Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates


DMM Revision: Optional Preparation for FSS Zones When Combining Mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals Flats

Effective April 1, 2012, the Postal Service™ will revise Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 705.15 to provide an option for mailers authorized to combine mailings of Standard Mail® and Periodicals flats to also prepare these mailings in accordance with the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) preparation standards under 705.14. The Postal Service also will revise DMM 708.7.1 to describe the new optional endorsement line (OEL) standards when these two mailing options are used together.

Mailers using this new option will place Standard Mail and Periodicals flats from all qualifying price categories within the mailing into a separate combined pool for each individual 5-digit FSS-scheme combination. Mailers will then prepare bundles of uniform size from the pieces in each pool. All pieces for each combined mailpiece pool must be prepared in bundles of similar height (3 inches minimum to 6.5 inches maximum) and secured according to current bundling standards. Except for one overflow bundle that may be under the minimum height, all bundles within each mailpiece pool must be of uniform size. Although overflow bundles are permitted, the Postal Ser­vice encourages “leveling” (adjusting bundle heights within a presort destination) of the bundles within each mailpiece pool to avoid overflow bundles. Bundles must be placed on pallets to form layers of consistent thickness, and bundles of nonuniform thickness must be counter-stacked on pal­lets in accordance with current standards.

Each mailpiece must be identified with an “FSS MIX COMAIL” 5-digit scheme presort optional endorsement line (OEL), and not the OEL required under DMM 705.15.2.2. Mail prepared under this option must be placed on FSS sort plan or FSS facility sort pallets in accordance with DMM 705.14.2.2. All residual volume must be pallet­ized under 705.15.4.1. There will be no sacking option when preparing mailpieces to FSS zones for combined mailings of Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats.

Standard Mail flats prepared under this option will be priced in accordance with the standards in DMM 705.14. Periodicals flats will be priced in accordance with DMM 705.14.2 and 705.15.1.

Mailers are reminded that there will not be an option to form area distribution center (ADC) pallets or to dropship to ADCs when mailing under an authorization to combine Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats. As a result, Peri­odicals publications included in combined mailings will not have access to destination ADC (DADC) prices.

Combined mailings of Standard Mail flats and Periodi­cals flats will be processed as Standard Mail; the Periodi­cals mailpieces included within these combined mailings may receive deferred handling and will be subject to the USPS® service standards applicable to Standard Mail.

These mailings must also be identified as Standard Mail when scheduling dropship appointments in the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST®) system. Mailers combining Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats must populate field 10, “Product or Publication Title or Names,” of PS Form 8125, Plant-Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) Verification and Clearance, and/or field 11b, “Product Name/ID,” of PS Form 8125C, Plant-Verified Drop Ship­ment (PVDS) CONSOLIDATED Verification and Clearance, with “MIX COMAIL” when preparing dropship documenta­tion for these mailings.

Combined mailings enhance operational efficiencies within postal processing by allowing mailers to create bun­dles that can be placed on pallets, rather than in sacks, if the classes had been prepared separately. Allowing these combined mailings to be prepared under DMM 705.14 will provide further benefits to mailers by providing presort pricing to more pieces in a mailing and will allow the Postal Service to improve delivery efficiency and better control costs.

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

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700 Special Standards

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705 Advanced Preparation and Special Postage Payment Systems

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15.0 Combining Standard Mail Flats and Periodicals Flats

15.1 Basic Standards

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[Add a new 15.1.11 as follows:]

15.1.11 Optional Preparation for FSS Zones

Mailers authorized to combine mailings of Standard Mail flats and Periodicals flats may optionally prepare these mailings under 14.0 when the mailing includes pieces des­tinating within one or more of the FSS zones in L006, in accordance with the following:

a. All pieces must be barcoded.

b. All bundles must be placed directly on pallets. Sack­ing is not permitted.

c. All mailpieces must be machinable in accordance with 301.3.0.

d. Each mailpiece must be identified with a “SCH 5-DIGIT FSS MIX COMAIL” optional endorsement line (OEL), including the correct ZIP Code listed in L006, Column B, in accordance with Exhibit 708.7.1.1. The OEL described in 2.2 must not be used with mailpiec­es prepared under this option.

e. Pallets prepared to an individual FSS sort plan or to an FSS facility sort level must be prepared under 14.3.2, except that the contents line (line 2) must in­clude the “STD/PER” description instead of the “STD” description, and must include “MIX COMAIL” as the final element of line 2.

f. All residual pallet levels must be prepared in accor­dance with 4.1f through 4.1j.

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708 Technical Specifications

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7.0 Optional Endorsement Lines (OELs)

7.1 OEL Use

7.1.1 Basic Standards

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Exhibit 7.1.1 OEL Formats


Sortation Level

OEL Example

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Additional required human-readable text for use with com­bined mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals flats:

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[Add a new second FSS preparation OEL description as fol­lows:]


5-Digit Scheme (FSS-compatible flats preparation)

* * * * * * SCH 5-DIGIT 12345 FSS MIX COMAIL

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7.1.8 Required OEL Use in Combined Mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals Flats

***The following additional standards also apply:

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[Add a new 7.1.8c as follows:]

c. When combined mailings of Standard Mail and Peri­odicals flats are prepared to FSS zones under 705.15.1.11, each mailpiece must bear a “SCH 5-Digit FSS MIX COMAIL” human-readable text, in­cluding the correct ZIP code listed in Column B of L006, as described in Exhibit 7.1.1.

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next monthly update of the online version of the DMM, which is available via Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com.