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[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 231 (Thursday, December 1, 2011)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Pages 74704-74708]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2011-30879]

 

POSTAL SERVICE

 

39 CFR Part 111

 Folded Self-Mailers and Unenveloped Mailpieces

 

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]) 201.3.14, to

provide new standards for folded self-mailers (FSM) and unenveloped

mailpieces that are mailed at automation or machinable prices. To avoid

confusion with revised standards for FSM mailpieces having loose

enclosures, the Postal Service renames mailpieces that are designed to

carry discs, and expands the standards that apply to tabs to include

folded self-mailers.

 

DATES: Effective January 5, 2013.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Vance (202) 268-7595 or Susan

Thomas (202) 268-8069.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 15, 2011, the Postal Service

published a Federal Register proposed rule (76 FR 50438-50441) for

changes to the design and construction of folded self-mailers and

unenvelopedmailpieces that are mailed at automation or machinable

prices. The proposed standards were issued after two years of

collaborative work with mailers to analyze and test a wide variety of

folded self-mailer letter-size designs. In response to the proposed

standards, the Postal Service received 51 comments. Many of those who

commented provided input on more than one aspect of the proposal. Each

comment was given consideration and modifications were made to the

proposed standards when possible. This final rule will be adopted based

on our proposed rule with only minor revisions. These standards do not

apply to cards, envelopes, booklet style letters, or mailpieces

designed to carry discs.

 

General

 

    The final rule includes DMM recommendations for design elements and

sealing methods for FSMs. To avoid confusion about the types of

mailpieces included in this change, the Postal Service renames

mailpieces that are designed to carry discs in 201.3.4. To simplify the

requirements that apply to tabs that can be used to seal unenveloped

letter-sizedmailpieces, DMM 201.3.11 is modified to include folded

self-mailers. The final rule also includes recommended revisions to the

proposed requirements based on observations of a wide variety of FSMs

tested over the past several years.

Although the effective date of these revisions is not until January

5, 2013, we encourage all customers who prepare FSMs mailed at

automation or machinable prices to begin conversion to these design

concepts as soon as possible.

 

Definition

 

    A folded self-mailer is formed of panels that are created when one

or more unbound sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to make

a letter-size mailpiece. The number of sheets in the mailpiece and the

number of the times the sheets are folded determine the number of

panels. Sheets that are bound by one or more staples are not considered

folded self-mailers even when all other preparation recommendations are

met.

 

Physical Characteristics

 

    The maximum height for all automation and machinable FSMs is 6

inches and the maximum length is 10\1/2\ inches, with a maximum

thickness of \1/4\ inch. The maximum weight of three ounces is

applicable to all mailpieces prepared without envelopes.

    The paper basis weight for folded self-mailers is based on book-

grade paper unless otherwise specified and varies depending on the

total weight of the mailpiece and/or optional elements that are

incorporated in the design. The final fold must be at the bottom for

all designs except oblong style pieces. For oblong-style FSMs the final

fold is on the leading edge. Tabs cannot be placed on the bottom open

edge of an oblong-style FSM.

A minimum of two tabs will be required to seal all FSMs when tabs are used as the sealing method. Tabs used as seals may not have perforations. Glue may be used as an alternate sealing

 

[[Page 74705]]

 

method when applied according to the standards for FSMs.

After January 5, 2013, folded self-mailers that do not meet these

requirements will be assessed postage as follows: First-Class

Mail[supreg] and Standard Mail[supreg] customers will pay nonmachinable

prices; Periodicals mailers will pay nonbarcoded prices.

