Everything You Need to Know to be IM®pb Compliant

The Postal Service has introduced and made mandatory a requirement to affix tracking barcodes to all commercial parcels. The impact of the commercial parcel requirement goes beyond packages and parcels. It also applies to Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat-rate envelopes. Parcels that do not display an approved barcode risk return and/or delivery delays, as well as increased postage rates in some instances. Also, operators of mailing systems must meet the full Postal Service IMpb requirements in order to continue to receive Commercial Base Pricing postage discounts, qualify for automatic insurance for Priority Mail, and avoid potential per-piece price adjustments for non-compliant pieces.

IMpb FAQ

USPS Waiver Letter for E-Services Labels


What is IMpb?

In January 2014, the Postal Service introduced and made mandatory a new requirement to affix tracking barcodes to all commercial parcels. The impact of the new commercial parcel requirement goes beyond packages and parcels.

It also applies to Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat-rate envelopes. Parcels that do not display an approved barcode risk return and/or delivery delays, as well as increased postage rates in some instances.

The Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) is the Postal Service's next generation tracking barcode for parcels and Extra Services. IMpb-compliant barcodes provide destination routing and piece-level data that enable the Post Office to increase system-wide processing efficiency, enhance tracking capabilities, and provide tracking services that compete more effectively in the package and expedited delivery marketplace.

Full compliance with the new IMpb requirement includes electronic upload of delivery address information in addition to the labeling requirement. The Postal Service has extended operators of mailing systems some limited exceptions to the full IMpb requirement through January 24, 2015, however, and customers should follow the instructions below to stay compliant with the new USPS regulations.

Beginning January 25, 2015, operators of mailing machines must meet the full Postal Service IMpb requirements in order to continue to receive Commercial Base Pricing postage discounts, qualify for automatic insurance for Priority Mail, and avoid potential per-piece price adjustments for non-compliant pieces. Until then, so long as mailers affix a compliant label to their commercial parcels, there are no changes to existing pricing standards for our mailing system customers.

  • Customers who meter postage with Neopost or Hasler IS-, IM-, IH- and IN-series mailing systems will continue to enjoy discounted Commercial Base Pricing discounts automatically in 2014.
  • Customers who subscribe to our eServices service (SP30) to process electronic-rate USPS Tracking Services and electronic-rate Signature Confirmation will continue to receive the electronic-rate discount and should continue to use the current eDelivery, eSignature and eCertified tracking labels.
  • Customers who subscribe to our Electronic Return Receipt service (SP35) to process discounted Return Receipt transactions electronically will continue to receive the electronic-rate discount and should continue to use the current eCertified tracking label.

Please choose from among the following options to learn more about the impact and exact IMpb requirement that apply to your specific mailing equipment and products.


 

I operate an IJ- or WJ-series mailing machine
If you operate an IJ- or WJ-series mailing system, the following requirements are in effect beginning January 26, 2014:

  • At a minimum, every commercial parcel to which you are not already adding another Extra Service label (e.g. Signature Confirmation, Certified Mail) must bear a USPS Tracking Label 400 (see sidebar).
  • If you process your mail for pickup from the mailroom or for deposit into a USPS mail box, an IMpb-compliant package tracking barcode must be affixed to your commercial parcels or pick-up may be rejected. Customers who process postage payment through postage meters are exempt from the public requirement to present packages and parcels weighing more than 13 ounces at a Post Office retail service counter. Metered parcels may be dropped in a mail box or picked up by a postal carrier.
  • You may also bring your parcels to a local Post Office or Postal Unit retail counter to have a clerk generate and print an IMpb barcode that the clerk will place on your package.

 

I operate an IJ- or WJ-series mailing system with eServices.
If you operate a Neopost IJ-70, IJ-80, IJ-90 or IJ-110 mailing system or WJ150, WJ185, WJ220 or WJ250 mailing system that is capable of processing Extra Services at a discounted electronic rate, the following requirements are in effect beginning January 26, 2014:

  • At a minimum, every commercial parcel to which you are not already adding another Extra Service label (e.g. Signature Confirmation, Certified Mail) must bear at least an eDelivery Confirmation or USPS Tracking Label 400 (see sidebar above).
  • The Post Office will continue to accept pre-printed eDelivery Confirmation, eSignature Confirmation and eCertified Mail labels through January 24, 2015.
  • The Post Office will continue to extend the electronic-rate discounts for eSignature Confirmation, eCertified Mail, and eCertified Mail with eReturn Receipt through January 24, 2015 so long as electronic tracking data continues to be uploaded from the mailing system. You should continue to process and upload your eServices mail as you do today.
  • As an alternative to processing eDelivery Confirmation labels through your mailing system, you may, at your discretion, affix a pre-printed USPS Tracking Label 400 to any parcel to which you are not already adding eSignature Confirmation, or eCertified Mail.
  • Should you choose to affix a USPS Tracking Label 400 barcode, keep in mind that the barcode will NOT scan into your mailing system and that delivery tracking of your parcel will not be available online on myNeopost.
  • If you process your mail for pickup from the mailroom or for deposit into a USPS mail box, an IMpb-compliant package tracking barcode must be affixed to your commercial parcels or pick-up may be rejected. Customers who process postage payment through postage meters are exempt from the public requirement to present packages and parcels weighing more than 13 ounces at a Post Office retail service counter. Metered parcels may be dropped in a mail box or picked up by a postal carrier.
  • You may, at your discretion, bring your parcels to a local Post Office or Postal Unit retail counter to have a clerk generate and print an IMpb barcode that the clerk will place on your package.

