[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 184 (Friday, September 21, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47839-47842]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-20587]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Changes to Validations for Intelligent Mail Package Barcode

AGENCY: Postal Service TM.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service is amending Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) to add new 
Intelligent Mail[supreg] package barcode (IMpb) validations for 
evaluating compliance with IMpb requirements for

[[Page 47840]]

all mailers who enter commercial parcels.

DATES: Effective Date: September 21, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Juliaann Hess at (202) 268-7663 or via 
email at jsanders.hess@usps.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Postal Service published a notice of proposed rulemaking on 
February 27, 2018 (83 FR 8399), to amend the DMM to update IMpb 
requirements relative to Compliance Quality Validations for Address 
Quality, Shipping Services File Manifest Quality, and Barcode Quality. 
These validations will allow the Postal Service to further improve 
service, tracking, and visibility, all of which will facilitate the 
identification of noncompliant mailpieces and customer experiences.

Summary of Industry Comments and Postal Service Response

    The Postal Service received two sets of comments in response to the 
proposed rule of February 27, 2018. The Postal Service appreciates all 
of the comments that were provided by the mailing industry. The 
mailers' comments and corresponding Postal Service responses are 
outlined as follows:
    Mailer Comment: The Postal Service should clarify the requirements 
for eVS address quality information.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service clarifies that a full and valid 
destination delivery address (capable of yielding an 11-digit ZIP Code 
that matches the delivery point in the Shipping Services file) includes 
the following components:

 Valid secondary address information
 Match between address to ZIP+4 Code
 Includes street number
 Valid primary street number

An address quality noncompliance indicator will be assigned to eVS 
mailers when the address information is not received before the Arrival 
at Post Office (07) scan event.
    In addition, we have added a separate clarification for non-eVS 
mailers. An address quality noncompliance indicator will be assigned 
when the address information is not present at the time of mailing.
    Mailer Comment: Clarification appears necessary regarding manifest 
quality specifications.
    USPS Response: The manifest file provides essential information 
about the shipping product to provide package visibility. In addition 
to the Transaction ID (TID) that is already required, manifest files 
must pass the following four validation criteria:
     Entry Facility ZIP Code: The entry facility ZIP Code in 
the Shipping Services file must match a physical scan event at a 
location. A separate Shipping Services file is required for mail 
tendered to each different Postal Service entry facility. For eVS 
customers, in the Header Record of the Shipping Services file, the 
entry facility ZIP Code field must contain the ZIP Code for the Postal 
Service facility where the mail is tendered.
     Payment Account Number: The USPS account number from which 
the mailing will be paid must be valid. The Payment Account Number is a 
valid combination, is registered with eVS or PostalOne! as valid 
information, and is located within the Header Record of the Shipping 
Services file.
     Method of Payment: The approved payment method must be 
valid (permit imprint, postage meter, PC Postage, OMAS, franked mail, 
and stamps) for the mail being entered, and located in the Header 
Record of the Shipping Services file.
     Post Office of Account: The 5-digit ZIP Code of the Post 
Office issuing the permit number, meter license, or precancelled stamp 
must be valid, agree with the information on the postage statement, and 
be located in the Header Record of the Shipping Services file.
    If any manifest validation field is missing or inaccurate, a 
Manifest Quality IMpb Compliance indicator will be assigned. Mailers 
can reference Publication 199, Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) 
Implementation Guide for: Confirmation Services and Electronic 
Verification System (eVS) Mailers, for details on Shipping Services 
file types.
    Mailer Comment: The FRN requires that IMpb's must pass Mailer ID 
and uniqueness validations without errors or warnings (emphasis added). 
The addition of warnings appears to be a substantive change, 
clarification needed.
    USPS Response: The history of both errors and warnings is not a 
substantive change to IMpb Quality validation. The Postal Service 
recognizes the importance of providing customers with visibility, and 
provides mailers with the confirmation/error/warning file that 
identifies issues associated within the Shipping Services file record.
    Each time a mailer submits a Shipping Services file, PTR processes 
and edits the file. When data elements do not meet USPS specifications, 
PTR generates an error or a warning. Single records or the entire file 
may be rejected or certain records may receive warnings. A message line 
that starts with an ``E'' indicates this is an Error message and the 
record will be rejected. A message line that starts with a ``W'' 
indicates this is a Warning Message and the record will be posted. The 
Postal Service converted many errors to warnings to update legacy 
business rules that negatively impacted piece-level visibility and 
prevented customers from receiving tracking information in extract 
files or USPS website. However, the data elements are still necessary 
and must be accurate, so we validate these elements. For example: Prior 
to changing an invalid MID to a warning it was an error that would have 
prevented all mail visibility. These warnings are intended to support 
timely postage payment and revenue assurance and be reflective of the 
work required to populate the files with a valid Mailer ID and IMpb 
uniqueness for validation.
    Mailer Comment: Clarification needed: The requirement that Mailer 
IDs, (MIDs) be properly registered is unclear because the word 
``properly'' is not adequately defined.
    USPS Response: For the purposes of this final rule, a MID is 
properly registered when users request access to Program Registration 
via the Online Enrollment service, within the Business Customer Gateway 
(BCG), or when users request access to Online Enrollment from the 
Shipping Services page on the BCG, if they currently do not have access 
to the service. This service assists the user in signing up for a 
number of shipping programs, including USPS Tracking and eVS, and 
registering a six- or nine-digit MID, according to the product they are 
mailing, the type and volume of service they require, and the payment 
type.
    Mailers may not use a MID in their tracking barcodes for the 
Shipping Services file or in an IMpb, until the MID completes 
certification and is registered.
    Mailer Comment: It is important to remind the Postal Service that 
it made a commitment to work with mailers who are not making the 
current Address Quality (AQ) threshold, and provide awareness on how to 
avoid being non-compliant.
    USPS Response: The Postal Service continued commitment is to 
educate mailers on mail preparation and improving the quality of mail. 
We are using various communication channels to assist mailers with 
falling below their Address Quality (AQ) threshold. We are committed to 
helping the industry through webinars, Industry Work Groups, Business 
Mail Entry (BME) Units, and Micro-Strategy reporting and will continue 
to build upon those tools