 

Overview of Comments

 

    Eleven commenters recommended that the proposed standards be

abandoned and asked that no changes to the existing mailpiece format be

made at this time. The commenters cited the economy and the lack of

equipment capable of producing the types of designs expressed in the

proposed standards. Commenters were also concerned about time and cost

incurred for mailpieces that may already be designed and produced, but

not mailed. Many new formats and sealing requirements not defined in

current standards for FSM are added. To accommodate the mailing

industry, the Postal Service will delay adoption of the new standards

until January 5, 2013. This postponement will provide enough time for

mailers to complete outstanding contracts for mailpieces that do not

meet the new standards and will allow those pieces to be entered as

automation compatible folded self-mailers prior to the effective date.

    Mailers entering FSMs before the effective date are encouraged to

design and prepare their mailpieces using these standards.

    Four commenters expressed concern regarding the Postal Service's

proposal to require an additional tab on mailpieces weighing more than

one ounce. As pieces get thicker and heavier it becomes more difficult

for those pieces to pass through processing equipment. The mailpieces

do not retain their integrity and cause jams and damage to the mail and

processing equipment. Heavier weight FSMs experience more stress on the

leading edge, especially when it is not a folded edge. An additional

tab placed on the lower leading edge improves efficient feed capability

and serves as added protection for the mailpiece during processing. The

additional tab also maintains closure as pieces are handled and

processed multiple times. Until January 5, 2013, three tabs are

recommended to maintain sufficient sealing and to provide additional

protection for heavier mailpieces and specific design formats.

    Three commenters asked why it is necessary to limit the number of

panels within an FSM. The number of panels affects the shape,

thickness, and ability to create crisp folds required to maintain a

streamlined shape. It also reduces the amount of stress placed on

closures, and maintains the integrity of a mailpiece from acceptance to

delivery. However, in order to provide increased options and ability to

qualify for automation letter prices, the Postal Service will increase

the allowed panel count to 12 for FSMs constructed of non-newsprint

paper. Additionally, to accommodate the common practice of including

half-pages in quarter-fold pieces made with newsprint paper, we

increase the panel count for quarter-fold FSMs to a maximum of 24

panels.

    Seven commenters expressed concern about the 10\1/2\ inch-maximum

length requirement. They expressed concern because smaller sizes will

decrease the amount of space available to print advertising in a single

mailpiece, and in some cases stock mailpieces will need to be

redesigned to conform to the new size requirements. The FSM study

revealed that, similar to booklets, mailpieces that exceeded 9 inches

in length experienced a decline in machinability with significantly

higher rates of damage and jams. The Postal Service maintains the

proposed maximum length of 10\1/2\ inches to balance the need for

machinability with the customer's need for the maximum amount of usable

space.

    Eight commenters questioned the thickness standards of .05 and .09

inches. USPS[supreg] revises the language to clarify that these

thickness standards apply only to interior loose enclosures (single

sheets that are not captured by the folds) and attachments. The

standard for maximum thickness of a finished FSM letter is \1/4\ inch,

the same maximum thickness for all letter-size mail. Additionally, we

allow the insertion of remittance envelopes, meeting all requirements

for enclosed envelopes within automation letters, as enclosures when

the envelopes are incorporated into the first (manufacturing) fold of

the quarter-fold mailpiece format.

    Two commenters asked that tabs made of material other than paper

and tabs with perforations be used as seals for FSMs. To accommodate

this request, the current standards that describe the types of

materials used to manufacture tabs are expanded to permit their use for

both booklets and FSMs. Tabs with perforations may not be used as a seals.

    Nine commenters asked for clarification of tab placement and the

number of tabs required. Section 201.3.14.4 is revised to clarify

sealingmailpieces using tabs. Studies showed that sealing FSMs with

one tab did not provide sufficient closure to withstand the rigors of

automation processing for letter-size mail. The requirement to seal

with a minimum of two tabs is retained.

    Two commenters asked to use glue to seal the lead and trail edge

instead of gluing along the top edge when the final fold is the bottom

edge. We have revised and clarified the language to allow this as an

additional sealing option.

