(1) To maximize incentives to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
(2) To create predictability and stability in rates.
(3) To maintain high quality service standards established under section 3691.
(4) To allow the Postal Service pricing flexibility.
(5) To assure adequate revenues, including retained earnings, to maintain financial stability.
(6) To reduce the administrative burden and increase the transparency of the ratemaking process.
(7) To enhance mail security and deter terrorism.
(8) To establish and maintain a just and reasonable schedule for rates and classifications, however the objective under this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the Postal Service from making changes of unequal magnitude within, between, or among classes of mail.
(9) To allocate the total institutional costs of the Postal Service appropriately between market-dominant and competitive products.
(1) the value of the mail service actually provided each class or type of mail service to both the sender and the recipient, including but not limited to the collection, mode of transportation, and priority of delivery;
(2) the requirement that each class of mail or type of mail service bear the direct and indirect postal costs attributable to each class or type of mail service through reliably identified causal relationships plus that portion of all other costs of the Postal Service reasonably assignable to such class or type;
(3) the effect of rate increases upon the general public, business mail users, and enterprises in the private sector of the economy engaged in the delivery of mail matter other than letters;
(4) the available alternative means of sending and receiving letters and other mail matter at reasonable costs;
(5) the degree of preparation of mail for delivery into the postal system performed by the mailer and its effect upon reducing costs to the Postal Service;
(6) simplicity of structure for the entire schedule and simple, identifiable relationships between the rates or fees charged the various classes of mail for postal services;
(7) the importance of pricing flexibility to encourage increased mail volume and operational efficiency;
(8) the relative value to the people of the kinds of mail matter entered into the postal system and the desirability and justification for special classifications and services of mail;
(9) the importance of providing classifications with extremely high degrees of reliability and speed of delivery and of providing those that do not require high degrees of reliability and speed of delivery;
(10) the desirability of special classifications for both postal users and the Postal Service in accordance with the policies of this title, including agreements between the Postal Service and postal users, when available on public and reasonable terms to similarly situated mailers, that—
(i) improve the net financial position of the Postal Service through reducing Postal Service costs or increasing the overall contribution to the institutional costs of the Postal Service; or
(ii) enhance the performance of mail preparation, processing, transportation, or other functions; and
(B) do not cause unreasonable harm to the marketplace.
(11) the educational, cultural, scientific, and informational value to the recipient of mail matter;
(12) the need for the Postal Service to increase its efficiency and reduce its costs, including infrastructure costs, to help maintain high quality, affordable postal services;
(13) the value to the Postal Service and postal users of promoting intelligent mail and of secure, sender-identified mail; and
(14) the policies of this title as well as such other factors as the Commission determines appropriate.
(A) include an annual limitation on the percentage changes in rates to be set by the Postal Regulatory Commission that will be equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers unadjusted for seasonal variation over the most recent available 12-month period preceding the date the Postal Service files notice of its intention to increase rates;
(B) establish a schedule whereby rates, when necessary and appropriate, would change at regular intervals by predictable amounts;
(C) not later than 45 days before the implementation of any adjustment in rates under this section, including adjustments made under subsection (c)(10)—
(i) require the Postal Service to provide public notice of the adjustment;
(ii) provide an opportunity for review by the Postal Regulatory Commission;
(iii) provide for the Postal Regulatory Commission to notify the Postal Service of any noncompliance of the adjustment with the limitation under subparagraph (A); and
(iv) require the Postal Service to respond to the notice provided under clause (iii) and describe the actions to be taken to comply with the limitation under subparagraph (A);
(D) establish procedures whereby the Postal Service may adjust rates not in excess of the annual limitations under subparagraph (A); and
(E) notwithstanding any limitation set under subparagraphs (A) and (C), and provided there is not sufficient unused rate authority under paragraph (2)(C), establish procedures whereby rates may be adjusted on an expedited basis due to either extraordinary or exceptional circumstances, provided that the Commission determines, after notice and opportunity for a public hearing and comment, and within 90 days after any request by the Postal Service, that such adjustment is reasonable and equitable and necessary to enable the Postal Service, under best practices of honest, efficient, and economical management, to maintain and continue the development of postal services of the kind and quality adapted to the needs of the United States.
(I) the maximum amount of a rate adjustment that the Postal Service is authorized to make in any year subject to the annual limitation under paragraph (1); and
(II) the amount of the rate adjustment the Postal Service actually makes in that year.
(I) may use unused rate adjustment authority from more than 1 year;
(II) may use any part of the unused rate adjustment authority from any year;
(III) shall use the unused rate adjustment authority from the earliest year such authority first occurred and then each following year; and
(IV) for any class or service, may not exceed the annual limitation under paragraph (1) by more than 2 percentage points.
(A) the discount is—
(i) associated with a new postal service, a change to an existing postal service, or with a new work share initiative related to an existing postal service; and
(ii) necessary to induce mailer behavior that furthers the economically efficient operation of the Postal Service and the portion of the discount in excess of the cost that the Postal Service avoids as a result of the workshare activity will be phased out over a limited period of time;
(B) the amount of the discount above costs avoided—
(i) is necessary to mitigate rate shock; and
(ii) will be phased out over time;
(C) the discount is provided in connection with subclasses of mail consisting exclusively of mail matter of educational, cultural, scientific, or informational value; or
(D) reduction or elimination of the discount would impede the efficient operation of the Postal Service.
(A) lead to a loss of volume in the affected category or subclass of mail and reduce the aggregate contribution to the institutional costs of the Postal Service from the category or subclass subject to the discount below what it otherwise would have been if the discount had not been reduced or eliminated; or
(B) result in a further increase in the rates paid by mailers not able to take advantage of the discount.
(A) explains the Postal Service's reasons for establishing the rate;
(B) sets forth the data, economic analyses, and other information relied on by the Postal Service to justify the rate; and
(C) certifies that the discount will not adversely affect rates or services provided to users of postal services who do not take advantage of the discount rate.
(Added Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3201.)
The date of enactment of this section and the date of enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, referred to in subsecs. (a), (d)(2)(A), (3), and (f), are the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–435, which was approved Dec. 20, 2006.
A prior section 3622, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 760; Pub. L. 94–421, §10, Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1311; Pub. L. 105–241, §5, Sept. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 1573; Pub. L. 106–384, §1(a), Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1460, related to rates and fees, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3200.