[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 82 (Friday, April 27, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 25082-25083]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10014]



39 CFR Part 111

Picture Permit Imprint Indicia

AGENCY: Postal Service\TM\.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service will revise Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 604.5 to add 
picture permit imprint indicia standards allowing customers to include 
business-related color images, such as corporate logos, company brand 
or trademarks, in the permit indicia area of First-Class Mail[supreg] 
full-service automation letters and postcards, and all Standard 
Mail[supreg] letters.

DATES: Effective Date: June 24, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nii-Kwashie Aryeetey 202-268-7442 or 
Suzanne Newman at 202-268-5581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The use of picture permit imprint indicia is 
designed to improve the effectiveness of a mailpiece by including a 
business-related color image within the permit imprint indicia. When 
tested, indicia placed in the upper right corner of the mailpiece that 
contained color images did not impede the Postal Service's ability to 
obtain the required postage payment information from the permit 
    Additionally, market research shows that customers believe that 
picture permit imprint indicia will enhance the perception of mail. 
Mailers indicated that they would use picture permit imprints for 
existing mail volume and some said they would increase their mail 
volumes if picture permit imprint indicia were allowed.
    Therefore, this final rule expands current permit imprint standards 
to allow mailers to, subject to additional Postal Service standards, 
include a color image of a business-related design, such as corporate 
logos or trademarks, as part of their permit imprint indicia on full 
service automation IMb\TM\ mailings, for a per piece fee in addition to 
postage. Mailers interested in picture permit imprint indicia may 
contact [email protected] for more information.
    Pending favorable action by the Postal Regulatory Commission on the 
Postal Service's March 28, 2012 filing of the price and classification 
changes related to charges for picture permit imprint indicia, the 
Postal Service adopts the following changes to 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)

* * * * *

600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

* * * * *

604 Postage Payment Methods

* * * * *

5.0 Permit Imprint (Indicia)

5.1 General Standards

5.1.1 Description

    [Revise 5.1.1 by adding a new last sentence to read as follows:]
    * * * A picture permit imprint indicia (5.4) may not be used on 
reply mail pieces.
* * * * *

5.1.4 Permit and Fees

    [Revise the text of 5.1.4 as follows:]
    A mailer may obtain a permit to use a permit imprint indicia by 
submitting PS Form 3615, Mailing Permit Application and Customer 
Profile, and the applicable fees to the Post Office where mailings are 
made. Except for mailpieces bearing picture permit imprint indicia 
(5.4), there are no other fees for the use of a permit imprint indicia 
but other fees (e.g., an annual

[[Page 25083]]

presort mailing fee) may be due depending on the class of mail to be 
* * * * *

5.3 Indicia Design, Placement, and Content

* * * * *

5.3.4 Indicia Placement on Mailpiece

    [Revise the second sentence of 5.3.4 and the text of 5.3.4a as 
    * * * The indicia may not be placed below the address or encroach 
on reserved space (e.g., ACS participant code, delivery point barcode). 
The indicia can be placed in one of these four positions:
    a. Upper right corner of the mailpiece. (Also the recommended 
location for picture permit imprint indicia)
* * * * *
    [Revise 5.3.4c as follows:]
    c. Upper right area (not lower than the address area) on an affixed 
address label or when printed in an address block.
* * * * *

5.3.11 Indicia Formats

    [Revise the text of 5.3.11 as follows:]
    Unless prepared under 5.3.12 or 5.4, permit imprint indicia on 
mailpieces must be prepared in one of the formats in Exhibit 5.3.11, as 
applicable to the price claimed or type of mail. (Not all permissible 
combinations of content elements are shown.) Specific markings may be 
required as applicable for the price claimed.
* * * * *

5.3.12 Optional Indicia Format

    [Revise the introductory text in 5.3.12 as follows:]
    As options to the basic format under 5.3.11, permit imprint indicia 
may be prepared as picture permit imprint indicia under 5.4 or in other 
formats subject to these conditions:
* * * * *
    [Add new 5.4 as follows:]

5.4 Picture Permit Imprint Indicia

5.4.1 Description

    Picture permit imprint indicia may contain business-related color 
images, such as corporate logos, brand, trademarks and other pictorial 
business images (5.4.3 5.4.5). These images are known as picture permit 
imprints and may be used to pay postage and extra service fees on full 
service IMb mailings of First-Class Mail automation letters and 
postcards, and Standard Mail letters.