[[Page 47841]]

to enhance the communication experience.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    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:

PART 111--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as 
follows:

    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.


0
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)

* * * * *

200 Commercial Mail

* * * * *

204 Barcode Standards

* * * * *

2.0 Standards for Package and Extra Service Barcodes

2.1 Intelligent Mail Package Barcode

2.1.1 Definition

    [Revise the third and fifth sentences of 2.1.1 to read as follows:]
    * * * Intelligent Mail package barcodes must be used on all 
commercial parcels and on other mailpieces requesting extra services.* 
* * Electronic files must include a complete destination delivery 
address (which has sufficient quality to yield an 11-digit ZIP Code 
that matches the delivery point) and/or a delivery point validation 
(DPV) 11-digit code for all records in the file.* * *
* * * * *

2.1.3 Barcode Data Fields

    [Revise the first and final sentence of the introductory text of 
204.2.1.3 to read as follows:]
    The following fields are used to construct the Intelligent Mail 
package barcode. * * *
    * * * Detailed specifications are provided in Publication 199: 
Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation Guide for: 
Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System (eVS) Mailers, 
and available on PostalPro at http://postalpro.usps.com com. * * *
* * * * *

2.1.7 Electronic File

    [Revise the second sentence of the introductory text and d. of 
204.2.1.7 to read as follows:]
    * * * Specifications for electronic files are available in 
Publication 199: Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation 
Guide for: Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System 
(eVS) Mailers, and available on PostalPro at https://postalpro.usps.com com. * * *
    d. Version 1.6 (or subsequent versions) of the electronic shipping 
services manifest files including each destination delivery address or 
ZIP + 4 Code. Shipping Services File manifests, or other approved 
electronic documentation, must include the destination delivery address 
(that has sufficient quality to yield an 11-digit ZIP Code that matches 
the delivery point) or delivery point validation (DPV) 11-digit ZIP 
Code for each record in the file.* * *
    [Revise the title and text of 2.1.8 to read as follows:]

2.1.8 Compliance Quality Thresholds

    All mailers who enter commercial parcels must meet the established 
thresholds for IMpb Compliance Quality outlined in Exhibit 2.1.8 to 
avoid an IMpb Noncompliance Fee. For details see Publication 199: 
Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation Guide for: 
Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System (eVS) Mailers, 
available on PostalPro at http://postalpro.usps.com.

