[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 48 (Monday, March 12, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 10624-10625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-04890]



39 CFR Part 111

Revenue Deficiency

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is amending the Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) to 
clarify the Postal Service revenue deficiency policy.

DATES: Effective: May 7, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet Meddick at (202) 268-2652 or 
Pierre DeFelice at (724) 993-3596 or Garry Rodriguez at (202) 268-7281.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking on December 13, 2017, (82 FR 58580-58582) to amend 
DMM section 604.10.0, Revenue Deficiency, to update the definition of a 
revenue deficiency; designate Postal Service contacts for submitting 
appeals; and add sections to provide the definition of a mailer, 
description of assessments and mailers responsibilities, and policy on 
assessed revenue deficiencies.
    The Postal Service received 3 formal responses on the proposed 
rule, all of which included multiple comments.
    Comments from the first responder are as follows:

Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on deducting deficiencies directly from a 
trust account.

USPS Response

    Action by the Postal Service to deduct funds from a mailer's trust 
account or any other funds in USPS possession would be a last resort 
effort to collect revenue due after the appeal process has been 
exhausted and the mailer has not made an appropriate payment 

Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the timing and handling of due process 
notification on appeals.

USPS Response

    The 30 day time frame listed in 3.2.1 is the time for a mailer to 
respond to the notification of a revenue deficiency assessment. 
Reasonable extensions for appeal will continue to be entertained for 
mailers that request such time to review documentation and data to 
formulate their response.
    Comments from the second responder are as follows:

Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the expansion of liability, written 
notification, and due process.

USPS Response

    The clarification of ``mailer'' contained in new section 3.1.1 is 
intended to ensure that the identification and responsibility of any 
error in preparation is assessed to the appropriate party(ies), mail 
owner, mail preparer, and/or list provider. It is not intended as an 
effort to collect more than what is owed. The definition of ``Revenue 
Deficiency'' in new 3.1.1(a) specifically states that a written 
notification to the mailer citing the amount of the deficiency and the 
circumstances is required. Accordingly, a policy requiring written 
notification of the deficiency to the assessed mailer is still in 

Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the interest charge.

USPS Response

    The 6% interest charge is per annum after a final agency decision 
is rendered by the Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) 
when the mailer is in default.

Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the collection process.

USPS Response

    The possible actions that the USPS may choose to enforce would only 
be applied if an assessed mailer, after a final agency decision has 
been rendered, fails to make payment, enter into a payment agreement, 
or otherwise fails to negotiate a settlement of the debt.
    Comments from the third responder are as follows:
    The third responder had numerous comments that were determined to 
be beyond the scope of this final rule. The Postal Service will review 
and address these comments in a separate forum with the responder.
    These revisions will ensure the proper payment of postage while 
providing a superb customer experience from sender to receiver.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to the 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.
    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 the 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 and Refunds

    [Delete 10.0, Revenue Deficiency, in its entirety and renumber 11.0 
and 12.0 as 10.0 and 11.0.]
* * * * *

[[Page 10625]]

607 Mailer Compliance and Appeals of Classification Decisions

* * * * *
    [add new 3.0 to read as follows:]

3.0 Revenue Deficiency

3.1 General

    The revenue deficiency process outlined in 3.0 is an administrative 
process that supplements and does not diminish any rights the Postal 
Service has to recover revenue deficiencies through other legally 
available methods, such as when the deficiency arises as a result of 
fraud, misrepresentation, or the misuse of PC Postage products or other 
Postage Evidencing Systems.

