Access Letters User Guide for Inward Mail Center

Access Services for Inward Mail Centres

Explanation of Key Terms

This Access Letters User Guide (User Guide) is for the Access Letters Contract (Contract) and forms part of the Contract under which Royal Mail Group Limited ('we' or 'us') will provide access to Postal Operators and other users of postal services ('you') to our Inward Mail Centres.

If you have a current signed Contract with us, this User Guide confirms the basis on which your Mailing Items may be handed over and priced.

The Contract offers a number of different sortation services. This User Guide details the presentation requirements and the specifications of all Services available under the Contract.

The Contract offers a number of different price plans: a national pricing option, an averaged pricing option, a regional pricing (zones) option or a zonal pricing option ("Price Plan”) as detailed in Schedule 3 of the Contract.

Definitions

Capitalised words in this User Guide have a particular meaning, either as defined in Schedule 1 of your Contract, a truncated copy of which is appended to this User Guide at Appendix K, or as defined in the paragraph of this User Guide where it first appears.


Figures are not to scale
1

1 Overview of Access Services

This User Guide must be read in conjunction with the relevant Contract. Together these documents govern the terms on which you may obtain access to our Inward Mail Centres. Our Services enable you to hand over Letter and Large Letter Mailing Items to an Inward Mail Centre which serves the Postcodes carried by those Mailing Items and which are sorted to either:


  • Access 1400 - Mailing Items sorted to c.1529 selections based on Postcode Districts 
  • Access 70 - Mailing Items sorted to c.86 selections based on Postcode Areas; or optionally, provided you have signed up to Schedule 23: 48 Way Sort, you can sort to c.48 selections when using machinable Letter services.

Our Services offer different prices (referred to as "Access Charges") according to the sortation level and the machinability of your Mailing Items. All Services enable you to hand over Mailing Items for delivery anywhere within the United Kingdom.

Access 70 OCR and Mailmark option
Under the Access 70 sortation, we have two machinable Services which offer additional price savings if your Letters or Large Letters meet the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) specification or the Mailmark specification.

Trays 
Additional price savings can also be made if you present your Mailing Items in trays for those Services that permit use of trays for handover. 

Royal Mail Responsible Mail® and Royal Mail Advertising Mail®
Provided you have signed an appropriate Contract, you may use these Services to take advantage of additional price savings, provided your Mailing Items meet the Responsible Mail and/or the Advertising Mail specifications. 

Business Mail Large Letter. 
Provided you have signed up to the Business Mail Large Letter Schedule, certain Large Letters may be sent via the Business Mail Large Letter service. Eligibility for this service will be conditional on the contents of the Large Letter and the outer wrapping material used. All other Large Letter Mailing Items may continue to be sent via the relevant services.

Royal Mail Poll Sort
Provided you meet the specification of Royal Mail Poll Sort ("Poll Sort") as set out at Appendix P, including the enhanced sortation requirements, you may use the Poll Sort service, a manual service unique to poll cards that allows you to take advantage of additional price savings. Poll cards are uniquely used by local councils to notify constituents of elections. Poll Sort is a targeted 3 Working Days delivery service.

Royal Mail Magazine Subscription Mail 
Provided you have signed up to and meet the specifications and requirements of the Magazine Subscription Mail Schedule, Large Letters qualifying as Magazine Subscription Mail may be sent via the Magazine Subscription Mail service.


Appendix L Appendix N

2 Key features and requirements

2.1 Service Standard

We aim to deliver or attempt to deliver Mailing Items on the next Working Day after handover to and acceptance by us.

2.2 Access Service Summary

Each Service requires you to sort, segregate and present your Mailing Items at Inward Mail Centres in accordance with the Contract and this User Guide. The maximum weight for an individual Mailing Item is:

  • 100g for Letters 
  • 750g for Large Letters
A summary of Services is shown in Figure 1. Please see Sections 5 and 6 for further information on how to sort and present your Mailing Items

Figure 1: 2018

2.3 System Requirements

It is a requirement of Access that the DocketHUB (or any successor electronic billing system) system is used. DocketHUB enables you to: 

  • upload your Posting Dockets– please see Section 9;
  • provide Traffic Forecasting - please see Section 11
  • make Access Slot Booking - please see Section 12; and, 
  • book Driver and Vehicle Registration - please see Section 13
It is recommended that approved Access software be used to sort Mailing Items to the appropriate services. A list of all approved Access Software Suppliers can be found at www.royalmailwholesale.com

2.4 Pricing options

There are four pricing options in the Contract: 

National Price Plan One (SSC's) 
A uniform Price Plan for meeting a posting profile equivalent to ours as measured by the geographic spread and urban density of your Mailing Items to our Standard Selection Codes (SSC). 

Averaged Price Plan Two (Zones) 
A uniform Price Plan for meeting a posting profile equivalent to ours as measured by the geographic spread of your Mailing Items to our Zones. 

Regional Price Plan (Zones) 
A uniform Price Plan specific to your chosen Region for meeting a posting profile equivalent to ours in that same Region as measured by the geographic spread of Mailing Items to the Zones (excluding the London Zone). 

Zonal Price Plan Your Daily Postings are priced individually according to the number of Mailing Items for delivery in each pricing Zone. 

Price Plans must be chosen by you and agreed by us before you enter into your Contract and you will then be given separate account numbers which you will need to use to identify whether your Mailing Items are being declared under the National Price Plan One (SSC's), the Averaged Price Plan Two (Zones), the Regional Price Plan (Zones) or the Zonal Price Plan.

2.5 Addressing Standards

You must ensure that the addressing standards set out in Appendix A are met. Appendix A provides information on what information must be included in the address as a minimum and the address layout requirements. Please see Section 3 of this User Guide for the correct positioning of the Access Indicium and Return Address on a Mailing Item.

You must also ensure that each Mailing Item is addressed to its recipient so that the address is visible and legible at all times. For Zonal Postings there is an additional requirement to include the Zonal Indicator – please refer to Appendix J.

2.6 Address and Postcode Accuracy

You must ensure that at least 90% of all Mailing Items are fully and accurately addressed and Postcoded in accordance with our Postcode Address File (PAF®).

For Postings for which you are required to denote the relevant Zone of the Mailing Items declared, where the address data on a Mailing Item does not have the Postcode selection in sufficient detail to identify a Zone, you must declare such Mailing Items as Zone Z, except for those Mailing Items whose delivery destinations are in the London Zone which you must declare as Zone D. The total number of Zone Z Mailing Items must not exceed 10% of your annual volume of Mailing Items posted within a Financial Year (Note that different Access Charges may apply to Zone Z Mailing Items according to the particular Price Plan that you are posting under).

You are responsible for uploading each Mailing Item to the correct Zone. The minimum Postcode accuracy for each UCID Posting or Consolidated Posting must be provided to us electronically via DocketHUB or such other format as agreed by us. The Postcode must be consistent with the address stated according to PAF®.

2.7 OCR or Mailmark option

Mailing Items posted as OCR or Mailmark Services must meet the physical properties of the relevant Service specification.

The OCR Service requires certain type faces only to be used in the Delivery Address to ensure our machines can read and process Mailing Items at a certain efficiency rate. Specific parts of the envelope or outer must be kept free of text and artwork so that we can print and recover route and tag codes as Mailing Items are machine sorted.

The Mailmark Service requires each Mailing Items to have a Mailmark barcode visible on it. The performance of your mailing consignment is optimised when each Mailing Item is well designed, the address and Postcode on the Mailing Item is consistent with the Postcode and DPS contained within the Mailmark barcode on the Mailing Item and corresponds with the eManifest, and all address, Postcode and DPS elements match the correct record held in PAF®.

Mailing Items meeting the required OCR Letter and Large Letter format specifications must have accreditation as set out in Appendix B.

Please refer to the following Appendices for the full service specification requirements:
  • OCR Large Letter specification – Appendix D
  • OCR Letter specification – Appendix G
  • Mailmark Letter and Large Letter specification - Appendix M

Figure 2: Additional Information

2.8 Advertising Mail Catalogue option

All Catalogues posted as Advertising Mail must meet the service specification as set out in Appendix N of this User Guide and Schedule 6: Royal Mail Advertising Mail® of the Access Letters Contract.

3 Indicium for Access

Mailing Items will only be accepted at an Inward Mail Centre if they bear an Access Indicium approved by us. The Indicium cannot be used to access retail end-to-end services or for any other purpose than as set out in the Contract and User Guide.


3.1 Indicium for Access

All Mailing Items must carry an approved Indicium which has been agreed by us and you. The Indicium comprises:

The approved Customer Access Indicator (optional) - This must clearly and uniquely identify you or your carrier (where you use a carrier to hand over Mailing Items to us at Inward Mail Centres) for example by including either:
  • your legal entity name, or the legal entity name of your carrier; or
  • a design registered by you or your carrier; or 
  • a trade mark design registered to you or your carrier; and the Royal Mail Access Indicator, see figure 5.

The Royal Mail Access Indicator – this must be used on any Mailing Item handed over under your Contract. The Royal Mail Access Indicator comprises the:
  • Royal Mail cruciform accompanied by the words 'Delivered by', and
  • your unique Access Licence Number, which we will assign to you once a Credit Account has been set up for your Contract;

An example of the Indicium template to be used can be found at Figures 3 & 4. A copy of the actual Indicium template, which you must comply with, will be available to you (once your Credit Account has been set up) to download from the Website. You must get our written approval for all designs and subsequent design changes. We require at least two months' written notice of design proposals prior to any requested implementation date. You may not use any designs before we have given you our written approval. This notice period allow us to carry out technical testing and other approval procedures.

In order for us to manage the operation of Access in a liberalised marketplace with many customers you will be limited to a maximum of 5 different designs for your Customer Access Indicator, which can be used under your Contract, unless we agree otherwise. Negative versions (i.e. a reverse image e.g. white on black) of current approved positive images of Access Indicia are not classed as additional Access Indicia designs, and are included within the maximum 5 designs allowed. These negative images must be tested and agreed as acceptable in writing by us before they can be accepted on Access Mailing Items.


Figure 3: Indicia large


Figure 4: Indicia small


The top and right hand edge of the Indicium zone (as set out in Figures 3 and 4) must be aligned exactly to the top and right hand edges of the address face of a Mailing Item. The preferred clear zone round the Access Indicium is 5mm2.There is no minimum clear zone.

For irregular shaped Mailing Items please contact your Access Account Director for preferred Indicium positioning.

Upon setting up a Credit Account we will issue you with a unique Access Licence Number for your use on all Mailing Items (except when setting up a Credit Account as an Agency Customer in which case the Agency Customer shall use the unique Access Licence Number of its Agent, as described in the Agency Schedule (Schedule 17) of the Access Contract. This unique Access Licence Number will be incorporated within the Access Indicator for your use. We will not accept a Posting unless all Mailing Items include and clearly display your unique Access Licence Number. Mailing Items carrying any other Indicium (for example Pre Printed Impressions for Retail services) or the Indicium of another Customer may not be posted under your Contract.

The Indicium must be printed in accordance with the design specifications as detailed in the templates in Figures 3 and 4.

3.2 Indicium Size

Royal Mail Access Indicator
You may choose either of the specified s for the Royal Mail Access Indicator to use for your Mailing Item.

Figure 5: Royal Mail Access Indicator

Customer Access Indicator
  • Large Customer Indicator - Maximum area available is 30mm tall x 50mm wide 
  • Small Customer Indicator - Maximum area available is 20mm tall x 50mm wide
There is no minimum for the Customer Access Indicator but it needs to be visible and any words used within the indicator box need to be in a font that is at least 10 points. You must have the right to use the Intellectual Property rights in any design that you seek to have approved by us for use under the terms of this Contract.

Any variation in or design from that submitted to us by you will need to be checked through our sorting machinery before use.

3.3 Stamp-like indicium

Included as one of your 5 approved designs, you also have the option of creating a Stamp-like Indicium which may be printed as an image on to the Mailing Item or can be applied as a self- adhesive label. The Stamp-like Indicium must include the Royal Mail Access Indicator as shown in Figure 5 and be approved by us before we accept it. Full details of the Stamp-like Indicium specification can be found on our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com and your Access Account Director will be able to provide further information.

3.4 Digital Stamp Indicium

You have the option of creating a Digital Stamp Indicium. This option is only available if you post using Royal Mail Mailmark® and have signed the Digital Stamp Schedule. Full details of the terms and the approval process and design specifications can be obtained from www.royalmailwholesale.com

3.5 Return Addresses and Undeliverable Mail

You shall ensure that every Mailing Item is clearly marked on the reverse with a United Kingdom3 return to sender address (please refer to Appendix A for more information on addressing standards). Figure 6 shows the recommended format and positioning of the Return Address for all Mailing Items. This should be left justified and should be preceded with the words 'Return Address'.

Figure 6: Return address - Back

The positioning of the return to sender address on the reverse of a Mailing Item is to minimise confusion with the Delivery Address. Where it is not possible to print the return to sender address on the reverse (e.g. the Indicium is printed by a meter machine, a consolidation machine, on a polywrap envelope, self- adhesive label or postcard, the return to sender address may be printed in accordance with Figure 7.

Figure 7: Return address - Front

Any undeliverable Mailing Items may be returned to the United Kingdom return to sender address provided on the Mailing Item. Also see Return Addresses – Supplementary Guidelines on our Website https://www.royalmailwholesale.com/.

Please see Appendix D for specific requirements for OCR Large Letter mail and Appendix G for specific requirements for OCR Letters.

As the designated Universal Service Provider, our obligation is to deliver to every United Kingdom address each Working Day (Monday to Saturday). This obligation does not extend to providing a breakdown of Mailing Items by chosen identifiers including, departments, teams, floors at the Delivery Address so that it is ready for internal delivery at that address. If you require returned mail to be pre-sorted for example by department, you can apply for a Select a Post Service from Royal Mail (please note that charges apply.)

It is your responsibility to make sure that you comply with our return to sender address format and position on the envelope.

4 Enquiries & Complaints

Should we receive enquiries/complaints from recipients of Mailing Items (the addressee) sent under your Contract, the addressee will be advised to contact the originating sender (except where the issue concerns delivery procedures e.g. mis-delivery when we will deal directly with the recipient). Should we receive enquiries/complaints from the Originating Customer of Mailing Items sent under your Contract, the Originating Customer will be advised to contact their chosen Operator.

Any issue that you wish to discuss in relation to your Contract should be raised in the first instance with your Access Account Director as notified to you by us, unless otherwise specified in the Contract. Any complaint about service or operational issues should be raised in the first instance with DSACC. (DSACC@royalmail.com)

5 Preparing Mailing Items

5.1 Step 1: Format Segregation

Each Daily Posting and UCID Posting or Consolidated Posting must be segregated into Letters and Large Letters as shown in Figure 8. Each Mailing Item must comply with a range of physical parameters or any other series of formats as may be specified by us from time to time.

Figure 8: Format split

What is a Letter or Large Letter?

Letter format is no larger than C5+
  • Maximum 240mm x 165mm 
  • Minimum is 100mm x 70mm 
  • Maximum thickness 5mm 
  • Maximum weight 100g
Large Letter format is not a Letter and which is 
  • Maximum 353mm x 250mm 
  • Maximum thickness 25mm 
  • Maximum weight 750g


Please note: For Letter services and Large Letter format Mailing Items posted as Advertising Mail, Responsible Mail, Business Mail Large Letters or Magazine Subscription Mail, the definition for length and width for Mailing Items excludes plastic outer covers, provided that they are flimsy and easily folded, in which case the outer covers will not count towards the length and width dimensions of the Mailing Item for pricing purposes. We also have specific dimensions for poll cards. See Appendix P: Poll Card services.

5.2 Step 2: OCR/ Mailmark option/Machinable/Manual Split

Mailing Items within a Daily Posting and UCID Posting or Consolidated Posting must be split by Service between OCR, Mailmark option, Machinable Items and those described as Manual Items. 

Where your Postings are segregated and labelled according to whether they are Machinable Items or Manual Items (in accordance with the relevant specification), you shall maintain that segregation and labelling and present the Postings in that way to us.


Figure 9: format + service split


Machinable Letter Specification

A Mailing Item is Machinable if it complies with the following requirements:
  • A Mailing Item must be no larger than 240mm x 165mm (C5+) and no smaller than 140mm x 110mm 
  • It must weigh no more than 100g
  • All four sides must be straight
  • Each corner must be 90° 
  • The vertical edge must be equal to or shorter than the horizontal edge
  • Items must not be printed in 'portrait' format 
  • It must be no thicker than 5mm and no thinner than 0.25mm
  • It must be capable of meeting the flexibility test along its longest edge (see Appendices G & H) 
  • It must be sealed firmly on all sides
  • Polythene or plastic envelopes or wrapping cannot be used 
  • All Mailing Items must meet our Addressing Standards (please see Section 2 & Appendix A
  • Inflexible objects such as coins, keys, pens and thick card coupons must not be enclosed.
Machinable Large Letter Specification

We offer two Services for Machinable Large Letters – these are Access 70 OCR (please see Appendix D) and Access 70 Mailmark option (please see Appendix M).

Manual Item Specification

Any Mailing Item that does not meet the Machinable Letter or Large Letter Specifications above, but meets the Letter or Large Letter format specification is deemed to be a Manual Item. For poll cards, see the specification details for the manual Poll Sort service at Appendix P.

Note: Labelling Mailing Items as Manual Items does not preclude us from processing such Mailing Items on our machines, if we so choose.

5.3 Step 3: Weight Band Segregation

All Machinable Items and Manual Items must be sorted by format into weight bands as shown in Figure 10.


Figure 10: format + service + weight band split

6 Sortation & Presentation

You must present Mailing Items in an approved Container. The choice and type of Containers permitted for mail presentation are:
  • Tray 
  • Bag 
  • Auto Level Packet Sleeve (ALPS). These must be used in-conjunction with Yorks and you must sign both a York and ALPS Schedule prior to use.
The choice of Container is restricted by the Mailing Item format as illustrated in Figure 11.


Figure 11: Format and containers

Please note: Lower prices are available for Mailing Items when presented in trays and for Large Letters >10mm thick when presented in ALPS as these Container types enhance mail hygiene and are the lowest cost and most efficient Containers for these formats. Please see our prices at www.royalmailwholesale.com.

6.1 Minimum Container Fills (Tray, Bags, ALPS)

Minimum Container Fills - Each Container shall only contain all Letters or all Large Letters.

In the case of Letters, each tray or bag shall contain at least: 
  • 25 Letters each weighing no more than 100g; and

In the case of Large Letters  (excluding Large Letters declared as Magazine Subscription Mail), each tray, bag or ALPS shall contain at least:
  • 5 Large Letters each weighing no more than 100g; or 
  • 5 Large Letters each weighing more than 100g up to 250g; or 
  • 5 Large Letters each weighing more than 250g up to 750g; and

6.2 Under Volume Containers (Bags, Trays, ALPS)

An Under Volume Container is a Container that does not contain the minimum number of Mailing Items in each weight step as defined in section 6.1.

Your Actual Container Fill is the specific number of Mailing Items in an Under Volume Container that you give us on a per container basis. 

The Wholesale Average Container Fill is the total number of Mailing Items received by Wholesale in the previous Financial Year divided by the number of containers received in that period. 

The Under Volume Container Charge is the fixed charge that we apply in the calculation set out in 6.2.1 below. 

Both the Wholesale Average Container Fill and the Under Volume Container Charge are published on our Website and as amended in accordance with clause 13.2.3 of the Contract.

6.2.1   Unique Customer Identifier (UCID) Postings

You have the option of using a Unique Customer Identifier (UCID) on your Container Labels. This is an identifying number (maximum 15 characters) created and assigned by you that uniquely identifies each of your discrete Customer Entities, Posting Entities and Originating Customers which allows you to associate Mailing Items relating to each separate entity/customer The numbering methodology for UCIDs must be submitted and approved by us before use. If you wish to use UCIDs you must complete Schedule 5 of your Contract to submit your proposed UCID numbering methodology for approval by us.

Where a UCID is assigned to a Customer Entity, Posting Entity or Originating Customer, each time you hand over Mailing Items for a particular entity/Customer, the same unique UCID must be used. It is mandatory for that UCID to remain unchanged throughout the life of the Contract, except if you have our approval to make changes.

Where a valid UCID is used, we will restrict the corrective actions we may take under Schedule 2 of the Contract and section 15 of this User Guide against any Mailing Items we find during Revenue Protection which do not comply with the terms of your Contract and this User Guide to those Mailing Items bearing the same UCID.

If you fail to use a UCID in accordance with the terms of your Contract and this User Guide, you will lose the right for your UCID to be recognised for the purposes of Revenue Protection. Where you present a UCID Posting in accordance with Schedule 2 of your Contract and this User Guide then one Under Volume Container per Standard Selection Code (SSC) per UCID per Service used per day will be charged at the Access Charges relevant for that Service. This is subject to all other terms and conditions being met.

Any additional Under Volume Container will be surcharged. In calculating the surcharge for an Under Volume Container, we deduct your Actual Container Fill from the Wholesale Average Container Fill, and multiply the resulting number by the Under Volume Container Charge, giving the surcharge due for that individual Under Volume Container in each case, as set out below: 

(Wholesale Average Container Fill – Actual Container Fill) x Under Volume Container Charge. 

For clarity, Under Volume Container Charges are applied in addition to the postage charges for the items.

Where we have agreed to your numbering methodology for UCID Postings and UCID numbers are being used, each UCID number must be visible on the Container label within the Customer ID field (see Section 7) and correspond with the UCID number on the Manifest.

6.2.2  Selecting the Under Volume Container to be charged at the Access Charge.

Where more than one Under Volume Container is produced, DocketHUB (or other systems we may develop and make available) will select the Under Volume Container per SSC per Service that will be charged at the relevant Access Charge on the basis of the following:
  • The Under Volume Container per SSC with the least number of Mailing Items; or 
  • Where two or more Under Volume Containers have the same number of Mailing Items, the Container with the highest average item weight.
All additional Under Volume Containers are to be charged as detailed in this and must be declared as such on the Manifest and Posting Docket.

You shall ensure that the Container fill per Selection is maximised subject to the need to meet the requirement that each Container of Mailing Items presented must have the item contents accurately recorded on the Manifest and correspond to the Container's UCID.

6.3 Sortation

You must sort each Mailing Item within a Posting according to one of the Services as stated in Section 1 by using the current Version of the Access Selection Files (see Appendix C). We will provide at least 70 days notice of any changes to the Access Selection Files coming into effect.

  • Access 1400
Mailing Items are sorted to the level of Postcode Districts – these are called the Selections. The Access Selection Files contain around 1529 of these Selections. Where you are producing an Access 1400 Posting and there are insufficient Mailing Items to meet the minimum Container fill requirements (i.e. more than one Under Volume Container is being produced) you should consider bringing the mail together at an Access 70 sortation level in order to achieve minimum Container fill or use software to dynamically fill each Container.

  • Access 70
Mailing Items are sorted to a level which is based on Postcode Areas – these are called the Selections. The Access Selection Files contain around 86 of these Selections.

6.4 Presenting your Mailing Items in Bags

6.4.1      Bundling Mailing Items

Mailing Items of a similar weight, shape or must be bundled securely within bags. The number of Mailing Items in each bundle will depend on the nature of the Mailing Items which will normally be determined by their and thickness. Each Selection may consist of a number of bundles. Each individual Mailing Item must be securely sealed.

There is no required minimum number of Mailing Items in a bundle as long as the segregation criteria has been met as set out above, but as many Mailing Items as possible must be included within each bundle (subject to the maximum Container weight).

There is no maximum limit to the number of Mailing Items included in a bundle provided they do not exceed the maximum weight limit of the Container in which the bundle is then placed, and the thickness of the bundle does not exceed that which can be held in one hand (approximately 15cm).

All bundles must be tied with the Mailing Items facing the same way, using sufficient strapping or rubber bands, so that they do not burst open in the bag, given reasonable handling conditions. If Mailing Items are 'wedge-shaped', they should be counter-stacked with the top half facing the opposite way to the bottom half.

Once the tie or strapping have been removed the Mailing Items must be capable of being handled individually and must not be stuck to one another for any reason, including any stuck together due to the use of any adhesive in the mail production process.

Mailing Items should be bundled in such a way as to not damage the individual Mailing Items. Bundles that become insecure as a result of inadequate strapping or other material used will be subject to Surcharges4.

6.4.2  Bagging Mail

Once the Mailing Items are bundled, they must be bagged. The maximum bag weight we will accept is 11kg, including the weight of the bag, bag tie and label. Depending on the volume of the Posting, more than one bag for a Selection may be needed. To make sure the bag weight will not exceed 11kg, it is usual practice to mark the bag breaks on the Mailing Items.

You must make sure that all Mailing Items for a single Selection are included in one bag unless the maximum weight is exceeded. Where possible all Mailing Items within each bag should be of a similar weight, shape or . You must make sure that more than one bag is used if the weight of a bag, bag tie and label exceeds 11kg. The bag neck should be securely tied/strapped with a bag tie provided by us. Bags must not be tied through the 'D' rings.

The minimum number of Mailing Items accepted in a bag is:
  • 25 Letters;
  • 5 Large Letters (as set out in Section 6.1); or
  • 10 Large Letters declared as Magazine Subscription Mail (as set out in Section 6.1). 
In general, however, bag fill must be maximised and filled to capacity within the Selection, subject to meeting accurate bag fill.

To determine when a new bag must be started and a new label provided, you will need to distinguish where the Mailing Items for one Selection ends and a new Selection begins. There are a variety of ways to do this e.g. Print the Access Standard Selection Code (SSC) near the address; this determines that it is time for new bag when the code changes. Software can be set up to print a distinguishing mark (e.g. three asterisks) on the last item for each bag in each Selection, or work through the printout of its sorted mailing list and mark it by hand. You can produce a blank label as a Selection break indicator between each Selection.

It is recommended that the long tail ends and loose ends of bag ties are tucked and wrapped in to the band formed by the bag tie to prevent it sticking out and causing injury to anyone handling the bags.

6.5 Presenting your Mailing Items in Trays

If you have entered into a separate Tray Schedule with us, trays may be used for the purpose of handing over your Mailing Items to us as listed in Figure 11.

