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Proposed Rule

Authorization to Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems; Discontinued Indicia

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ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Postal Service proposes to amend the rules concerning the manufacture and distribution of postage evidencing systems to clarify that effective January 1, 2016, all postage evidencing systems (postage meters and PC Postage® products) will be required to produce Information-Based Indicia (IBI) or Intelligent Mail® Indicia (IMI) for evidence of pre-paid postage, and that indicia from noncompliant systems will not be recognized as valid postage.

DATES:

Submit all comments on or before September 11, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Payment Technology, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 3660, Washington, DC 20260-4200. Copies of all written comments will be available for inspection and photocopying between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Payment Technology office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marlo Ivey, Business Programs Specialist, Payment Technology, U.S. Postal Service, (202) 268-7613.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In 1999, the Postal Service introduced the Information Based Indicia Program (IBIP). Under IBIP, postage evidencing systems submitted for Postal Service test and evaluation were required to produce IBI—digital indicia that use a two-dimensional (2-D) barcode. In 2012, the next generation of postage evidencing was introduced through the publication of the IMI performance criteria. Both IBI and IMI contain a 2-D barcode that includes revenue security-related data elements and product and service information.

Effective January 1, 2016, all postage evidencing systems (postage meters and PC Postage products) will be required to produce IBI or IMI for evidence of pre-paid postage. Indicia from postage evidencing systems that are not IBI-compliant or IMI-compliant will not be recognized as valid after December 31, 2015. The following proposed amendment to 39 CFR part 501 is intended to clarify that noncompliant indicia will be decertified, and will not be recognized as valid after that date.

Although exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the Postal Service invites public comment on the following proposed revisions to the Code of Federal Regulations.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 501

Accordingly, the Postal Service proposes to amend 39 CFR part 501 as follows:

PART 501—AUTHORIZATION TO MANUFACTURE AND DISTRIBUTE POSTAGE EVIDENCING SYSTEMS

1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 501 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 410, 2601, 2605, Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (Pub. L. 95-452, as amended); 5 U.S.C. App. 3.

2. Add section 501.20 to read as follows:

Discontinued Postage Evidencing Indicia.

(a) Decertified indicia (evidence of pre-paid postage) are indicia that have been withdrawn by the Postal Service as valid forms of postage evidence through publication by the Postal Service in the Federal Register, or by voluntary withdrawal undertaken by the provider.

(b) Effective January 1, 2016, all Postage Evidencing Systems (postage meters and PC Postage products) will be required to produce Information-Based Indicia (IBI) or Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI) for evidence of pre-paid postage. Non-IBI and non-IMI indicia will be decertified effective January 1, 2016, and may not be used as a valid form of postage evidence. These decertified indicia will not be recognized as valid postage after December 31, 2015.

Stanley F. Mires,

Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.

[FR Doc. 2012-17067 Filed 7-12-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7710-12-P