[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 29, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 43985-43986]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-18481]



39 CFR Part 111

Overweight Items

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is amending Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) to implement 
a process to remove overweight items from the postal network.

DATES: Effective Date: August 29, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lizbeth Dobbins at (202) 268-3789 or 
Garry Rodriguez at (202) 268-7261.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking on April 20, 2018, (83 FR 17518-17519) to amend the 
DMM to add a process, which included a fee, for removing overweight 
items that are found in the postal network. Items that exceed the 70 
pound weight limit are nonmailable and are not provided service.
    The Postal Service received 2 formal responses to the proposed 
rule, one of which included multiple comments.
    Both responses were in agreement with enforcing the 70 pound weight 
restriction. However, the second responder had several comments, as 
    Comment: The responder felt it was unclear whether the fee would be 
imposed on the appropriate party, specifically in regards to returns.
    Response: The Postal Service is deferring implementation of the fee 
at this time. When the fee is implemented, the Postal Service expects 
that, in most instances, including returns, the fee will be requested 
of the sender. However, certain circumstances (e.g., when the sender is 
unknown) may require the fee to be requested from the receiver. 
Customers (sender, receiver) have the responsibility to communicate 
with each other to determine who is liable for the fee payment.
    Comment: The second comment questioned the application of the fee 
and provided a hypothetical where the error was a result of an 
inaccurate Post Office scale.
    Response: Post Office scales are calibrated daily. Customers may 
request a ``sight'' verification at the facility where the item was 
    Comment: The third comment questioned the $100 fee and whether it 
could be construed as a price requiring additional approval.
    Response: The fee determination will be made at a later date.

[[Page 43986]]

    At this time, the Postal Service is implementing the process for 
removing items over the 70 pound maximum weight limit for Priority Mail 
Express[supreg], Priority Mail[supreg], USPS Retail Ground[supreg], 
Media Mail[supreg], Library Mail, Parcel Select[supreg], and Parcel 
Return Service. Hazardous materials exceeding the applicable maximum 
weight limits discovered in the postal network may be subject to a 
civil penalty under 39 U.S.C. 3018.
    Once the overweight item is identified, it will be secured and 
either the sender or receiver will be contacted to pick up the item 
within 14 calendar days. An overweight item not picked up within the 14 
calendar day timeframe will be considered abandoned and disposed of at 
the Postal Service's discretion. Any amounts paid as purported postage 
and any fees would not be refundable.
    The Postal Service is still determining the appropriate fee. 
However, because the safety of our employees is paramount, the Postal 
Service is moving forward immediately with implementing the process for 
intercepting and holding overweight items for pickup by mailers, 
without assessing a fee. The Postal Service will publish details 
regarding the fee in another Federal Register notice, once a final 
determination on the fee has been made.
    This revision will ensure the safety of our employees while 
providing a superb customer experience from sender to receiver.
    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. We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR 
part 111 to reflect these changes.
    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is amended as follows:

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Incorporation by reference, 
Postal Service.


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 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

601 Mailability

1.0 General Standards

* * * * *
    [Renumber 1.2 and 1.3 as 1.3 and 1.4 and add new 1.2 to read as 

1.2 Overweight Items

    The maximum Postal Service mailpiece weight limit is 70 pounds, 
lower weight limits may apply. Any Priority Mail Express, Priority 
Mail, USPS Retail Ground, Media Mail, Library Mail, Parcel Select, and 
Parcel Return Service item exceeding the 70 pound Postal Service 
maximum weight limit is nonmailable and if found in the postal network 
will be secured at the facility identifying the ineligible item for 
pick-up by the mailer or addressee.
* * * * *

604 Postage Payment Methods and Refunds

* * * * *

9.0 Exchanges and Refunds

* * * * *

9.2 Postage and Fee Refunds

* * * * *

9.2.4 Postage and Fee Refunds Not Available

    Refunds are not made for the following:
* * * * *
    [Revise the text of 9.2.4 by adding a new item i to read as 
    i. For any amounts paid as purported postage and any fees on 
overweight items that are nonmailable under 601.1.2.
* * * * *

Brittany M. Johnson,
Attorney, Federal Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2018-18481 Filed 8-28-18; 8:45 am]