Each tray shall contain only Mailing Items of the same format for a single Selection. (Selections must not be mixed in trays). Trays weigh 1kg, the tray and contents must not weigh more than 10kgs. Efficient use of trays is mandatory, a requirement that is to the benefit of both the carrier and us. Consequently, for any single selection, a tray must be full before another tray is used unless the maximum tray weight is exceeded.

6.5.1  Tray Presentation by Format

Letters
  • Letters must be presented in trays in the following way: 
  • Letters must be stacked vertically 
  • Letters must be inserted upside down with the Access Indicium facing the tray label. Figure 12 
  • Letters must be loose loaded in trays 
  • Letters must not be packed tightly into trays. Figure 12
  • Letters must not be bundled

Large Letters 
  • The dimensions of a Large Letter determine how it must be presented in a tray:
  •  Large Letters < 240mm x 165mm 
  • Large Letters must be stacked vertically
  • Large Letters must be inserted upside down with the Access Indicia facing the tray label Figure 12 
  • Large Letters must be loose loaded in trays
  • Large Letters must not be packed tightly into trays Figure 12 
  • Large Letters must not be bundled

Figure 12: Tray fill cross Section (front and side)

Large Letters < 10mm > than 240mm x 165mm 
  • Landscape - the address and Access Indicium uppermost in the tray, face up, and with the Access Indicium away from the tray front and label. Figure 13 
  • Portrait - the address and Access Indicium uppermost in the tray, face up, and with the Access Indicium adjacent to the tray front and label. Figure 13

Large Letters must be laid horizontal and placed as high as the opening used to carry the trays – this allows the trays to be carried and lifted. However, it is permitted that the Large Letters can be level with the 'Plimsoll line' inside the container rim. Figure 14.

Large Letters must not be bundled.

Figure 13: Tray fill (landscape and portrait)

Figure 14: Plimsoll line fill

Please note: Mailing Items to Jersey (JE) and Guernsey (GY), are excluded from being presented in trays for security and handling safety and must be presented in bags in accordance with Section 6.4.

6.6 Presenting your Mailing Items ALPS

If you have entered into a separate ALPS Schedule with us, ALPS may be used for the purpose of posting only Large Letters as listed in Figure 11 and as particularly described in the ALPS Schedule.

6.6.1   Presenting Large Letters in ALPS

Large Letters must be placed loose in to each ALPS because we acknowledge that the physical dimensions and weight of the individual Large Letter may mean it is not suited to being bundled. Each Large Letter must be securely sealed.

6.6.2   ALPS presentation

Like bags and trays, an ALPS is a primary Container. Therefore the same requirements for sortation, labelling and maximising fill (i.e. accurate number of Mailing Items/Under Volume charges), will apply as for bags and trays. Please see Section 6.1. Each ALPS Container shall contain only Large Letters for a single selection. Selections must not be mixed within an ALPS Container. Efficient use of ALPS Containers is a requirement that is to the benefit of both the carrier and us. Consequently, for any single selection, an ALPS Container must be full before another ALPS Container is used for the same selection unless the maximum York weight of 250kg is exceeded. ALPS Containers must be fully zipped up and secured when presented at the Inward Mail Centre.

6.6.3   Labelling Requirements

For Large Letters posted in ALPS Containers, a bag Customer Final Label, (CFL) as defined in Section 7, or if Mixed Weight in Section 6.11, must be securely attached to a blank York card, which is secured in the York label holder.

6.7 Unwrapped Bundle Postings

Some Mailing Items may be presented in trays, bags or ALPS as Unwrapped. Please refer to Appendix E: Unwrapped specification for full details.

6.8 Unbagged Bundle Postings

Some Mailing Items may be presented as unbagged bundles. Please see Appendix F for full details relating to this specification.

6.9 Unwrapped and Unbagged Bundle Posting

Some Mailing Items may be presented as Unwrapped and unbagged. Please see Appendix E and Appendix F for full details relating to Mailing Items presented in this way.

Please note: Mailing Items to Jersey (JE), Guernsey (GY), Isle Of Man (IM) are excluded from being presented in ALPS for security and safety and must be presented in bags in accordance with Section 6.4. A Mailing Item for Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man that cannot fit into a standard Royal Mail bag due to its physical dimensions must be presented and labelled as an individual Container.

6.10 Presentation of Responsible Mail™ and Advertising Mail™ Mailing Items

In addition to the Responsible Mail and Advertising Mail requirements as detailed in the respective Responsible Mail and Advertising Mail Schedules, the following presentational requirements also apply:

  • each Container you use to hand over Mailing Items to us under the Contract must contain only Responsible Mail Entry Level, only Responsible Mail Intermediate Level, (i.e. the levels must not be mixed), or only Advertising Mail; and
  • each Container containing exclusively Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail that is presented by you must be labelled by you using the labels we provide which clearly indicate that the contents are Responsible Mail Entry Level, Responsible Mail Intermediate Level or Advertising Mail. Please see Section 7 for more information on labelling requirements.

General information:
We want to provide you with the best possible service when using Advertising Mail, so mailings are received by customers in great condition. However, mail is a physical medium and occasionally indentations or marking of mail may occur as it passes through machinery. This applies particularly with Unwrapped mail (i.e. of Postcard type design) that has been produced through digital print technology. To minimise issues we recommend that digitally printed mail items are wrapped, or an ultra violet (UV) or water based gloss coating applied to the non-address side of the finished piece. These coatings enhance wear resistance. Mail produced on lithograph presses is less susceptible to this type of marking.

6.10.1   Seed/sample Mailing Items

For each Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail Posting you must provide us with a sample of the Mailing Item to be used prior to posting or include us as a seed in the Posting to verify it meets the Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail specification. The Sample/Seed must be an exact reproduction of the Mailing Items to be posted in terms of both envelopes used and contents enclosed and must include the information detailed in the separate Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail Schedules. The Sample/Seed must be sent to the following address:

RM Sample Royal Mail Wholesale [immediately followed by the relevant UCID number, e.g. 12345 and the mail reference] 
PO Box 72662 
London 
E1W 9LD

You must also provide us with a current UCID list that details the originating posting Customer name/trading name for all Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail Postings. You must maintain this list, adding each new UCID that is introduced, and informing us of all updates at the time the new UCID is posted. You must also print: (i) the relevant UCID; and (ii) unless the Data Opt Out has been exercised, the Mail Reference clearly on the seed/sample Mailing Item. Sample/Seed. The Data Opt Out, and our responsibilities in relation to the Data Opt Out, are explained further in the separate Advertising Mail and Responsible Mail Schedules.

We will only use the details of the UCID and (where applicable) the Mail Reference for the sole purposes of (i) checking that each Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail Posting meets the Responsible Mail or Advertising Mail specification; and (ii) for the purposes given in the separate Responsible Mail and Advertising Mail Schedules. For full details on the compliance checks made, please refer to the 'Advertising Mail and Responsible Mail seed checks - customer guidelines' at www.royalmailwholesale.com

6.10.2   Data Opt Out

If you, or the Customer Entity or Originating Posting Customer, as the case may be, wishes to exercise the Data Opt Out as described further in the separate Advertising Mail and Responsible Mail Schedules, you must populate the following data entry fields:
  • for the applicable Advertising Mail or Responsible Mail posting posted as Mailmark, denote the number “1” within spare field 1 (named “JIC Opt out”) of the eManifest; and/or
  • for the applicable Advertising Mail or Responsible Mail posting declared on the Posting Docket, denote the words “OUT” within the "mailing ref” field of the Posting Docket.

6.11 Presentation of Magazine Subscription Mail Mailing Items

Magazine Subscription Mail service is for Large Letters only. 

You may use this service if you have signed the Magazine Subscription Mail Schedule and you have registered the Title with us. 

In addition to the requirements detailed in the Magazine Subscription Mail Schedule, the presentational requirements set out in this section 6.11 also apply. 

To qualify as Magazine Subscription Mail you must ensure that: 

1. Mailing Items:
  • comprise at least thirty per cent of editorial content. Editorial content does not include advertising material or data; or any information relating to a product or service, such as pricing information or product descriptions, which relate to either the publisher of the Title, the owner of the Title or a third party; 
  • show the Title, the date of issue, and issue number on the front cover; and 
  • have dimensions that qualify as a Large Letter as set out in this User Guide; and

2. you sort each Magazine Subscription Mail Posting using Access 70 and, meet the specifications and requirements of Royal Mail Mailmark; 

3. you reference the Title name in the “Campaign Name” field of the Mailmark eManifest each time you submit a Magazine Subscription Mail Posting to us; 

4. each Container you use to hand over Magazine Subscription Mail to us under the Contract must contain only Magazine Subscription Mail of the same Title; and 

5. each Container you use to hand over Magazine Subscription Mail must be labelled as Magazine Subscription Mail using the label identifier we specify in Section 7 of this User Guide.

6.11.1 Sample Magazine Subscription Mailing Items 

Before you handover Magazine Subscription Mail to us you must: 

1. register each Title with us by completing the application form on the Website including, the name of the Title which is to be sent as Magazine Subscription Mail, the name of the Title's publisher and the Supply Chain ID you will use for each Mailmark Mailing; and 

2. provide us with a sample of the Title in accordance with this section below. The sample must be an exact reproduction of the Title to be posted in terms of both outers used, front covers and contents enclosed. 

The registration form and sample must be sent to the following address: 

RM Sample (Magazine Subscription Mail)
Royal Mail Wholesale [immediately followed by the relevant Mailmark SCID number], 
2nd Floor 206 
Whitechapel Rd 
London 
E1 1AA 

We will confirm in writing to you whether the Title is eligible for the Magazine Subscription Service and you may commence your Magazine Subscription Mail Postings of that Title from the date of our notification.

6.12 Presenting Mixed Weight

Mixed Weight is a presentation option for Large Letters only, unless you are posting Catalogues (in which case Appendix N will apply to those Catalogues). You may use this presentation option if you have signed a Mixed Weight Schedule and completed the implementation timeline with us successfully. Your Access Account Director will be able to advise of the timescales involved. Mixed Weight allows you to hand over Large Letters of different weight bands within a Container at an Inward Mail Centre.

Large Letters must be sorted by you to the Access 70 or Access 1400 Services. As is the case for all other Services, Mixed Weight may not be used for handing over different formats in any one Container. You must test the upload of your Mixed Weight data via DocketHUB prior to your first Mixed Weight Daily Posting. The Service Standard and other Service criteria are as already specified within the main body and relevant Appendices of this User Guide.

6.11.1   Mixing Weight Bands

Where all of the individual Large Letter weights in a Container comprise a mix of weight bands ('Mixed Weight') you must declare on the Manifest the total number of Large Letters by weight band, and the Zone if applicable (please refer to Appendix J for more information on Zonal Postings). Please see Figure 17.

The weight band indicators to be used on the Manifest are as follows:
  • WB1 (weight band 1) items weighing no more than 100g. All items falling within this weight band will be priced accordingly. 
  • WB2 (weight band 2) - items weighing more than 100g up to 250g. All items falling within this weight band will be priced accordingly. 
  • WB3 (weight band 3) - items weighing more than 250g up to 750g are priced in 1g increments at the average weight of all the items falling within this weight band.
Where all the Large Letter weights in a Container fall within a single weight band the Mailing Items must be declared as such on the Manifest and will be priced accordingly.

6.11.2   Labelling Requirements

For the Mixed Weight presentation there is a requirement to include an additional identifier (MW) on the Container CFL. This identifies to the accepting Inward Mail Centres that the Posting is Mixed Weight. Please see figure 15.

If your Mailing Items arrive in York Containers, there is also a requirement to include 'Mixed Weight' on the York cards. Please see Figure 16.

All other labelling requirements are as Section 7 of this User Guide.

Figure 15: Mixed Weight bag label

Figure 16: Mixed Weight York label


6.11.3   Documentation

For Mixed Weight Postings, your Manifest must be uploaded electronically to DocketHUB, and received no later than 06:30am on the Handover Day of the Large Letters to which the Manifest refers. For Mixed Weight Postings, you will be issued with a separate discrete account number for use of Manifest uploads to DocketHUB.

The Manifest enables you to declare both Mixed Weight and non-Mixed Weight Containers in a Mixed Weight Daily Posting. An example of the Manifest is shown in Figure 17. 

Two physical copies of the Manifest must accompany Mixed Weight Postings handed over at an Inward Mail Centre. The Manifest data for each Mixed Weight Container must declare the number of Large Letters within each weight band; show the average weight of the Large Letters in WB3 and the total weight of all Large Letters in the Container.

For Mailing Items posted under National Price Plan One (SSC's) or Averaged Price Plan Two (Zones), the data must be populated with the volume of Mailing Items under the 'National' column (NAT) for each weight band (an example is shown in blue text on the Manifest at Figure 17). For a non-Mixed Weight Container within a Mixed Weight Daily Posting, you must declare the number of Mailing Items by weight band and show the total weight of the Large Letters in the Container and the average item weight (an example is shown in black text on the Manifest at Figure 17.)

For Mailing Items posted under the Zonal Price Plan, the data must also include the number of Mailing Items by Zone within each weight band. (An example is shown in red text on the Manifest at Figure 17). For a non-Mixed Weight Container within a Mixed Weight Daily Posting, you must declare the number of Mailing Items by weight band and show the total weight of the Large Letters in the Container and the average item weight, and also declare on the Manifest the number of items by Zone within a weight band. (An example is shown in green text on the Manifest at Figure 17.)

6.11.4   Pricing

Each Mixed Weight Daily Posting is priced according to the number of Large Letters within each weight band. For Large Letters in WB3 prices are calculated according to the number of Large Letters at the average weight.

Figure 17: Manifest for Mixed Weight Postings

6.13 Business Mail Large Letter

In addition to the Business Mail Large Letter requirements as detailed in the Business Mail Large Letter Schedule, the following presentational requirements also apply:

  • each Container you use to hand over Business Mail Large Letter Mailing Items to us under the Contract must contain only Business Mail Large Letters; and 
  • each Container containing exclusively Business Mail Large Letters that is presented by you must be labelled using the labels we provide to clearly indicate that the contents are Business Mail Large Letter. Please see Section 7 for more information on labelling requirements.

7 Customer Final Labelling Requirements (CFL)

Containers must be labelled with Customer Final Labels (CFL), which indicate the destination and contents of the Container and include the information as specified by us. We will provide blank labels to you; only these labels may be used to produce final labels and these final labels may only be used for the final containerisation, labelling and sealing of Containers prior to handover to us (rough labelling will not be accepted). Yellow labels must be used for all Mailing Items declared as a Machinable Service. Only Manual mail must use white labels.

Please note that Postings made against National Price Plan (One), Averaged Price Plan Two (Zones) and the Regional Price Plan (Zones) shall adhere to the labelling instructions for the “National” option where it is referenced in this section on CFL requirements.

The following table details which CFL file to use for which Service and with which colour Container label:



Figure 18: CFL

7.1 Label Positioning Guide

Figure 19 and Figure 20 show the dimensions of our bag and tray labels. Both show the area for use by you and the area of the label for use by us.

Figure 19: Bag label positioning guide
Figure 20: Tray label positioning guide

7.2 Customer defined information field

The customer defined information field within the CFL is for your routing or other required information. The label design and any subsequent changes to the defined customer defined information field require two months' prior written notice for approval from us before use. This is to avoid the potential for operational confusion. You must send hard copy proofs to your Account Manager for approval prior to use.

7.3 Royal Mail defined information field

The Royal Mail defined information field is where you must include all the relevant information we require in order for you to route and handover the Container to the correct IMC.

Figures 21 and 22 are examples of what a Container label looks like, including specifications for field , fonts and formatting. Please note all fields are aligned left, unless otherwise stated. Where you have entered into a separate ALPS Schedule for Mailing Items posted in ALPS Containers, you must label each ALPS by securing the CFL to a blank York card, which is secured in the York label holder.

Figure 21: Bag label National and Zonal options

Figure 22: Tray labels National and Zonal options

1. Unique Container Identification Number - This is an identifying number unique to that Container (maximum of 14 characters). The same unique number is to be printed on the Manifest against the description of that Container's contents. It is optional whether you want to repeat the unique Container ID on the vertical axis as illustrated in Figure 21 and 22.

2. Unique Customer Identification Number (UCID) - Use is subject to our approval of your numbering methodology via the inclusion of Schedule 5 to your Contract. This is an optional identifying number (maximum 15 characters) assigned by you to each of your discrete Posting Entities, Customer Entities or Originating Customers. Where a UCID is assigned, each time you hand over Mailing Items for the same Posting Entity, Customer Entity or Originating Customer, the same unique UCID number must be used.

3. Format – This indicates the type of Mailing Item within the Container. All formats shall be identified in the manner set out below and shall always be in uppercase:
  • Large Letters - Manual Item                           LGE LETTERS
  • Large Letters –OCR                                         OCR LGE LETTERS
  • Machinable Letters                                          MECH LTR
  • Manual Letters                                                  MAN LTR
  • OCR Letters                                                       OCR
  • Mailmark Letters                                              MAILMARK
  • Mailmark Large Letters                                   LL MAILMARK

4. Standard Selection Code – The SSC for the Selection name as per the Access Selection Files. 

5. Customer type indicator – This is optional - it indicates the type of Customer you are:
  • DSA for Access by operators (where you are the carrier for another operator who uses their own Contract, it is optional for 'DSA' to be followed by the last 3 digits of their Access Licence Number)
  • CDA for customer direct access (CDA is then followed by the last 3 digits of your Access Licence Number)
  • AGY for Large Agency Customers. (AGY is then followed by 3 digits as provided by us which discretely relate to each of the Large Agency Customers detailed in Schedule 17 of the Contract. 
In addition when any of the following services are used it is a requirement to identify the service level achieved. This must be indicated above the Customer Type within the Customer Type Indicator box, using the correct abbreviation as stated below.  

ServiceAbbreviation
Advertising MailADVM
Responsible Mail Entry level; or,
Resp E
Responsible Mail Intermediate level; or,
Resp I
Business Mail Large Letter.BMLL
Magazine Subscription MailMag Sub

6. Customer Name – The name of the Customer or their Access Licence Number. 

7. Destination Office - The destination office is the Inward Mail Centre at which the Container is to be handed over.

8. Selection Name –The name of the Selection as listed in the Access Selection Files. This is only applicable for Access 1400.

9. Selection Description - This field defines the Postcode group or plan number within the Container and this information can be obtained from the Access Customer Final Labelling (CFL) database:
  • For Access 1400 Selections – this is Postcode District (or Sector) 
  • For Access 70 Selections - this is the Postcode Area (or District) followed by the word 'RESIDUE' or 'RES' 
  • For Access OCR Letters and Mailmark Selections – this is the word PLAN followed by the Plan number 
  • For Access OCR and Mailmark Large Letters – this is the Postcode Area (or District) followed by the word 'RESIDUE' or 'RES
10. Zonal option Identification – The indicator 'ZONAL' must be included on the CFL. The recommended positioning is to place this Zonal Indicator to the right of the CFL. It is mandatory for the wording on the label to be clear and legible and a minimum point of 10.

7.4 Size Guide

The following two tables provide a guide as to the font and relative font width of the CFL characteristics.

Figure 23: CFL bag guide

Figure 24: CFL tray guide - new


Customer Defined Information Field: 
  • Dimensions – See label positioning guide Figures 19 and 20 
  • Defined Information Field – For the Customer's routing or other required information.
The label design and any subsequent changes to the defined Customer information field require two months' prior written notice for approval from us before use. This is to avoid the potential for operational confusion. You must send hard copy proofs to your Access Account Director for approval.

7.5 Producing CFL

There are two methods you can use to carry out Customer final labelling.

7.5.1   Using label printers

If you are a large business, you may wish to use a label printer similar to those used in our sorting offices. You could use a label printer in one of the following two ways:
  • On Demand - this allows you to generate your own labels according to your specific needs, by keying in the relevant Standard Selection Code (SSC) 
  • Batch File Processing – label printing machines can also be used in a batch processing mode by either, manually keying in label requirements in advance from a printed list or computer disk or driving the printer directly from your computer system.
7.5.2   Database method

We provide you with a label database containing the necessary geographic routing information to enable accurate labelling. You will, however, need to purchase or develop your own software to access this database.

7.6 The different labelling methods explained

There are a number of ways to perform your labelling operations. This Section takes each method in turn and examines the areas you need to take into account, to ensure the whole process runs smoothly.

7.6.1   Final label printers

This is probably the most efficient option for larger-scale labelling operations. If this is the method you decide to use, you first need to decide whether to run the machine on-line or off-line. This will depend on a number of factors:
  • The number of production lines in use at any one time
  • The type of mailing 
  • The type of environment (both the computer and printer will operate more efficiently in a clean environment)
However, to operate it off-line, in batch mode, you will first need to decide whether to key each batch of Standard Selection Codes (SSCs) manually via an electronic process, or directly from your computer system.

7.6.2   Database method

There are two main areas you need to consider if implementing this method: your production process and computer systems.
  • Production process - we will supply you with blank labels and plastic ties to tie your bags. 
  • Computer systems - we will provide you with test data and implementation guidelines (available from your Access Account Director). You will then need to perform the programming required to provide access to the Access labelling database, and the capability of the printer to produce labels meeting our specifications.

7.7 Contingency plan

Whichever method you choose, you should draft an appropriate contingency plan to implement in case the main system should fail.

7.8 Chosen Labelling method

Once you've decided on which labelling method you might want to use, the first thing to do is to contact your Access Account Director, who will help you to work out your specific requirements. If you choose the database option, you'll also need to produce a set of test labels for us to validate before we can fully implement Access labelling.

7.9 Data formats

Each file contains a record for each SSC, please use the correct CFL file as detailed in Figure 11. The latest CFL file is obtainable via the www.royalmailwholesale.com. It is a requirement to use the correct and current CFL database.

File layout
DSAMANFL.DAT and DSAMECFL.DAT File layouts

Each file contains a record for each SSC, laid out as follows:

DSA Destination Office DSADESTN.DAT File layout

Contains a record for each Destination Office, together with address details, laid out as follows:

8 Equipment for Postings

8.1 Blank Labels and Bag Ties

We will make available and supply blank CFL's and bag ties to you as you may reasonably require via a scheduled monthly supply based on your average monthly Container use. This volume will be reviewed regularly to track the average monthly usage. Where additional ad-hoc consumables are required you must give DSACC (DSACC@royalmail.com) 5 Working Days' notice of your requirements and we will use reasonable efforts to provide your required amounts within the notice period. We provide blank labels and bag ties which must be used for final containerisation, labelling and sealing prior to handover to us. You shall only order blank labels and bag ties from DSACC and these will be delivered to your nominated address as detailed in the L.O.R. Consumables will be supplied in multiples of the appropriate box fills. We will not provide any other consumable items, such as rubber bands and bundle ties.

8.2 Bags

We will make available and supply to you as you may reasonably require mailbags from Inward Mail Centres on a daily basis using a pre agreed site/volume schedule. The schedule will be reviewed regularly, tracking the average monthly bag usage and availability of bags in the Inward Mail Centres. Where additional bags are required you must provide at least 5 Working Days' notice to DSACC of the required amounts. For requests for more than 100,000 bags a week at least 10 Working Days' notice must be given to DSACC. Ad-hoc bags will be collected by you from wherever the bags can be obtained from within the notice period. Our bags must only be used for the final bagging process prior to handover to the Inward Mail Centre. Empty bags must be collected from our specified site(s) at a time agreed by you and DSACC.

We do not supply Yorks for the transportation of empty bags; if you require bags supplied in Yorks, you must provide enough of your own Yorks for the bags required. Alternatively, you can loose load the bags. It is your responsibility to load the vehicle. Should you wish to introduce your own, wheeled, braked container that can be nested for the purpose of bag collection, we will need to carry out a national risk assessment on the container followed by a local risk assessment and we will need to be trained in its use. You must provide a container and details of Safe Systems of Work for the container type. The purpose of the assessments is to determine if the container is acceptable for the safe collection of bags and the associated processes.

8.3 Trays

By request and where mutually beneficial, we will make available and supply you with an agreed volume of our trays. The supply will be in a ratio appropriate to your daily requirement which is determined using an agreed weekly process. In order to facilitate efficient procedures in the supply chain no other tray design is permissible. You need to allow an appropriate lead time for the supply of trays, which will vary according to various factors, including the time of year. It is therefore important that you liaise with us to ensure that supply is available prior to the commencement of your first Posting and with DSACC for on-going abnormal demand situations like Key National Postings (KNPs). You are required to sign a 'Tray Loan Schedule' prior to first handover of trays; this is available to download from our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com.

We operate a one-for-one exchange of trays with you at the point of handover, or with your carrier on your behalf, at each Inward Mail Centre at which you hand over Mailing Items. This process must be supported by an accurate waybill for audit trail purposes.

You must notify additional requests for our trays to DSACC as soon as possible but no less than seven Working Days prior to the Posting for which they are required in conjunction with the pre-notification process (please see Section 11.)

8.4 Yorks/Auto Level Packet Sleeved (ALPS)

We will not supply York and or ALPS Containers to you unless it is operationally mutually beneficial to do so. You may purchase Yorks and ALPS from our preferred suppliers, provided that each proposed purchase is notified in advance to us via the signing of the relevant York Exchange Schedule or ALPS Schedule. Alternative arrangements can be made to hire our Yorks on a short term ad-hoc basis via signing the York Hire Schedule. Whether supplied or purchased, York and ALPS Containers must only be used in accordance with the relevant York Exchange or Hire Schedule or ALPS Schedule (available to download from www.royalmailwholesale.com)

Once such arrangements have been completed, we operate a one-for-one exchange of Yorks and ALPS with you, or your carrier on your behalf, at each Inward Mail Centre at which you hand over Mailing Items. This process must be supported by an accurate waybill for audit trail purposes. To allow for work in progress (i.e. the Containers in transit and Containers being filled), you will typically need to purchase Yorks/ALPS in a ratio of 3:1 for your peak volume usage.

If you use your own containers, you must unload all Mailing Items from your containers at the point of handover to us unless the container is the approved Tray Dolly (and you have entered into the terms of the Tray Dolly Schedule, details can be found on the Website, www.royalmailwholesale.com). We will supply suitable Containers at the point of handover for you to place Mailing Items into.