    One commenter suggested that the paper basis weight is unreasonably

high. The basis weight of paper is one of the major factors that affect

the machinability of a mailpiece. Pieces prepared with lower paper

weight were unable to withstand the rigors of automation processing,

resulting in higher rates of damage and jams and a diversion to more

costly flat sorter and manual processing methods. We retain the paper

basis weights as proposed.

    One commenter asked about the perforation cut-tie ratio. The

necessary cut to tie ratio is based on many correlative factors. A

ratio that provides enough strength to prevent premature breaking of

the perforation tie is needed. This need is balanced by the necessity

of preparing a perforated line that can be opened by the recipient

without causing unintended damage to the mailpiece. Due to the

significant variation in cut-to-tie ratios of mailpieces currently in

themailstream, we modified the proposed standard and will allow a 1 to

1 cut-tie ratio for all perforated lines. The Postal Service will

monitor the performance of mailpieces prepared with perforations and if

the 1 to 1 ratio does not prove sufficient for machine processing, we

will modify the standards to require a higher cut to tie ratio.

Customers who have mailpieces that do not meet this reduced standard

may ask that the FSMs be sent to the Pricing and Classification Service

Center for review.

    Three commenters asked for clarification regarding the need to

print address information in a mid-to-left position. Section

201.3.14.10 is introduced as a recommendation for folded self-mailers

produced on uncoated paper. Testing revealed higher rates of

delamination and peel-back (cosmetic damage) to the lead edge of

uncoated (raw) paper. This type of damage often exceeded \1/2\ inch in

length and impeded the ability of letter sorting machines to read

address elements.

    With this final rule, the Postal Service implements requirements

and options that describe the construction of folded self-mailers and

otherunenvelopedmailpieces. These standards allow significant design

flexibility while maintaining mailpiece automation compatibility and

address most current and proposed designs. Mailers

 

[[Page 74706]]

 

designing and mailing FSMs before the effective date are encouraged to

preparemailpieces using these standards.

    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.

 

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

 

Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

 

    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. 692-

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 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)

 

* * * * *

 

200 Commercial Letters and Cards

 

201 Physical Standards

 

* * * * *

 

3.0 Physical Standards for Machinable and Automation Letters and Cards

 

* * * * *

 

3.4 Standards for Letter-Size Pieces Containing Discs (CDs or DVDs)

 

* * * * *

    [Revise the heading and the introductory paragraph of 3.4.4 as

follows:]

 

3.4.4 Dimensions and Shape Standards for Automation-Compatible

Unenveloped Disc Carriers:

 

    Each unenveloped disc carrier must meet the basic standards for

machinable letters in 1.0 and have the following characteristics:

* * * * *

 

3.4.5 Unacceptable Characteristics for Automation-Compatible Letter-

Size Pieces With Discs

 

    [Revise the introductory paragraph of 3.4.5 as follows:]

    Discs in letter-sized envelopes and unenveloped disc carriers may

not be enclosed in:

* * * * *

 

3.5 Maximum Weight, Machinable and Automation Letters and Cards

 

    The following maximum weight limits apply:

* * * * *

    [Revise item 3.5b as follows:]

    b. Booklets and unenveloped disc carriers--3 ounces.

* * * * *

 

3.11 Tabs, Tape, and Glue

 

    [Revise the introductory paragraph of 3.11 as follows:]

Tabs may be made of paper, translucent paper, vinyl or plastic. Cellophane tape may also be used as a closure when the saw-toothed cutedge is place perpendicular to the edge being sealed. Tabs must notcontain perforations. For tab size and placement for folded self-mailers see 3.14; for booklets see 3.15. Tab placement is subject to\1/4\ inch variance in either direction. The following standards also

apply:

* * * * *

 

3.14 Folded Self-Mailers

 

    [Delete current text of 3.14, including the exhibit, in its

entirety and replace with the following:]

 

3.14.1 Definition

 

    A folded self-mailer is formed of panels that are created when one

or more unbound sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to make

a letter-size mailpiece. The number of panels is determined by the

number of sheets in the mailpiece and the number of times the sheets

are folded.