3.1.1 Definitions

    Revenue deficiency definitions are as follows:
    a. Revenue deficiency: Means a shortage or underpayment of postage 
or fees that has been calculated and assessed to a mailer. Unless 
assessed under other applicable postal regulations, revenue 
deficiencies are generally assessed as provided herein by the 
Postmaster; manager, Business Mail Entry; the program manager, Revenue 
and Compliance, or other postal official, who issues a written 
notification to the mailer citing the amount of the deficiency and the 
    b. Mailer: A mailer is defined as the mail owner or an individual 
or entity that prepares or presents a mailing to the Postal Service and 
includes those who allow others to use a postage meter or PC postage 
product (collectively ``postage evidence system''--see 604.4.1.1 and 
604.4.1.2) that has been authorized for use by the individual or 

3.1.2 Assessments

    Postal officials review mailings, postage statements, and other 
relevant documentation in assessing a revenue deficiency. Mailers are 
required to cooperate and provide any documentation or information 
requested by postal officials during the review and assessment process. 
A mailer's failure to provide requested documentation or information 
during a review may result in a negative inference concerning the 
documentation or information requested.

3.1.3 Assessed Revenue Deficiencies

    Assessed revenue deficiencies may be subject to the following:
    a. If a mailer fails to tender payment to the Postal Service within 
30 days of receipt of a final agency decision, or fails to comply with 
the terms or conditions of a payment plan agreed to by the Postal 
Service concerning the final agency decision, or is suspected by the 
Postal Service of continuing to repeatedly short pay postage, the 
Postal Service may:
    1. Deduct from the mailer's trust account or any other funds in 
USPS possession any deficiencies incurred within 12 months of the date 
of the final mailing on which the deficiency was assessed.
    2. Initiate debt collection procedures.
    3. Restrict or suspend discounted mailing privileges with the 
concurrence of the manager, Revenue Assurance and Vice President 
Controller, or as otherwise allowed by regulation, or in accordance 
with any agreement with the mailer.
    b. Discounted mailing privileges may be suspended or restricted 
regardless of payment status of an assessed revenue deficiency if 
underpayment of postage occurs again after a mailer has been assessed a 
revenue deficiency.
    c. Interest on assessed revenue deficiencies will accrue at a rate 
of 6% per annum beginning 30 days after the receipt of the final agency 
decision and will continue until the debt is paid.
    d. Other fees and costs related to an assessed revenue deficiency 
may be collected as allowed by law or regulation.
* * * * *

3.2 Appeal of Ruling

3.2.1 General Decision

    Except as provided in 604.4.4.4 through 604.4.4.5, 3.2.2, and 
703.1.0, a mailer may appeal a revenue deficiency assessment by sending 
a written appeal to the postmaster or manager in 3.2.1a through 3.2.1c 
within 30 days of receipt of the notification. In all cases, the mailer 
may be asked to provide more information or documentation to support 
the appeal. Failure to do so within 30 days of the request is grounds 
for denying an appeal. Any decision that is not appealed as prescribed 
becomes the final agency decision. Mailers may send appeals as follows:
    a. To the district manager, Finance, for revenue deficiencies for 
fees. The district manager, Finance, issues the final USPS decision.
    b. To the Postmaster, manager, Business Mail Entry, program 
manager, Revenue and Compliance, or other postal official, for revenue 
deficiencies for postage. The appeal is then forwarded to the manager, 
PCSC, who issues the final agency decision.
    c. To the manager, Product Classification (see 608.8.0 for 
address), if the PCSC manager first assessed the deficiency. The 
manager, Product Classification issues the final agency decision.

3.2.2 Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail Decision

    Nonprofit mailers have two levels of appeal. They may appeal 
revenue deficiency assessments as follows:

    If the initial revenue                          Second-level appeal
deficiency assessment was made     First-level         and final USPS
              by:                     appeal              decision
Postmaster; manager, Business   manager, PCSC      manager, Product
 Mail Entry; manager, Revenue    (see 608.8.0 for   Classification (see
 and Compliance; or other        address).          608.8.0 for address)
 Postal official.

    All appeals must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the 
previous USPS decision. Any decision that is not appealed as prescribed 
becomes the final agency decision; no appeals are available within the 
USPS beyond the second appeal.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Ruth B. Stevenson,
Attorney, Federal Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2018-04890 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am]