All requests for Yorks or ALPS should be notified to DSACC as soon as possible but no less than seven Working Days prior to the Posting for which they are required in conjunction with the pre-notification process (please see Section 11.)

8.5 Property

Blank CFls, bag ties, mail bags, trays, Yorks, ALPS and Tray Dollys (and any other such property we may introduce from time to time) shall remain our property at all times.

When handing over Mailing Items to us you shall only use property supplied by us in accordance with this User Guide and the Contract. You shall return all property to us upon termination of your Contract or otherwise as we may reasonably request. You shall keep the property in the safe custody and in reasonably good condition allowing for reasonable wear and tear. Property referred to in this section shall not be used by you or any 3rd party suppliers for any other purpose than carrying out your obligations of this User Guide and your Contract and property must only be used to enable the handover of Mailing Items to one of our Inward Mail Centres.

We shall be entitled to inspect such property referred to in this section at any reasonable time and in the case of misuse of the property by you, your customers or 3rd party suppliers may repossess such property acting reasonably.

9 Documentation

9.1 Posting Dockets

You must supply a Posting Docket in respect of each Daily Posting. The Posting Docket is used to calculate the Access Charges that will be invoiced to you and it must accurately record the Daily Posting.

Where you present a Large Agency Customer Posting in accordance with Schedule 17 of the Contract, it is mandatory for a separate Posting Docket to be uploaded using the Agency Customer account number specific to that Agency Customer. Posting Dockets and supporting data to enable the creation of Manifests must be submitted electronically to DSACC (DSACC@royalmail.com) using our DocketHUB system (or other system that we may develop and make available), and, after processing by DocketHUB, confirmed and received by DSACC no later than 06:30am on the Handover Day of the Mailing Items to which the Posting Docket refers.

To enable you to use DocketHUB, please refer to the External Webservice technical specification document which is available for download in PDF format from the Website www.royalmailwholesale.com.

Should additional information be required, please contact DSACC in the first instance.

The Posting Docket must represent the sum of the information provided in the Manifests, and will be automatically generated by DocketHUB. A Manifest is required for each Inward Mail Centre accessed for each Posting and may be produced by manual input into DocketHUB, or by electronic interface with mailing software.

In the unlikely event that problems arise and you are unable to submit a Posting Docket electronically, then with the prior agreement of DSACC alternative arrangements for the submission of Posting Dockets and Manifests will be made.

9.2 Contingency arrangements

In the unlikely event you are unable to produce a Posting Docket electronically, we will accept as an interim contingency arrangement a submission via an alternative system solution approved by us, providing prior agreement with DSACC has been agreed

9.3 Calculating Access Charges

DocketHUB will automatically calculate the indicative Access Charges for the Posting Docket with the final values confirmed via our invoice. This is because DocketHUB holds the Access Charges to a different decimal place level to our invoicing system which creates small discrepancies due to rounding up.

Where an alternative systems solution approved by us is being used, you shall calculate the Postage in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Contract and, where applicable, the Responsible Mail Schedule and/or Advertising Mail Schedule, on the occasion of each Daily Posting and you shall provide full and accurate details of that calculation and Daily Posting in the Manifests to us in accordance with this User Guide.

9.4 Manifests

A Manifest (see Figure 25) is your declaration of the details of the Posting to be handed over by you to us at each Inward Mail Centre. Your data that creates each Manifest must be submitted and confirmed by you electronically via DocketHUB to DSACC no later than 06:30am on the Handover Day to the Inward Mail Centres. In addition, two physical copies of either the Summary Manifest (please see Figure 26) or the Manifest (please see Figure 25) must accompany Postings handed over at an Inward Mail Centre.

During exceptional circumstances and with the prior agreement of DSACC, alternative arrangements for submission of Manifest information to DSACC may be made.

If you have Schedule 18: Acceptance By Vehicle included in your Contract, in addition to the Manifest, you are required to upload a Vehicle Manifest in to DocketHUB and provide two physical copies of the Summary Vehicle Manifest (please see Figure 29) when you hand over the Mailing Items at an Inward Mail Centre. This Summary Vehicle Manifest is in place of the Summary Manifest.

The Manifest will: 
  • Allow us to verify that Mailing Items have been presented in accordance with your obligations under the Contract and that the Posting Docket's details reflect the Postings and/or Daily Posting; and 
  • Provide confirmation that some Mailing Items were handed over to an Inward Mail Centre. Two copies of the Summary Manifest will be signed, timed and dated by us after your vehicle is unloaded. One copy will be retained by you as a delivery note, and the other, by the Inward Mail Centre.

The handover of Mailing Items and the signing of the Manifest does not constitute acceptance of the Mailing Items by us. Acceptance of a Posting by us only occurs after Revenue Protection has taken place and any issues have been resolved in accordance with the provisions of Section 15 of this User Guide and Schedule 2 of the Contract. A Posting will be deemed to have been accepted by us within one Working Day from handover by you unless we have raised any issues about the Posting with you.

The Manifest must accurately represent the contents of each Container and must contain the following information:

1. Account name 
2. The Access Site (Inward Mail Centre being accessed) 
3. The Access Site address 
4. The Handover date 
5. Your Account number
 6. Your Posting Docket number
 7. Your Access Licence Number
 8. Details of each INDIVIDUAL CONTAINER must be listed on a single line including:
  • A unique Container identification number - that corresponds to the same number on the Container label 
  • e Manifest ID (only for when posting Mailmark Mailing Items) 
  • Supply Chain ID (SCID - only for when posting Mailmark Mailing Items) 
  • A UCID â?? if relevant that corresponds to the same number on the CFL 
  • Standard Selection Code - The SSC within the current Access Selection File for the relevant selection.
  • Postcode Area - The first alpha character(s) of the Postcode - i.e. G for Glasgow Postcodes 
  • Product Code Details 
  • Zone - if applicable to your Price Plan, list the number of Mailing Items by Zone in a Container
  • Number of Mailing Items in each Container - (For National Price Plan One or Averaged Price Plan Two Postings populate in the "NAT" column)
  • Average Mailing Item weight
  • Total weight of Mailing Items - Excluding the weight of the Container, label and bag tie
  • Declared Container weight 
  • Declared Container Items

Figure 25: The Manifest

Figure 26: Summary Manifest Single Customer

Figure 27: Multi customer

Figure 28: Summary Vehicle Manifest

9.5 Agreeing the Client Report

Each day DSACC will generate an email message to inform you that your Client Report is available to view. The Client Report enables us and you to agree the adjustments made to the Posting Docket. The Posting Docket cannot be approved until agreement is received from you and you must do this promptly and in any case within 2 hours of receipt of the Client Report. The Client Report comprises of a summary report and other supporting information, e.g. Under Volume Containers and missorts. Once the Client Report is approved, the Daily Posting is released for processing. The exceptions to this arrangement are:

  • when there are no adjustments to your declared Daily Posting, we will automatically release the Mailing Items for processing rather than wait for you to approve the Client Report; or 
  • if you have agreed to the Early Release Schedule as part of your Contract.

9.6 Agency Overlay Report

In order for us to produce an invoice for each of your Agency Customers' Daily Postings posted under your Contract you must provide via DocketHUB (or its successor) to DSACC by 18:00 each Handover Day of Agency Customer Postings, information in the form of an Agency Overlay Report (please see Figure 29). The daily Agency Overlay Report must detail the total number of Mailing Items posted by format and weight (including by weight band for Large Letters) for each Service. The Agency Overlay Report must accurately record the Daily Posting of each Agency Customer by use of the unique Agency Customer account number assigned to each Agency Customer (as provided to you by us as part of the Agency Customer account set up process).

Figure 29: Agency overlay National and Zonal

9.7 Early Release Schedule

This Schedule allows us automatically to release your Mailing Items once Revenue Protection has been completed rather than wait for the Client Report to be sent to you. This enables earlier processing of your Mailing Items. For full details speak to your Access Account Director or download the Early Release Schedule from our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com.

9.8 Waybill documentation

Where an appropriate Yorks or ALPS Schedule has been agreed as part of your Contract which allows you to use these Containers for the handover of Mailing Items, it is necessary for a waybill to be provided. The waybill controls the volume of Containers in use, and supports the one for one exchange of Containers in line with the relevant Schedule. An example of a waybill can be found in Figure 30.

If you have Schedule 18: Acceptance By Vehicle included in your Contract, you do not need to provide us with a separate waybill as it is incorporated in to your Summary Vehicle Manifest

Figure 30: Waybill

9.9 York card documentation

Where an appropriate York Exchange or Hire Schedule has been signed to allow the use of Yorks for the handover of Containers, it is necessary for each York to have clearly and visibly displayed a York card. The information contained within the York card enables the accurate and efficient handling of your Daily Posting. An example of a York card can be found in Figure 31.

Figure 31: York card

9.10 Segregation by Format Schedule York card documentation

If you have agreed to the "Segregation By Format" Schedule as part of your Contract (details can be found on our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com) and are required under the terms of that Schedule to submit an accurate York Manifest (please see Section 9.11), it is necessary for each York to have clearly and visibly displayed the following information on a York card:

Figure 32: Segregation by Format York card

9.11 York Manifest

Unless you have agreed to an 'Acceptance by Vehicle' Schedule, you are required to submit an accurate York Manifest if you have agreed to a 'Segregation By Format' Schedule as part of your Contract. Figure 33 illustrates the minimum information that is required on the York Manifest.

The York Manifest must be presented in a CSV file format, or such other format as specified by us from time to time, and must be sent electronically to us by no later than 08:00am on each Handover Day. If Exceptions have been uploaded by you, creating a possible error to the 08:00 York Manifest, a second and final accurate York Manifest must be sent electronically to us by no later than 10:15am on each Handover Day.

Figure 33: York Manifest

10 Calculating the Postage

This Section provides an overview for the process for calculating the Access Charges for Postings segregated in accordance with Section 5.

10.1 Postage for Mailing Items with a constant price


The Postage for such Mailing Items within a Posting is calculated by multiplying the total number of such Mailing Items by the relevant per Mailing Item Access Charge according to the format, and Service.

Postage = Total number of Mailing Items x per Mailing Item Access Charge for the format at the relevant Service.

10.2 Postage for Mailing Items in weight bands using a pricing formula


Step One 
Calculating the average item weight

In order to calculate the Access Charges for such Mailing Items, the average weight per format will first need to be calculated for each Container using the following formula:

Total weight of Mailing Items          = Average Weight
------------------------------------------------
Total number of Mailing Items

Step Two:
The Per Mailing Item Access Charges are calculated by using the relevant pricing formula for the relevant weight step for the format at the relevant Service

Step Three: 
The Access Charges for such Mailing Items are calculated by multiplying the total number of such Mailing Items by the Per Mailing Item Access Charges calculated in accordance with steps 1 and 2 above.

11 Despatching the Posting

11.1 Pre - Notification of Posting

There are three stages to advising us of your intention to post a Daily Posting. All stages must be submitted to us via DocketHUB. This is designed to enable us to ensure sufficient staff and other resources are to hand to meet the Service Standard. The three stages that you must comply with are:

  • Stage 1: 7 day rolling forecast 
  • Stage 2: Pre-notification 
  • Stage 3: 06:30 (on Handover Day) Posting Docket and Manifest(s)

Technical specifications for DocketHUB can be found via www.royalmailwholesale.com.

11.2 7 Working Day Rolling Forecast

You must provide DSACC (DSACC@royalmail.com) by 10:00am each Working Day with a daily rolling forecast of your posting intentions over the following 7 days. If you do not intend to handover Mailing Items each Working Day then you must populate the rolling forecast on the relevant day(s) with '0'. In the case of a Large Agency Customer's posting intentions you must provide DSACC each Working Day with a discrete daily rolling forecast for that Large Agency Customer over the following 7 days.

Each day's forecast will include your anticipated volume of Mailing Items for handover at each Inward Mail Centre, using reasonable efforts to provide a breakdown of volume by Machinable Items and Manual Items.

11.3 Pre-notification

You must provide DSACC with pre-notification by 10:00am each Working Day of the Postings you intend to hand over on the next Working Day.

The pre-notification must detail as accurately as possible the volume of Mailing Items by format that you expect to hand over to each Inward Mail Centre on the following Working Day including a breakdown by format between Machinable Items and Manual Items.

For those customers who have developed processes that generate a more accurate version of their 10:00 Pre-notification, you may provide us with an additional Pre-notification by no later than 16:00 each Working Day of the Postings you intend to hand over on the next Working Day. For clarity, any reforecast Pre-notification you provide us by 16:00 will be accepted as fulfilling the contractual requirement that you provide us a Pre-notification before Handover Day. Where you provide us with a later (i.e. by 16:00) Pre-notification, we shall measure and use the accuracy of the later Pre-notification for performance measurement purposes against the contract requirement for accuracy. Where no later (by 16:00) reforecast Pre-notification is supplied, accuracy will continue to be measured using the 10:00 Pre-notification.

11.4 06:30am Posting Docket and Manifests

You must provide DSACC with confirmation of the details of the Mailing Items that are actually handed over by you at each Inward Mail Centre on the Handover Day. This consists of a Manifest for each Inward Mail Centre which when totalled make up the Daily Posting and form the content for the Posting Docket. This must be sent electronically via DocketHUB and be confirmed by you and received by DSACC no later than 06:30am on the Handover Day to us.

11.5 Forecast for Key National Postings

Some postings will be of a significant , weight, shape or geographic bias that it is necessary to apply additional planning so the operational requirements for managing and successfully delivering such a posting are achieved. Where you have identified potential postings of this nature to us, and we have agreed that a particular posting will have an operational impact of some degree, it is classed as a Key National Posting (KNP). The details of what constitutes a Key National Posting (KNP) can be found in Appendix I. Regular meetings with your Account Manager will be used to discuss your future planned posting volumes and help recognise when Mailing Items need to be managed as a KNP.

Where you have a KNP, we will already be aware of the format of the Mailing Items and whether they are Machinable or Manual Mailing Items from the information provided by you at the monthly meetings, but you must provide DSACC with formal notification of each KNP at the following times:

  • by 10:00am on 7 Working Days prior to (each) Handover Day, an estimate of the volume of Mailing Items and the breakdown to each Selection; 
  • by 10:00am on 24 hours' notice prior to (each) Handover Day, as accurate as possible, the number of Mailing Items and the breakdown to each Selection; and 
  • by 06:30am on Handover Day, a Posting Docket and Manifests accurately detailing the volume of Mailing Items to each Selection.

The breakdown you must provide with each of the 7 days' and 24 hours' forecasts, (or sooner if it available) is the fall to earth (FTE) of the Mailing Items and details extra information to the number of Mailing Items for each Selection. The FTE provides invaluable information on the KNP and enables you and us to align resource and / or consumables where necessary to ensure the Service Standard can be achieved. Typically you will be able to provide FTE information using the output data report from the sortation software you use to sort the Mailing Items to the desired Service, known as the line listing. As a minimum the line listing will detail the number of Mailing Items per Container by SSC, destination name and format. Where possible, for Mailing Items sorted to the 70 Service the breakdown of Mailing Items to Postcode Districts should still be provided. The FTE is to be provided to DSACC electronically in EXCEL or other appropriate format as agreed by DSACC, (until such time as we make available an electronic upload facility). The FTE should match the details that you have provided for the 7 Working Day forecast.

12 Access Times

12.1 Access Windows

Daily Postings must be handed over at Inward Mail Centres during the Access Window. The Access Window is 07:30am to 12:00pm on any Working Day.

12.2 Access Slots

You must book an Access Slot for handover of Mailing Items at each Inward Mail Centre. The Access Slot is a 30-minute time period within the Access Window, during which you must begin handover. You must use reasonable endeavours to complete unloading your vehicle within 30 minutes of the time at which you began.

Figure 34: Access Slots

12.3 Access Slot Change Request Process

The aim of this process is to ensure that requests for new or changes to existing Access Slots are managed in a controlled way. All requests and notification of changes to Access Slots are to be made via DocketHUB.

Within three months of your Access Start Date we will consider reasonable requests to change your Access Slots. After this initial period you may request a change to the timing of your Access Slots up to 4 times per Inward Mail Centre per annum. Any requests for changes to Access Slots must be made via DocketHUB and we may require at least 14 Working Days for change requests to be processed. DSACC will either confirm in writing that the Access Slot is available, or if it is not, offer an alternative where available. Whilst we will use reasonable efforts to meet your requirements, this may not be possible in every instance. The final decision regarding the allocation of Access Slots rests with us.

You must use your existing Access Slot until such time as we have confirmed any Access Slot changes in writing.

In instances of Inward Mail Centre consolidation, we will use reasonable efforts to continue to meet your requirements at the Inward Mail Centre affected by the change but may require you to change your Access Slot or, in cases of multi vehicle use, to accept more than one Access Slot.

12.4 Ad-hoc & Additional Access Slot Booking Process

For Inward Mail Centres that you do not regularly access, you may book an Ad-hoc Access Slot via DocketHUB. An Ad-hoc Access Slot is an Access Slot which is only required for a limited period at any Inward Mail Centre. Similarly, you may book additional slots at particular Inward Mail Centres should volumes warrant. The process for booking these Ad-hoc or additional Access Slots is as follows:

  • You must provide at least 10 Working Days' notice of implementation at a new Inward Mail Centre. 
  • You must provide at least 2 Working Days' notice of booking an Access Slot for an Inward Mail Centre which you had previously accessed. 
  • You must notify a request to DSACC (DSACC@royalmail.com ) via DocketHUB by 12 midday, 2 Working Days before the required Access Slot and be followed by a back-up telephone call to DSACC, which must also be made by 12 midday, 2 Working Days before the Access Slot. If for Reasons of operational capacity or capability, we are unable to accommodate such an Ad-hoc Access Slot request, we may refuse your request. 
  • A 7 Working Days forecast ahead of the requested slot should be entered on to the system whenever possible.
  • This facility is not available for Key National Posting arrangements detailed at Appendix I. 
  • You must provide a minimum of 2 Working Days' notice of Access Slots and driver and vehicle details and these are to be uploaded into DocketHUB. This must also be confirmed by telephone to DSACC. 
  • You must specify the lifespan for the Ad-hoc or Additional Access Slot from one day up to a maximum of 1 calendar month period. Ad-hoc or additional Access Slots will be booked on a 'first come first served' basis. Once the lifespan of the Access Slot has elapsed the Access Slot will be released for other Customers to use we reserve the right to withdraw the Ad-hoc facility and raise any reasonable charges if we believe you are misusing the facility. 
  • You must provide volume forecasts, pre-notifications and Manifests as per Section 11 and consumable ordering as per Section 8.

12.5 Multiple Vehicles per Access Slot

If you need to use more than one vehicle to bring in your Posting in your pre-booked Access Slot, due to volume of Mailing Items, you must notify DSACC at least 2 Working Days in advance via email stating the number of vehicles you intend to use. For all additional vehicles the current driver and vehicle requirements as detailed in Section 13, must be complied with.

If you need to use double deck trailers, you must notify DSACC and get their agreement before their use is permitted. Not all Inward Mail Centres can accommodate double deck trailers.

13 Handover

You shall co-operate with all reasonable requests by us in relation to security issues.

13.1 Security Procedures

You must supply DSACC (DSACC@royalmail.com) with an up-to-date list of all driver names and vehicle registrations that will visit each Inward Mail Centre. There is a maximum of 15 driver names and 15 vehicles per Inward Mail Centre in order to manage volumes going forward. This information must be supplied and maintained using the web based service provided by us through 'DocketHUB'.

On arrival at the Inward Mail Centre, we will check the driver's identity badge (which must carry a photograph) and vehicle registration against the list supplied by you. You or your carrier will be required to provide an example of their photographic identity badge (or that of a chosen third party carrier) to DSACC in electronic format. We will refuse access to any driver or vehicle whose details do not appear on the list, unless contingency arrangements have been agreed by DSACC.

You must ensure that any changes to the list (names, vehicles and effective dates) are actioned through 'DocketHUB' no less than 48 hours in advance of the change coming into effect. As a contingency, we will allow access to an Inward Mail Centre for a non-listed driver and/or vehicle subject to you providing DSACC with at least one hour's prior notification by fax or e-mail of the details of the non-listed driver/vehicle. Your driver must carry a letter of authority in a format agreed by us to verify their details.

13.2 Health and Safety

We will provide you with details of our Health and Safety requirements including any site-specific health and safety requirements and you will be required to ensure that all your employees and agents comply with such health and safety requirements.

As a minimum, we will require all drivers to wear toe-protecting safety shoes and high visibility jackets whilst on our premises. All drivers must also comply with all our on-site traffic rules. All drivers will only have access to the areas of the Inward Mail Centre directly related to the handover of Mailing Items. Drivers must not enter any other areas e.g. sorting hall and staff restaurant. All drivers must follow any health and safety instruction given by any of our employees

13.3 Dock Allocation

On arrival at the Inward Mail Centre, one of our employees will direct the driver to the appropriate unloading dock. If the dock area is busy, our employees will ask the driver to wait until the dock has been cleared before the vehicle is unloaded.

13.4 Unloading & Handover

Each Daily Posting is independent of any other Daily Posting. Where you hand over Daily Postings on behalf of other Customers or Large Agency Customers, the Daily Postings must not be mixed and segregation of different Daily Postings must be maintained. Each Daily Posting must be clearly identified by indicating whether it is a National Option or a Zonal Option on the York card (if a York Schedule has been signed).

If you handover Daily Postings for a Large Agency Customer you must ensure that as soon as the average volume of a Daily Posting of a Large Agency Customer over any consecutive three month period:

  • Exceeds 75000 Mailing Items, you shall present each subsequent Daily Posting by that Large Agency Customer separately and physically segregated from other UCID Postings and Consolidated Postings in your Daily Posting unless and until the average Daily Posting by that Large Agency Customer falls below 75000 Mailing Items during a subsequent consecutive three month period (i.e. Daily Posting can share Yorks subject to a cardboard divider) ; and
  • Exceeds 400,000 Mailing Items, you shall present each subsequent Daily Posting by that Large Agency Customer separately and physically segregated from your Daily Posting and ensure that the Daily Posting of that Large Agency Customer is not combined with any other Daily Posting in the same York unless and until the average Daily Posting by that Large Agency Customer falls below 400,000 Mailing Items during a subsequent consecutive three month period (i.e. Daily Postings must be in separate Yorks).
For information on unloading a KNP please see Appendix I

Your driver must unload the Posting into Containers when and where directed by our employees: this will facilitate Revenue Protection against each Posting. Where you use Yorks, your driver is responsible for unloading/reloading the Yorks when and where directed by our employees.

All Postings handed over at an Inward Mail Centre must be accompanied by two hard copies of the Manifest. (Due to the amount of paper used for the printing of a full Manifest it is preferable to use a Summary Manifest format for this purpose.) These Manifests must not be placed inside Containers. At handover, one of our employees will sign, time and date both copies of the Manifest. Note that this procedure does not represent acceptance of the Posting in terms of volume, formats, or contents; it simply acknowledges that a quantity of items has been handed over. We and your driver will each retain one copy of the Manifest.

13.5 Amalgamation of Daily Postings in Yorks

Where you hand over Daily Postings on behalf of other Customers (and Large Agency Customers) and hand over Containers in Yorks and you wish to amalgamate Containers from different Daily Postings in the same York, you may do so provided:

  • They are presented in accordance with the requirements of this section.
  • Each such York has an attached York card specifying the number of Containers by Customer (and Large Agency Customer) in each York; and
  • You undertake all reasonable efforts to ensure that the Containers pertaining to each Customer (and Large Agency Customer) combined in a single York are not unnecessarily mixed i.e. segregation by a layer of cardboard or some other effective means.

13.6 Exiting the Site

Once the vehicle has been unloaded by your driver, your driver must move the vehicle away from the dock as soon as practicable (whilst observing the speed limit) and leave the site as directed by our employees.

13.7 Contingency

In the event of an Inward Mail Centre being inaccessible for any reason, our contingency plans will apply. DSACC will notify you of alternative arrangements and any subsequent change or reversion to normal practice as soon as is practicable.

14 Revenue Protection

We reserve the right to sample Mailing Items received from you to verify that your Postage declaration is accurate and to ensure that you comply with the terms of your Contract and this User Guide. Incorrect declarations and any other non-compliances will result in us taking action in accordance with the Procedures for Handling Non-compliant Postings, set out in Section 15. Where sampling gives us a statistically valid result by format by Service and where used, by UCID, then we reserve the right to adjust the Postings in line with those results to either the Posting level, or the Daily Posting level.

15 Procedures for Handling Non-compliant Postings

If having sampled your Mailing Items we have identified Mailing Items which fail to comply with the terms of the Contract including this User Guide, we shall notify you (including by telephone or electronically) as soon as is reasonably practicable after identifying the error but no later than within 24 hours. Mailing Items deemed to be non-compliant may be automatically excluded from the Service Standard calculation as referred to in Schedule 2 of the Contract. We will hold the Mailing Items pending agreeing a resolution to the issue with you for up to 24 hours. We will invite you to inspect the Mailing Items at the Inward Mail Centres where they have been identified. If following your inspection (or the expiry of the 24 hour period whichever is sooner) we remain satisfied that there has been a non-compliance, we may proceed to implement the procedures within this Section.

We will not undertake any rectification action until such time as the timescales, charges or Surcharges for the rectification of such faults and/or to cover any reasonable costs amending such Posting(s) has been agreed in writing (including, electronically or by fax) with your Operational Contact.

The following table sets out the actions we may take if you do not comply with your Contract including this User Guide. It also sets out the procedures you are required to follow. If you have correctly used a UCID and the non-compliance relates only to that UCID Posting, the actions will only be taken in respect of that UCID Posting. If the non-compliance relates to a Consolidated Posting, i.e. to any part of a Posting which is not a UCID Posting, our actions may be taken in respect of the whole of that Consolidated Posting. In this table we use the term "relevant segment" to mean that part of the Posting or Daily Posting, as the case may be, i.e. UCID Posting or Consolidated Posting to which the non-compliance relates.

If you do not use UCIDs, Mailing Items of the same format and Service will be treated as a Consolidated Posting, and the term 'relevant segment' in this section will mean all Containers relating to the same format and Service in the Daily Posting which do not bear a UCID. In this section, Reference to Containers shall apply to bundles presented as per the Unbagged specification Appendix F.