 

3.14.2 Physical Characteristics

 

    Folded self-mailers have the following characteristics:

    a. Height: A minimum of 3\1/2\ inches and a maximum of 6 inches.

    b. Length: A minimum of 5 inches and a maximum of 10\1/2\ inches.

    c. Thickness: A minimum of 0.007 inch; (0.009 inch if the height

exceeds 4\1/4\ inches or if the length exceeds 6 inches); the maximum

thickness is \1/4\ inch.

    d. Maximum Weight: 3 ounces.

e. Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite

sides.

    f. Aspect ratio: within 1.3 to 2.5 (see 3.7).

    g. Maximum number of panels: 12, except under 3.14.2h.

    h. Quarter-folded self-mailers made of a minimum of 100 pound book

grade paper may have as few as 4 panels. Quarter-folded self-mailers

made of 55 pound or greater newsprint must have at least 8 panels and

may contain up to 24 panels.

 

3.14.3 Panels

 

    Panels are created when a sheet of paper is folded. Each two-sided

section (front and back) created by the fold is considered one panel.

When a folded self-mailer is made of multiple sheets, multiply the

number of sheets by the number of panels created when folding a single

sheet to determine the total number of panels. The following conditions

apply:

    a. External panels created by folding must be equal or nearly equal

in size.

    b. The final folded panel creates the back (non-address) side of

themailpiece. The open edge of the back panel must be at the top or

within 1 inch of the top or trailing edge of the mailpiece.

    c. The final folded edge must be the bottom of a folded self-mailer

unless prepared as an oblong. The final folded edge of an oblong folded

self-mailer must be the leading (right) edge.

    d. Internal shorter panels must be covered by a full-size panel,

and count toward the maximum number of panels.

    e. Folding methods and the subsequent number of panels created when

folding a single sheet of paper are:

    1. Bi-fold: Folded once forming two panels.

    2. Tri-fold: Folded twice forming three panels.

    3. Oblong: Paper folded once to form two rectangular panels with

one elongated dimension and parallel opposite sides. The final folded

edge is on the leading (shorter) edge.

    4. Quarter-fold: Folded twice with each fold at a right angle

(perpendicular) to the preceding fold. One sheet of paper quarter-

folded creates four panels.

    f. Flaps are formed when the final exterior panel is folded over

and affixed to the unaddressed side of the mailpiece. Flaps must meet

the following conditions:

    1. The folded edge of a flap must be flush with the top edge of the

mailpiece and end one inch or more above the bottom edge, except under

3.14.3f4. Flaps must be at least 1\1/2\ inches when measured from the

top of the mailpiece.

    2. Flaps must be secured by a sealing method in 3.14.4.

    3. Flaps with die-cut shapes must be firmly secured with tabs, glue

line, glue spots or elongated glue lines. A \1/8\ inch wide continuous

glue line that seals the contour of the die-cut is strongly

recommended.

    4. Flaps on oblong pieces must be at least 5 inches long at the

longest point when measured from the leading edge and must end more

than one inch from the trailing edge.

 

[[Page 74707]]

 

    g. Flaps and pockets prepared within folded self-mailers to

stabilize enclosures are not considered to be panels.

 

3.14.4 Sealing Methods

 

Folded self-mailers must be sealed using tabs or glue under the

following conditions:

    a. Tabs must meet the standards for tabs in 3.11. The size and

number of tabs required is determined by the weight of the mailpiece

and optional design elements as follows:

    1. To seal folded self-mailers that weigh up to 3 ounces created in

bi-fold, tri-fold formats, pieces with multiple interior folds and a

final fold on the bottom, and quarter-fold mailpieces that weigh one

ounce or less, place two nonperforated tabs on the top edge,one within

1-inch from the leading and another within 1-inch from the trailing

edge, or place one tab on the leading and another on the trailing edge,

both placed within 1 inch from the top.

