[USC02] 39 USC PART IV, CHAPTER 36, SUBCHAPTER I: PROVISIONS RELATING TO MARKET-DOMINANT PRODUCTS
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

39 USC PART IV, CHAPTER 36, SUBCHAPTER I: PROVISIONS RELATING TO MARKET-DOMINANT PRODUCTS
From Title 39—POSTAL SERVICEPART IV—MAIL MATTERCHAPTER 36—POSTAL RATES, CLASSES, AND SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER I—PROVISIONS RELATING TO MARKET-DOMINANT PRODUCTS


Editorial Notes

Prior Provisions

A prior subchapter I of this chapter consisted of sections 3601 to 3604, prior to amendment by Pub. L. 109–435, title VI, §601(a)(2), (3), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3238, 3239, which struck out the subchapter heading "POSTAL RATE COMMISSION" and sections 3601 and 3602 and renumbered sections 3603 and 3604 as sections 503 and 504 of this title, respectively, and transferred those sections to chapter 5 of this title.

Section 3601, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 759; Pub. L. 94–421, §3(a), Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1304; Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §708(c), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1273, related to establishment of the Postal Rate Commission.

Section 3602, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 759, related to terms of office of the Commissioners of the Postal Rate Commission.

Amendments

2006Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(c), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3205, redesignated subchapter II of this chapter as this subchapter and substituted "PROVISIONS RELATING TO MARKET-DOMINANT PRODUCTS" for "PERMANENT RATES AND CLASSES OF MAIL" in subchapter heading.

§3621. Applicability; definitions

(a) Applicability.—This subchapter shall apply with respect to—

(1) first-class mail letters and sealed parcels;

(2) first-class mail cards;

(3) periodicals;

(4) standard mail;

(5) single-piece parcel post;

(6) media mail;

(7) bound printed matter;

(8) library mail;

(9) special services; and

(10) single-piece international mail,


subject to any changes the Postal Regulatory Commission may make under section 3642.

(b) Rule of Construction.—Mail matter referred to in subsection (a) shall, for purposes of this subchapter, be considered to have the meaning given to such mail matter under the mail classification schedule.

(Added Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3200.)


Editorial Notes

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3621, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 760, authorized the Governors to fix rates and classes, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3200.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Ratemaking Limitations

Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §704(b)(2), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1270, provided that:

"(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), rates of postage may not be established, under subchapter II [now I] of chapter 36 of title 39, United States Code, in a manner designed to allow the United States Postal Service to receive through revenues any portion of the additional revenues (referred to in section 2401(d) of such title, as amended by paragraph (1)(E)) for which amounts are authorized to be appropriated under such section 2401(d).

"(B) Exception.—If Congress fails to appropriate an amount authorized under section 2401(d) of title 39, United States Code (as amended by paragraph (1)(E)), rates for the various classes of mail may be adjusted in accordance with the provisions of subchapter II [now I] of chapter 36 of such title (excluding section 3627 thereof) such that the resulting increase in revenues will equal the amount that Congress so failed to appropriate."

§3622. Modern rate regulation

(a) Authority Generally.—The Postal Regulatory Commission shall, within 18 months after the date of enactment of this section, by regulation establish (and may from time to time thereafter by regulation revise) a modern system for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products.

(b) Objectives.—Such system shall be designed to achieve the following objectives, each of which shall be applied in conjunction with the others:

(1) To maximize incentives to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

(2) To create predictability and stability in rates.

(3) To maintain high quality service standards established under section 3691.

(4) To allow the Postal Service pricing flexibility.

(5) To assure adequate revenues, including retained earnings, to maintain financial stability.

(6) To reduce the administrative burden and increase the transparency of the ratemaking process.

(7) To enhance mail security and deter terrorism.

(8) To establish and maintain a just and reasonable schedule for rates and classifications, however the objective under this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the Postal Service from making changes of unequal magnitude within, between, or among classes of mail.

(9) To allocate the total institutional costs of the Postal Service appropriately between market-dominant and competitive products.


(c) Factors.—In establishing or revising such system, the Postal Regulatory Commission shall take into account—

(1) the value of the mail service actually provided each class or type of mail service to both the sender and the recipient, including but not limited to the collection, mode of transportation, and priority of delivery;

(2) the requirement that each class of mail or type of mail service bear the direct and indirect postal costs attributable to each class or type of mail service through reliably identified causal relationships plus that portion of all other costs of the Postal Service reasonably assignable to such class or type;

(3) the effect of rate increases upon the general public, business mail users, and enterprises in the private sector of the economy engaged in the delivery of mail matter other than letters;

(4) the available alternative means of sending and receiving letters and other mail matter at reasonable costs;