                                Exhibit 2.1.8--IMpb Compliance Quality Thresholds
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Compliance
         Compliance categories               Compliance codes               Validations             thresholds
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address Quality: Checks for a timely    AQ                         Must include a full, valid                 89
 address that validates to a unique 11-                             destination delivery address
 Digit DPV.                                                         that has sufficient quality
                                                                    to yield an 11-digit ZIP
                                                                    Code that matches the
                                                                    delivery point in the file
                                                                    as follows:
                                                                    Valid secondary
                                                                    address information..
                                                                    Match between
                                                                    address to ZIP +4 Codes..
                                                                    Includes street
                                                                    number..
                                                                    Valid primary street
                                                                    number..
                                                                   Customers using eVS must
                                                                    provide the address
                                                                    information prior to the
                                                                    Arrival at Unit (07) Event
                                                                    Scan and non-eVS customers
                                                                    at the time of mailing.
Manifest Quality: (Shipping Services    MQ                         Entry facility must match                  94
 File): Checks for a timely Manifest                                between scan and manifest.
 File that passes 4 critical                                        Valid PO of Account ZIP Code
 validation criteria.                                               (where account is held for
                                                                    payment).
                                                                   Valid method of payment
                                                                    (Permit, Federal Agency, PC
                                                                    Postage, Smart Meter, Other
                                                                    Meter, or Stamps).
Barcode Quality: Checks the barcode in  BQ                         Valid and Certified Mailer ID              98
 the manifest that passes 2 critical                                in the label that is in
 validations.                                                       Program Registration/Online
                                                                    Enrollment. IMpb must be
                                                                    unique for 120 days.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [Add new section 2.1.9 to read as follows:]

2.1.9 Alternate Approval

    Labels not meeting IMpb specifications or other label element 
standards, but still able to demonstrate acceptable functionality 
within USPS processes, may be allowed using an alternative approval 
process authorized by the Vice President, Enterprise

[[Page 47842]]

Analytics (See DMM 608.8.1 for contact information).
* * * * *

210 Commercial Mail Priority Mail Express

213 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Priority Mail Express

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise the last two sentences of 3.2 to read as follows:]
    * * * Unless otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in section 204.2.1.8 and 
Publication 199: Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation 
Guide for: Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System 
(eVS) Mailers, will be assessed an IMpb noncompliance fee. Detailed 
specifications are available on PostalPro at http://postalpro.usps.com.
* * * * *

220 Commercial Mail Priority Mail

223 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Priority Mail

* * * * *

3.2 IMpb Standards

    [Revise the last two sentences of 3.2 to read as follows:]
    * * * Unless otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the 
requirements for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or 
extra services barcodes as outlined in section 204.2.1.8 and 
Publication 199: Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation 
Guide for: Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System 
(eVS) Mailers, will be assessed an IMpb noncompliance fee.
    Detailed specifications are available on PostalPro at http://postalpro.usps.com.
* * * * *

250 Commercial Mail Parcel Select

253 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Parcel Select Parcels

* * * * *

3.3 IMpb Standards

    [Revise the last two sentences of 3.3 to read as follows:]
    Unless otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the requirements 
for use of unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or extra services 
barcodes as outlined in section 204.2.1.8 and Publication 199: 
Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation Guide for: 
Confirmation Services and Electronic Verification System (eVS) Mailers, 
will be assessed an IMpb noncompliance fee.
    Detailed specifications are available on PostalPro at http://postalpro.usps.com.
* * * * *

280 Commercial Mail First-Class Package Service--Commercial

283 Prices and Eligibility

* * * * *

3.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for First-Class Package Service--
Commercial

* * * * *

3.4 IMpb Standards

    [Revise the text of 3.4 to read as follows:]
    All First-Class Package Service--Commercial parcels must bear an 
Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) prepared under 204.2.0. Unless 
otherwise excepted, mailpieces not meeting the requirements for use of 
unique Intelligent Mail package barcodes or extra services barcodes as 
outlined in section 204.2.1.8 and Publication 199: Intelligent Mail 
Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation Guide for: Confirmation Services 
and Electronic Verification System (eVS) Mailers, will be assessed an 
IMpb noncompliance fee.
    Detailed specifications are available on PostalPro at http://postalpro.usps.com.
* * * * *

600 Basic Standards For All Mailing Services

* * * * *

608 Postal Information and Resources

* * * * *

8.0 USPS Contact Information

8.1 Postal Service

* * * * *
    [Revise 608.8.1 by adding Enterprise Analytics text, alphabetically 
to read as follows:]
    * * * Enterprise Analytics, US Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW, Room 2100, Washington, DC 20260-2100.* * *
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Ruth B. Stevenson,
Attorney, Federal Compliance
[FR Doc. 2018-20587 Filed 9-20-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7710-12-P