    2. To seal quarter-fold mailpiecesthat weigh more than 1 ounce up

to 3 ounces, affix two tabs, one on the leading edge and one on the

trailing edge within 1 inch from the top, and affix a third tab on the

lower leading edge \1/2\ inch from the bottom (see 3.14.5).

    3. To seal oblong pieces that weigh up to 3 ounces, affix one tab

in the center of the top edge and one tab in the center of the trailing

edge (preferred) or affix both tabs on the trailing edge within 1 inch

of the top and bottom edges. Tabs may not be placed on the bottom of an

oblong piece.

    b. Glue must be positioned within \1/4\ inch of the open edges and

be placed opposite the final fold or on both the leading and trailing

edges when the final panel fold is on the bottom. Apply glue by one of

the following methods:

    1. Continuous glue lines at least \1/8\ inch wide (0.125 inches).

    2. Three or four glue spots at least \3/8\ inch (0.375 inch) in

diameter.

    3. Three or four elongated glue lines. Seal folded self-mailers

that weigh up to 1 ounce with lines at least \1/2\ inch long. Seal

folded self-mailers that weigh more than 1 ounce with elongated glue

lines that are each at least 1 inch long and \1/8\ inch wide, or with

glue lines that are each at least \1/2\ inch long and \1/4\ inch wide.

    4. Distribute glue spots and elongated glue lines evenly along the

sealed edge(s).

    5. Quarter-fold self-mailers must be sealed with tabs.

 

3.14.5 Paper Weight and Sealing Requirements

 

    All references in 3.0 to paper basis weight are for book-grade

paper unless otherwise stated (see 3.2). Interior optional elements

such as attachments or enclosures are not subject to the host piece's

book-grade paper basis weight standards. When multiple optional design

elements are incorporated in one mailpiece, the standards for the

design element with the highest paper weight and corresponding sealing

methods apply. Folded self-mailer paper weights and sealing methods

are:

    a. Folded self-mailers, (except quarter-fold mailpieces) as

described in 3.14.3e1 through 3.14.3e3:

    1. Up to 1 ounce: 70 pound paper sealed witha continuous glue

line, three glue spots; or elongated glue lines under 3.14.4b; or two

1-inch tabs under 3.14.4a1 and 3.14.4a3.

    2. Over 1 ounce: 80 pound paper sealedwith a continuous glue line,

four glue spots; or four elongated glue lines under 3.14.4b; or two

1\1/2\-inch tabs under 3.14.4a1 and 3.14.4a3.

b. Quarter fold self-mailers as described in 3.14.3e4:

    1. Up to 1 ounce: 70 pound paper sealed with two 1-inch tabs.

    2. Over 1 ounce: 80 pound paper sealed with three 1\1/2\-inch tabs.

    3. Newsprint: 55 pound minimum paper required. Seal pieces one

ounce or less with two 1\1/2\-inch tabs and those weighing over one

ounce with three 1\1/2\-inch tabs, see 3.14.4a2.

    c. Optional design elements: Die-cut openings and perforated panes.

Folded self-mailers with die-cut openings in the exterior panels as

described in 3.14.6 or perforated panes as described in 3.14.7 must

meet the following:

    1. Up to 1 ounce: 100 pound paper sealedwith glue under 3.14.4b,

or two 1\1/2\-inch tabs under 3.14.4a1 and 3.14.4a2.

    2. Over 1 ounce: 120 pound paper sealed with glue under 3.14.4b, or

two 2-inch tabs under 3.14.4a1 and 3.14.4a2 or three 1\1/2\-inch tabs

under 3.14.4a3.

    d. Optional design elements: Loose enclosures or attachments. For

folded self-mailers that have loose enclosures as described in 3.14.8

or attachments as described in 3.14.9, the following applies:

    1. Up to 1 ounce: 80 pound paper sealed with glue under 3.14.4b or

two 1\1/2\-inch tabs under 3.14.4a1 and 3.14.4a2.