(5) the degree of preparation of mail for delivery into the postal system performed by the mailer and its effect upon reducing costs to the Postal Service;

(6) simplicity of structure for the entire schedule and simple, identifiable relationships between the rates or fees charged the various classes of mail for postal services;

(7) the importance of pricing flexibility to encourage increased mail volume and operational efficiency;

(8) the relative value to the people of the kinds of mail matter entered into the postal system and the desirability and justification for special classifications and services of mail;

(9) the importance of providing classifications with extremely high degrees of reliability and speed of delivery and of providing those that do not require high degrees of reliability and speed of delivery;

(10) the desirability of special classifications for both postal users and the Postal Service in accordance with the policies of this title, including agreements between the Postal Service and postal users, when available on public and reasonable terms to similarly situated mailers, that—

(A) either—

(i) improve the net financial position of the Postal Service through reducing Postal Service costs or increasing the overall contribution to the institutional costs of the Postal Service; or

(ii) enhance the performance of mail preparation, processing, transportation, or other functions; and


(B) do not cause unreasonable harm to the marketplace.


(11) the educational, cultural, scientific, and informational value to the recipient of mail matter;

(12) the need for the Postal Service to increase its efficiency and reduce its costs, including infrastructure costs, to help maintain high quality, affordable postal services;

(13) the value to the Postal Service and postal users of promoting intelligent mail and of secure, sender-identified mail; and

(14) the policies of this title as well as such other factors as the Commission determines appropriate.


(d) Requirements.—

(1) In general.—The system for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products shall—

(A) include an annual limitation on the percentage changes in rates to be set by the Postal Regulatory Commission that will be equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers unadjusted for seasonal variation over the most recent available 12-month period preceding the date the Postal Service files notice of its intention to increase rates;

(B) establish a schedule whereby rates, when necessary and appropriate, would change at regular intervals by predictable amounts;

(C) not later than 45 days before the implementation of any adjustment in rates under this section, including adjustments made under subsection (c)(10)—

(i) require the Postal Service to provide public notice of the adjustment;

(ii) provide an opportunity for review by the Postal Regulatory Commission;

(iii) provide for the Postal Regulatory Commission to notify the Postal Service of any noncompliance of the adjustment with the limitation under subparagraph (A); and

(iv) require the Postal Service to respond to the notice provided under clause (iii) and describe the actions to be taken to comply with the limitation under subparagraph (A);


(D) establish procedures whereby the Postal Service may adjust rates not in excess of the annual limitations under subparagraph (A); and

(E) notwithstanding any limitation set under subparagraphs (A) and (C), and provided there is not sufficient unused rate authority under paragraph (2)(C), establish procedures whereby rates may be adjusted on an expedited basis due to either extraordinary or exceptional circumstances, provided that the Commission determines, after notice and opportunity for a public hearing and comment, and within 90 days after any request by the Postal Service, that such adjustment is reasonable and equitable and necessary to enable the Postal Service, under best practices of honest, efficient, and economical management, to maintain and continue the development of postal services of the kind and quality adapted to the needs of the United States.


(2) Limitations.—

(A) Classes of mail.—Except as provided under subparagraph (C), the annual limitations under paragraph (1)(A) shall apply to a class of mail, as defined in the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule as in effect on the date of enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.

(B) Rounding of rates and fees.—Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the Postal Service from rounding rates and fees to the nearest whole integer, if the effect of such rounding does not cause the overall rate increase for any class to exceed the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

(C) Use of unused rate authority.—

(i) Definition.—In this subparagraph, the term "unused rate adjustment authority" means the difference between—

(I) the maximum amount of a rate adjustment that the Postal Service is authorized to make in any year subject to the annual limitation under paragraph (1); and

(II) the amount of the rate adjustment the Postal Service actually makes in that year.


(ii) Authority.—Subject to clause (iii), the Postal Service may use any unused rate adjustment authority for any of the 5 years following the year such authority occurred.

(iii) Limitations.—In exercising the authority under clause (ii) in any year, the Postal Service—

(I) may use unused rate adjustment authority from more than 1 year;

(II) may use any part of the unused rate adjustment authority from any year;

(III) shall use the unused rate adjustment authority from the earliest year such authority first occurred and then each following year; and

(IV) for any class or service, may not exceed the annual limitation under paragraph (1) by more than 2 percentage points.


(3) Review.—Ten years after the date of enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and as appropriate thereafter, the Commission shall review the system for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products established under this section to determine if the system is achieving the objectives in subsection (b), taking into account the factors in subsection (c). If the Commission determines, after notice and opportunity for public comment, that the system is not achieving the objectives in subsection (b), taking into account the factors in subsection (c), the Commission may, by regulation, make such modification or adopt such alternative system for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products as necessary to achieve the objectives.


