The United States Postal Service is proposing a new rule regarding what kind of merchandise can be included inside a Marketing Mail piece, which is the new name for the standard/nonprofit mail category. Mail pieces that would not comply with this new rule would have to be mailed at a different and higher rate.
Here is a summary of the proposed rule:
“The Postal Service is contemplating amendment of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®), to revise content standards for USPS Marketing Mail® letter-size and flat-size pieces regardless of level of sortation. This proposed change would limit all USPS Marketing Mail, regular and nonprofit, letter-size and flat-size, to content that is only paper-based/printed matter; no merchandise or goods will be allowed of any type regardless of “value.” All items not eligible to be sent as USPS Marketing Mail letter-size or flat-size pieces would need to shift to another product (e.g., Priority Mail®, Parcel Select®) to be mailed.”
NCDC is working in close collaboration with the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers and the DMANonProfit Federation on this matter. There are several issues in the proposed rule that are unclear and we are seeking that clarification from the USPS. We also are asking what is motivating the USPS to make this change. We have dealt with compliance issues regarding our packages meeting the specifications of postal equipment in the past and have adapted our content accordingly. Because the issue of “value” is mentioned in the proposal, we believe that there are also product concerns that higher-value merchandise should travel in trackable packages with higher postage. For the most part, we as charitable nonprofit institutions do not mail higher-value merchandise in our appeals.
Once we receive clarification from USPS on these issues, we will notify our members about our next steps and how our members can participate in addressing these issues with the postal service.
The USPS has set a 60 day response period. This gives us enough time to create appropriate strategies to address this rule.
We will keep our members informed and issue alerts and calls to action as we move forward regarding this issue.
Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation. Stay tuned!