Where we are entitled to reject any Containers of non-compliant Postings or UCID Postings at an Inward Mail Centre, we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling and you are responsible for the collection of the affected Containers. In the event that the Containers have not been collected by you during the following Working Day after notification, we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of storage. In the event that the Containers have not been collected by you within 5 Working Days of notification, we may dispose of the Containers and their contents as we see fit and levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of disposal.

15.1 Pre-notification and Pre-Advice


IssueCorrective Actions
15.1.1 No receipt of
 Pre-notification
If the details of the Posting(s) have not been pre-notified due to a failure on your part we may refuse the handover of the Posting(s). If you fail to provide pre-notification by 10:00am on the Working Day prior to Handover Day and you still wish to hand over the Posting(s), you must contact DSACC to agree on arrangements for the handover of the Posting(s). If we have not received pre-notification of the details of the Posting(s) due to a failure on our part we will accept handover of the Posting(s) affected by the failure.
15.1.2 Inaccurate
P pre-notification
If the actual volume of Letters or Large Letters as specific to Machinable Services or Manual Services which you hand over at an individual Inward Mail Centre exceeds the volume forecasted in your Pre-notification by more than the Tolerance, we may:

   - refuse the handover of; or
   - accept the handover of any Mailing Items which exceed the Tolerance of the relevant format (by Machinable or Manual as appropriate).

Any Containers of the relevant format we accept will be excluded from the Service Standard measure and will be processed as if they had been received on the following Working Day.

If the actual volume of Letters or Large Letters as specific to Machinable Services or Manual Services which you hand over at an individual Inward Mail Centre is less than the volume forecasted in your Pre-notification by more than the Tolerance, we may levy a charge. This charge is for "Over Forecasting".

The charge applied can be found under "Other Charges" in the pricing tables at www.royalmailwholesale.com , as amended from time to time in line with the Contract.
15.1.3 Inaccurate
 06:30 Posting
Docket and
Manifests
On a Handover Day, if you become aware of a variance between the volume of Mailing Items for handover and your Posting Docket and Manifests due to events outside your control you must inform DSACC immediately via DocketHUB of any misrouted Containers and of any Exceptions (including additional or fewer Containers) by no later than the following times that Handover Day:

   - 06:30am for Inward Mail Centres with a handover time up and including 09.30am
   - 08.30am for Inward Mail Centres with a handover time of up to and including 11.00am;
   - 10:00am for all other Inward Mail Centres.

All agreed Exceptions shall be recorded by you within DocketHUB as per the timescales above.

Where the actual variance is in excess of the number of Containers declared and we are able to agree to the handover of the Exceptions on that Handover Day, any such Containers will be excluded from the Service Standard measure and will be processed as if they had been received on the following Working Day. We may require all additional Containers reported to DSACC via Exception reports to be handed over separately at the handover point of the relevant Inward Mail Centre.
15.1.4 No Vehicle
Declaration provided.
Each Working day, you shall accurately declare to us via DocketHUB the number of vehicles due to arrive at each Inward Mail Centre for each Access Slot (Vehicle Declaration). For Access Slots prior to 09:00, you must upload your Vehicle Declaration no later than half an hour before your due Access Slot, and for Access Slots from 09:00 onwards, you must upload your Vehicle Declaration by 08:30. If you fail to provide a Vehicle Declaration at each Inward Mail Centre for each Access Slot by the upload time required we may:

   - Agree to accept the Mailing Items if it is operationally practical for us to do so at each Inward Mail Centre. In such circumstances the accurate number of Containers must have been provided on both the Vehicle Manifest and the Summary Vehicle Manifest. In accepting the Mailing Items we may reasonably raise an administration charge for managing any additional administration work required to accept and confirm the vehicles at handover;

Or

If it is not operationally practical for us to do so, we may refuse the Mailing Items until an accurate Vehicle Declaration is provided.
15.1.5 For Mailmark
 Mailing Items, the
 eManifest has not
 been received or is
 incorrect.
If you have not uploaded your posting data to the eManifest Handling Service (eMHS) to create the eManifest:
i. by 02:00 on the day of handover, for mail you produce via a machine consolidation process; and ii. by 21:00 on the day before handover, for all other pre-sorted Mailing Items; or if there are errors known by you prior to handover to us relating to the upload of your posting data to the eMHS to create the eManifest, we may:
   - hold the Mailing Items until you give us complete and accurate documentation;
   - reject the Mailmark Mailing Items; and,
   - apply a Surcharge to cover our administration costs relating to any actions taken.

The Surcharges are applied using the following criteria:
Number of unmanifested items per SCID posting per dayApply Mailmark Business Mail postage price Apply fixed admin feeApply per item unmanifested adjustment chargeApply per item non-compliance charges (e.g. DPS/Postcode Inaccuracy /Missorts)
Less than 500No
No
No
Yes
Between 500 - 6000Yes
YesNo
Yes
More than 6000YesNo
YesYes









15.2 Arrival



IssueCorrective Actions
15.2.1 No Access Slot has been booked at DSACC for an Inward Mail CentreIf you arrive at an Inward Mail Centre without booking an Access Slot then we will refuse the handover of the Posting(s).

If you fail to book an Access Slot and you still wish to hand over the Posting(s), you must contact DSACC to agree on arrangements for the handover of the Posting(s).
15.2.2 Non-arrival of Posting(s)Where you have provided us with a pre-notification and you do not inform us on the day before the Handover Day that you wish to cancel a Posting, we may levy a charge. This charge is called “Vehicle No Show”. The Posting(s) will be considered void and will be logged by DSACC.

If in the unlikely circumstance that you have sent us a Posting Docket and Manifests but you are unable to handover the Posting(s) at any Inward Mail Centre, you must contact DSACC as soon as possible. We will void the Posting(s) and it will be logged by DSACC as a “Vehicle No Show”. We may levy a charge for an expected Posting that does not arrive.

The charge applied can be found under “Other Charges” in the pricing tables at www.royalmailwholesale.com, as amended from time to time in line with the Contract.
15.2.3 Non adherence to site securityYou must comply with the notified site-specific security procedures (including contingency arrangements). Where these are not complied with, we will refuse the driver access or ask him or her to leave. Wherever possible we will provide reasonable notification of changes to security procedures.
15.2.4 Arrival time outside of Access WindowIf you are unable to meet the agreed Access Window, we will refuse the handover of the Posting.
15.2.5 Arrivals outside of the Access SlotsIf you are unable to arrive during the agreed Access Slot you must inform DSACC at the earliest opportunity to request an alternative arrival time and agree on arrangements for the handover of the Posting(s).

If you arrive before the Access Slot (but within the Access Window) we may allow handover of the Posting(s) if operationally feasible. If we are unable to accept handover the driver will be asked to wait or leave the premises until your allocated Access Slot or an earlier Access Slot becomes available.

If you arrive after the Access Slot (but within the Access Window) we will allow handover of the Posting(s) if operationally feasible for us, subject to you gaining prior approval from DSACC.

If the Posting(s) can only be accepted after the Access Slot (but outside the Access Window), your nominated contact may be notified by DSACC that the Posting(s) will be removed from the Service Standard measure and processed as if it had been received on the following Working Day.

If you arrive during the agreed Access Slot but you are unable to handover the Posting(s) due to a reason attributable to us, we will allow handover of the Posting(s) in the next available Access Slot. The Posting(s) will be treated (including for the purposes of the Service Standard) as having been handed over during the earlier Access Slot.
15.2.6 No notification provided for multiple vehicles in a pre-booked Access SlotIf you fail to provide the necessary notification of multiple vehicles, you must contact DSACC to agree arrangements for the handover of the Posting(s).

If you have not notified DSACC that you will be bringing in multiple vehicles within your agreed Access Slot then we may refuse handover of the Posting(s).
15.2.7 Inaccurate Vehicle DeclarationIf you fail to provide an accurate Vehicle Declaration at each Inward Mail Centre for each Access Slot by the upload time required we may:

Agree to accept the Mailing Items, if it is operationally practical for us to do so, at each Inward Mail Centre. In such circumstances the accurate number of Containers must have been provided on both the Vehicle Manifest and the Summary Vehicle Manifest. In accepting the Mailing Items we may reasonably raise an administration charge for managing any additional administration work required to adjust and confirm the vehicles hand over;

Or

If it is not operationally practical for us to do so, we may refuse the Mailing Items until an accurate Vehicle Declaration is provided.



15.3 Documentation


IssueCorrective Actions
15.3.1 No Posting Docket(s) or Manifest(s) received at DSACCIf the Posting Docket(s) and Manifest(s) have not been received by DSACC by 06:30am on the Handover Day we will refuse handover of the Posting(s). You must contact DSACC at the earliest opportunity to agree possible arrangements for the handover of the Posting(s).
15.3.2 Hard copy Manifest(s) (including Summary Vehicle Manifest, if applicable) not received at handover at Inward Mail centresWe may, subject to DSACC's agreement, allow hand over of a Posting in respect of which a hard copy Manifest(s) or Summary Manifest is not provided to us by a driver, subject to the receipt of the Posting Docket and electronic Manifest by 06:30am on the Handover Day. However, the Posting will not be processed until such time as the hard copy Manifest(s) relating to that Posting(s) is received at the Inward Mail Centre and the Posting(s) shall be deemed to have been received on the following Working Day.

If the Manifest(s) is not received within 24 hours, we may reject the Posting(s). In this case, the Posting Docket(s) will be adjusted and the Mailing Items must be included on a subsequent and relevant Posting Docket(s).

We may refuse handover of any subsequent Postings at the Inward Mail Centre(s) affected until the relevant Manifest(s) has been received.
15.3.3 The number, weight or format of Mailing Items declared on the Manifest(s) does not tally with the number, weight or format of Mailing Items handed over.If we detect any variance through sampling between the declared number, weight or format of Mailing Items on the Manifest(s) from those actually handed over at the Inward Mail Centre, we will revert your Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting Docket(s) and Manifest(s).

Where we have statistically significant evidence that the number of Mailing Items declared on the Manifest(s) represents an error across a Posting or relevant segment of a Posting, then we may amend the Posting Docket based upon the statistically significant evidence or, if you have not agreed to Early Release, we may hold the Posting(s) or the relevant segment of the Posting(s), until such time as the changes are agreed.

If the changes are not agreed within 24 hours of handover we may reject the Posting(s) or the relevant segment of the Posting(s).

For Mailmark Mailing Items where discrepancies, are identified through manual and / or in-process reporting, we will correct the volume, weight or format of items and apply the relevant Access Charges to those corrected items. Note: Where this happens, the Posting Docket adjustments may appear on a subsequent invoice.

Exception to this remedy for weight variances on Mixed Weight Postings: Due to the Mixed Weight system constraints, if an Under Volume Container is sampled on a Mixed Weight Posting, and the actual weight of the Mailing Items handed over differs from the declared value, we will invoice the declared value only.
15.3.4 Non receipt of Agency Overlay Report by 18:00 on the Handover DayIf the relevant Agency Overlay Report has not been received by DSACC by 18:00 on the Handover Day, we will invoice you as per the approved Client Report for that day. We may levy a charge to you for any adjustments that you require to be made to your invoice once we have issued it to you.
15.3.5 Inaccurate 18:00 Agency Overlay Report for the Daily Posting.If there is any error in the detail of the Agency Overlay Report, we shall at your request and cost, issue amended invoices and/or credit notes to your Agency Customers, providing we receive such a request within 2 Working Days. Any later request may be refused.

15.4 Indicia


IssueCorrective Actions
15.4.1 Mailing Items do not bear an approved Indicium of the Customer or the Royal Mail Access IndicatorIf a Posting(s) or a relevant segment of a Posting(s) is found to contain Mailing Items that do not bear an approved clear and legible Access Indicium or bear the approved Indicium of another Customer , we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s).
15.4.2 Mailing Items do not bear a UK return addressIf a Posting(s) or relevant segment of a Posting(s) is found prior to acceptance to contain Mailing Items that do not bear a UK return address, we may reject the Posting or relevant segment of the Posting.

Where a Posting(s) or relevant segment of a Posting(s) is found after acceptance, to contain Mailing Items that do not bear a UK return address, if any such Mailing Items were to be returned to us as undeliverable or not wanted, we are not obligated to return such Mailing Items to you. We may dispose of those Mailing Items that have been returned to us and levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling.

15.5 Addressing Standards


IssueCorrective Actions
15.5.1 Mailing Items that fail to meet the Addressing Standards as specified in Section 2 of the User GuideIf a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) fails to meet the Addressing Standards we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s);.

Or, if it is a Zonal Price Plan Posting, provided you have handed over the Posting at the correct Inward Mail Centre and if we agree it is operationally feasible to process you will be charged the prevailing Access Zone C rate relevant to the Mailing Items, unless the Mailing Items are for delivery to the London Zone in which case you will be charged the prevailing Zone D rate relevant to the Posting or relevant segment of the Posting affected.

For Mailmark Mailing Items that fail to meet the address, Postcode and DPS standards or which may require manual or other intervention in order for us to process them we will:
   - where possible, rectify the non-compliant Mailmark Mailing Items and accept those Mailing Items as rectified provided that you shall pay a Surcharge on those Mailing Items relative to the non-compliance in line with the applicable Mailmark Surcharge as published on the Website; or
   - reject the Mailmark Mailing Items.
15.5.2 Responsible Mail - Intermediate Mailing Items that fail to meet the address and Postcode accuracy as specified in the Responsible Mail Schedule.If a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) fails to meet the required address and Postcode accuracy, we may reject that Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s).

Or, if you can provide evidence to show that the Posting(s) meets the Responsible Mail Entry Level address and Postcode accuracy requirements, we shall process the Posting(s) and amend the Posting Docket to charge the Posting(s) as Responsible Mail Entry Level.

If this evidence cannot be provided, subject to your having handed over the Posting at the correct Inward Mail Centre and our agreement that it is operationally feasible to process, you will be charged the prevailing Access Zone C rate, unless the Mailing Items are for delivery to the London Zone in which case you will be charged the prevailing Access Zone D rate.



15.6 Mail Presentation


IssueCorrective Actions
15.6.1 Mailing Items are not sorted in line with the sortation specification (e.g. Mailing Items are declared as 1400 when they are sorted to 70), or are sorted not using either a mandatory Access Selection Files Version or Access Selection Files Release.If a Posting(s) or a relevant segment of a Posting(s) is found to contain Mailing Items that are not sorted in line with the correct sortation specification, we may reject that Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). Either:

you must collect the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s);
 
Or
If the sortation service declared is incorrect to the actual sortation Service used, and we agree that it is reasonably practicable for us to do so, we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s. In this case we will revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting Docket to reflect that all Mailing Items will be charged at the applicable Access service level to which they have been sorted. Where we have statistically significant evidence that the error declared on the Manifest represents an error across all relevant segments, then we may amend the Posting(s) based upon the statistically significant evidence;

Or
If a mandatory Access Selection File Version has not been used, and we agree that it is reasonably practicable for us to do so, we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). In this case we will revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting Docket to reflect that the affected Posting(s) will be charged at the prevailing Access Zone C rate unless the Posting(s) are for delivery to the London Zone in which case you will be charged the prevailing Zone D rate

Where we have statistically significant evidence that the error declared on the Manifest represents an error across all relevant segments, then we may amend the Posting(s) based upon the statistically significant evidence;

Or
If a mandatory Access Selection File Version Release has not been used, and we agree that it is reasonably practicable for us to do so, we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). Where we have evidence that the Zonal Mailing Items handed over have been incorrectly declared to the new Access Selection File Version Release, we will revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting Docket to reflect the correct Zone for those Mailing Items identified and the relevant Zonal charges will apply.

Where we have evidence that Zonal Mailing Items handed over have been incorrectly declared to the new Access Selection File Version Release after 14 or more days after mandatory Access Selection File Version Release date has come into effect, we may reject the Mailing Items.

Where we have statistically significant evidence that the error declared on the Manifest represents an error across all relevant segments, then we may revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting(s) based upon the statistically significant evidence.
15.6.2 Mailing Items declared as OCR fail to meet the relevant Service Specification.If a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) fails to meet the OCR or CBC specification we may reject that Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) and you can either:

   - collect the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s); or
   - submit the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) for processing if we agree it is operationally feasible to do so. If we agree to process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s), we will determine whether the: operational impact is HIGH; the volume is LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH; and revert items accordingly.


LOW volume detected = Mailing Items in a single Container at one Inward Mail CentreMEDIUM volume detected = Mailing Items in two or more Containers at one or two Inward Mail Centres HIGH volume detected = Mailing Items in two or more Containers at three or more Inward Mail Centres
HIGH operational impactAll Mailing Items within the Container will be charged at 100% of Mailing Items for the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) at the identified Inward Mail Centres will be charged at Access 70100% of Mailing Items for the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be charged at Access 70
15.6.3 Responsible Mail Mailing Items do not meet the declared specification (including the provision of seeds/samples)
If a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) fails to meet the specific declared Responsible Mail Entry Level specification, the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be reverted and charged at the applicable Access Service to which it has been sorted.

If a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) fails to meet the declared Responsible Mail Intermediate Level specification, the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) may be processed as Responsible Mail Entry Level if it meets the Entry Level specification; or

if it also fails to meet the Responsible Mail Entry Level specification, that Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be charged at the applicable Access Service to which it has been sorted.

Where we have statistically significant evidence that the error represents an error across all relevant segments, then we may revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting Docket based upon the statistically significant evidence.
15.6.4 Containers of Mailing Items are handed over to the wrong Inward Mail Centre (misrouted Container)If you hand over Containers of Mailing Items at the wrong Inward Mail Centre (i.e. containing Mailing Items for delivery to Postcodes which are not served by that particular Inward Mail Centre), we may reject those Containers and either:

You must collect the Containers wrongly handed over at the relevant Inward Mail Centre. We may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling these Containers;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practicable, we will process the Containers. In this case we will amend the Posting Docket to reflect that the Mailing Items will be charged at the Missort Processed item rate displayed on our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com/prices.
15.6.5 Missorted Mailing Items are found during the processing of the Posting(s)If we find missorted Mailing Items at an Inward Mail Centre during the processing of the Posting(s) (i.e. after mail release), we may reject those Mailing Items and either:

You must collect the missorted Mailing Items from the relevant Inward Mail Centre and we may levy a charge, the “Missort Return Charge”. This Missort Return Charge includes a per item price + a collection charge per Inward Mail Centre collection. Where such charges are levied, we shall refund you for those missorted Mailing Items at the relevant agreed Access refund rate. The charges and the Access refund rate will be set each time we adjust our tariff. The Missort Return Charge and the Access refund rate are displayed on the Website at www.royalmailwholesale.com/prices;

Or
If we agree that it is reasonably practicable we will process the Mailing Items. In this case we may revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting Docket to reflect that the relevant Mailing Items will be charged at the “Missort Processed” rate displayed on our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com/prices. Where such a charge is levied, we shall refund you for those missorted Mailing Items at the relevant agreed Access refund rate.

Or
Mailmark Mailing Items identified as missorts through in-process reporting will not be available for return to you. For Mailmark option missort items we will process and deliver the Mailing Items and apply item level adjustment charges in line with the applicable Mailmark Surcharges as published on the Website
15.6.6 Containers of Mailing Items are presented at the Inward Mail Centre without labels or with missing/incorrect information on the labels or have the wrong colour labels relevant to the ServiceIn the event that you fail to label the Container(s) correctly and as a result we are unable to verify whether the Container has been correctly declared on the Posting Docket, we may reject the Container(s).
15.6.7 You fail to maximise the Container fill for each Selection in a Posting(s) within the maximum weight limitYou must where possible maximise the Container fill for each Selection within the Posting(s) up to the applicable Containers' maximum allowable weight limit, subject to meeting the requirement for accurate Container contents. If we find that the number of Containers of a Posting(s) or relevant segment of a Posting is excessive because Container fill has not been maximised in accordance with Section 6, we may levy a Surcharge for the processing of the Containers.
15.6.8 Letters and Large Letters are mixed in a Container
If you hand over Mailing Items in mixed formats within Containers then we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). The Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be held and we will contact you. Either:

You must collect the incorrectly segregated Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) ;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practicable for us to do so, we will correctly segregate the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) provided you agree to pay a Surcharge;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practicable for us to do so, we will agree to process the Mailing Items and all Mailing Items will be charged at the applicable Large Letter Service.
15.6.9 Mailing Items are not correctly faced and/or bundled in line with the sortation and presentation Specification for the service and/or Container in which they are presented
If you hand over Mailing Items that have not been correctly faced and/or bundled in relation to the Service and Container to which they have been declared, then we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). The Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be held and we will contact you. Either:

You must collect the incorrectly faced and/or bundled Mailing Items;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practicable we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) provided you agree to pay a Surcharge.
15.6.10 Zonal items do not bear a Zonal Indicator or bear an incorrect Zonal Indicator
If Mailing Items are presented under the Zonal Price Plan and either do not have any Zonal Indicator or do not bear the correct Zonal Indicator on the face of each item, we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). The Posting(s), or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be held and we will contact you. Either:

on prior arrangement with us, you may upload and pay for those Mailing Items at Zone C, except for those Mailing Items for destination to the London Zone in which case you may upload and pay for all such Mailing Items as Zone D;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practical, we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) provided you agree to pay for all items as Zone C unless the items are for the London Zone in which case they will be charged as Zone D.
15.6.11 You hand over Mailing Items in poor condition
Our staff will visually check the condition of the Containers of Mailing Items upon hand over. We may refuse the handover of any Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) if the Containers are damaged or in a generally poor condition. We may reject any Mailing Items that our staff subsequently discover (prior to acceptance) to be damaged or in generally poor condition. We will contact your nominated contact and you must collect the Mailing Items
15.6.12 You hand over Mailing Items that are stuck together.
If Mailing Items within a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) are stuck together then we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). The Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be held and we will contact you. Where we agree that it is practicable to separate the Mailing Items, and you agree to pay a Surcharge, we will process the Mailing Items.

If, in our opinion, the Mailing Items cannot be separated without damaging the Mailing Items then you must collect the Mailing Items and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling.
15.6.13 UCID Postings are not clearly identified and/or not segregated as required
If you fail to identify clearly on hand over of the Posting(s) or relevant segment of a Posting, Containers within the Posting(s) or relevant segment of a Posting which relate to a UCID Posting and/or you fail to segregate any such Postings as and when required by us, we will not be able to treat such Containers as separate Postings for Revenue Protection purposes. In such case we may reject the relevant Mailing Items and we will have to assume that any errors found apply across all such Mailing Items which have not been clearly identified as UCID Postings or segregated when requested (as applicable). The relevant Mailing Items will be held and we will contact you. Either:

you must collect the Mailing Items that have not been clearly identified or segregated and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling;

Or

we may assume that any errors identified in such Containers occur across all those Containers that are not clearly identified and will therefore apply the provisions of this Section 15 and Schedule 2 of the Contract to all such Mailing Items.
15.6.14 Postings are not segregated by OCR, Mailmark option or Machinable or Manual Item characteristics as required
If you fail to segregate Mailing Items within a Posting in accordance with them meeting the relevant Machinable Item or Manual Item specification, or you fail to maintain any such segregation on hand over of the Mailing Items, then we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). The Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be held and we will contact you. Either:

You must collect the incorrectly faced and/or bundled Mailing Items and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practicable to do so we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) provided you agree to pay a Surcharge.
15.6.15 Over Mailing Items
We will refuse handover of Mailing Items that exceed the maximum dimensions as laid down in Section 5 of the User Guide. If you wish to post Mailing Items that exceed these dimensions you should use an appropriate alternative service, such as our Standard Parcels service for non-urgent and non-time-critical delivery, or the Parcelforce Worldwide range of guaranteed parcel services.
15.6.16 Discrete Customer Postings are not identifiable due to missing or inaccurate York Card(s).
If one York at an Inward Mail Centre has a York card missing or an inaccurate York card, we may refuse handover of the York and require you to collect the York, or we may accept the York subject to the Discrete Customer Postings within the York agreeing with the Manifest. If more than one York at an Inward Mail Centre has a York card missing or an inaccurate York card, we will refuse handover of the Yorks. In such cases, you must collect the Yorks whose contents have not been clearly identified and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling.
15.6.17 Discrete Customer Postings are not reasonably segregated within a York by cardboard or other effective means
If you have not signed a Segregation by Format Schedule and you fail to reasonably segregate Discrete Customer Postings within a York by cardboard or other effective means, we may reject the York(s) and require you to collect the York(s) and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling.
15.6.18 Discrete Customer Postings are not correctly segregated on handover (e.g. Containers from a Zonal Option are mixed with Containers from a National Option; Containers from a Mixed Weight Posting are mixed with Containers from a non Mixed Weight Posting.)
Where you are handing over Discrete Customer Posting(s) under more than one Contract, if you do not maintain segregation of the Discrete Customer Posting(s) then we may reject them. You must collect the Discrete Customer Posting(s) and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling.

This remedial action is not applicable to Customers who have entered into the supplementary agreement for 'Segregation By Format' since the terms of that agreement allow Discrete Customer Postings to share a York container with other Discrete Customer Postings provided that the York container contains an accurate York card and an accurate York Manifest has been provided in accordance with the Segregation By Format Schedule.
15.6.19 Mailing Items are handed over that are not eligible for Access (e.g. International and BFPO addresses)
If we find ineligible Mailing Items at the point of handover or during the processing of the Posting(s) (after handover or acceptance), we may refuse handover or reject the Mailing Items, as applicable. You must collect the ineligible Mailing Items from the relevant Inward Mail Centre and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling. We will refund the Access charges raised against the equivalent volume of ineligible Mailing Items identified. The Access refund rate is displayed on the Website at www.royalmailwholesale.com. We may levy Ineligible item charges for each ineligible Mailing Item found, extracted and returned, at a per item price plus a collection charge per Inward Mail Centre collection. Ineligible item charges are displayed on the Website at www.royalmailwholesale.com

For Mailmark Mailing Items identified by in-process reporting as ineligible Mailing Items we will process and deliver the Mailing Items and apply item level adjustment charges in line with the applicable Mailmark Surcharges as published on the Website
15.6.20 Advertising Mail / Business Mail/ Magazine Subscription Mail Mailing Items do not meet the declared specification (including provision of samples and seeds)
If a Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) fails to meet the Advertising Mail / Business Mail specification we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). Either:

you must collect the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) and we may levy a Surcharge to cover the reasonable costs of handling;

Or

if we agree that it is reasonably practicable for us to do so, we will process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s). In this case we will amend the Posting Docket and the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) will be charged at the Postage for the Access Service that the Mailing Items do meet. Where we have statistically significant evidence that the error declared on the Manifest represents an error across all relevant segments, then we may revert the Mailing Items to the correct Postage by amending the Posting(s) based upon the statistically significant evidence.