(e) Workshare Discounts.—

(1) Definition.—In this subsection, the term "workshare discount" refers to rate discounts provided to mailers for the presorting, prebarcoding, handling, or transportation of mail, as further defined by the Postal Regulatory Commission under subsection (a).

(2) Scope.—The Postal Regulatory Commission shall ensure that such discounts do not exceed the cost that the Postal Service avoids as a result of workshare activity, unless—

(A) the discount is—

(i) associated with a new postal service, a change to an existing postal service, or with a new work share initiative related to an existing postal service; and

(ii) necessary to induce mailer behavior that furthers the economically efficient operation of the Postal Service and the portion of the discount in excess of the cost that the Postal Service avoids as a result of the workshare activity will be phased out over a limited period of time;


(B) the amount of the discount above costs avoided—

(i) is necessary to mitigate rate shock; and

(ii) will be phased out over time;


(C) the discount is provided in connection with subclasses of mail consisting exclusively of mail matter of educational, cultural, scientific, or informational value; or

(D) reduction or elimination of the discount would impede the efficient operation of the Postal Service.


(3) Limitation.—Nothing in this subsection shall require that a work share discount be reduced or eliminated if the reduction or elimination of the discount would—

(A) lead to a loss of volume in the affected category or subclass of mail and reduce the aggregate contribution to the institutional costs of the Postal Service from the category or subclass subject to the discount below what it otherwise would have been if the discount had not been reduced or eliminated; or

(B) result in a further increase in the rates paid by mailers not able to take advantage of the discount.


(4) Report.—Whenever the Postal Service establishes a workshare discount rate, the Postal Service shall, at the time it publishes the workshare discount rate, submit to the Postal Regulatory Commission a detailed report that—

(A) explains the Postal Service's reasons for establishing the rate;

(B) sets forth the data, economic analyses, and other information relied on by the Postal Service to justify the rate; and

(C) certifies that the discount will not adversely affect rates or services provided to users of postal services who do not take advantage of the discount rate.


(f) Transition Rule.—For the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this section, rates and classes for market-dominant products shall remain subject to modification in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and section 407, as such provisions were last in effect before the date of enactment of this section. Proceedings initiated to consider a request for a recommended decision filed by the Postal Service during that 1-year period shall be completed in accordance with subchapter II of chapter 36 of this title and implementing regulations, as in effect before the date of enactment of this section.

(Added Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3201.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

The date of enactment of this section and the date of enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, referred to in subsecs. (a), (d)(2)(A), (3), and (f), are the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–435, which was approved Dec. 20, 2006.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3622, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 760; Pub. L. 94–421, §10, Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1311; Pub. L. 105–241, §5, Sept. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 1573; Pub. L. 106–384, §1(a), Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1460, related to rates and fees, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3200.

[§§3623 to 3625. Repealed. Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3205]

Section 3623, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 761; Pub. L. 94–421, §8, Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1310, related to mail classification.

Section 3624, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 761; Pub. L. 94–421, §5(a), Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1306, related to recommended decisions of the Postal Rate Commission.

Section 3625, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 762; Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §708(d), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1273, related to action of the Board of Governors of the Postal Service.

§3626. Reduced rates

(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358, 4452(b), 4452(c), 4554(b), or 4554(c) of this title shall be established in accordance with section 3622.

(2) For the purpose of this subsection, the term "regular-rate category" means any class of mail or kind of mailer, other than a class or kind referred to in section 2401(c).

(3) Rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358(a) through (c) of this title shall be established so that postage on each mailing of such mail reflects its preferred status as compared to the postage for the most closely corresponding regular-rate category mailing.

(4)(A) Except as specified in subparagraph (B), rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358 (d) or (e) of this title shall be established so that postage on each mailing of such mail shall be as nearly as practicable 5 percent lower than the postage for a corresponding regular-rate category mailing.

(B) With respect to the postage for the advertising pound portion of any mail matter under former section 4358 (d) or (e) of this title, the 5-percent discount specified in subparagraph (A) shall not apply if the advertising portion exceeds 10 percent of the publication involved.

(5) The rates for any advertising under former section 4358(f) of this title shall be equal to 75 percent of the rates for advertising contained in the most closely corresponding regular-rate category of mail.

(6) The rates for mail matter under former sections 4452 (b) and (c) of this title shall be established as follows:

(A) The estimated average revenue per piece to be received by the Postal Service from each subclass of mail under former sections 4452 (b) and (c) of this title shall be equal, as nearly as practicable, to 60 percent of the estimated average revenue per piece to be received from the most closely corresponding regular-rate subclass of mail.