    2. Over 1 ounce: 100 pound paper sealed with glue under 3.14.4b, or

two 2-inch tabs under 3.14.4a1 and 3.14.4a2 or three 1\1/2\-inch tabs

under 3.14.4a3.

 

3.14.6 Die-Cut Elements

 

    Folded self-mailers may be produced with two types of die-cut

elements in the exterior panels: Address windows or die-cut reveal.

Die-cut openings may not be used to create die-cut punched holes

(openings in the same location on all layers and panels so that there

is a hole through the entire mailpiece). Prepare die-cut elements as

follows:

    a. Die-cut address windows (used to convey address information)

must meet standards for window envelopes under 601.6.4 and meet the

following additional conditions:

    1. The maximum window size is 4 inches long by 2 inches high.

    2. When an address window appears on a mailpiece, no other die-cut

openings may be made on the exterior panels.

    b. Die-cut openings used to reveal the contents of the mailpiece

must be:

    1. Limited to two on only one external panel.

    2. Either circular with a 2-inch maximum diameter or rectangular

with a maximum of 2 inches long by 1\1/2\ inches high with slightly

rounded \1/4\ inch radius corners.

    3. Placed at least 1\1/2\ inches from all edges of the mailpiece if

on the addressed side.

    4. Placed at least 5 inches from the leading edge and 1\1/2\ inches

from all other edges if on the non-addressed side.

    5. Positioned at least 1\1/2\ inches apart when two or more die-cut

openings are used.

    c. A single \1/2\-inch semi-circular die-cut thumb notch may be

placed on the trailing edge of the addressed or unaddressed outer

panel.

 

3.14.7 Perforated Pull-Open Strips and Pop-Out Panes

 

    Folded self-mailers may be prepared with strips called panes that

are pulled open to reveal the contents. These design elements must be

placed only on the unaddressed side of the mailpiece and may be

rectangular, circular, or oval shaped. Perforations, a row of small

holes punched in a sheet of paper so that a section can be torn easily,

are used to create pull-open strips, pop-out, or pop-open panes subject

to the following requirements:

    a. Two parallel perforated lines must be spaced at least \1/2\ inch

apart creating a pull open strip. Position perforated strips parallel

to the height of the mailpiece at least 5 inches from the leading edge

and 2 inches from the trailing edge. Position perforated strips

parallel to the length of the mailpiece at least 1 inch from the top.

Perforations

 

[[Page 74708]]

 

have a 1mm cut (max)/1mm tie (min) ratio.

    b. Pop-out panes with perforations around the outer edges have a

maximum size of 4 inches long by 4 inches high. The following

conditions apply:

    1. Place panes at least 1 inch from any edge.

    2. Use 1mm cut (max)/1mm tie (min) ratio.

    3. When using two panes, space them at least 1 inch apart.

    4. Address elements may not appear in perforated openings.

    c. Pop-open panes with perforations on three sides must meet the

following conditions:

    1. The outer edges of the pull-open panel are a maximum of 4 inches

long by 4 inches high.

    2. If prepared with multiple panes, they must be spaced at least 1

inch apart.

    3. Panes must be placed at least 1 inch from all edges.

    4. Perforation patterns have 1 mm cut (max)/1 mm tie (min) ratio.

    d. Perforated panes may not be prepared on pieces with die-cuts or

on any mailpiece made of newsprint.

 

3.14.8 Loose Enclosures

 

    Folded self-mailers with loose enclosures must be securely sealed

to ensure containment of the enclosed material and prevent excessive

enclosure shift during processing. Loose enclosures must be made of

paper and must meet the following conditions:

    a. Must be contained securely within the mailpiece.

    b. Must be inserted in an interior pocket or secured by any method

that prevents excessive shift during normal handling. Pockets are not

counted as panels.

    c. Folded self-mailers with die-cut openings may contain enclosures

only if the inserted material is larger than the die-cut opening.

    d. Enclosed material does not exceed the maximum thickness of:

1. 0.05 inch thick for mailpiece weights up to 1 ounce.

