101 Physical Standards
1.0 Physical Standards for Letters
1.1 Dimensional Standards for Letters
- Not less than 5 inches long, 3-1/2 inches high, and 0.007-inch thick. For pieces more than 6 inches long or 4-1/4 inches high, the minimum thickness is 0.009. (Pieces not meeting the 0.009 thickness are subject to a nonmachinable surcharge under 1.2f).
- Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides. Letter-size, card-type mailpieces made of cardstock may have finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 0.125 inch (1/8 inch). See Exhibit 220.127.116.11.
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1.2 Nonmachinable Criteria
A letter-size piece is nonmachinable if it has one or more of the following characteristics (see 601.1.1.2 to determine the length, height, top, and bottom of a mailpiece):
- Contains items such as pens, pencils, keys, or coins that cause the thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven; or loose keys or coins or similar objects not affixed to the contents within the mailpiece. Loose items may cause a letter to be nonmailable when mailed in paper envelopes; (see 601.3.3).
- Is a self-mailer that is not prepared according to 201.3.14.
- Is a booklet that is not prepared according to 201.3.16.
2.0 Physical Standards for Flats
2.1 General Definition of Flat-Size Mail
- More than 11-1/2 inches long, or more than 6-1/8 inches high, or more than 1/4 inch thick, except as allowed for EDDM-Retail flats under 140. For general retail mailability, all pieces 1/4 inch thick or less must be a minimum of 5 inches long and 3-1/2 inches high and 0.007 inch thick.
- Flexible (see 2.3).
- Rectangular with four square corners or with finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 0.125 inch (1/8 inch). See Exhibit 18.104.22.168.
- Uniformly thick (see 2.4).
2.2 Length and Height of Flats
2.3 Minimum Flexibility Criteria for Flat-Size Pieces
Flat-size pieces must be flexible. Boxes—with or without hinges, gaps, or breaks that allow the piece to bend—are not flats. Tight envelopes or wrappers that are filled with one or more boxes are not flats. At the customer‘s option, a customer may perform the following test on their own mailpieces. When a postal employee observes a customer demonstrating that a flat-size piece is flexible according to these standards, the employee does not need to perform the test. Test flats as defined in 201.4.3.
2.4 Uniform Thickness
Flat-size mailpieces must be uniformly thick so that any bumps, protrusions, or other irregularities do not cause more than 1/4-inch variance in thickness. When determining variance in thickness, exclude the outside edges of a mailpiece (1 inch from each edge) when the contents do not extend into those edges. Also, exclude the selvage of any polywrap covering (see 201.5.3 from this determination. Mailers must secure nonpaper contents to prevent shifting of more than 2 inches within the mailpiece if shifting would cause the piece to be nonuniform in thickness or would result in the contents bursting out of the mailpiece (see 601.3.3).
2.5 Ineligible Flat-Size Pieces
Flat-size mailpieces that do not meet the eligibility standards in 2.3 through 2.4 are considered parcels and must pay the applicable parcel prices.
3.0 Physical Standards for Parcels
3.1 Processing Categories
USPS categorizes parcels into one of three mail processing categories: machinable, irregular, or nonmachinable parcel. These categories are based on the physical dimensions of the piece, regardless of the placement (orientation) of the delivery address on the piece. For additional information on the machinable, irregular, and nonmachinable, processing categories see 201.7.0.
3.2 Maximum Weight and Size
All parcels must be large enough to hold the required delivery address, return address, mailing labels, postage, barcode, endorsements, and other mail markings on the address side of the parcel. For mailability, all pieces 1/4 inch thick or less must be a minimum of 5 inches in length, 3-1/2 inches in height, and 0.007 inch in thickness. No mailpiece may weigh more than 70 pounds or measure more than 108 inches in length and girth combined, except USPS Retail Ground, which may not measure more than 130 inches in length and girth combined. For parcels, length is the distance of the longest dimension and girth is the distance around the thickest part. Lower size or weight standards apply to mail addressed to some APOs and FPOs subject to 703.2.0 and 703.4.0 and for Department of State mail, subject to 703.3.0.
3.3 Two or More Packages
4.0 Additional Physical Standards for Priority Mail Express
5.0 Additional Physical Standards for Priority Mail
The maximum weight is 70 pounds. The combined length and girth of a piece (the length of its longest side plus the distance around its thickest part) may not exceed 108 inches. Lower size and weight standards apply for some APO/FPO and DPO mail subject to 703.2.0, and 703.4.0, and for Department of State mail subject to 703.3.0.
6.0 Additional Physical Standards for First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service — Retail
6.1 Maximum Weight
6.2 Cards Claimed at Card Prices
6.2.1 Card Price
A card may be a single or double (reply) stamped card or a single or double postcard. Stamped cards are available from USPS with postage imprinted on them. Postcards are commercially available or privately printed mailing cards. To be eligible for card pricing, a card and each half of a double card must meet the physical standards in 6.2 and the applicable eligibility for the price claimed. Ineligible cards are subject to letter-size pricing.
6.2.2 Postcard Dimensions
6.2.3 Other Cards
A card that does not meet the applicable standards in 6.2 must not bear the words “Postcard” or “Double Postcard.”
6.2.4 Paper or Card Stock
6.2.5 Acceptable Attachments
- A paper label, such as a wafer seal or decal affixed with permanent adhesive to the back side of the card, or within the message area on the address side (see Exhibit 202.2.1), or to the left of the address block.
6.2.6 Unacceptable Attachment
6.2.7 Tearing Guides
6.2.8 Address Side of Cards
The address side of a card is the side bearing the delivery address and postage. The address side may be formatted to contain a message area. Cards that do not contain a message area on the address side are subject to the applicable standards for the price claimed. For the purposes of 6.2, miscellaneous graphics or printing, such as symbols, logos, or characters, that appear on the address side of cards not containing a message area are generally acceptable provided the items are not intended to convey a message.
6.2.9 Double Cards
6.3 Nonmachinable Pieces
6.3.1 Nonmachinable Letters
Letter-size pieces (except card-size pieces) that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics in 1.2 are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge (see 133.1.5).
6.3.2 Nonmachinable Flats
Flat-size pieces that do not meet the standards in 2.0 are considered parcels and the mailer must pay the applicable parcel price.
- A mailpiece that exceeds any one of the maximum dimensions for a flat (large envelope). See 2.1.
- A flat-size mailpiece that is not uniformly thick under 2.4.
7.0 Additional Physical Standards for USPS Retail Ground
- Lower size or weight standards apply to mail addressed to some APOs and FPOs subject to 703.2.0 and 703.4.0 and for Department of State mail, subject to 703.3.0.
8.0 Additional Physical Standards for Media Mail and Library Mail
- Lower size or weight standards apply to mail addressed to certain APOs and FPOs, subject to 703.2.0 and 703.4.0 and for Department of State mail, subject to 703.3.0.
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Innovative self-service areas in the most frequented Austrian post Offices provide a letter and parcel delivery also outside of business hours. They also spare customers waiting time at counter and relieve your local staff of routine works.
Letter And Parcel Post Box Size
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After your customer has affixed his purchased stamp/label on a letter/parcel, his mailing can be scanned and placed in the self-service drop box.
A printed confirmation allows customers to see where parcels or registered letters are located during the shipping and handling process (track and trace-system).
70% of returned deliveries are beeing handled by the letter and parcel drop-box in Austria.