Shaped-based pricing is introduced with separate prices for letters, large envelopes (flats), and packages (small packets). This change aligns the price structure with that for (domestic) First-Class Mail service implemented May 2007. The weight limit for letters will be 3.5 ounces, and the weight limit for large envelopes and packages is 64 ounces. The nonmachinable surcharge will now apply to all nonmachinable letters regardless of weight (the same as domestic First-Class Mail letters). The total number of country price groups is expanded to nine — aligning the First-Class Mail International price groups with Priority Mail International™ and Express Mail International® services.
As with (domestic) First-Class Mail service, we will have separate First-Class Mail International price categories for each mail shape: Postcards, letters, flats (large envelopes) and packages (small packets). Unlike domestic First-Class Mail service, however, the price for postcards and 1-ounce letters continue to be priced the same to the individual country. Determining the processing (price) category of a mailpiece (letter, flat or package) depends solely on the physical dimensions of the piece without regard to address placement. When initially measuring a mailpiece to determine the price category, the longest of the three dimensions is generally considered the length. If the mailpiece is a letter, then consider the placement of the delivery address to determine the length of the mailpiece, confirm that it has a minimum length of 5-1/2 inches, and determine if it is a machinable or nonmachinable letter because of aspect ratio.
Except for the minimum size for mailing, 5-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches, and the maximum weight for large envelopes and packages, all other standards for First-Class Mail International service are the same as domestic First-Class Mail service. Notice 3-S, First-Class Mail Shape-Based Pricing Template, it can be used for First-Class Mail International items to determine the maximum physical size for letters and flats as well as to check the aspect ratio of letters. Notice 3-A, Letter-Size Mail Dimensional Standards Template, can be used to determine maximum physical size for letter-size pieces as well as to check the aspect ratio.