(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), the estimated average revenue per piece of each regular-rate subclass shall be calculated on the basis of expected volumes and mix of mail for such subclass at current rates in the test year of the proceeding.

(C) Rate differentials within each subclass of mail matter under former sections 4452 (b) and (c) shall reflect the policies of this title, including the factors set forth in section 3622(b) of this title.


(7) The rates for mail matter under former sections 4554 (b) and (c) of this title shall be established so that postage on each mailing of such mail shall be as nearly as practicable 5 percent lower than the postage for a corresponding regular-rate mailing.

(b)(1) For the purposes of this title, the term "periodical publications", as used in former section 4351 of this title, includes (A) any catalog or other course listing, including mail announcements of legal texts which are part of post-bar admission education issued by any institution of higher education or by a nonprofit organization engaged in continuing legal education; and (B) any looseleaf page or report (including any index, instruction for filing, table, or sectional identifier which is an integral part of such report) which is designed as part of a looseleaf reporting service concerning developments in the law or public policy.

(2) Any material described in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall qualify to be entered and mailed as second class mail in accordance with the applicable provisions of former section 4352 through former section 4357 of this title.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term "institution of higher education" has the meaning given it by section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and includes a nonprofit organization that coordinates a network of college-level courses that is sponsored primarily by nonprofit educational institutions for an older adult constituency.

(c) In the administration of this section, one conservation publication published by an agency of a State which is responsible for management and conservation of the fish or wildlife resources of such State shall be considered a publication of a qualified nonprofit organization which qualifies for rates of postage under former section 4358(d) of this title.

(d)(1) For purposes of this title, the term "agricultural", as used in former sections 4358(j)(2), 4452(d), and 4554(b)(1)(B) of this title, includes the art or science of cultivating land, harvesting crops or marine resources, or raising of livestock.

(2) In the administration of this section, and for purposes of former sections 4358(j)(2), 4452(d), and 4554(b)(1)(B) of this title, agricultural organizations or associations shall include any organization or association which collects and disseminates information or materials relating to agricultural pursuits.

(e)(1) In the administration of this section, the rates for third-class mail matter mailed by a qualified political committee shall be the rates currently in effect under former section 4452 of this title for third-class mail matter mailed by a qualified nonprofit organization.

(2) For purposes of this subsection—

(A) the term "qualified political committee" means a national or State committee of a political party, the Republican and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committees, the Democratic National Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee;

(B) the term "national committee" means the organization which, by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of such political party at the national level; and

(C) the term "State committee" means the organization which, by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of such political party at the State level.


(f) In the administration of this chapter, the rates for mail under former section 4358(g) of this title shall be established without regard to either the provisions of such former section 4358(g) or the provisions of this section.

(g)(1) In the administration of this section, the rates for mail under subsections (a), (b), and (c) of former section 4358 of this title shall not apply to an issue of a publication if the number of copies of such issue distributed within the county of publication is less than the number equal to the sum of 50 percent of the total paid circulation of such issue plus one.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to an issue of a publication if the total paid circulation of such issue is less than 10,000 copies.

(3) For purposes of this section and former section 4358(a) through (c) of this title, those copies of an issue of a publication entered within the county in which it is published, but distributed outside such county on postal carrier routes originating in the county of publication, shall be treated as if they were distributed within the county of publication.

(4)(A) In the case of an issue of a publication, any number of copies of which are mailed at the rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358(a) through (c) of this title, any copies of such issue which are distributed outside the county of publication (excluding any copies subject to paragraph (3)) shall be subject to rates of postage provided for under this paragraph.

(B) The rates of postage applicable to mail under this paragraph shall be established in accordance with section 3622.

(C) This paragraph shall not apply with respect to an issue of a publication unless the total paid circulation of such issue outside the county of publication (not counting recipients of copies subject to paragraph (3)) is less than 5,000.

(h) In the administration of this section, the number of copies of a subscription publication mailed to nonsubscribers during a calendar year at rates under subsections (a), (b), and (c) of former section 4358 of this title may not exceed 10 percent of the number of copies of such publication mailed at such rates to subscribers.

[(i) Repealed. Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §704(a)(3)(A), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1269.]

