[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 172 (Tuesday, September 6, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 54931-54932]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22628]



39 CFR Part 111

Post Office (PO) Box Fee Groups for Merged Locations

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.


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

DATES: Effective Date: November 7, 2011.

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: On July 12, 2011, the Federal Register 
published our proposed rule (76 FR 40849-40850), requesting comments to 
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 CodeTM location because of a merger of two or 
more ZIP Code locations into a single location.
    Current mailing standards limit changes for a PO Box fee group 
assignment for a 5-digit ZIP Code to one level higher or lower, and 
only once per calendar year. Absent this 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. This final rule will allow the fee group of the merged 
(receiving) location to apply to all customers receiving PO Box service 
in that location. This rule does not affect the standards for Group E 
PO Box eligibility.
    Also, prior to any such merger, existing PO Box customers will have 
the option to renew their box rentals at their current fees for another 
period, even if the resulting fee will have been paid for more than one 
year in advance.
    No comments were received on the proposed rule.
    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to the Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM), which is 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)

* * * * *

500 Additional Mailing Services

* * * * *

508 Recipient Services

* * * * *

4.0 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 USPS 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 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 one 
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 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. A 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

[[Page 54932]]

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 one location, a 
customer has the option, prior to the merger, to renew at the current 
fee for another rental 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 
under 4.5.4, but no later than the last day of the service period.
* * * * *

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 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 one location, a change of payment 
period date must not be used to circumvent a change in box fees.
* * * * *

4.6 Fee Group Assignments

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.

Stanley F. Mires,
Chief Counsel, Legislative.
[FR Doc. 2011-22628 Filed 9-2-11; 8:45 am]