USPS wants parcel mailers to use bar codes

"Federal Register Notice: Proposal to Require Electronic Verification System"

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed requiring some parcel mailers to use an electronic postage manifest and payment system that could help USPS lower its operating costs and become more efficient.

The proposal would initially affect high-volume mailers who get postal discounts for handling some aspects of parcel delivery themselves. USPS officials indicated in a Nov. 7 Federal Register notice of the proposed regulation that they would consider expanding the rule to cover all parcel mailers.

Under the proposed change, the service would replace paper-based procedures for accepting and verifying parcels for delivery with an Electronic Verification System (e-VS). Using that system, high-volume mailers would be required to put bar codes on all packages they want USPS to deliver.

E-VS is described in the Federal Register notice as an online infrastructure providing mailers with 24-hour mailing and transaction information. E-VS is linked to PostalOne, a new centralized payment and electronic postage system.

The e-VS regulation would take effect a year after a final version is published in the Federal Register, the current notice states.

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