In either case we may levy a Surcharge to cover the reasonable costs of amending such Posting(s)

In the case of failing to provide samples or seeds as specified in the relevant Advertising Mail Schedule, Paragraph 3.3 of that Schedule shall apply.
15.6.21 Mailing Items are not handed over in the correct Container required for the service or format declared, or fails to adhere to the relevant container requirements.
If you hand over Mailing Items in a Container not permitted for the specified service or format or not in adherence to the relevant Container requirements including labelling and sealing as set out in this User Guide we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) and we may levy a charge to cover the reasonable costs of handling.

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practicable to process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) we shall amend the Posting Docket accordingly and we may levy a Surcharge to cover the reasonable costs of any additional handling that may be incurred in processing the Mailing Items and/or any administration costs.
15.6.22 Mail for Channel Islands is not presented in bags
If you hand over Mailing Items destined for the Channel Islands in trays and you have not signed the 'Tray Decanting Service for Access mail to Channel Islands' Schedule we will reject the Posting at the relevant Inward Mail Centre and require you to return to collect the Posting.
15.6.23 Containers are not presented in Yorks or Tray Dollys as required for Acceptance By Vehicle.
If Containers are not presented in Yorks or Tray Dollys in any vehicle at an Inward Mail Centre, we shall refuse to accept the vehicle.
15.6.24 Mailing Items declared as Mailmark option fail to meet the Mailmark specification or require manual or other intervention.
If Mailing Items declared as Mailmark option fail to meet the Mailmark specification or requires manual or other intervention, we may:

   - where possible, rectify the non-compliant Mailmark Mailing Items and accept those Mailing Items as rectified provided that you shall pay a Surcharge on those Mailing Items relative to the non-compliance in line with the applicable Surcharge as published on the Website; or
   - allow you to hand over the Mailmark Mailing Items but charge you the applicable Access Charges for the Access service specification that those Mailing Items actually meet; or
   - reject the relevant Mailing Items, in which case you will be required to collect the Mailing Items we are unable to process.
15.6.25 Mailing Items declared as General Large Letters exceed the maximum thickness for the service specification.
If the Mailing Items declared as General Large Letters exceed the maximum thickness for the service, we may reject the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) and you can either:

   - collect the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s); or
   - submit the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) for processing if we agree it is operationally feasible to do so. If we agree to process the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s), we will determine whether the operational impact is LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH and revert items accordingly.

Low impactWhen non-compliant General Large Letters are found in a Container, we will revert 10% of the General Large Letters in the Container to Parcels.
Medium impactWhen non-compliant General Large Letters are found in two or more Containers at a single Mail Centre, we will revert 10% of the General Large Letters for that Posting or relevant segment(s) of that Posting at that Mail Centre to Parcels.
High impactWhen non-compliant General Large Letters are found in two or more Containers at 3 or more Mail Centres, we will revert 10% of the General Large Letters for the Posting(s), or the relevant segment(s) of the Posting(s) to Parcels.

If we determine that the number of non-compliant General Large Letters found in the Container(s) is excessively high, the 10% cap on the reversion of General Large Letters to Parcels will no longer apply and 100% of the items at the level of impact we have identified will be reverted from General Large Letters to Parcels.
15.6.26 You have declared items as Access 70 CBC, a discontinued service.
Any items declared as Access 70 CBC will be charged at Access 70 prices.
15.6.27 You have declared items as Access 70 CBC, a discontinued service.If Mailing Items declared as Poll Cards Mailmark option fail to meet the Mailmark specification or requires manual or other intervention, we may:

   - where possible, rectify the non-compliant Mailmark Mailing Items and accept those Mailing Items as rectified provided that you shall pay a Surcharge on those Mailing Items relative to the non-compliance in line with the applicable Surcharge as published on the Website; or
   - allow you to hand over the Mailmark Mailing Items but charge you the applicable Access Charges for the Access service specification that those Mailing Items actually meet; or

reject the relevant Mailing Items, in which case you will be required to collect the Mailing Items we are unable to prove

15.7 Health and Safety


IssueCorrective Actions
15.7.1 The weight of any Royal Mail approved Container exceeds the maximum weight specified for itIf we find that the weight of any Container handed over by you exceeds the maximum weight specified for it we may reject the relevant Container which will be held and we will contact you. Either:
You shall collect the overweight Container;

Or

If we agree that it is reasonably practical to do so, we will levy a Surcharge for breaking down the Posting(s) or relevant segment of the Posting(s) into compliant Container fills, which meet our Health & Safety standards.
15.7.2 Your driver does not adhere to site Health and Safety requirements
Any driver not conforming to all health and safety requirements will be refused access to the Inward Mail Centre or if already on the premises may be asked to leave. This may result in the Posting(s) not being accepted. Any vehicle reasonably deemed not road-worthy by us will not be allowed access to any of our Inward Mail Centres. Any abusive or threatening behaviour (physical or verbal) towards any member of our staff will not be tolerated and access will be refused.

Appendix A Addressing Mailing Items

You must make all reasonable attempts to ensure all Mailing Items include a full and accurate address and corresponding Postcode. You must ensure that at least 90% of Mailing Items carry a full and accurate address and corresponding Postcode, which has been validated against our Postcode Address File (PAF®).

Cleaning address data should not be a one-off activity, but an on-going process.

The best way for you to ensure you or your Customers maintain the accuracy of your address files is for it to link its databases to PAF® by using one of the large number of available products and services based on PAF® which are available.

PAF® contains over 29 million UK addresses, including 1.4 million business names and 1.8 million UK Postcodes, which we constantly update to maintain its accuracy.

Where to go for more information
For more information or to order Managing Address Data products:
Call Royal Mail on 0845 606 6854 
Visit the Royal Mail Website at www.royalmail.com/amu 
Order products via the Royal Mail Website shop at www.royalmail.com/shop 
Order products online from: address.management@royalmail.com

The Elements of an Address & Address Structure 
To meet the required address standards you must ensure that each address includes at least one premises element, one thoroughfare element, one locality element and the Postcode as a minimum. Other elements may be included. If there is no thoroughfare element contained in PAF® this need not be included.

Each element is described here.

1. Premises elements 
All Mailing Items must include at least one of these four elements, so that a single delivery point is defined. You do not have to include all the premises elements (unless the premises elements used do not sufficiently describe an address), even if they are included in PAF®, but building numbers must be applied on the same line as the dependent thoroughfare or thoroughfare information.

2. Thoroughfare elements 
PAF® will give one of three possible combinations: No thoroughfare: no need to include anything in this part of the address. A thoroughfare but not a dependent thoroughfare: include the thoroughfare. Both a dependent thoroughfare and a thoroughfare: include the former. If space allows you can also include the thoroughfare, though it's not compulsory.

3. Locality elements
A Customer must include at least one locality element, it does not have to include them all, even if they are included in PAF®. The initial letter(s) of the post town must always be in capital letters, for example Milton Keynes. Alternatively the whole of the post town may be in capital letters, for example: BIRMINGHAM on a line on its own, as indeed can the whole of the Delivery Address.

4. Postcode 
The address must contain the full and accurate Postcode. The Postcode must be able to generate an address from PAF® which can be matched to the minimum requirements above (at least one premise element, one thoroughfare element and one locality element). The Postcode must always appear in capital letters and, unless with the exception of examples 5a), 5b) and 5c) below, on its own as the last line of the address.

Do not include any punctuation or underline it. Please put one or two character spaces between the two parts of the Postcode. The first part (i.e. SN3) is the outward code; the second (i.e. 5XX) is the inward code.

5. Address Structure 
Each address element must be on a separate line with the Postcode included as the last line of the address.

Royal Mail 
Wheatstone House 
Wheatstone Road 
Dorcan 
SWINDON 
SN3 5XX

a) Where the address complies with PAF® and there is no other text or information on the face of the Mailing Item that could be construed as an address, then the following exceptions apply:

The Postcode may be preceded by a county on the last line of the address, provided that the space between the county and the Postcode is one or two characters.

Royal Mail 
Wheatstone House 
Wheatstone Road
Dorcan
SWINDON 
Wiltshire 
SN3 5XX

b) The post town may be followed by a county on the penultimate line of the address, provided that the space between the post town and county is one or two characters and that the Postcode is on the last line of the address.

c) The post town and Postcode may be jointly on the last line of the address, provided that the post town precedes the Postcode and the space between the two elements is one or two characters.

Royal Mail 
Wheatstone House 
Wheatstone Road
Dorcan 
SWINDON SN3 5XX

The County, although not required, may be included as the penultimate line of the address, with the exception of example b) illustrated above.

6. Zonal Addressing 
Zonal Postings must include the Zonal Indicator. There are two options relating to the position of the Zonal Indicator (please see Figure 35), positioned within the top right hand area of the address window immediately following the standard selection code (Zone A,B,C or D) e.g. 53200 A, or preceded by the word 'Zone' and be in a minimum font of 10 point (e.g. Zone A).

Figure 35: 44

Please note: Both these options need to be positioned outside of any clear zones, please see Appendix D (OCR Large Letter) or, Appendix G (OCR Letter) for clear zone specifications. A clear zone is defined as an area, which may be amended from time to time, which is free from print graphics or patterning,

The simplest way to ensure an address is correct is to check that the minimum address elements in the appropriate PAF® records are present.

General advice for print quality & finishing

Digital printing processes apply a pigment layer that adheres to the surface of the paper. The layer does not soak into the paper and is softer than standard inks.

Consequently, when used for mail, the pigment may rub off, transfer to adjacent surfaces (inserts and the envelope), crack, and become marked both during the manual and automated handling process.

The application of an ultra violet (UV) cured varnish has been found to reduce wear to digitally printed Mailing Items. This provides a protective coating over the pigment. It should only be applied to the nonaddressed side of the Letter as the characteristics of the varnish may make the Mailing Items unmachinable if applied to both sides (they may have 'window-like characteristics' that reduce mechanical handling capability, increase static cling, and compromise code mark printing)

The pressure exerted on the Letter during automated processing may cause colour offset on digitally printed items. Therefore, it is recommended that there should be no off-set of print or colour transfer when the items are exposed to a pressure of 3.43kPa (35g per cm2). This equates to a weight of 8.gkg spread over the surface of a DL envelope, and 13.5kg for C5 envelopes.

Appendix B Quality Assurance (QA) Process

To gain maximum benefit from the machinable Access services, you need to ensure the quality of your mailpiece, address management and mail presentation systems are all maintained to a consistently high level.

To help you achieve this, we have developed a Quality Assurance (QA) process to check all these elements against a benchmark standard. If you meet these standards, Mailing Items can benefit from the lower Access prices available. Full details of the Accreditation process can be found on the Website: www.royalmailwholesale.com.

What Access services require a Quality Assurance check?
  • OCR Letter services
It is important to remember that although the QA process gives an 'up front' accreditation you must continue to maintain these standards in order to be eligible for machinable Access Charges on an on-going basis.

There are two ways for you to be assessed under our QA process; an interim assessment and a full accreditation.

Interim Assessment
This allows you to access elements of the QA process before applying for full accreditation. An interim assessment does not count towards full accreditation and is intended as a guide only:

Full Accreditation
Full accreditation entails comprehensive checks on:
  • Mailpiece design
  • Address management
The following Section provides a brief outline of these testing criteria. For full details, application forms and a list of accredited service providers, please contact your Access Account Director.

Address Management
You can achieve Address Management accreditation in one of two ways. If you use our recognised address management software supplier to process your address lists on a regular basis, you can receive automatic accreditation or if applying on your own behalf, a '1 in n' sample*' of 5,000 addresses is supplied to us electronically together with 'Quality Assurance Form A'. The sample must be supplied in a certain format, details of which are provided to you with 'Form A'.

*This involves dividing the number of records in the address database by 5,000 (the sample required) e.g. a database of 100,000 would be divided by 5,000 (sample ) resulting in a sampling frequency of 20 (100,000 / 5,000 =20). Therefore record numbers 1,21,41,61 and so on would be extracted for the sample.

These checks are designed to ensure that:
Your mailing list contains a minimum of 90% full and accurate addresses and Postcodes. Although this forms part of the mandatory QA accreditation process, you can use it to conduct an address 'health check', or interim assessment. It can be accessed at two levels: Postcode validation – designed to check your (or your service provider's) ability to validate, check and maintain Postcode levels.

Mailpiece design and OCR addressing
This element is designed to ensure that physical mailpiece parameters meet the specification so that we can process them by machine. It is available for both the interim assessment and full accreditation. There are different testing criteria depending on the level assessment required.

Interim assessment- to test suitability on parameters such as and, clear zones a sample of ten Mailing Items per type to be mailed should be sent to us for assessment. This is normally done at the design stage.

Full accreditation – this involves a comprehensive examination of 210 representative samples of every mailpiece and its suitability for our automated processing of Mailing Items.

For each additional printer that you intend to use, you should supply a further 10 sample mailpieces, bundled separately with a description of the printer make, model and serial number.

Both interim assessments and full accreditation applications should be accompanied by a completed copy of Quality Assurance 'Form B'.

On-going Quality Assurance Testing 
Once you start using Access services we will sample all your Postings when we receive them to ensure all contractual requirements are being met. Failure to meet the required standards may result in us refusing to process the Postings.

Consolidation Machine Accreditation
If you plan to consolidate mailings via a consolidation machine and present as CBC or OCR then you can have your consolidation machines sortation output accredited, and must have your mailpieces accredited. Consolidation machine accreditation is in two parts:
Part 1 – Mail sortation output accreditation 
Part 2 – Mailpiece accreditation.

For more information and where to download the accreditation forms for mail sorting machine output and mailpiece accreditation please go to www.royalmailwholesale.com

Appendix C Access Selection Files

Obtaining a copy of the Access Selection 
Files Access Selections are derived from our Access Selection Files which are available free of charge in a number of computer formats from the Access Technical Helpline on 0207 371 3727. It can also be downloaded from www.royalmailwholesale.com.

Using the Access Selection Files
The Access Selection Files provide the key data to enable you to sort your Mailing Items into the sortation levels. The Access Selection Files contain data only and not software. You will need to write some software to sort your Mailing Items, or purchase a tailor-made product from a software supplier. A list of suppliers can be found on the our Website at www.royalmailwholesale.com.

Mailings Items are split into different sortation levels:
  • Access 70 sortation level which has additional machine-readable options – OCR and Mailmark. Full guidance can be foundAppendix D  (OCR Large Letter); Appendix G (OCR Letter); and Appendix M (Royal Mail Mailmark);
  • Access 1400 sortation level; and
  • Poll Sort a unique sortation level for poll cards sent using Poll Sort. Full guidance can be found in Appendix P (Poll card services)

What are Access 1400 Selections?
Mailing Items need to be sorted into Selections based on Postcode Districts. The Access Selection Files contain around 1529 of these Selections.

What are Access 70 Selections? 
Mailing Items need to be sorted into Selections based on Postcode Areas. The Access Selection Files contain around 86 of these Selections.

What are Poll Sort Selections?
Mailing Items need to be sorted into Selections based on delivery walks. The Access Selection Files contain around 70,000 of these Selections

Updating the Access Selection Files 
The Access Selection Files are updated periodically to reflect any Postcode changes. By downloading the Access Selection Files from our Website you will be automatically added to a circulation list informing it of changes. You will be advised of changes and the arrangements for implementing updates. It is your responsibility to ensure that you implement these changes and that the current version of the Access Selection Files is used.

Appendix D Large Letter Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Appendix ATechnical requirements for the design and presentation for Large Letter Postings

This technical specification defines the features of a Large Letter eligible for the OCR service. Any feature of a mailpiece design that is not detailed within this specification is not permitted unless it has been tested and approved by us prior to posting

1. Introduction

This specification enables you to reduce the cost of your Large Letter mailings by making them machinable. Mailing Items must be sorted to Access 70 using our latest Access Selection Files and must meet the OCR specification as detailed in this Appendix.

These requirements relate to paper based and polymer envelopes; polywrapped items; and Unwrapped items.

During the design printing and enclosing production stages, you must take into account the various tolerances associated with these processes to ensure that every mail piece adheres to the Large Letter OCR requirements.



2. What kind of Mailing Items can be sent?

Size
Mailing Items must be within the Large Letter format, be rectangular (oblong) or square. All four sides must be straight. The inter Section of each side must be 90 degrees. Both landscape and portrait Large Letters are permitted.

Rectangular Large Letters
Height: 
Minimum: 95mm 
Maximum: 245mm

Length: 
Minimum: 145mm 
Maximum: 345mm

Square Large Letters 
Minimum 145mm x 145mm 
Maximum 245mm x 245mm

Weight 
Minimum 10g 
Maximum 750g

Thickness 
Minimum 0.5mm 
Maximum 10mm

These dimensions apply to the finished mail piece i.e. the outer covering and including the contents

3. Technical Requirements
This Appendix has been separated into general requirements that cover paper and polymer envelopes; polywrapped; and Unwrapped. Where requirements are specific to the type of outer covering used they are listed separately.

4. Design of Logos or Advertising 
To reduce any potential for Address Interpretation errors, these must not look like an address, geographical location, country or a Royal Mail bag or bundle label and they must not be printed in the Delivery Address Block, the clear zone around it or the Royal Mail Access Indicia area. Slogans that contain the words 'Return', 'Address' and 'Undelivered' should be avoided.

5. Inserts
  • For Unwrapped Mailing Items, loose inserts are not permitted, and all pages must be secured to the binding. 
  • All inserts other than paper contents, must be securely fixed in position so they do not move around within the Large Letter. Glue or self-adhesive tabs can be applied to fix any inserts. Metal objects e.g. coins or keys are permitted 
  • Paperclips with a maximum of 23mm in length or staples with a maximum of 24mm x 6mm are permitted. 
  • When inserts are included, please be aware that where this creates a 'step changes' in the thickness of the Large Letter the spatial distortion (see Figure 36) i.e. variation in the thickness of the contents, cannot be more than 50% of the thickness of the item up to the maximum thickness of 10mm and the address must be on the 'flat side of any item, it cannot be placed on any irregular or convex shaped sides

Figure 36: Spatial distortion

5.1. Inserts for Paper envelopes:

Depending on the thickness of the Large Letter to prevent damage to it and other mail pieces there are limitations on how much 'empty' envelope is permitted i.e. the thicker the Large Letter the less 'empty' envelope permitted. (See Figure 37). The following applies to the movement of the largest paper insert:
  • If your Large Letter is up to 2mm thick then there is no restriction on the lateral movement of the largest paper insert up to the maximum envelope of 345mm. 
  • However, for any Large Letter which has a thickness of 2mm or more than the lateral movement of the insert within the letter can be 30mm or less.

5.2. Inserts for Polymer envelopes or polywrapped: 
Where the polymer is transparent only the largest insert must be visible to the front of the Large Letter and the lateral movement is < 30mm (see Figure 37). There is no requirement for the content to be referenced to the bottom left corner, you just need to ensure that there is no more than 30mm along the long edges and no more than 30mm along the short edges.

Figure 37: Insert movement

6. Material – Construction

6.1. Paper envelopes
  • Must be paper based and no perforations are permitted 
  • Envelope paper weight = 70gsm minimum 
  • Single piece (folded & sealed) = 100gsm minimum 
  • Large Letter d postcards = 200gsm minimum
6.2. Polymer envelopes and polywrap: 
  • Must be made of polymer film e.g. polyethylene 
  • Materials produced from polymer fibres that are randomly distributed and non-directional (laid as a web) and bonded together by heat and pressure are not acceptable e.g. Tyvek.
6.3. Unwrapped:
  • The cover of the mail must have a paper weight of ≥ 50gsm. 
  • The pages of the booklet must have a paper weight of ≥ 50gsm. 
  • All pages (including the cover) must be of equal . 
  • All pages must be secured to the binding, and loose inserts are not permitted 
  • The spine must always be on a long edge. 
  • The spine must be glued or stapled. (Punch & bind bindings are not permitted).
  • Onserts must not be attached to the mail. e.g. Pens or product samples
6.4. Material – General:
  • Absorbency: (paper based envelopes): 15 – 35 gsm of water in 1 minute (BS EN 20535 - Paper and board. (Determination of water absorptiveness). 
  • Glue: Any adhesives used in the production of envelopes must not leak onto the open surface of the envelope and must be dry when the mail is presented to us. In no instance should Mailing Items be stuck together. When polymer envelopes are used, the glue must be stronger than the polymer and must not produce protruding mounds on the Mailing Item. 
  • Opacity: ≥ 85 % (BS ISO 2471 - Paper and board. Determination of opacity (paper backing) 
  • Porosity: < 700 ml/minute (BS 6538-2 - Air permeance of paper and board)
6.5. Rigidity / Stiffness:
The acceptable rigidity / stiffness is ? 8N.mm. There is no upper limit on mail piece stiffness.

This can be measured as follows (see Figure 38):
  • A single Large Letter should be placed on a flat surface with the shortest edge of the Large Letter overhanging a straight edge of a flat surface by a horizontal distance of 100mm. 
  • The leading edge of the Large Letter is then released and allowed to bend down under its own weight. 
  • If the leading edge drops to 40mm or more, then the stiffness is less than 8N.mm the Large Letter is not Machinable.

Figure 38: Rigidity and stiffness

6.6. Separation:
The Large Letters must not be stuck together and must be capable of separating to allow them to be effectively processed. When placed on a slope of 65º to the horizontal, the items must be capable of separating, by sliding one from another, under the force of gravity (see Figure 39).

Figure 39: Large Letter separation

6.7. Shape:
Large Letters can be rectangular or square within the permitted dimensions and can be laid out (address and payment indicia) in landscape or portrait format.

6.8. Polywrap outer:
  • The film must be intact, undamaged and must not be punctured or torn. 
  • Perforations are not acceptable. 
  • The film must be sufficiently strong enough to tolerate handling without tearing or splitting at the seals 
  • The film must be > 15 µm (15 microns) thick when measured at any point on the Large Letter other than the seal. 
  • Any overprinted text must adhere to the film and must not break up or wear during processing. 
  • There must only be a single layer of film covering the Delivery Address Block.
7. Print contrast:
  • Required Print Contrast Ratio for addresses printed on envelopes ≥ 50 % 
  • Required Print Contrast Ratio for addresses printed on window inserts ≥ 55 % 
  • Required Minimum Reflective Difference ≥ 30 % 
  • Required Minimum Background Reflectance ≥ 35 % 
  • Inverse printing i.e. negative contrast is not permitted (i.e. Delivery Address Block lighter than background)
8. Sealing 

This Section is divided into the paper and polymer / polywrap requirements as they are different.

8.1. Paper
Paper envelopes must be sealed securely on the back, front and edges. A tolerance of 35mm x 25mm is permitted on the opening flap. Regardless of whether the opening flap is placed on the front or reverse of the Mailing Item (the front being where the Delivery Address Block and the Access Indicia are located) it must be sealed to within 35mm from the fold of the envelope and 25mm from the envelope side. (see Figure 40)

Figure 40: Paper sealing tolerance

8.2. Polymer

Polymer envelopes must be sealed along all the edges and have the opening flap on the back. The opening flap has to be sealed to within a minimum of 25mm from the fold of the envelope flap and 25mm from the sides of the envelope (see Figure 41).

Figure 41: Polymer sealing tolerance

8.3. Poly wrapped Mailing 
Items which are poly wrapped must be securely sealed on the front, back and side edges.

The preferred location for the poly wrapped seal is the back of the Large Letter.

We recommend that if the seal runs along the length or width of the Mailing Item that the free edge of the seal is less than 30mm deep.

Additionally if the poly wrapped seal is on the front of the Mailing Item: 
  • the seal must not be over the Delivery Address Block; and 
  • the seal must not be across the width of the Mailing Item.

Figure 42: Poly wrapped sealing

8.4. Windows (paper envelopes)

Although only one window is allowed on a Large Letter you do have the option of using this window for either the Delivery Address or for advertising information. Please ensure that the window is not an open space i.e. there must be a transparent film covering the aperture and that it is square or rectangular (circular windows are not permitted). If the window is used for the Delivery Address, you must ensure all clear zones are being adhered to.

Options are available when it comes to designing or purchasing window envelopes, as there are no specific requirements for the strength of the window but you do need to ensure that at the point of handover to us:
  • the window film is not flimsy i.e. must be sufficient strength & quality that it is not visibly creased or crumpled.
  • that it is flat and securely and evenly sealed to the inside of the envelope, this includes the requirement that the corners of the aperture are curved rather than straight as this will help prevent damage occurring when the items are going through the final machine sortation stage. 
  • that it does not take up more than 25% of the surface area on the side where it is found. 
  • the window area where it is used for an address must fall within the specified Delivery Address Block Area. Figures 44 and 45
Gloss (window and poly film): 
The gloss value must be ? 150 (American standards of testing and materials (ASTM) 2457 Measured at 60 degrees)

Haze (window and poly film): 
The haze value must be ≤ 75 % (ASTM D1003-00 Procedure A (Hazemeter))

9. Addressing Requirements
This Section explains the Large Letter addressing standards

9.1. Address
Please refer to Appendix A of this User Guide for the structure and format of each address.

9.2. Address layout:
  • The county, although not required, may be included as the penultimate line of the address 
  • The phrases “England”, “Great Britain” or “United Kingdom” must not be used for addresses to and within England, Wales, Scotland or the outlying islands. This information is not included in PAF®. 
  • Each line of the Delivery Address Block must be left justified, including the Mailer Defined Information (MDI) if included. 
  • The Post Town should have the first character(s) in capitals for example: Coventry, Milton Keynes, Ross on Wye, on a single line. 
  • The Postcode must always appear in capital letters on the last line of the address and there must be one or two character spaces between the two parts of the Postcode. 
  • Excessively skewed addresses cannot be read. The Delivery Address Block must not skew more than 5 degrees plus or minus from the horizontal 
  • Blank lines within the Delivery Address Block are not permitted and you must note that if the line spacing between the Mailer Defined Information and the Delivery Address is not the same then the Mailer Defined Information may encroach into the required clear zones.
9.3. Delivery Address Block structure and layout
The Delivery Address Block is defined as an imaginary rectangular box which surrounds the address, as illustrated in Figure 43 and touches the extremities of the text on each side. An address may consist of up to two elements, all of which are classed as the 'Delivery Address Block'.

