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Postal Bulletin for 27 June 2013 – small update for barcoding flats

Today’s PB is here.

There are four DMM Revisions in this PB, but only one that seems likely to affect Presort mailers at all, and then only if you’re interested. In short, they are:

  • Package Simplification and Priority Mail Insurance Enhancement – “Express Mail” is being renamed to “Priority Mail Express” effective 28 July 2013, although the indicia changes will not be required until 26 January 2014; most of these changes are product name updates
  • More Leeway for Barcodes on Flats – see below
  • Clarification of Official Mail Standards – this removes some sections referring to services no longer relevant, such as the no-longer-offered service “on-site service,” and tries to clear up things with “Official Mail” like the use of Penalty Mail (and I’m not afraid to say that Penalty Mail is something I really don’t know specifically, from a Presort standpoint)
  • Refunds and Exchanges – removing “obsolete standards pertaining to postage refunds” and similar activities

So the one thing that seems to me possibly of interest to Presort mailers is the “more leeway for barcodes on flats” item. It does not appear that anything would need to be changed as a result of this amendment, but you will have the option, as of 28 July, to apply an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to an automation-compatible flat even if that’s only a “non-qualifying 5-digit or 9-digit barcode….” The old standard was for POSTNET barcodes.

A couple other things not in the bulletin might be of interest, related to coming label list changes that will take effect on July 1. Recall that as of the beginning of this calendar year the USPS started on a quarterly schedule of publishing label list facility updates. The latest updates may be used as of next Monday, July 1, and the previous facility list remains valid until the end of July. As I’ve mentioned before, the “grace period” for converting to a new list that was previously 75 days has essentially been reduced to 30 days, so once you can get your updated directories you most likely want to install them right away. We are working to have those available as early in July as we possibly can.

After this month, even if the label list is not specifically being updated for another quarter, it will be good to keep up with our monthly-posted directories. The files from the USPS include facility expiration dates, and not all those dates will be July 31! Some facilities listed in the current data will stop accepting mail as of Aug 31 or Sep 30, and each month we will be pruning additional entries out of the directory files. Your best option is to keep up with the directory file updates as they are made available.

A little more related to directory file updates – once you have Presort 8.00c.13 (Service Pack 13, or SP13 – the release supporting the new July 28 postage statements) installed, you’ll notice a name change for the ZCF directory. ZCF10_S.DIR is a new format for this directory and its introduction is related to the ownership change for Presort (we won’t be able to build a Presort directory using a set of tools owned by the previous owner!). The two ZCF directories are NOT compatible formats! In other words, don’t try to use the old ZCF10.DIR with SP13, and don’t try to use the new ZCF10_S.DIR with SP12.

In addition, there is a small change to how Presort’s current MPC directory is built. There is no format change for this directory, but the July directory will be the first one built with the 5-digit scheme (auto letter) data coming from the new L012 table instead of from the city state file. This table has been published for about 6 months or more, but it is only moving to official status in July. You shouldn’t see any change, but you might like to know you can look up that information in a published table now rather than having to subscribe to the city state file distribution to see what those scheme areas are.

That’s more than enough update for a PB issue with nothing that really affects Presort! Check back in a couple weeks for another update, and to see if there’s any new information about the USPS updates being implemented 28 July.

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