The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have approved many of the rate increases that were recommended by the Postal Regulatory Commission. They have requested the PRC to reconsider the rates recommended for Standard Mail flats, the Non-machinable Surcharge for First-Class Mail letters and the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box.

Regarding Standard Mail Flats, the Governors said that they were "concerned that price increases recommended by the PRC may impose an unnecessary degree of 'rate shock' on the catalog industry, particularly small businesses. The recommended increases for some catalog mailers is as much as 40 percent, which is more than double what the Postal Service had proposed."

Regarding the Non-machinable Surcharge of First-Class Mail Letters, the Governors said that "the PRC decision of First-Class Mail two-ounce and three-ounce letters does not differentiate between machinable and non-machinable. The Governors believe this warrants further analysis to ensure there are incentives for mailers to provided letters that can be processed at lower cost on efficient sorting equipment."

Regarding Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box, the Governors said that "the PRC recommended rate of $9.15 for the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box, which is $1.05 above the current rate and 35 cents higher than the Postal Service proposal of $8.80. The Governors believe a rate below $9 would be more appropriate for this popular consumer and business product and would be cost-justified."

The Board of Governors (which includes the PMG and the deputy) have ordered these new rates to be implement on May 14--clearly well before the 60 days mailers had been telling the Postal Service was the absolute minimum to ensure implementation with new software products. In fact, this doesn't even come close to the 90 days mailers had been telling the USPS was requisite for implementation with no problems.  [Remember...the GOVERNORS approve or disapprove recommended decisions, but the BOARD OF GOVERNORS determines the date of implementation.]

In the case of periodicals, the Board "delayed until July 15, 2007, implementation of the new prices for Periodicals (magazines and newspapers) to allow time for the publishing industry to update computer software and adjust to the complexity of the PRC-recommended rate structure for periodicals."

STANDARD MAIL RATES WILL GO INTO EFFECT. Despite the request by the Governors for reconsideration regarding possible rate shock to catalogs, the Board of Governors did NOT order a delay in the implementation of these new, punitive rates. All mailers (with the exception of periodicals) must be prepared to deal with new rates that will go into effect on May 14.