(j)(1) In the administration of this section, the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title shall not apply to mail which advertises, promotes, offers, or, for a fee or consideration, recommends, describes, or announces the availability of—

(A) any credit, debit, or charge card, or similar financial instrument or account, provided by or through an arrangement with any person or organization not authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title;

(B) any insurance policy, unless the organization which promotes the purchase of such policy is authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title, the policy is designed for and primarily promoted to the members, donors, supporters, or beneficiaries of the organization, and the coverage provided by the policy is not generally otherwise commercially available;

(C) any travel arrangement, unless the organization which promotes the arrangement is authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title, the travel contributes substantially (aside from the cultivation of members, donors, or supporters, or the acquisition of income or funds) to one or more of the purposes which constitutes the basis for the organization's authorization to mail at such rates, and the arrangement is designed for and primarily promoted to the members, donors, supporters, or beneficiaries of the organization; or

(D) any product or service (other than any to which subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) relates), if—

(i) the sale of such product or the providing of such service is not substantially related (aside from the need, on the part of the organization promoting such product or service, for income or funds or the use it makes of the profits derived) to the exercise or performance by the organization of one or more of the purposes constituting the basis for the organization's authorization to mail at such rates; or

(ii) the mail matter involved is part of a cooperative mailing (as defined under regulations of the Postal Service) with any person or organization not authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title;


except that—

(I) any determination under clause (i) that a product or service is not substantially related to a particular purpose shall be made under regulations which shall be prescribed by the Postal Service and which shall be consistent with standards established by the Internal Revenue Service and the courts with respect to subsections (a) and (c) of section 513 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

(II) clause (i) shall not apply if the product involved is a periodical publication described in subsection (m)(2) (including a subscription to receive any such publication); and

(III) clause (i) shall not apply to space advertising in mail matter that otherwise qualifies for rates under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title, and satisfies the content requirements established by the Postal Service for periodical publications: Provided, That such changes in law shall take effect immediately and shall stay in effect hereafter unless the Congress enacts legislation on this matter prior to October 1, 1995.


(2) Matter shall not be excluded from being mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title, by an organization authorized to mail at those rates solely because—

(A) such matter contains, but is not primarily devoted to, acknowledgements of organizations or individuals who have made donations to the authorized organization; or

(B) such matter contains, but is not primarily devoted to, references to and a response card or other instructions for making inquiries concerning services or benefits available as a result of membership in the authorized organization: Provided, That advertising, promotional, or application materials specifically concerning such services or benefits are not included.


(3)(A) Upon request, an organization authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title shall furnish evidence to the Postal Service concerning the eligibility of any of its mail matter or mailings to be sent at those rates.

(B) The Postal Service shall establish procedures to carry out this paragraph, including procedures for mailer certification of compliance with the conditions specified in paragraph (1)(D) or subsection (m), as applicable, and verification of such compliance.

(k)(1) No person or organization shall mail, or cause to be mailed by contractual agreement or otherwise, at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title, any matter to which those rates do not apply.

(2) The Postal Service may assess a postage deficiency in the amount of the unpaid postage against any person or organization which violates paragraph (1) of this subsection. This assessment shall be deemed the final decision of the Postal Service, unless the party against whom the deficiency is assessed appeals it in writing within thirty days to the postmaster of the office where the mailing was entered. Such an appeal shall be considered by an official designated by the Postal Service, other than the postmaster of the office where the mailing was entered, who shall issue a decision as soon as practicable. This decision shall be deemed final unless the party against whom the deficiency was assessed appeals it in writing within thirty days to a further reviewing official designated by the Postal Service, who shall issue the final decision on the matter.

(3) The Postal Service shall maintain procedures for the prompt collection of postage deficiencies arising from the violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection, and may in its discretion, follow the issuance of a final decision regarding a deficiency under paragraph (2) of this subsection deduct the amount of that deficiency incurred during the previous 12 months from any postage accounts or other monies of the violator in its possession.

(l) In the administration of this section, the term "advertising", as used in former section 4358(j)(2) of this title, does not include the publisher's own advertising in a publication published by the official highway or development agency of a State.

(m)(1) In the administration of this section, the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of this title shall not apply to mail consisting of products, unless such products—

(A) were received by the organization as gifts or contributions; or

(B) are low cost articles (as defined by section 513(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).


(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a periodical publication of a qualified nonprofit organization.

(n) In the administration of this section, matter that satisfies the circulation standards for requester publications shall not be excluded from being mailed at the rates for mail under former section 4358 solely because such matter is designed primarily for free circulation or for circulation at nominal rates, or fails to meet the requirements of former section 4354(a)(5).

(Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 762; Pub. L. 93–328, §1, June 30, 1974, 88 Stat. 287; Pub. L. 94–421, §11, Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1311; Pub. L. 95–593, §11(c), Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2538; Pub. L. 99–272, title XV, §§15102(b)(1), (c), 15104, 15105, Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 330, 331; Pub. L. 99–509, title VI, §6003(a), Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1933; Pub. L. 101–509, title II, §§1(a), 3, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1397, 1399; Pub. L. 102–141, title II, Oct. 28, 1991, 105 Stat. 842, 843; Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §§704(a)(1), (3)(A), 705(a)–(c), 708(e), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1267, 1269, 1271, 1273; Pub. L. 103–329, title VI, §639, Sept. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 2432; Pub. L. 104–255, §2, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3169; Pub. L. 105–244, title I, §102(a)(12), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1620; Pub. L. 106–384, §§1(b)–(e), 2(b), Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1460–1462; Pub. L. 109–435, title X, §1003, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3255.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Former sections 4351 to 4358, 4452, and 4554 of this title, referred to in text, mean those sections which were classified to former Title 39, The Postal Service, prior to the general revision and reenactment of Title 39 by Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 719.

