This proposed rule would allow the Postal Service to 
change the fee group assignment for PO Boxes by more than one level 
(higher or lower) when boxes move to a different ZIP Code location 
because of a merger of two or more ZIP Code locations into a single 
location. Absent a change, where a box section is merged with a 
location whose box section is more than one fee group level different, 
the location would need to charge two different fee groups. Changing 
the standards would allow the fee group of the merged (receiving) 
location to apply to all customers receiving PO Box service in that 
    Also, prior to any such merge, existing PO Box customers would have 
the option to renew at their current fees for another 6-month or 12-
month period, even if the resulting fee will have been paid for more 
than one year in advance.
    Although we are exempt from the notice and comment requirements of 
the Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C. of 553(b), (c)] regarding 
proposed rulemaking by 39 U.S.C. 410(a), we invite public comments on 
the following proposed revisions 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 proposed to be 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)

* * * * *

500 Additional Mailing Services

* * * * *

508 Recipient Services

* * * * *

4. Post Office Box Service

* * * * *

4.5 Basis of Fees and Payment

* * * * *

4.5.3 Fee Changes

    [Revise 4.5.3 as follows:]
    A change in Post Office box service fees applicable to a 5-digit 
ZIP Code can arise from a general fee change. In addition, the manager, 
Retail Services, may assign a fee group to a new ZIP Code, may reassign 
one or more 5-digit ZIP Codes to the next higher or lower fee group if 
the past fee group assignments were in error, or may regroup 5-digit 
ZIP Codes. Except when boxes from two or more ZIP Codes are being 
merged into a single location, a ZIP Code may be moved only into the 
next higher or lower fee group. If boxes in two or more ZIP Codes 
merge, the fee group will be that of the merged (receiving) location, 
even if one of the fee groups changes by more than one level. No ZIP 
Code may be moved into a different fee group more than once a calendar 
year. Any change in Post Office box service fees takes effect on the 
date of the action that caused the change unless an official 
announcement specifies another date. If Post Office box service fees 
are increased, no customer must pay the new price until the end of the 
current service period, and no retroactive adjustment will be made for 
a payment received before the date of the change. The fee charged is 
that in effect on the date of payment.

4.5.4 Payment

    [Revise the introductory text of 4.5.4 as follows:]
    All fees for Post Office box service are for 6- or 12-month prepaid 
periods, except as noted under 4.5.6, 4.5.7, and 4.5.10. The general 
rule is that a fee may be paid up to one year in advance; however, when 
boxes from two or more ZIP Codes are being merged into a single 
location, a customer has the option, prior to the merge, to renew at 
the current fee for another 6-month or 12-month period, even when this 
results in a fee being paid more than one year in advance. Customers 
may pay the fee using any of the following methods:
* * * * *

4.5.5 Payment Period

    [Revise 4.5.5 as follows:]
    Except under 4.5.7, the beginning date for a Post Office box fee 
payment period is determined by the approval date of the application. 
The period begins on the first day of the same month if the application 
is approved on or before the 15th of the month, or the next month if 
approved after the 15th of the month. Fees for service renewal may be 
paid any time during the last 30 days of the service period, except as 
allowed under 4.5.4, but no later than the last day of the service 
* * * * *

4.5.8 Change of Payment Period

    [Revise 4.5.8 as follows:]
    Except for customers at Post Offices subject to 4.5.7, a Post 
Office box customer of record may change the payment period by 
submitting a new

[[Page 40850]]

application noting the month to be used as the start of the revised 
payment period. The date selected must be before the end of the current 
payment period. The unused fee for the period being discontinued may be 
refunded under 4.7, and the fee for the new payment period must be 
fully paid in advance. Except when boxes from two or more ZIP Codes are 
being merged into a single location (see 4.5.4), a change of payment 
period date must not be used to circumvent a change in box fees.
* * * * *

4.6 Fee Groups

4.6.1 Regular Fee Groups

    [Revise 4.6.1 as follows:]
    For Post Office box fee groups, see Notice 123--Price List. Post 
Office boxes are assigned to fee groups and classified as competitive 
or market dominant based upon the Post Office location. Local Post 
Offices can provide information about fees for a particular ZIP Code.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes if our proposal is adopted.

Stanley F. Mires,
Chief Counsel, Legislative.
[FR Doc. 2011-17386 Filed 7-11-11; 8:45 am]