 

I operate an IS-, IM-, IH- or IN-series mailing system.
If you operate an IS-, IM-, IH- or IN-series mailing system, the following requirements are in effect beginning January 26, 2014:

  • So long as mailers processing postage through an IS-, IM-, IN- or IH-series mailing system affix an approved label to their commercial parcels, the Post Office will continue to honor lower Commercial Base Pricing for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express parcels through January 24, 2015. [Your mailing system automatically defaults to Commercial Base Pricing. No additional action is required to obtain the discount.]
  • At a minimum, every commercial parcel to which you are not already adding another Extra Service label (e.g. Signature Confirmation, Certified Mail) must bear at least a USPS Tracking Label 400 (see sidebar above) in order to continue to qualify for lower Commercial Base Prices through January 24, 2015.
  • If you process your mail for pickup from the mailroom or for deposit into a USPS mail box, an IMpb-compliant package tracking barcode must be affixed to your commercial parcels or pick-up may be rejected. Customers who process postage payment through postage meters are exempt from the public requirement to present packages and parcels weighing more than 13 ounces at a Post Office retail service counter. Metered parcels may be dropped in a mail box or picked up by a postal carrier.
  • You may, at your discretion, bring your parcels to a local Post Office or Postal Unit retail counter to have a clerk generate and print an IMpb barcode that the clerk will place on your package. Regardless of whether you also include the fees for Extra Services (if any), so long as you affix a meter tape for the full value of the postage due for shipment of the parcel, the Post Office will honor the lower Commercial Base Price rather than the Retail Rate that would normally apply for parcels presented at a Post Office or CPU retail counter.

 

I operate an IS-, IM-, IN- or IH-series mailing system and also use my mailing system to process electronic-rate USPS Extra Services.
If you operate a Neopost IS- or IN-series mailing system, or a Hasler IM- or IH/IN-series mailing system, and also process Extra Services at a discounted electronic rate using your mailing system to upload tracking data electronically, the following requirements are in effect beginning January 26, 2014:

  • So long as mailers processing postage through an IS-, IM-, IN- or IH-series mailing system affix an approved label to their commercial parcels, the Post Office will continue to honor lower Commercial Base Pricing for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express parcels through January 24, 2015. [Your mailing system automatically defaults to Commercial Base Pricing. No additional action is required to obtain the discount.]
  • At a minimum, every commercial parcel must bear at least an eDelivery Confirmation or USPS Tracking Label 400 (see sidebar above) in order to continue to qualify for lower Commercial Base Prices through January 24, 2015.
  • The Post Office will continue to accept pre-printed eDelivery Confirmation, eSignature Confirmation and eCertified Mail labels as an approved alternate to the fully-compliant, custom IMpb label that incorporates the delivery destination ZIP code in its barcode through January 24, 2015.
  • The Post Office will continue to extend the electronic-rate discounts for eSignature Confirmation, eCertified Mail, and eCertified Mail with eReturn Receipt through January 24, 2015 so long as electronic tracking data continues to be uploaded from the mailing system. You should continue to process and upload your eServices mail as you do today.
  • As an alternative to processing eDelivery Confirmation labels through your mailing system, you may, at your discretion, affix a pre-printed USPS Tracking Label 400 to any parcel to which you are not already adding eSignature Confirmation, eCertified Mail, or eCertified Mail with electronic Return Receipt.
  • Should you choose to affix a USPS Tracking Label 400 barcode, keep in mind that the barcode will NOT scan into your mailing system and that delivery tracking of your parcel will not be available online on myNeopost?
  • If you process your mail for pickup from the mailroom or for deposit into a USPS mail box, an IMpb-compliant package tracking barcode must be affixed to your commercial parcels or pick-up may be rejected.
  • You may, at your discretion, bring your parcels to a local Post Office or Postal Unit retail counter to have a clerk generate and print an IMpb barcode that the clerk will place on your package. Regardless of whether you also include the fees for Extra Services (if any), so long as you affix a meter tape for the full value of the postage due for shipment of the parcel, the Post Office will honor the lower Commercial Base Price rather than the Retail Rate that would normally apply for parcels presented at a Post Office or CPU retail counter.

 

I process my mail and parcels using PC-based iMCM G2 or EMS software.
If you operate an iMCM G2 or EMS software package in combination with your Neopost IS- or IN-series mailing system, your iMCM G2 or EMS software will (a) automatically generate and print a fully compliant IMpb shipping label with a barcode that incorporates the required destination ZIP code; and (b) electronically upload the associated data to the Postal Service.

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