Section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), is classified to section 1001 of Title 20, Education.

Section 513 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsecs. (j)(1)(D)(I) and (m)(1)(B), is classified to section 513 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

The phrase "shall take effect immediately and shall stay in effect hereafter", referred to in subsec. (j)(1)(D)(III), probably means that the provision shall take effect Sept. 30, 1994, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 103–329, which enacted subsec. (j)(1)(D)(III), and shall stay in effect after that date.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a)(1) to (3). Pub. L. 109–435, §1003(1), added pars. (1) to (3) and struck out former pars. (1) to (3). Prior to amendment, par. (1) required rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358, 4452(b), 4452(c), 4554(b), or 4554(c) of this title to be established in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter, par. (2) defined "costs attributable", "regular-rate category", and "institutional-costs contribution", and par. (3) required rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358 of this title to be established in a manner such that the estimated revenues to be received by the Postal Service from such class of mail or kind of mailer were equal to certain calculated amounts.

Subsec. (g)(3), (4). Pub. L. 109–435, §1003(2), added pars. (3) and (4).

Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 109–435, §1003(3), added subsec. (n).

2000—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 106–384, §2(b), substituted "4554(b), or 4554(c)" for "4454(b), or 4454(c)".

Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 106–384, §1(b), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: "Except as provided in paragraph (4) or (5), rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358, 4452(b), 4452(c), 4554(b), or 4554(c) of this title shall be established in a manner such that the estimated revenues to be received by the Postal Service from such class of mail or kind of mailer shall be equal to the sum of—

"(i) the estimated costs attributable to such class of mail or kind of mailer; and

"(ii) the product derived by multiplying the estimated costs referred to in clause (i) by the applicable percentage under subparagraph (B)."

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 106–384, §1(c), amended par. (4) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (4) read as follows: "The rates for the advertising portion of any mail matter under former section 4358(d) or 4358(e) of this title shall be equal to the rates for the advertising portion of the most closely corresponding regular-rate category of mail, except that if the advertising portion does not exceed 10 percent of the issue of the publication involved, the advertising portion shall be subject to the same rates as apply to the nonadvertising portion."

Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 106–384, §1(d), added par. (6).

Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 106–384, §1(e), added par. (7).

1998—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 105–244 substituted "section 101" for "section 1201(a)" and struck out "(20 U.S.C. 1141(a))" after "Act of 1965".

1996—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 104–255 inserted before period ", and includes a nonprofit organization that coordinates a network of college-level courses that is sponsored primarily by nonprofit educational institutions for an older adult constituency".

1994—Subsec. (j)(1)(D)(III). Pub. L. 103–329 added cl. (III).

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–123, §704(a)(1), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows:

"(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer under former section 4358, 4452(b), 4452(c), 4554(b), or 4554(c) of this title shall be established in accordance with applicable provisions of this chapter.

"(2) Rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be established in accordance with the requirement that the direct and indirect postal costs attributable to such class of mail or kind of mailer (excluding any other costs of the Postal Service) shall be borne by such class of mail or kind of mailer, as the case may be: Provided, however, That with respect to mail under former section 4452(b) and 4452(c) of this title the preceding limitation shall apply only to rates of postage for letter shaped pieces, as such pieces are defined in the associated classification and rate schedules."

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 103–123, §704(a)(3)(A), struck out subsec. (i) which defined "reduced-rate category" and "regular-rate category" and provided method for determining costs recovered by revenues plus appropriations for reduced-rate categories and for the purpose of distinguishing costs recovered from regular-rate categories and reduced-rate categories and determining appropriation requests relating to reduced-rate categories.

Subsec. (j)(1)(D). Pub. L. 103–123, §705(a), added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (j)(3). Pub. L. 103–123, §705(c), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A) and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (k), (l). Pub. L. 103–123, §708(e), redesignated subsec. (k), defining "advertising", as (l).

Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 103–123, §705(b), added subsec. (m).

1991—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 102–141 amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "Rates of postage for a class of mail or kind of mailer referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be established in accordance with the requirement that the direct and indirect postal costs attributable to such class of mail or kind of mailer (excluding any other costs of the Postal Service) shall be borne by such class of mail or kind of mailer, as the case may be."

Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 102–141 inserted "Subject to the requirements of section 2401(c) of this title and paragraph (a)(2) of this section with respect to mail under former sections 4452(b) and 4452(c) of this title," before "This subsection".

1990—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 101–509, §1(a), added subsec. (j).

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 101–509, §3, added subsec. (k) defining "advertising".

Pub. L. 101–509, §1(a), added subsec. (k) relating to mailing of matter at inapplicable rates.

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–272, §15102(b)(1), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: "If the rates of postage for any class of mail or kind of mailer under former sections 4358, 4359, 4421, 4422, 4452, or 4554 of this title, as such rates existed on the effective date of this subchapter, are, on the effective date of the first rate decision under this subchapter affecting that class or kind, less than the rates established by such decision, a separate rate schedule shall be adopted for that class or kind effective each time rates are established or changed under this subchapter, with annual increases as nearly equal as practicable, so that—

"(1) the revenues received from rates for mail under former sections 4358, 4452(b) and (c), 4554(b) and (c) shall not, on and after the first day of the sixteenth year following the effective date of the first rate decision applicable to that class or kind, exceed the direct and indirect postal costs attributable to mail of such class or kind (excluding all other costs of the Postal Service);

"(2) the rates for mail under former sections 4359, 4421, 4422, and 4554(a) shall be equal, on and after the first day of the eighth year following the effective date of the first rate decision applicable to that class or kind, to the rates that would have been in effect for such mail if this subparagraph had not been enacted; and

"(3) the rates for mail under former section 4452(a) shall be equal, on and after the first day of the fifth year following the effective date of the first rate decision applicable to that class or kind, to the rates that would have been in effect for such mail if this subparagraph had not been enacted.

No person who would have been entitled to mail matter under former section 4359 of this title shall mail such matter at the rates provided under this subsection unless he files annually with the Postal Service a written request for permission to mail matter at such rates."

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 99–272, §15102(c), added subsec. (f).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 99–272, §15104, added subsec. (g).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 99–272, §15105, added subsec. (h).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 99–509 added subsec. (i).

1978—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 95–593 added subsec. (e).

1976Pub. L. 94–421 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsecs. (b) to (d).

1974Pub. L. 93–328 substituted "sixteenth" for "tenth" year in subpar. (1), substituted "under former sections" for "under sections", "eighth" for "fifth" year, and "subparagraph" for "subsection" and struck out reference to section "4452(a)" after "4422," in subpar. (2), and added subpar. (3).


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–244 effective Oct. 1, 1998, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 105–244, see section 3 of Pub. L. 105–244, set out as a note under section 1001 of Title 20, Education.

Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §704(c)(1), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1270, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [enacting section 3642 of this title and amending this section and section 3627 of this title] shall apply with respect to rates for mail sent after September 30, 1993."

Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §705(d), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1272, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply with respect to mail sent, and the rates for mail sent, after December 31, 1993."

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by section 1(a) of Pub. L. 101–509 effective 90 days after Nov. 5, 1990, see section 1(c) of Pub. L. 101–509, set out as a note under section 2401 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendments

Pub. L. 99–509, title VI, §6003(c), Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1933, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 2401 of this title] shall take effect on January 1, 1989, or on the effective date of the next general change in rates and fees under sections 3622 and 3625 of title 39, United States Code [Apr. 3, 1988, see 53 F.R. 10014], whichever is sooner."

Pub. L. 99–272, title XV, §15102(b)(2), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 330, provided that: "The amendment made by this subsection [amending this section] shall apply with respect to rates of postage taking effect after December 31, 1985."

Relief of Certain Periodical Publications

Pub. L. 104–52, title V, §527, Nov. 19, 1995, 109 Stat. 496, provided that: "For mail classification purposes under section 3626 of title 39, United States Code, and any regulations of the United States Postal Service for the administration of that section, a weekly second-class periodical publication which—

"(i) is eligible to publish legal notices under any applicable laws of the State where it is published;

"(ii) is eligible to be mailed at the rates for mail under former subsection 4358(a), (b), and (c) of title 39, United States Code, as limited by current subsection 3626(g) of that title; and

"(iii) the pages of which were customarily secured by 2 staples before March 19, 1989;

shall not be considered to be a bound publication solely because its pages continue to be secured by 2 staples after that date."

Forbearance Regarding Certain Postage Deficiencies

Pub. L. 101–509, title II, §2, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1398, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The United States Postal Service may forbear from the collection of any postage deficiency assessed against an organization authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of title 39, United States Code, if the assessment of that deficiency arises from a violation of the cooperative mailing regulations of the Postal Service set forth at section 625.5 of the Domestic Mail Manual, and the Postal Service has made no determination that the organization knowingly or willfully violated such regulations. If any organizations authorized to mail at the rates for mail under former section 4452(b) or 4452(c) of title 39, United States Code, has paid on its own behalf all or part of a postage deficiency which the Postal Service would forbear from collecting under this section, the Postal Service may refund to that organization the amount which it has paid.