Mailer Defined information (MDI) – reference information which may be printed as part of the Delivery Address Block

The Delivery Address - must be included and comprise of the following:
  • Addressee details 
  • Geographical address and Postcode

Figure 43: Delivery Address Block

There must only be one Delivery Address Block on the Large Letter and it must be on the same side as the Access Indicium used. No other addresses or anything that can be construed as an address can appear on the front of the Mailing item with the exception being the Return Address- see requirements in section 14 of this Appendix D

In addition, to ensure there are no issues when identifying the elements of the address any separation between elements of the MDI must not exceed one space and the line spacing must be consistent with the Delivery Address.

For the MDI a different font which is of a different to the other text of the Delivery Address may be used. The MDI must be in typeface and may comprise of letters, numerals, punctuation marks, ideograms and symbols, Barcodes are not acceptable.

When the Delivery Address Block is on an insert, the Mailer Defined Information (MDI) may tap out to the right and to the top of the window as long as it falls out/falls back in totally and completely, the mail piece will fail specification if it falls out/falls in partially when the Delivery Address Block clear zones are checked.

No other part of the Delivery Address Block may tap out of the window on a paper envelope or the 'clear' window area on a polymer envelope or polywrapped item.

When printing the Delivery Address the maximum characters per line is 64 and please ensure that the content of one address line is not wrapped onto a second line i.e. Team Valley Trading Estate must be printed on the same line and not spread over two. You are asked to use one of the recommended fonts and s and ensure that each line of the address has characters which are the same font and point and that the spacing between the words is less than 5mm.

9.4. Polymer and polywrap envelopes
The address may be printed on the polymer or may show through the polymer on an insert. Any overprinted text must adhere to the film and must not break up or wear during processing
The Delivery Address Block cannot be located in the following areas; Figures 44 and 45

10. Font Types
It is important to get the fonts right, in the first instance please ensure that you do not use italic or bold fonts and the of the font must be the same or larger than that used in any Return Address information.

A list of recommended fonts is provided, and you are asked not use serif or handwritten fonts in any instance. If you wish to use an alternative font, the character pitch must be 10-12 characters per 25.4mm with clear vertical gaps of at least 0.25mm between the extremities of the adjacent characters.

10.1. Print Quality:
  • Preferred colour is black. If this cannot be achieved than adequate print contrast must be achieved at all times 
  • Mandatory for black to be used when printed directly onto the polywrap or polymer envelopes, when the address is printed on an insert in a polywrapped item or when the address is printed on the polywrap outer.
  • Negative contrast is not allowed 
  • The characters must not be blurred, smudged, deformed or incomplete 
  • No splashing or ink spatter around characters 
  • The following should be avoided 
  • Characters with incorrect proportions
Quality of characters – which are poorly printed or defined, either because they have been printed by low quality printers or low resolution dot matrix printers, or because the printer needs maintenance (worn ribbon, low on toner/ink etc.).


Characters with poor outlines – fuzzy or blurred, or strokes which are incomplete, broken or smeared, for any of the above reasons.

Close character spacing – characters which touch adjacent characters, whether on the same line or those from above or below:


Space
the spacing between words must be less than 5mm. Proportionally or unevenly spaced text – characters or words which have too much


Typeface styles – italic, inclined graphic, pseudo-script or handwriting imitations. Typefaces with excessive serifs, which touch or overlap adjacent characters or serifs.

Generally, sans-serif fonts are preferable to serif fonts.

Printing white type on a black background or similar, or combinations of colours such as black print on a strong red background. When printing on polymer, the address block should not be distorted or broken text as shown below. The characters must not be blurred, smudged, deformed or incomplete. If using dot matrix printing, particularly on polymer, there must be no gaps between the dots. The print / dot matrix must meet the required contrast ratio.

11. Delivery Address Block positioning.
The Delivery Address Block position is dependent on the orientation of the mail piece. Details of the Delivery Address Block are shown in Figures 44-45.

The delivery address must not be located in the following areas:
  • A frame around the envelope 40mm from the top and 15mm around the rest of the perimeter i.e. the bottom, left and right edges.* 
  • Over the edge of the envelope flap
*Please note:
For polymer envelopes or polywrapped items you will need to allow for any lateral movement (maximum 30mm) when defining the Delivery Address Block location. The assumption must be made that the poly may fold during processing and, should this happen we still need a defined clear area from the edge to ensure the Delivery Address Block can be read. (e.g. If a Large Letter had 10mm excess polywrap then you would leave 25mm clear) 

Figure 44: Landscape Delivery Address Block Area (not to scale)

Figure 45: Portrait Delivery Address Block Area (not to scale)

12. Delivery Address Block Clear Zone

There is a minimum requirement for a clear area of 5mm or more (see Figure 46) to be around the extremities of the full Delivery Address Block. Clear is defined as clear of print; patterning, graphics or any text including, when the Large Letter is tapped to induce maximum movement in turn on each of the four sides.

Figure 46: Delivery Address Block clear zones

When the Delivery Address Block is behind a window or viewed through polymer the total clearance around the Delivery Address Block remains unchanged at ≥ 5mm. However, this may consist of clear zones both within the window and on the envelope.

The gap within the window must be ≥ 2mm to the left, right, and bottom of the address.

No clear zone is required within the window above the Delivery Address Block, but the Delivery Address must always be visible. The remaining clear zone requirements are met through the provision of clear zones on the envelope. i.e. a minimum of a further clear zone of ≥ 3mm to the left, right, and bottom of the Delivery Address Block (ensuring that there is 5mm clear in total); and a ≥ 5mm clear zone on the envelope above the address (see Figure 47).

No other text/information that could be construed as a Delivery Address may be included on the front of the Large Letter. This includes any areas of an insert which may appear in the window of the Mailing Item arising from insert movement. The exception to this requirement is The Return Address- see requirements in section 14 of this Appendix D

Figure 47: Delivery Address Block clear zones

13. Punctuation

Please do not underline any part of the address or postcode.
Punctuation and non-alpha numeric symbols can only be used where it appears in the corresponding PAF? record. It can also be used in the recipient's name or in the Mailer Defined Information (MDI) above the address within the Delivery Address Block. There must be no punctuation used to separate address elements or components within an address element.
Punctuation is permitted within the addressee's name and title / department. Alternatively, you may remove all punctuation from the address, even if it is contained in the corresponding PAF record.
For full details on allowable punctuation within a PAF record please see PAF Digest, available from www.royalmail.com
Punctuation and graphical symbols may be used within any 'Mailer Defined Information' and addressee elements.

14. Return Address
There can only be one Return Address on the Large Letter.

14.1. Content: 
The content of any Return Address must follow the structure as shown for the Delivery Address but most importantly it has to have the words 'Return Address' as the single prefix on the top line of the block of text and must be printed using either the 'Lucida Console' or 'Letter Gothic' fonts of 10-12pt This is an example of the layout in Lucida Console, 10pt font.
Return Address 
148 Old Street 
LONDON 
EC1V 9HQ

14.2. Location:
There must be only one Return Address Block on the Large Letter and if the of the finished mail piece is equal to or smaller than 240mm x 165mm then it must be placed on the reverse of the mail piece. This ensures incidences are reduced where the incorrect address will be read, possibly resulting in poor quality of service. When on the reverse, it must be within an area within 40mm zone from the top of the mail piece.

For items greater than 240mm x 165mm it is recommended that the Return Address Block be on the reverse.

When on the front, it must be in the top left corner, no more than 75mm from the right edge and cannot extend to lower than 40mm from the top edge of the letter and cannot be closer than 12mm to the Delivery Address Block (see Figure 48).

Figure 48: Return address positioning

Appendix E Unwrapped Specification

1. Introduction
It is possible for us sometimes to accept Mailing Items (including when used in conjunction with Responsible Mail and Advertising Mail) without wrapping or envelopes.

2. Presentation requirements 
The conditions which apply to acceptance of mail, presented in this way are stated here.

Your Access Account Director will ensure that you are aware of the additional presentation requirements.

All Unwrapped Mailing Items must be included in the 7 day Forecast, Pre-notification, and in the 06:30 am docket upload as per Section 11:

For all Unwrapped Mailing Items:
  • The minimum number of Mailing Items required per Container is as detailed in Section 6.1 
  • Mailing Items will be priced according to format as detailed in Section 5 
  • Each Mailing Item must have an approved Access Indicium as a method of postage payment. (Please see Section 3 for more detail) 
  • We will destroy any Mailing Items that are undeliverable through lack of address particulars or because the address covers have become torn in transit. 
  • We cannot give any assurance on redirected Unwrapped Mailing Items 
  • We cannot accept responsibility for damage in transit for these Unwrapped postings and any recipient complaints will be referred to the sender.

Manual Unwrapped Mailing Items:
  • You must apply the correct final bag label to each bag or bundle 
  • Each Mailing Item is to be pre-addressed on the cover below and to the left of the indicia 
  • Large Letters must be bundled when presented in bags 
  • Large Letters must be loose when presented in ALPS 
  • If mail is presented in bundles without bags the bundles must be crossed strapped or alternatively wrapped in polywrap of 30 microns and the posting must also meet the requirements outlined in Appendix F 'Strapped Bundle/Un-Bagged. 
  • Bundles held together by polywrap the bundle label must comprise of a white adhesive label of comparable to the normal bag label (12cm x 5cm), and be applied to the outside of the polywrap. The label must be applied in such a position that it obscures the Delivery Address of the item beneath the wrapping to avoid the bundle being perceived as a single item of mail. 
  • The maximum is 324mm x 458mm and the minimum is 95mm x 145mm 
  • All pages of each mailing item in the Unwrapped Posting must be of the same and fixed together by staples or other means with the exception of the facing cover of the item may be a smaller – e.g. either half the length or the width of the rest of the item. This is providing that it is securely affixed to the spine of the item. 
  • Loose inserts are not allowed. 
  • Where the bag label information has been printed on the Mailing Item they must meet the current requirements in terms of layout and design.

Machinable Unwrapped mailing items:
  • Machinable Unwrapped is only available with Large Letter services 
  • You may use Mailmark Large letters or OCR Large Letters 
  • You must meet the existing rigidity and stiffness requirements 
  • The maximum is 345mm x 245mm x 10mm and minimum 145mm x 95mm x0.5mm 
  • All pages (including the cover) must be of equal . 
  • No loose inserts or 'onserts' are allowed (e.g. pens, badges etc.) 
  • All pages must be secured to the binding
  • The spine must always be on a long edge furthest away from the indicia. 
  • The spine must be glued or stapled. (Punch & bind bindings are not permitted). 
  • The cover of the Mailing Item must have a paper weight of ≥ 50gsm. 
  • The pages of the booklet must have a paper weight of ≥ 50gsm. 
  • Mailing Items must be trayed
Standard Large Letter traying requirements apply for Unwrapped Mailing Items that are > 240mm x 165mm as shown below. Note the spine of the Mailing Item will always be to the right of the tray when viewed from above.


Trayed items > 240mm x 165mm in Trays (Not to Scale)

Unwrapped mail up to 240mm x 165mm in must be presented with the spine towards the top of the tray as illustrated below


Trayed items Up to 240mm x 165mm in Trays (Not to Scale)

Appendix F Strapped Bundle/ Un-badged Specification

1. Presentation
You must post at least 4,000 Mailing Items to present Mailing Items as strapped bundled/unbagged. Your Access Account Director will make sure you are aware of the presentation requirements.

All strapped bundled Mailing Items must be included in the 7 Working Day rolling and Pre-notifications and in the 06:30am docket upload as per section 11.

2. Presentational Requirements
The dimensions of the Mailing Item must fall between 125mm x 176mm and 324mm x 458mm

Mailing Items will be priced according to format as detailed in Section 5.

The number of Mailing Items within each bundle must be maximised and comply with maximum bundle weight limits. An Under Volume bundle is a bundle that does not contain the minimum number of Mailing Items in each weight step as defined in Section 6. Under Volume bundles will be charged in accordance with Section 6.

Bundles must be either:
  • Securely double strapped i.e. each bundle must be cross strapped, both lengthways and widthways. This additional strapping serves the same purpose as bags and helps protect the bundles whilst in transit 
  • Wrapped with polywrap (30 microns).
Postings that include bundles that are not strapped securely will be returned or subject to price adjustment. It is your responsibility to safeguard the hygiene of mail presented for posting – e.g. mail is free of moisture, clean and undamaged. The tension of any strapping applied to bundles should be such that there is no damage to the mailpiece and that the edges of the mailpiece are not damaged in any way when the strapping is removed and the edges of the mailpiece are not torn or turned up.

When items are of a single uniform thickness across the whole width and length of the item, they must be faced and bundled the same direction.

Where bulky Mailing Items are not of a single uniform thickness across the whole width and length, items must be bundled in such a way that the bundle is level and squared off at the ends. If an item is thicker at one end, the items should be counter stacked with the top half of the bundle turned the opposite way to the bottom half. Address must still be facing upwards.

Elastic bands must not be used for holding bundles together. You are required to present bundles either brick stacked or column stacked in Containers.

3. Weight Limits
Bundles must not exceed the following weights:
  • 6.4kg. each bundle must be stacked safely and securely in each York container.
  •  Individual Mailing Items with a weight up to 100gms, or flimsy in construction, must have a bundle height of at least 15cm to maintain rigidity and efficiency when being handled 
  • The volume of items in each bundle must be maximised to ensure the minimum total number of bundles are presented for a single mailing, subject to sortation requirements, e.g. it is not acceptable to present 2 bundles for the same SSC each weighing 3KG, in this instance a single bundle of 6KG should be presented.
4. Labelling
Each bundle must be labelled as follows:
  • unique bundle ID number 
  • UCID 
  • format 
  • your name or Access Licence Number 
  • customer type – DSA for operator access and CDA for customer direct access Customers, and AGY for Large Agency Customers 
  • destination Office – Mail Centre name 
  • selection Name – name of the Selection as listed in the Access Selection Files
  • Access Selection Files SSC
For bundles held together with strapping, the label may comprise a simple carrier on top of the bundle and held in place by the strapping. You or your Customer will provide these labels, which should be placed in the top right corner of the bundle and which may correspond to the dimensions of the items being posted, but must be at least 125mm x 176mm , and the text will be large enough to be highly visible (recommended 18 point or above).

Where strappex has been used to hold the bundle together it is preferred that the Delivery Address is fully obscured on the top Mailing Item. This allows the bundle label to be applied through or across the strappex if desired.

For bundles held together with polywrap the label should comprise a white adhesive label, of comparable to the normal bag label (12cm x 5cm), applied to the outside of the polywrap. The label should be applied in such a position that it obscures the Delivery Address of the item beneath the wrapping to avoid the bundle being perceived as a single Mailing Item.

Standard bag labels may only be used if they can be affixed securely to the top of the bundle and it can be assured that the label will remain on the top of the bundle during transport. (Attaching labels to the strapping with bag ties is NOT acceptable for Health and Safety reasons unless the loose end of the bag tie has been clipped.) It is not allowed to place loose labels under strapping.

5. Printing labels onto items for unbagged mailings
Where you wish to print labels directly onto items, or the top item of a bundle the following requirements apply to Mailing Items of the following sizes:
  • Letters: minimum of 229mm long, 165mm high and 1mm thick. i.e. C5 envelope format 
  • Large Letters: maximum of 353mm x 250mm x 25mm thick.
The label content must meet the standard labelling requirements in all aspects i.e. , content, element positioning, and formatting. The only difference from the standard requirements is that it is permitted to print the label details on the item or item enclosure.

A label outline border must not be printed around the label.

A 5mm clear zone must be provided around the 'label area'. Consequently, an area of 128mm by 58mm is required for the label and its clear zone as illustrated.

Figure 49: CFL requirements

The 'label' must be printed on a white background and in an area free from other printing.

The label must be positioned above and to the left of the Delivery Address Block and, where the Return Address is on the front of the item, below the Return Address Block, please see Figure 50.

Figure 50: Return address positioning

Where the bundles of a mailing are polywrapped, the current requirement to obscure the Delivery Address of the top Mailing Item with a carrier sheet/adhesive label over it remains. This is to ensure that the bundle is split before delivery and that all items do not go to a single address. However, where bundles have been strappexed, it is not mandatory to cover the top Delivery Address providing that the above labelling requirements are met.

It is preferred that only the Access Indicium, Delivery Address Block, Return Address Block and the label should be visible on the face of the mailpiece but this is not a mandatory requirement.

Please note: Mailing Items to Jersey (JE) and Guernsey (GY), are excluded from being presented as strapped bundles for security and handling safety and must be presented in bags in accordance with Section 6.4

Appendix G Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

1. Introduction

This technical specification defines the features of a mail piece eligible for the OCR service. Any feature of a mail piece design that does not comply with this specification is not permitted unless it has been tested and approved by us prior to posting. Poll Cards cannot be sent using the OCR service.

This specification is in essence the standard for 'normal' paper, and – unless you use an unusual type of paper – your items will probably comply. Issues such as colour, design and layout of items are covered later in this Appendix. During design, printing and enclosing, you should take into account the various tolerances associated with these processes to ensure that every mail piece within your mailing adheres to these requirements.

OCR mail is processed by machines which operate at high speeds. These machines integrate stacker feeder systems, belts and pulleys to process and sort the mail through its journey prior to delivery. The sorting process requires mail pieces to be presented and processed through different machines on several occasions (as many as five or six times) so it is necessary that each mail piece is within the physical and material parameters of the specification so it achieves efficient processing with no damage to the machine or mail piece.

This Appendix has been broken in to Sections representing the key stages of mail piece creation with each Section setting out the specification requirements. The flow chart on the next page is designed to provide a high level summary of order and content of these processes with additional explanatory information to help understand why specific attributes are required.

J tools and supporting guidelines are provided free of charge and should be used to quality check mail pieces through design and production stages.

Figure 51: OCR J tool


2. Mail piece format

What kind of items you can send? For Mailing Items to comply with OCR, each mail piece must comply with a range of physical parameters.


Figure 52: format

3. Mail piece physical properties
3.1. Flexibility Mailing 
Items must be flexible enough to be capable of being processed in our sorting machines without damage to the machine, the Mail Item or other Mailing Items. Each Mailing Item must, therefore, be capable of being transported around a pulley with a radius of 140mm with a maximum force of 26 Newtons. Items that are too stiff will not be able to meet this requirement, as shown in Figure 54.

Figure 53: Flexibility test - pass

Figure 54: Flexibility test - fail

3.2. Inserts 
An insert is defined as anything that is inserted or enclosed into a mail piece. Items such as pens, keys gifts etc. that are inserted in mail pieces must not alter the properties of the mail piece such that the mail piece falls outside of the OCR automation requirements. Typically the significant factors affected are stiffness, thickness, and insert movement.

For any insert other than paper contents, you must make sure they are fixed in position so they do not move around during processing. You can use glue or self- adhesive tabs to fix any inserts No metallic items should be contained within the mail piece with the following exceptions: staples maximum 24mm by 6mm paper clips maximum of 23mm length

3.3. Lateral movement
The maximum amount of lateral movement of the largest insert within the envelope must not exceed 20mm.

Figure 55: Lateral movement

Where the overall total mail piece thickness does not exceed 2mm, the maximum allowable largest insert movement is 30mm.

4. Mail piece material properties

Paperweight – grammes square meter (gsm) 
Envelopes: 70gsm minimum. 
Postcards: 200gsm minimum with a minimum thickness of 0.25mm thick

Material 
Envelopes must be paper based; you must not use polythene, plastic or transparent items, or aperture envelopes (i.e. windows envelopes without a film)

Opacity 
The paper on which the address is printed on must be equal to or more than 85% opaque to prevent any character on the reverse side showing through.

Porosity 
Porosity value less than 700ml/minute.

Absorbency 
Absorbency value required 15-35gsm of water in one minute. 

Paper colour 
The most suitable colours for your mail pieces are white, cream or buff. Other colours are possible so long as they are light or pastel shades and contrast by at least 50% (55% where the address is read through a window) in tone with the address. Use of red or dark colours is not allowed, as it makes it difficult for our machines to read the address or codes.

Background Reflectance (BR) and Reflective Difference (RD)
In order to provide sufficient reflectance from the mail piece material that allows sufficient light to be reflected back, a BR value of a minimum of 35% in the red region (600nm) is required. Mail pieces not meeting this requirement will appear as a block of dark grey or even black, making it impossible to identify the address on the mail item.

In order to provide sufficient contrast between the mail piece material and the printed address, the Reflective Difference between the mail piece background and the printing reflectance (PR) must be a minimum of 30%.Mail pieces not meeting this requirement will appear as block making it extremely difficult to distinguish the address from the mail piece material.

5. Addressing
5.1. Delivery Address Block - definition
The Delivery Address Block is defined as an imaginary rectangular box which surrounds the address, as illustrated in Figure 56, and touches the extremities of the text on each side. It may consist of up to 2 elements:-

1. Mailer Defined Information (MDI)5 reference information. This is optional and if used must be in the line immediately above the addressee.

2. The Delivery Address must be included and is comprised of the following:
  • Addressee Elements – This may include the relevant punctuation 
  • Geographic address – The information in the address must correspond with the information in PAF®.Only punctuation that appears in the corresponding PAF® record may be included.
The Delivery Address element must be printed in only one type and of font.

Figure 56: Delivery Address Block

There must only be one Delivery Address Block and it must be on the same side as the Access Indicium used. No other addresses or anything that can be construed as an address can appear on the front of the Mailing Item with the exception of the Return Address- see requirements in section 6.2 of this Appendix G

Mailer Defined Information.
If you wish to print the MDI as part of the Delivery Address Block you may print it in a different font and different from that used in the Delivery Address element. The data must be in a type face and may comprise of letters, numerals, punctuation marks, ideograms and symbols. Barcodes are not permitted. All spaces between all lines within the Delivery Address Block including the MDI must be the same.

5.2. Delivery Address Block – positioning and format
  • All lines of the Delivery Address Block must be justified left.
  • The address can appear anywhere in the pink shared area as shown in Figure 51. It must be at least 15mm from the top, left and right edges and at least 18mm from the bottom edge.
  • The extremities of the Delivery Address Block must be at least 2mm away from the edge of the label or window. 
  • Additionally, there must be 5mm clear zone around the Delivery Address Block that is free from text, graphics or patterns. 
  • Excessively skewed addresses cannot be read. OCR can only tolerate a maximum skew of plus or minus 5 degrees from the horizontal. 
  • All punctuation may be omitted from all parts of the Delivery Address. 
  • Punctuation, if included within the Delivery Address, must remain restricted to the punctuation that appears within the corresponding PAF® record. Do not use punctuation in abbreviations such as 'St' for 'Street' or 'Rd' for 'Road'. 
  • Punctuation may be used in the Mailer Defined Information (MDI) and/or the addressee's name or the addressee' title. For full details on allowable punctuation within a PAF® record please see PAF® Digest available from www.royalmail.com, or your Access Account Director. 
  • The preferred address format is where each line of the address element is on a separate line and the Postcode must be on the last line of the address. Please see Appendix A, Addressing Mailing Items, for 'Elements of Address and Address Structure'. Please note that the requirement for “no other text/information on the face of the mail item that could be construed as an address” includes any areas of an insert which may appear in the window of the mail item arising from the insert movement. 
  • The Country name (United Kingdom, Great Britain, England, etc.) must not be used. 
  • The Postcode must be in capital letters and contain either one or two spaces between the two parts

6. Delivery Address Block clear zones

6.1. Areas you must not print in
You must leave the following areas clear of any markings. These areas are called 'clear zones', and are used by our machines to print and read codes on Mailing Items and locate the address. You must leave clear zones in the following areas.
  • 5mm around the Delivery Address Block. 
  • 18mm from the bottom edge and 130 mm from the right edge. This is for Royal Mail route code marking. 
  • A zone 100mm from the right hand edge and 10mm high, with the zone's top edge starting 70mm from the bottom edge of the item. This is for Royal Mail tag code marking. 
  • The address may appear anywhere within the pink shaded Delivery Address Block Area (shown on the OCR template at Figure 51) 
  • No part of the address may fall within 40mm of the top of the mailpiece. However, if you cannot meet this requirement, then as long as there is no other print or graphic on the envelope that could be construed as an address, and providing the address conforms to PAF®, the Delivery Address Block may encroach in to the 40mm, clear zone as long as the last line of the Delivery Address Block is no nearer than 50mm from the top of the mailpiece.
The clear zone around the Delivery Address Block must be at least 5mm as shown in Figure 57 The Delivery Address Block must be at least 5mm away from any print or graphics. The left, right and bottom edges of the Delivery Address Block must be at least 2mm away from the window edge. Additionally, there must be 5mm clear zone between the left, right, top and bottom edges of the Delivery Address Block and any print, graphics or patterning on the envelope or any other surrounding material.

Figure 57: Delivery Address Block clear zones

6.2. Return Address
  • Each Mailing Item must bear a UK Return Address 
  • A Return Address should go on the reverse of the Mailing Item and it must be wholly in an area no more than 40mm from the top of the mail piece. 
  • It is preferred that it is positioned central from either side and be structured as left justified.
  • In exceptional cases if a Return Address is on the front of the Mailing Item it must be wholly in an area no lower than 40mm from the top of the Mailing Item and no less than 75mm from the right hand edge of the envelope. This will prevent our automation equipment from sorting the mail item to the return address
  • The Return Address must be identified as a Return Address and it is recommended that the Return Address be preceded by the words 'Return Address'; 
  • The Return Address must be a valid PAF® address; and 
  • It is recommended that the font and point used are either 'Lucida Console' or 'Letter Gothic' fonts of 10-12pt
6.3. Delivery Address Block clear zones – through windows
When window envelopes are used, the total clearance around the Delivery Address Block remains unchanged at or more than 5mm, but this may consist of clear zones both within the window and on the envelope. Figure 58 shows how the 5mm zone can be constructed.