5.4.2 Postage and Fees

    Picture permit imprint is charged a per piece fee, in addition to 
the postage applicable for the class of mail. See Notice 123--Price 

5.4.3 Prohibitions

    Color images used in picture permit imprint indicia must maintain 
neutrality on social or political issues in order to avoid the creation 
of a public forum for the debate or dissemination of political ideas by 
private parties and must also adhere to the following prohibitions:
    a. Must not resemble or imitate U.S. postage stamps, a postage 
evidencing system indicia (604.4), postcard postage, Customized 
Postage, postage printed from USPS Automated Postal Centers (APCs) and 
USPS Certified 3rd Party Kiosks, precancelled postage stamps or other 
postage payment methods.
    b. The color image used in picture permit imprint indicia must not 
include USPS-registered trademarks or words, symbols, or designs used 
by the USPS to identify a class of mail, price of postage, or level of 
service, unless such elements are correctly used under the applicable 
standards for the mailpiece on which they appear and the corresponding 
postage and fees have been paid.
    c. Two-toned, black and white images are not permitted.
    d. Only commercial images and/or text are eligible for inclusion. 
Commercial images and/or text means images and/or text that promote 
nothing other than a product or service available in commerce. Images 
and/or text that take a position, explicitly or implicitly, on 
government, public policy, morality, politics, or religion (whether or 
not they also convey a commercial message) are not eligible for 
    e. Eligible commercial images and/or text must not: (1) Be indecent 
or obscene; (2) depict violent or sexual material that would be harmful 
to minors; (3) be unlawful or legally actionable; (4) compete with a 
Postal Service product or service; or (5) promote alcohol, tobacco, 
weapons, or gambling.
    f. A picture permit imprint indicia (5.4) may not be used on reply 
mail pieces.

5.4.4 Application

    A Picture Permit Imprint Application must be completed and Postal 
Service authorization must be obtained for individual picture permit 
imprint indicia prior to the acceptance of mailpieces bearing these 
indicia. Customers must sign an indemnification statement and, upon 
request, provide a valid addressed sample of mailpieces bearing the 
color images for testing. Contact the manager, Transaction and 
Correspondence (608.8.1) for more information. Additional information 
on the customer agreement is available at http://picturepermit.usps.com.

5.4.5 Picture Permit Imprint Indicia Format

    As options to the basic format under 5.3.11, permit imprint indicia 
may be prepared in Picture Permit Imprint format subject to these 
    a. Indicia elements must be OCR readable (prefer sans serif) and no 
smaller than 8 point font.
    b. The class of mail must be printed in all capital letters.
    c. Indicia must not be placed in any location lower than the 
complete address information. The upper right corner of the mailpiece 
is the preferred location.
    d. A clear space of at least \1/4\ inch must be maintained to the 
right and above the picture permit imprint indicia.
    e. A clear space of at least 0.050 inch must be maintained to the 
left and below the picture permit imprint indicia.
    f. Mailpieces bearing picture permit indicia must be presented as 
full service automation IMb mailings, under 705.24.
    g. All pieces in the mailing must bear a picture permit.
    h. Imprint (i.e.: image and text area) dimensions may be between 
1.625'' to 2.00'' in height and between 1.31'' to 1.50'' in width.
    i. Image dimensions may be between .84'' to 1.00'' in height and 
between 1.31'' to 1.5'' in width.
    j. A clear space of 5/32 inch (+/- 1/32 inch) on all sides must be 
maintained between the color image and indicia text.
    k. Only color images are permitted in image area (two-tone, black 
and white print is prohibited).
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2012-10014 Filed 4-26-12; 8:45 am]