"(b) Effective Date and Applicability.—The provisions of this section shall become effective on the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 5, 1990], and shall apply to mailings which were sent on or between July 1, 1986, and the effective date of this section."

Construction Respecting Postage Rates Reduction Unauthorized

Pub. L. 93–328, §2, June 30, 1974, 88 Stat. 288, provided that: "Nothing in section 1 of this Act [amending this section] shall be construed to authorize a reduction in any rate of postage in effect and being paid on the date of enactment of this Act [June 30, 1974]."

§3627. Adjusting free rates

If Congress fails to appropriate an amount authorized under section 2401(c) of this title for any class of mail sent free of postage under section 3217 or 3403–3406 1 the rate for that class may be adjusted in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter so that the increased revenues received from the users of such class will equal the amount for that class that the Congress was to appropriate.

(Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 763; Pub. L. 95–593, §11(b), Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2538; Pub. L. 99–410, title II, §201(b)(3), Aug. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 928; Pub. L. 103–31, §8(h)(3), May 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 86; Pub. L. 103–123, title VII, §704(a)(3)(B)(i), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1269; Pub. L. 109–435, title X, §1010(g)(5), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3263.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2006Pub. L. 109–435 inserted section catchline and struck out former catchline which read the same.

1993Pub. L. 103–123 substituted "free rates" for "free and reduced rates" in section catchline and "sent free of postage under section 3217 or 3403–3406" for "sent at a free or reduced rate under section 3217, 3403–3406, 3626, or 3629 of this title," in text.

Pub. L. 103–31 substituted "3626, or 3629 of this title" for "or 3626 of this title,".

1986Pub. L. 99–410 substituted "3406" for "3405" and struck out "under the Federal Voting Assistance Act of 1955, or under the Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975" after "3626 of this title,".

1978Pub. L. 95–593 inserted provisions relating to applicability of Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1993 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–123 applicable with respect to rates for mail sent after Sept. 30, 1993, see section 704(c)(1) of Pub. L. 103–123, set out as a note under section 3626 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–31 effective (1) with respect to a State that, on May 20, 1993, has a provision in the constitution of the State that would preclude compliance with section 20501 et seq. of Title 52, Voting and Elections, unless the State maintained separate Federal and State official lists of eligible voters, on the later of Jan. 1, 1996, or the date that is 120 days after the date by which, under the constitution of the State as in effect on May 20, 1993, it would be legally possible to adopt and place into effect any amendments to the constitution of the State that are necessary to permit compliance with section 20501 et seq. of Title 52 without requiring a special election, and (2) with respect to a State not described above, on Jan. 1, 1995, see section 13 of Pub. L. 103–31, set out as an Effective Date note under section 20501 of Title 52.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–410 applicable with respect to elections taking place after Dec. 31, 1987, see section 204 of Pub. L. 99–410, set out as an Effective Date note under section 20301 of Title 52, Voting and Elections.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by "of this title,".

[§3628. Repealed. Pub. L. 109–435, title II, §201(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3205]

Section, Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 763; Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §402(37), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3360, related to appellate review of a decision of the Board of Governors to approve, allow under protest, reject, or modify a recommended decision of the Postal Rate Commission.

§3629. Reduced rates for voter registration purposes

The Postal Service shall make available to a State or local voting registration official the rate for any class of mail that is available to a qualified nonprofit organization under section 3626 for the purpose of making a mailing that the official certifies is required or authorized by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

(Added Pub. L. 103–31, §8(h)(1), May 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 86.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 103–31, May 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 77, which was formerly classified principally to subchapter I–H (§1973gg et seq.) of chapter 20 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering in Title 52, Voting and Elections, and is now classified principally to chapter 205 (§20501 et seq.) of Title 52. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective (1) with respect to a State that, on May 20, 1993, has a provision in the constitution of the State that would preclude compliance with section 20501 et seq. of Title 52, Voting and Elections, unless the State maintained separate Federal and State official lists of eligible voters, on the later of Jan. 1, 1996, or the date that is 120 days after the date by which, under the constitution of the State as in effect on May 20, 1993, it would be legally possible to adopt and place into effect any amendments to the constitution of the State that are necessary to permit compliance with section 20501 et seq. of Title 52 without requiring a special election, and (2) with respect to a State not described above, on Jan. 1, 1995, see section 13 of Pub. L. 103–31, set out as a note under section 20501 of Title 52.