Figure 58: Delivery Address Block clear zones

There must be a minimum of at least 2mm between the left, right, and bottom edge of the Delivery Address Block and window edge. No clear zone is required within the window above the Delivery Address Block, but the Delivery Address, must always be visible.

We recommend the addressee details remain in view but we will accept the addressee details tapping right up to the edge of the window or they can tap out partially or wholly to the top of the right providing that the remainder of the Delivery Address remains wholly visible.

Where a MDI is printed as the top line of the Delivery Address Block the MDI may tap cleanly and completely out of the window providing that the remainder of the Delivery Address Block remains completely visible. These requirements apply at all times including after the Mailing Item is tapped on any of its four edges to induce maximum insert movement.

The remaining clear zone requirements may be met through the provision of clear zones on the envelope i.e. a clear zone which is free of print, graphics or patterning of at least 3mm to the left, right, and bottom of the Delivery Address Block; and a clear zone of at least 5mm on the envelope above the Delivery Address Block.

6.4. Using window envelopes
Windows may be included on envelopes for a variety of reasons so it is necessary to ensure that the inclusion of a window(s) does not physically impact the mail piece in such a way that may prevent our machines from processing it. The following window options only are permitted:


The front face is defined as the side containing the indicia and the Delivery Address

6.4.1. Address is read through a window
If you intend your address to be read through a window, please follow these requirements:
  • Windows must be rectangular in shape, and each corner of the aperture must be radiused 
  • The window must not interfere with the clear zones for our route and tag codes. (Please see Figure 51) 
  • The window position must be at least 15mm from the top, left and right edges of the envelope, and at least 18mm from its bottom edge. 
  • The maximum gloss value of the window material must be equal to or less than 150 when measured at 60° in accordance with ASTM 2457 Standard test method for specula gloss of plastic films. 
  • The window haze should be equal to or less than 75% in accordance with ASTM D1003-00 Standard test method for haze of plastic films. 
  • The window envelope material must be robust enough not to become deformed and fixed to the envelope evenly across the surface area it is in contact with. 
  • The item inside the envelope must fit securely, and not move around. The Delivery Address must always be fully visible with a 5mm clear zone around the Delivery Address Block at all times which is free from text, graphics or patterning. 
  • The number of windows on a single mail item must not exceed two. 
  • The windows must not exceed 50% of the surface area for one face of the mail item and must appear on the front of the mail item (the same side as the address). The windows must not infringe on any of the clear zones on the Mailing Item (Please see Figure 60 OCR template)
6.4.2. Addresses printed direct on to the mail piece
If you intend your address to be printed on the front of the envelope and include a window on the reverse for non-address information please follow these requirements:
  • Only one window is permitted. 
  • The window must not exceed 50% of the surface area 
  • The window envelope material must be robust enough not to become deformed and fixed to the envelope evenly across the surface area it is in contact with.
6.4.3. Windows on front and back of envelopes
Envelopes with a window on each side, one on the front and one on the back can only be used if the following requirements are met:

Mail piece Physical Properties:
  • Minimum mail piece length is 212mm (maximum is 240mm) 
  • Maximum thickness 1mm 
  • Paper inserts only 
  • Maximum weight 20g
Window Properties
  • The window on the front face must be rectangular with a maximum of 90mm length and 45mm height. It must be positioned so it does not interfere with any required route and tag clear zone. The window on the back must be circular with a maximum diameter of 48mm. The perimeter of the window must be 31mm ± 2mm from the bottom of the envelope and centred along the long edge.
6.5. Contrast
Printing
The address must be darker than the paper. For example don't print the address in white ink on dark paper. Please do not print text behind the address, as our machines cannot read against it. There must be a minimum of 50% contrast ratio (55% for addresses behind windows) between the print of the address and the background.

Background 
Printing or embossing of security backgrounds, if essential, should be faint, of uniform consistency and be on the inside of the envelope. The contrast factor must not be greater than 10%.

7. Fonts - which Typeface to Use?
Using Optical Character Recognition – OCR – enables you to print your addresses in a typeface that our sorting machines are able to read, by breaking each line down into separate characters or words and looking for vertical white paths between them.

However, in order for OCR to function properly, only certain fonts can be used and print quality must be of a certain standard. For example, using typefaces that are more unevenly spaced than others (or printing labels on a printer where the ink is running low) may cause the item to be rejected and may mean it is sorted manually– which can cause delay and how much you are charged.

There are a variety of fonts you can use, though we would recommend using one from the list shown wherever possible. We would also recommend you regularly check the quality of your print output for clarity. If you have any doubts on either of these requirements, please contact your Access Account Director.

Typefaces with the following characteristics are also suitable:
Size – Height: 2mm min - 7mm max. Width: 7mm max.
 Dimension – minimum ratio of lower case height (b) to upper case height (a) of between 2:3 and 3:4. A ratio of width (c) to height (a) of approximately 2:3.


Consistency – each and every line of the Delivery Address (including the addressee's name) must be in the same typeface and point .
Quality – characters must be complete, clear, uniform and of high resolution, with individual stroke thickness of between 8% and 16% of the height of the character. Contrast – there should be a contrast between the characters and the background on which they are printed of at least 50% (55% if it is to be read through a window). Character spacing – there should be a fixed pitch of between 10 and 12 characters per inch (or between 15 and 10 point ), with clear vertical gaps of at least 0.25mm between the extremities of adjacent characters. If you are using proportionally spaced text, please ensure you keep spacing of at least +0.75, as this significantly improves the rate at which addresses can be read. 
Line spacing – allow uniform spacing between all lines of the address, of between 1mm and 4mm (measured from descender to ascender). There should be no blank lines.

Please note; OCR machines can read anything up to 64 characters per line (including spaces). OCR cannot recognise computer zero (Ø). Script type or italic typefaces also cannot be read.

Things to avoid 
The following are typical problems, which can prevent your mail from being processed by an OCR machine.

Characters with incorrect proportions
Quality of characters – which are poorly printed or defined, either because they have been printed by low quality printers or low resolution dot matrix printers, or because the printer needs maintenance (e.g. worn ribbon, low on toner/ink etc.).


Characters with poor outlines – fuzzy or blurred, or strokes which are incomplete, broken or smeared, for any of the above reasons.

Close character spacing – characters which touch adjacent characters, whether on the same line or those from above or below.


Proportionally or unevenly spaced text – characters or words that have too much space between them the spacing between words must be less than 5mm.


Typeface styles – bold, italic, inclined graphic, pseudo-script or handwriting limitations. Typefaces with excessive serifs, which touch or overlap adjacent characters or serifs. Generally, sans-serif fonts are preferable to serif fonts.

Print contrast – printing white type on a black background or similar, or combinations of colours such as black print on a strong red background

8. Sealing
All items must be securely sealed on all sides, taking care to avoid too much gum. Envelope flaps may fold either to the back or front of the mailpiece. If the flap folds to the front (address side) of the mailpiece, the edge of the flap must not fall within the clear zones required for route and tag codes.

  • You must not use metal clips or staples. 
  • The items must be sealed on all sides securely and continuously
One Piece Mailers are permitted, please contact your Access Account Director for the full specification.

8.1. Sealing Tolerances
Opening Flaps must be sealed as far along the edge as possible. All remaining edges must be sealed.

8.1.1. Letters presented in trays

For DL and C5 Letters with rectangular or trapezium shaped opening flaps presented in trays only, there is a maximum tolerance of up to 35mm from the left and right edges and 35mm from the top edge (as illustrated in Figure 59) where the flaps do not have to be sealed6

Figure 59: Sealing for mail in trays


8.1.2. Letters presented in bags
For all other Letter s there is a maximum tolerance of up to 25mm from the left and right edges and 35mm from the top edge (as illustrated in Figure 60) where the flaps do not have to besealed.

Figure 60: Sealing for mail in bags

9. Advertising, logos and other devices
These can be used so long as they do not fall into any of the clear zones. They must not look like an address or a barcode

10. Can we check it for you?
Once you have passed the Quality Assurance process, if you are unsure whether a particular mailpiece complies with all the conditions, why not send us a sample in advance. We will advise you of any problems, and suggest ways of redesigning it. Please contact your Access Account Director.

11. Perforations
Perforations are defined as a series of holes in a mailpiece to make opening easy. The “cut” is the hole and the “bridge” is the paper that is left intact and subsequently torn when the mailpiece is opened

Roulette and Zip Tie perforations are acceptable, and requirements for these perforations types are provided in the following Section. Please see Figure 61 for elements of a perforation.

Figure 61: Perforation elements

11.1. Zip Tie Perforations
Zip Tie perforations are acceptable subject to the following requirements:
  • Only one Zip Tie is permitted on each mailpiece 
  • The Zip Tie must be die cut into the mailpiece; 
  • The paper weight for the mailpiece must be ≥ 150 gsm; 
  • The mailpiece must be presented in landscape orientation only; 
  • The Zip Tie must always be placed on the back of the mailpiece;
  • The Zip Tie may be positioned either horizontally or vertically, but the 'Tear' direction of the Tie is dependent upon the orientation of the mailer. Figure 62 illustrates the back of a landscape orientation mailpiece, the orientation and 'Tear' directional requirements (the relative position of the Access Indicia on the front of the mailpiece being illustrated);

Figure 62: Zip tie orientation

  • The Zip Tie must be located on a flap that is ≤ 40mm wide as illustrated in Figure 63; 
  • The Zip Tie must be positioned ≥ 9mm from the edge of the flap as illustrated in Figure 63;

Figure 63: Zip tie envelope flap

  • The dimensional requirements for the cut of the Zip Tie are provided in Figure 64 below;

Figure 64: Zip tie dimensions

  • All cuts and bridges must be of uniform ; 
  • The cuts must be rectangular in shape and have a width of ≤ 0.1mm; 
  • The glue used to seal the flap must not run out onto the outside of the mail item or produce protruding mounds on the mail item; 
  • The glue must be fully cured prior to presentation to us; 
  • The tensile strength of the glue must be ≥ 4.5N and fibre tear must be exhibited on separation.
11.2. Roulette Perforations
Acceptable requirements for Roulette perforations are as follows:
  • The perforations must be die cut into the mailpiece; 
  • The minimum paper weight must be ≥ 100gsm; 
  • The mailpiece must be in landscape orientation only; 
  • Perforations can only be present on any 3 sides, with only one of those sides being either of the longest sides; 
  • The perforations must be inset from the edge of the mailpiece by 12 ± 1mm;
  •  The cut of the short side perforations must be set at 1.3– 2mm and with a bridge of ≥ 0.8mm as illustrated in Figure 65. All cuts and bridges must be of uniform ; 
  • The cut of the long side perforations must be set at 0.5 – 1.4mm and with a bridge of ≥ 0.4mm as illustrated in Figure 65. All cuts and bridges must be of uniform ; 
  • The cuts must be rectangular in shape and have a width of ≤ 0.1mm; 
  • The short side perforations must extend from the edge of the envelope; 
  • The long side perforations must not extend beyond the short side perforations;
  • The indicia must not be printed over the perforations; 
  • No other colour must be visible through the perforations in the Tag and Route Codemark Clear Zones; 
  • The perforated edges must be securely sealed all round from the perforation to the letter edges; 
  • The glue must not run out onto the outside of the mail item or produce protruding mounds on the mail item; 
  • The glue must be fully cured prior to presentation of the mailing to us; 
  • The tensile strength of the glue must be ≥ 4.5N and fibre tear must be exhibited on separation.

Figure 65: Perforation dimensions

11.3. Pressure seal envelopes incorporating Roulette Perforations

A Pressure Seal Envelope is a single sheet of paper which has been folded either two or three times to make a DL or C5 mailpiece. The short sides need to be sealed and are opened by means of a standard perforation. One long side has to be a fold, the other will be sealed and have effectively a 'double' perforation to allow the item to be fully opened. The short sides have perforations through all layers of the letter (there will be 3 layers of paper for DL or 2 layers of paper for C5 mailpieces) The long side has a Roulette perforation that does not go through to the front of the mailpiece. The item is opened by removing the short edge perforated strips first and then tearing back the tear off strip on the reverse.

Design & general requirements:
  • The item is produced from a single sheet of paper 
  • Inserts are not permitted 
  • DL design must be > 100gsm (3 ply) 
  • C5 design must be > 150gsm (2 ply) 
  • Landscape permitted 
  • Perforations to be on both short sides 
  • The Roulette Tear strip to be on the back of the letter 
  • The longest edge from the indicia must be a fold (bottom edge for Landscape, left side for portrait)
Perforated strip (short edges):
  • The cut of the Perforated Strip perforations must be set at 1.3mm – 2mm and with a bridge of ≥ 0.8mm 
  • The cuts must be rectangular in shape and have a width of ≤ 0.1mm.
Perforated strip (long edge on reverse):
  • Only one Roulette Tear strip is permitted on each letter 
  • It must be die cut into the letter 
  • It must be placed on the back of the letter (i.e. the side which does not have the Delivery Address and PPI) and must run parallel to the long edge 
  • It must be > 10mm from the long edge of the letter & must be > 10mm wide 
  • The cut must be set at < 3.3mm and with a bridge of > 0.6mm as illustrated in Figure 66 below. 
  • Each cut must be of uniform 
  • Each bridge must be of uniform 
  • The cuts must be rectangular in shape and have a width of < 0.1mm. 
  • The 'long' perforation may extend into the 'short' side perforations. If this occurs, it must be securely sealed i.e. the strips totally sealed along their length. 
  • The edge between the tear strip and the edge of the letter must be securely sealed along its entire length 
  • Sealing adhesive to be < 80 microns thick 
  • The glue must not run outside the mail item or produce protruding mounds 
  • Glue to be fully cured before the mail is presented to us 
  • Tensile strength of the glue must be > 4.5N and fibre tear must be exhibited upon separation

Figure 66: Pressure seal envelopes

12. Single sheet mailer
Please contact your Access Account Director to discuss the design and construction requirements for mailers created from a single sheet of paper.

Appendix I Key National Posting (KNP)

1. Introduction 
The information in this document is designed to define the process for managing KNP; it describes the communication channels, the flow of information and the actions required by each link within the process.

This process applies to all Access Services offered and this is in addition to and does not replace any existing processes for handling Access Postings as described in the User Guide. The effectiveness of a KNP is largely dependent on the timeliness of the exchange of key information between, you and us.

2. Background 
The KNP process is designed to ensure advance notice is provided for all Postings that require additional planning and management because they are exceptional to the norm or because of their volume, , shape or geographical bias.

The KNP process is used to raise the awareness of particular Postings to ensure these Postings are planned, communicated & executed to meet the product specification and Quality of Service in an efficient & cost effective manner to the benefit of all concerned.

Failure to provide the necessary information may result in Mailing Items not being delivered within the expected timescales, and we may manage the handling and delivery of Mailing Items to ensure excessive costs are not incurred.

3. Definition 
A KNP is any Posting, which may cause operational challenges or difficulties and may not be successful or meet quality of service unless it is planned discretely from 'business as usual' postings and the plans implemented.

It should be noted that individual Postings may not in themselves cause operational difficulties, but may contribute to such concerns when combined with other such postings, or planned at specific seasonal times of the year. Therefore, if any Posting fits any of the criteria described at Annex A (Please see Figure 87) of this Appendix , the KNP process must be followed. We maintain the right to manage any posting as a KNP if it is deemed to have an operational impact, or be exceptional due to its , weight, or geographical delivery bias.

4. KNP process 
A KNP must be communicated and raised at the earliest possible opportunity via the appropriate Customer/Royal Mail Wholesale or Operator/Royal Mail Wholesale meeting. Annex B (Please see Figure 88). The timeline will then be implemented by both parties, and the exchange of information progressed to deliver an effective and efficient posting.

5. Entry Level 
Volume is not the only determining factor; the issue for us (and other operators) is one of workload and capacity. A common sense approach is applied to Postings that may reasonably be considered to be exceptional because of their volume, , shape or geographical bias and/or show a significant spike in the normal posting pattern of the Customer. Annex B (Please see Figure 88) provides the Timeline, and additional support is provided using the KNP Impact Chart contained in Annex A. (Please see Figure 87)

6. Documentation 
Upload KNP data to relevant posting docket/s

For all KNP Postings, you must submit a fall to earth (FTE) of the mailing profile on at least 7 Working Days' notice prior to the Posting being handed over to us. The format of the fall to earth is shown in Annex C (Please see Figure 89). Any changes to the FTE must be notified immediately to us.

7. Access Slots
If additional Access Slots are required, then you or your carrier must inform your Access Account Director and must apply for these at least 10 Working Days prior to the KNP being handed over to us at the specific Inward Mail Centre. Section 12.4 of the User Guide provides more information on booking ad-hoc/additional Access Slots.

8. Handover 
If necessary we will allow the use of letters of authority for KNP and they must be presented and handed over separately to our Inward Mail Centres.

Annex A - Condition 9 Access KNP Criteria 
Mailing Items which you plan to handover that meet the criteria below must be notified to us a minimum of 28 days before the first date of handover to enable detailed operational planning to take place. (28 days has been specified as it is reasonable to expect that the details of the Posting to be known at that point).

We will discuss and advise you if the Posting requires the KNP process to be followed. A potential KNP needs to be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. If you fail to notify us of a KNP Posting in accordance with the timeline at Figure 98 we may handle the Posting over a number of days; the number of days to be determined by us.

Figure 67: Annex A - KNP criteria



Figure 68: Annex B - KNP timeline

You must provide detailed fall to earth in the format detailed below in EXCEL two weeks in advance. The total Daily Posting volume of Mailing Items handed over must be detailed by format, number of items, number of Containers, sortation level, SSC, Postcode Delivery Office and Inward Mail Centre.

Figure 69: Annex C - KNP FTE

Appendix J Zonal Option

1. Introduction 
If you have opted for a Zonal Price Plan with your Contract you are required to meet certain additional presentation requirements. The following Sections provide the detail of those requirements, the additional software that is available to aid those requirements and the detailed pricing formula values.

2. What is a Zone? 
We have analysed the c.11000 Postcode Sectors in the United Kingdom and have allocated each of these to a Zone according to the criteria as per the table below.

Figure 70: Zone definitions

A full list of Postcode selections and Zones can be found within the Access Selection Files at www.royalmailwholesale.com

3. What is a Zonal Posting? 
Zonal Postings are those where the fall-to-earth of the Mailing Items is not expected to meet the posting profile requirements of the National Price Plan One (SSC's), Averaged Price Plan Two (Zones) or Regional Price Plan (Zones). In order to price Zonal Postings we have developed Zonal Charges for each of the Services available.

Zonal Postings are priced on any given day not only by the Mailing Item weight (dependant on the band) format and Service, but also by the number of Mailing Items at each Zone, pertaining to the former criteria.

You are required to analyse each Container at this level of detail and present it to us via DocketHUB (see Figure 101 Zonal Manifest). We will summarise this data for pricing purposes as presented on the Posting Docket and Invoice.

4. Mail Presentation 
It is a requirement that all Mailing Items for a Zonal Posting carry the Zonal Indicator relevant to the Postcode sector of the corresponding address. There are two options relating to the positioning of the Zonal Indicator on your Mailing Items; it may be positioned within the top right hand area of the address window immediately following the standard selection code (Zone A,B,C or D ) e.g. 53200 A: or it may be preceded by the word “Zone” and be in a minimum font of 10 point (e.g. Zone A). (See Figure 91).

Both options need to be positioned outside of any Clear Zones.

Figure 71: Zonal Indicator positioning

To facilitate this we have developed the Access Selection Files, which are available to download via www.royalmailwholesale.com, which incorporate the Zonal Indicator and which will be updated monthly for new Postcode sectors. All other functionality remains as per the existing Access Selection Files.

The Access Selection Files are maintained by us and linked to our Delivery and Postcode databases in order to ensure the most up to date Postcode sector analysis is available for customers to price Zonal Postings. We will notify registered users automatically when updates are available. It is mandatory to use the most up to date Version of the Access Selection Files. It is highly recommended, unless specifically requested as a mandatory update, that the most up to date Access Selection Files Release be used, to ensure mailing lists are priced correctly.

We conduct an annual review of Postcode sectors, to Zones which will be affected by publication of a new Release of the Access Selection Files. Use of this specific Release of these Access Selection Files is mandatory for all Zonal Postings.

For more information on these Access Selection Files, please refer to our Website at www.royalmailwholesale.com which includes a technical helpline number.

5. Bundles 
Mail shall be bundled as per Section 6

6. CFL 
All mail presented under the Zonal option must have the word 'zonal' clearly visible and legible on the Container label. For more details, please see Section 7.

DocketHUB

In addition to the standard data requirements for the DocketHUB interface, the volume of Mailing Items at each Zone per Container will also be required. The DocketHUB technical specification and User Guide can be found at www.royalmailwholesale.com and includes the specific additional coding requirements for the Zonal Option. This upload will generate a Zonal Access Manifest per Figure 92.

Figure 72: Zonal Manifest


8. Pricing 
The detailed Manifest data per Container will be summarised for pricing and invoicing purposes at the level of access service, format, machinability, average item weight, and number of items per Zone.

The pricing methodology and the current Zonal Charges can be found on our Website which is www.royalmailwholesale.com and within the relevant pricing Schedule of your Contract.

Where the address data on a Mailing Item does not have the Postcode selection in sufficient detail to identify a Zone, you must declare such Mailing Items as Zone Z, except for Mailing Items whose delivery destinations are in the London Zone, which must be declared as Zone D. Zone Z Mailing Items will be charged at Zone C prices.

9. Zonal Pricing calculator
In order for Access Customers to estimate the cost of a Zonal Posting, we have developed a pricing calculator that will enable mailing lists to be “priced” in advance of actual mail production. The calculator is available via the Website www.royalmailwholesale.com.

10. Revenue
Protection Where the additional Zonal presentation requirements are not being met, we may refuse those Postings.

Appendix K Definitions and Interpretations


Access Chargethe charges we may make under this Contract including Postage, Surcharges and Profile Surcharges;
Access Contractan agreement between us and a Postal Operator or user following a request for access by such Postal Operator or user permitting access to our Inward Mail Centres;
Access Licence Numberthe number unique to you which we assign you as an access customer and which must be displayed on the Royal Mail Access Indicator;
Access Selection Filesdata files controlled and made available by us which enables the sortation by Postcode of Mailing Items in to groupings which we call Selections, as described in Appendix C to the User Guide;
Access Slotthe period within the Access Window for an Inward Mail Centre agreed by us and you in line with the User Guide;
Access Start Datehas the meaning set out in the Contract Details;
Access Windowthe hours between 07.30am and 12 noon on any Working Day;
ALPSan auto level packet sleeve as more fully described in Schedule 14: ALPS Exchange;
Client Reportthe client report generated by us in accordance with section 9 of the User Guide as varied from time to time;
Consolidated Postingthe total number of Mailing Items which you hand over on any single Working Day to us to convey and deliver and which has not been identified by you as a UCID Posting;
Containera Royal Mail bag, tray, ALPS or any other primary container type approved by us from time to time;
Credit Accountthe credit account operated in line with Access Letters Contract clause 11
Customera holder of this Contract
Customer Access Indicatoryour marks, impressions or other devices that may, subject to our prior approval, be shown on each Mailing Item which is to be conveyed and delivered under this Contract. These marks, impressions and devices are initially as set out in Schedule 4 (subject to operational testing) but may be changed by agreement between you and us (acting reasonably);
Customer Entitya discrete posting unit or third party that you wish to be recognised for the purpose of handing over Mailing Items as UCID Postings in line with this Contract;
Delivery Addressthe address to which a Mailing Item is to be delivered and which must consist of an addressee and a geographic address of the UK displayed on the Mailing Item;
Daily Postingthe total amount of Mailing Items handed over by you on any single Working Day to us to deliver under this Contract;
Delivery Pointa postal address (business or residential) to which we deliver Mailing Items;
Discrete Customer Posting a Daily Posting specific to a Customer's (or Large Agency Customer's) individual Price Plan(s) posted under this Contract;
DSACCDownstream Access Central Control is our central team who manage the day to day issues and communication of all operational issues relating to this Contract;
Early Release Schedulethe terms of Schedule 15: Early Release;
ExceptionsVariance to the Posting Docket of Mailing Items handed over by you on Handover Day ;
Handover Daythe Working Day on which a Daily Posting is handed over at the Inward Mail Centres;
Indiciumthe marks placed on a Mailing Item in line with the User Guide comprising the Royal Mail Access Indicator and if required by you the Customer Access Indicator;
Inward Mail Centreone of our inward mail centres as detailed on our Website;
Key National Posting (KNP)a posting of exceptional , volume, shape or geographical bias which requires specific planning to enable the Service Standard to be met;
Large Lettera Mailing Item which meets the specification for a large letter in the User Guide;
Lettera Mailing Item which meets the specification for a letter in the User Guide;
Machinable Itema Mailing Item that you hand over to us that complies with the requirements of the User Guide for machine processing;
Mailing Itema Letter or Large Letter;
Manifesta declaration by you giving details of a Posting, in line with the User Guide;
Manual Itema Mailing Item that you hand over to us that does not comply with the requirements of the User Guide for machine processing;
Mixed Weightan optional form of presentation of Mailing Items which allows you to mix different weight bands in the same Container in line with the Mixed Weight Schedule;
National OptionNational Price Plan One (SSCs)
Operational Contact has the meaning set out in clause 4 of the Contract Details;
Originating Customera posting customer (including an Agency Customer) for whom an Operator hands over Mailing Items to us;
Postagethe amount payable by you to us for Mailing Items handed over in a Daily Posting;
Postal Operatora postal operator, as defined in the Act;
Postcodean alphanumeric code owned and developed by us, and allocated by us, to identify a Delivery Point or group of Delivery Points;
Postcode Areathe first (either one or two) letter(s) of a Postcode, which is used to identify a geographical area for Mailing Items to be delivered;
Postcode Sectorthe first three, four or five alphanumeric digits of an outward Postcode, which is used to identify a geographical area for Mailing Items to be delivered;
Postingthe total amount of Mailing Items each day which you hand over to an individual Inward Mail Centre for us to convey and deliver;
Posting Docketthe certificate containing details of Postings (which we need to calculate the Postage), described in the User Guide;
Posting Entitya posting site or consolidation machine used to prepare Mailing Items for handover to us as a UCID Posting under the terms of this Contract;
Price Planthe Price Plan which applies to your Contract, set out in Schedule 3 of your Contract;
Revenue Protection our process of sampling and checking of your Mailing Items on hand over to us;
Royal Mail Groupeach and any subsidiary or holding company of Royal Mail Group Limited and each and any subsidiary of a holding company of Royal Mail Group Limited;
Servicesthe services set out in Part A of Schedule 2 of the Contract and in Figure 1 of the User Guide, as varied from time to time in accordance with clause 13 of the General Access Terms and Conditions;
Service Standardhas the meaning set out in Part A of Schedule 2 of the Contract;
Standard Selection Code The unique numeric code that identifies the selections as used in the Access Selection File;
Summary Manifestis a physical paper summary of the total number of containers by Container type handed over at an Inward Mail Centre;
Tolerancehas the meaning set out in Part C of Schedule 2 of the Contract;
UCIDthe optional unique customer identifying number assigned by you to each of your Originating Customers, Customer Entities and Posting Entities and used and displayed as specified in Schedule 2 of the Contract and the User Guide;
UCID Postingthe total amount of Mailing Items which you hand over on any single Working Day to us to deliver which has been identified by the use of a UCID as discrete to an Originating Customer, Customer Entity or Posting Entity;
Under Volume Containera Container which is not filled with the minimum items by you in line with the requirements set out in the User Guide;
Unwrapped ItemA Mailing Item that is not enclosed in an envelope or in a polymer wrap
User Guidethe document entitled Access Letters User Guide for Inward Mail Centres which is published by us, as may be changed under clause 13 of the Contract;
Working Dayany day which is not a Sunday, bank holiday, public holiday or a non-service day approved as such by the Regulator;
Yorkour caged trolley(s) used to move or transport bags of Mailing Items;
Zonal Indicatorthe indicator of the Zone to which a Mailing Item is to be delivered under the Zonal Price Plan;
Zonal Optionthe Zonal Price Plan as applicable to your Contract;
Zonal Posting a Posting under the Zonal Price Plan.

