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November 10, 2009




Working through the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee, the Postal Service and the mailing industry have agreed to set an 80 percent threshold for barcode readability verifications for letter and flat mailings using Intelligent Mail barcodes.  

This change is effective Nov. 30, 2009. The threshold since July 2009 was 70 percent. Mailings that are verified and that have a barcode readability score of below 80 percent will not be eligible for automation or Full-Service prices. Further agreement was reached to revise the barcode readability verification threshold to 90 percent effective March 15, 2010.  

Similar to the POSTNET barcode, mailers are achieving very good readability scores on the Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) for Intelligent Mail barcodes. MERLIN scores for the period Oct. 3, 2009, to Nov. 2, 2009, are reflected below and will be posted on the RIBBS website at Monthly updates on MERLIN readability scores will be posted on RIBBS.

Readability scores on the Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) for Intelligent Mail barcodes - Oct. 3, 2009, to Nov. 2, 2009

Barcode readability verifications are routinely performed on automation price mailings using MERLIN. Samples from the mailing are processed on MERLIN and evaluated for mail preparation including presort and barcode readability quality. Based on verification results additional postage may be calculated. Mailers may elect to pay additional postage or withdraw a mailing that fails verification standards. 



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