    2. 0.09 inch thick for mailpiece weights over 1 ounce.

    e. One empty reply envelope may be inserted within the first fold

(manufacturing fold) of a quarter-folded self-mailer and must be

secured within a fold to prevent separation during normal handing.

 

3.14.9 Attachments

 

    Attachments must be secured on the outside of a folded self-mailer

under 3.13. Attachments must be secured within a folded self-mailer

under the following conditions:

    a. The attachment is affixed to an inside panel and secured to it

at least \1/2\ inch from any edge.

    b. The attached material may not exceed a maximum thickness of:

1. 0.05 inch thick for mailpieces weighing up to 1 ounce.

2. 0.09 inch thick for mailpieces weighing over 1 ounce.

    c. Multiple attachments must be positioned so that the host

mailpiece remains nearly uniform in thickness.

    d. When multiple attachments are affixed to separate panels in

stacked alignment, the combined thickness of the attachments must be no

greater than the maximum thickness in 3.14.9b.

    e. When multiple attachments are affixed adjacent to each other

across the length of a mailpiece, the thickest attachment must be no

greater than the maximum thickness in 3.14.9b.

    f. Folded self-mailers with die-cut openings may contain

attachments if the inserted material is larger than the die-cut

opening.

    g. Quarter-fold self-mailers may have only one internal attachment

not exceeding 0.012 inch thick. The attachment must be secured at least

\1/2\ inch from all edges.

 

3.14.10 Addressing

 

    When folded self-mailers are prepared with uncoated paper, printing

addresses in a center or left-justified position within the optical

character reader (OCR) area under 2.1 is recommended.

    [Renumber current 3.15 through 3.17 as new 3.16 through 3.18 and

add new 3.15 as follows:]

 

3.15 Other UnenvelopedMailpieces

 

3.15.1 Open-Sleeve Style Letter-Size Mailpieces

 

    Open-sleeve style letter-size mailpieces consists of two

symmetrical horizontal panels sealed together along the top and bottom

edges or as a bi-fold that has a non-addressed panel permanently sealed

to an inner flap along the top edge. Open-sleeve style mailpieces must

meet the following conditions:

    a. Join panels using \1/8\ (0.125) inch continuous glue lines.

    b. If flaps are used, they must be a minimum of at least 1\1/2\

inches wide created as inner flaps adhered at the leading and trailing

edges to the panel from which the flap is formed.

    c. All paper basis weight requirements in 3.14.5d must be met.

    d. Matter prepared within open-sleeve style mailpieces must meet

the standards in 3.14.8 or 3.14.9b through 3.14.9f.

 

3.15.2 Letter-Size MailpiecesWith Tear-Off Strips

 

    When letter-size mailpieces have tear-off strips on the leading

and/or trailing edge, any unfolded edges must be sealed with an

adhesive (glue) or by a cohesive (pressure seal) method. A cohesive

seal requires two fixative patterns placed on two separate surfaces

that are compressed to form a bond. A perforated horizontal line that

runs between and joins the leading and trailing edge perforation lines

is permitted. Mailpieces with sealed sides must meet the following

conditions.

    a. Be constructed of a minimum of 60 pound paper.

    b. Tear-off strips may be up to \9/16\ inch (0.5625) wide.

    c. Tear lines (single lines of perforations) on pieces that weigh 1

ounce or less; recommended minimum cut/tie pattern of 1 mm cut (max)/1

mm tie (min) ratio or equivalent.

    d. Tear lines (single lines of perforations) on pieces that weigh

more than 1 ounce; minimum cut/tie pattern of 1 mm cut/2 mm tie (min)

ratio or equivalent.

* * * * *

    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. 2011-30879 Filed 11-30-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7710-12-P

 

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