Appendix L Prohibited Items, Restricted Items and Valuables

1. What can and cannot be contained within an item

There are some items that we cannot carry through our Access postal network for legal or safety reasons. Items that we cannot carry through our Access postal network because they are forbidden further to international conventions and/or UK laws and regulations (illegal in the post, illegal by law or considered environmental waste) are known as prohibited items. Some other items can only be carried under certain circumstances detailed in our lists - these are known as restricted items. We also limit our liability on valuable items and request you do not to send valuables through our Access postal network. This appendix details the current lists of Prohibited Items, Restricted Items and Valuables which are the same lists that are published on our Website www.royalmailwholesale.com. These lists may be amended from time to time in line with legal requirements or safety practises.

2. Valuables.
Valuables are items you cannot send in the post and defined as money and jewellery. 
1. Any item that Jewellery (including diamonds and precious stones). 
2. Watches (the cases of which are made totally or mainly of precious material). 
3. Any precious material that has been made to add value to the raw material, including coins used for ornament. 
4. Any similar articles (to 1-3 above) with a value other than the value of the workmanship and/or an intrinsic value (when used in relation to the content of an item, means that it has an inherent monetary value relating to its essential nature). 
5. Money (including, coins, bank notes, postal orders, cheques; unused postage and revenue stamps and National Insurance stamps; exchequer bills, bills of exchange, promissory notes and credit notes; bonds, coupons and other investment certificates; and coupons, vouchers, tokens, cards, stamps and other documents that can be exchanged for money, goods or services).

Appendix M Royal Mail Mailmark®

1. Introduction 
Royal Mail Mailmark® is about you applying a barcode to each of your Mailing Items to enable our automation processing machines to read them. Adding a Mailmark barcode to each Mailing Item enables the performance of your Mailmark Mailing to be monitored and measured whilst being handled in our automation. This provides additional reporting on an item by item basis and so gives you greater transparency with the benefit of providing extensive data analysis on your Mailmark Mailing performance. 

This Appendix M sets out the design and technical requirements and recommendations to enable you to meet the Mailmark barcode specifications for Letters and Large Letters. In addition it sets out details of the different types of Mailmark barcodes available for you to use and where to find the technical specification needed to create your Mailmark barcode and access and understand the performance data analysis available to you. If you wish to use Mailmark to send poll cards, in addition to the requirements set out in this appendix, you are also required to meet the specification set out in section 3 of Appendix P of this User Guide

The specification for Royal Mail Mailmark® is designed to enable our automation to process the Mailing Items at high speed as they pass through the machines as many as four or five times before assigned to the final delivery point. Please note that whilst the best performance of your Mailing Items and data analysis reporting will be achieved if all specification attributes are met and incorporated into your Mailing Item design, we have classed some of the attributes as “recommended” which allows you more flexibility of your pack design. 

Please note: unless stated as recommended, all attributes are required.
For clarity, our definitions of required and recommended are set out here: 
  • required attributes are those that you must meet in order to access the Mailmark option. Failure to do so may lead to a Surcharge or adjustment to the Access Charges irrespective of the Mailing Item's performance; and 
  • recommended attributes are those that we strongly recommend you comply with but do not need to be strictly abided by. You acknowledge that where you do not apply a recommended attribute and we can link poor machinable performance to that divergence you may be invoiced a Surcharge.  
Prior to the first handover of any Mailmark Mailing, you will need to sign the Royal Mail Mailmark® Schedule which details the terms and conditions under which the Mailmark option is offered, and complete the implementation activities. Our Mailmark Managers will be able to guide you through the Mailmark option implementation timeline. 

One of the benefits of Mailmark is the provision of data analysis and consignment level performance reporting. To take advantage of this information it is necessary for you to upload your Docket via DocketHUB and to also provide additional mailing data onto our Web service, the eManifest Handling System (eMHS) (or an alternative system as otherwise agreed) in the form of an eManifest. 

The sections in this Appendix M are compiled for ease of reference in the following way: 
  • sections 1-11 and section 14 apply to both Letter and Large Letter Mailing Items; 
  • section 12 applies only to Letter format Mailing Items in addition to the requirements in sections 1-11 and 14; 
  • section 13 applies only to Large Letter format Mailing Items in addition to the requirements in section 1-11 and 14.  


2. Services and formats available with the Mailmark option 
The Mailmark option can be used with the following sortation, formats and service options provided that the mailing Items meet the machine-readable requirements set out in this appendix: 

Sortation level:                 Access 70
Format:                              Letter; 
                                            Large Letter. 

Additional options:          Advertising Mail; 
                                           Responsible Mail Entry; 
                                           Responsible Mail Intermediate;
                                           Business Mail Large Letter.  

 3. Accreditation (Quality Assurance Process) 
The Mailmark option offers the benefit of being able to assess the performance of your Mailing Items. There is therefore no need for an upfront accreditation check of your Mailing Item design or address, Postcode and Delivery Point Suffix (DPS) accuracy. However, if you wish any 'peace of mind' checks done on your physical Mailing Items please contact your Access Account Manager. 
 
You need to be able to be able to create and apply Mailmark barcodes and you must be able to upload eManifests into eMHS. If you would like to check that you can do so successfully please contact your Access Account Manager. 

 4. Address quality The performance of your mailing consignment is optimised when each Mailing Item is: 

  • well designed; 
  • every Mailmark Mailing Item has a full and accurate address and Postcode; 
  • the address and Postcode on the Mailing Item is consistent with the Postcode and the DPS contained within the Mailmark barcode on the Mailing Item and the corresponding item record in the eManifest; and 
  • the address, Postcode and DPS elements correctly match the record held in PAF®.  
Our sorting machines use PAF® as one source of data to successfully sort and sequence your Mailing Items without manual or other intervention. 

 If poor Mailing Item design or poor address and Postcode accuracy mean that your Mailing Items require manual handling or other intervention then a Surcharge will be payable or appropriate pricing adjustments will be made to the affected Mailing Items. 

If address and postcode accuracy drops below 90% (or 95% for Responsible Advertising Mail Intermediate level) when compared to PAF® you may see an invoice adjustment to cover the costs of us conveying poorly addressed Mailing Items. 

5. Addressing standards 

5.1 Address content 
A Delivery Address must be present on every Mailing Item (on the same side as the Indicium) and must contain at least: 
 1. the addressee name; 
 2. the geographic address which consists of:  
           o one premise element (e.g. house number, house or building name, organisation) (e.g. 34, Bell House, Royal Mail); 
           o one thoroughfare element (e.g. The Mews, Western Road); and  
           o one locality information element (e.g. dependent locality, post town) (e.g. Hedge End, OXFORD). Where there is both a locality and a post tow  

 3. the Postcode 

If there is no thoroughfare element contained in the PAF® this need not be included. The Delivery Address may optionally contain an additional single line immediately above the addressee name to contain your Mailer Defined Information (MDI) - for example, a reference number, or SSC. 

* see Address structure and layout for details on MDI 

To optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing we recommend that every Mailing Item has an address set out in a manner that makes it machine readable. We recommend that: 
  •  no element is wrapped over two or more lines; 
  • where two elements appear on the same line (e.g. premise and thoroughfare elements (e.g. 300 Western Road)) they are only separated by 1 or 2 character spaces; 
  • no two elements are separated by punctuation; 
  • no two words are more than 5mm apart; 
  • there are no blank lines; 
  • all lines in the Delivery Address are left justified; 
  • the post town is on a line of its own; 
  • the Postcode is the last element of the Delivery Address and is on a line of its own;  
  • the County is not included; and 
  • the Country is not included.  
The recommended layout for the last two lines of a Delivery Address is set out below:

Post Town 
POSTCODE

The following layouts are not recommended but are acceptable as long as there is no other text on the front of the Mailing Item or insert that looks like an address: 

Post Town County                            County
POSTCODE                                        POSTCODE

Post Town                                         Thoroughfare or Locality element 
County POSTCODE                          Post Town POSTCODE

Premise elements 
You must include at least one of these 4 elements, so that a single delivery point is defined. You don't have to include all the premise elements, even if they are included in PAF® but building numbers must be applied on the same line as the Dependent thoroughfare or thoroughfare information. 


OrganisationRoyal Mail
Sub-buildingSouth Wing
Building NameBell House
Building numberB 25 Bell Complex

Thoroughfare elements 
 PAF® will give one of 3 possible combinations but please note that: 
 1. the dependent thoroughfare descriptor (i.e. Avenue, Road, Street, Lane, etc.) must be applied on the same line as the dependent thoroughfare information (e.g. Acacia); 

2. the thoroughfare descriptor must be applied on the same line as the thoroughfare (e.g. Western): 
  • no thoroughfare: no need to include anything in this part of the address; 
  • a thoroughfare but not a dependent thoroughfare: include the thoroughfare; and
  • both a dependent thoroughfare and a thoroughfare: include the former. If space allows you can also include the thoroughfare, though it's not compulsory; and  
 3. building numbers must be applied on the same line as the dependant thoroughfare or thoroughfare information.  

Dependent thoroughfare1 Acacia Avenue
ThoroughfareWestern Road

Locality elements 
You must include at least one locality element. You don't have to include them all, even if they are included in PAF®. 

To optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing Item we recommend that every entire Delivery Address is printed in Title Case with the exception of: 
  •  the Post Town which must be printed in Title Case or UPPER CASE. e.g. Milton Keynes, ROSS-ON-WYE; and 
  • the Postcode must always be printed in UPPER CASE.  

Double dependent localityOtterley
Dependent localityHedge End
Post TownOXFORD

Postcode 
Every Mailmark Mailing Item has a full and accurate address and Postcode. In order to be full and accurate the Postcode must be able to generate an address from PAF® which can be matched to the minimum requirements above (at least one premise element, one thoroughfare element and one locality element). 

The Postcode must always appear in UPPER CASE letters and numerals on the last line of the Delivery Address.

We recommend that there must be one or two character spaces between the two parts of the Postcode. Typically, the first part (i.e. OX4) is the outward code and this identifies a post town or a district within a post town, the second (i.e. 5ZZ) is the inward code which represents the street information.


Post TownOXFORD
PostcodeOX4 5ZZ

 6. Addressing structure and layout 
The Delivery Address Block is comprised of 3 elements: 
1. mailer defined information (MDI) – this is an optional line of reference information printed as part of the Delivery Address Block; 
2. addressee name; 
3. geographical address and Postcode.  

Figure 73: Address Block

There must only be one Delivery Address Block on each Mailing Item and it must be on the same side as the Indicium. No other addresses or anything that can be construed as an address can appear on the front of the Mailing Item with the exception of the Return Address- see requirements in section 11 of this Appendix M.

7. Fonts 
There are a variety of fonts you can use, though to optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing Item we recommend you use one from the 'preferred fonts' list wherever possible.

We also recommend that: 
  • you regularly check the quality of your print output for clarity; 
  • you do not use any serif, handwritten, italic, script, bold or underlined fonts or the computer zero symbol ?; 
  • the font is of the same , type, colour and in the case of Large Letters, larger than that used in any Return Address information; and  
  • non-proportionally spaced fonts are preferred.  
Fonts or Typefaces with the following characteristics are recommended: 
  • – Height: 2mm min; 7mm max. Width: 7mm max; 
  • dimension – minimum ratio of lower case height (b) to upper case height (a) of between 2:3 and 3:4. A ratio of width (c) to height (a) of approximately 2:3; 
  • consistency –each line of the address should be of the same typeface and ; 
  • quality –characters should be complete, clear, uniform and of high resolution, with individual stroke thickness of between 8% and 16% of the height of the character;
  •  material - the material on which the Delivery Address is printed should be at least 35% in the red region (600nm) when measured by a spectral reflectometer, and should be white, cream, buff or other light or pastel shade that has a minimum reflectance difference of at least 30%; 
  • contrast – there should be a contrast between the characters and the background on which they are printed of at least 50% (55% if it is to be read through a window). Please note that positive contrast or inverse printing (Delivery Address Block lighter than the background) is not permitted; 
  • character spacing – there should be a fixed pitch of between 10 and 12 characters per inch (or between 10 and 12 point ), with clear vertical gaps of at least 0.25mm between the extremities of adjacent characters; 
  • if you are using proportionally spaced text, you should keep spacing of at least +0.75, as this significantly improves the rate at which addresses can be read; and
  • line spacing – you should have uniform spacing between all lines of the address of at least 1mm - 4mm and there are no blank lines.  

Recommended Fonts


8. Punctuation 
To optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing Item we recommend that:
  • punctuation and non-alpha numeric symbols are only used in the Delivery Address where it appears in the corresponding PAF® record. For full details on allowable punctuation within a PAF® record please see PAF® Digest, available from www.royalmail.com or ask your Access Account Manager; 
  • punctuation is only used in the addressees name, addressee title, department name or in the MDI within the Delivery Address Block; and
  • punctuation is not used to separate address elements or components within an address element.  
Alternatively, you may remove all punctuation from the address, even if it is contained in the corresponding PAF® record.

 9. Delivery Address Block recommendations 
The Delivery Address Block is defined by having an imaginary rectangle drawn around the outer extremities of the address including the addressee name and, where included, the MDI. 

9.1. Letter format Mailing Items 
To optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing Item we recommend that the Delivery Address Block:
  • is beneath and to the left of the Indicium which must always appear in the top right hand corner of the Mailing Item whether it is landscape or portrait; 
  • is at least 15mm from the short edges of the Mailing Item; 
  • is at least 18mm from the long edge of the Mailing Item furthest away from the Indicium; 
  • is at least 40mm from the long edge nearest the Indicium if there is something else on the Mailing Item which looks like an address; 
  • when positioned near the top, the Postcode is at least 50mm from the long edge of the Mailing Item nearest to the Indicium; and 
  • has edges that each are parallel with one of the four edges of the Mailing Item (i.e. it should not be skewed (i.e. squashed or stretched in any direction to form a parallelogram that does not have four 90 degree vertices)) or rotated (i.e. it retains four 90 degree corners but no longer has edges that are parallel with the edges of the Mailing Item).  
9.2. Large Letter format Mailing Items 
To optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing Item we recommend that the Delivery Address Block: 
  • is beneath and to the left of the Indicium which must always appear in the top right hand corner of the Mailing Item whether it is landscape or portrait;
  • is at least 40mm from the top edge of the Mailing Item; and 
  • is at least 15mm from the left and right edges of the Mailing Item.
Please note we recommend no more than 30mm of excess poly around the Large Letter Mailing Item.

9.3. MDIs included on Letter and Large Letter format Mailing Items 
For Letter and Large Letter formats where you have chosen to have an MDI we recommend that it:
  • is in a single line which has no more than 64 characters; 
  • is above the addressee name; 
  • is left justified and aligned with the rest of the elements in the Delivery Address Block; 
  • maintains the same line spacing as the rest of the Delivery Address Block; and
  • uses typeface as opposed to pictures or non-typeface graphics.
It is a requirement that you do not include any type of barcode as an MDI above the addressee name. (The 2D Mailmark barcodes have space within them for customer use which could be used for mailer defined type information).

Please note that a Mailmark barcode can appear adjacent to a Delivery Address Block.

10. Delivery Address Block clear zone 
Recommendations to optimise the performance of your Mailmark Mailing Item: 
  • no other text/information that could be construed as a Delivery Address should be included on the front of the Mailing Item. This includes any areas of an insert which may appear in the window of the Mailing Item arising from insert movement; and 
  • with the exception of the Mailmark barcode (see next point) that there should be a clear zone of 5mm or more to be around the extremities of the full Delivery Address Block. By 'clear', we mean clear of print, patterning, graphics or any text including when the Mailing Item is tapped in turn on each of the four sides. 

Figure 74: Clear zones

We anticipate that the most likely position for a Mailmark barcode will be adjacent to the Delivery Address Block.

A Mailmark barcode may encroach on the 5mm clear zone which is recommended around the Delivery Address Block but there must always (and, for clarity, this is a requirement, not a recommendation) be a clear zone of:
  • at least 2mm between the Delivery Address Block and a Royal Mail 4-State Mailmark barcode (see Figure 95); or 
  • at least 4 times the of the modules in the Mailmark barcode between the Delivery Address Block and a 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode. A 2D data matrix is made up of modules and these can vary in from 0.5mm and 0.7mm. The clear zone must therefore be at least 2mm when printed at 0.5mm and at least 2.8mm when printed at 0.7mm.
If a Mailmark barcode is placed adjacent to the Delivery Address Block then the imaginary rectangle drawn around the outer extremities of the Mailmark barcode and the Delivery Address Block forms the 'Delivery Address and Mailmark Block'.

The following diagrams show the 2mm clear zone required between a Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode and the Delivery Address Block (not to scale):

Figure 75: Delivery Address and Mailmark Block

Please note that: 
  • The same principle applies to the gap between a 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode and the Delivery Address Block. 
  • It is mandatory that the Mailmark barcode and clear zone remains visible at all times.
Labels 
The left, right, top and bottom edges of the Delivery Address Block or Delivery Address and Mailmark Block must be at least 2mm away from the edge of any label, and can only be this close if there is a total of 5mm clear area between the left, right, top and bottom edges of the Delivery Address Block and any print, graphics or patterning on the envelope or any other surrounding material.

Please note: 
There is a requirement for there always to be a gap of at least 4 times module between a 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode and the edge of any label and there must always be a gap of 2mm between a Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode and the edge of any label.

Inserts
  • where the Delivery Address Block or Delivery Address and Mailmark Block is on an insert within a window or viewed through polymer, the Delivery Address Block or Delivery Address and Mailmark Block (with the exception of the MDI (if present), addressee name and title and Organisation name) must be fully visible, with the left, right and bottom edges of the Delivery Address Block or Delivery Address and Mailmark Block (with the exception of the MDI, if present, Addressee's name and title, and Organisation name) at least 2mm away from the window edge (4 times module between a 2D Mailmark and the edge of a window); 
  • if the Mailmark barcode appears directly below the Delivery Address Block no clear zone is required within the window above the Delivery Address and Mailmark Block. In this situation some or all of the MDI (if present), the addressee's name and title, and the Organisation name may tap out of the window (to the top or to the right) although it is recommended that they are capable of being tapped back in; 
  • there remains the recommendation of a 5mm clear zone around the top, bottom, left and right edges of the Delivery Address Block or Delivery Address and Mailmark Block, which is free from text, graphics or patterning. Therefore the clear zone recommendations that are not met within the window can be met through the provision of further clear zones on the envelope; 
  • please note that the window edge itself is not considered an infringement of the 5mm Address Block clear zone but it is considered an infringement on the Mailmark barcode clear zone; and 
  • no part of the Delivery Address Block (aside from the MDI, if present, addressee's name and title, and Organisation name) taps out of the window on a paper envelope or the 'clear' window area on a polymer envelope or polywrapped item.

During design, printing and enclosing, you should take into account the various tolerances associated with these processes to ensure that each Mailing Item within your mailing consignment meets these recommendations.

The recommendations and requirements set out in this section apply at all times, including after the Mailing Item is tapped on any of its four edges to induce maximum insert movement.

For clarification, please see Figure 96, which shows a Delivery Address Block with the 2mm and 5mm clear zones represented in a window (not to scale):

Figure 76: Insert clear zones

Please note:
Whilst the window edge within the 5mm zone should be clear of print, graphics or patterning it can be any colour as long as it is clear solid and meets the print contrast ratio recommendations.

Mailmark barcodes may also be positioned above, below, to the left or to the right of the Delivery Address Block and may also be positioned (window permitting) vertically. It is recommended that they are always parallel with one edge of the Delivery Address Block and with one edge of the Mailing Item.

11. Return Address 
Requirements 
It is a requirement that each Mailing Item includes a return address on the outside of the Mailing Item in a manner that we can machine read it and the address must be preceded with the words 'Return Address' on its own on the first line (in the position normally taken by the addressee name in a Delivery Address).

We recommend that the return address:
  • is entirely within 40mm of the top of the Mailing Item (preferably on the back face of the Mailing Item); 
  • is entirely at least 75mm from the right hand edge if on the front of the Mailing Item; 
  • includes all the elements of the geographic address laid out below the 'Return Address' line of text and adheres to the layout recommended for a Delivery Address; 
  • is, if on the front of the Mailing Item, made up of font that is smaller in than the font that is used in the Delivery Address; 
  • is one of the non-proportional fonts detailed in the font list that is recommended for the Delivery Address.
We recommend that the Postcode of the return address is encoded into the Mailmark barcode (if the Mailmark barcode that you have chosen has that data field).

Please note: For mail pieces that are classified as large letters because they are thicker than 5mm, we will only be able to process returned items if the return address is placed on the reverse of the mail piece within 40mm of the top.

12. Mailmark Letter format specifications 
The requirements and recommendations set out in this section 12 are additional to the requirements and recommendations already set out in in sections 1 – 11 and section 14, but are specific to Letter format Mailing Items. You should prepare your Mailmark Letter format Mailing Items in line with sections 1 – 12 and section 14.

12.1 Letter dimension requirements
Letter format Mailing Items must be rectangular (portrait or landscape) or square, and each Mailing Item must have four straight edges and four right-angled (90°) corners.

The Letter dimension requirements are set out in the table below. These dimensions apply to the finished Mailing Item.


Format:Size: Weight:Thickness: Shape:
LetterRectangle:
Max: 165mm x 240mm
Min: 110mm x 140mm
Square:
Max: 165mm x 165mm
Min: 140mm x 140mm
Max: 100gmsMax: 5mm
Min: 0.25mm
Each corner to be 90°.
Portrait, landscape or square.

12.2 Flaps and sealing 
It is recommended that the opening flaps are gummed and sealed as far along the edge as possible and that the remaining three edges are fully and totally sealed. The sealing recommendations vary depending on whether the Mailing Items are presented in bags or trays.

12.2.1 Sealing Tolerances -Trayed Mail 
For DL and C5 d Letters with rectangular or trapezium shaped opening flaps presented in trays only, there is a recommended tolerance of up to 35mm from the left and right edges and 35mm from the top edge where the flaps do not have to be gummed or sealed.

Figure 77: Sealing tolerances - tray

12.2.2 Sealing Tolerances – bagged mail 
For all other Letter Mailing Items there is a recommended tolerance of up to 25mm from the right and left edges and 35mm from the top edge where the flaps do not have to be gummed or sealed.

Figure 78: Sealing tolerances - bags

12.2.2 Sealing Advice (for envelope edges, not including the closing flap) 
The objective is that the sealed side seams cannot easily be lifted. This is achieved if the glue is close enough to the edge.

The envelope will have a fold and an opening flap. It is recommended that it is sealed continuously and securely on the remaining sides which are not the closing flap i.e. the glue used to seal the sides must be in the form of a continuous seal and placed in such a position that the two elements of unglued paper cannot be easily lifted, separated, folded or torn.

12.3 Inserts
Mailing items must not have contents that burst out of and cause damage to the Mailing Item or that move to such a degree that the Mailing Item buckles as it passes through our machines. It is therefore recommended that the largest paper insert movement is restricted as follows:
  • for Letters up to 2mm thick, no more than 30mm within the Mailing Item; and,
  • for Letters over 2mm and up to 5mm thick, no more than 20mm within the Mailing Item.

It is recommended that the paper used for the insert has opacity of at least 85% (BS ISO 2471) to prevent any character on the reverse side showing through affecting the read of the Delivery Address or Mailmark barcode.

It is a requirement that the Mailing Items do not include any metal items that are larger than a standard paperclip or staple as our machines will reject these Mailing Items automatically.

12.4 Material 
Material requirements
  • envelopes must be made out of paper only; 
  • you cannot use polythene, plastic or transparent materials or envelopes with apertures; and 
  • if you wish to apply a Mailmark barcode to Letter format Mailing Items that are polywrapped, you can do so provided that you present, declare and pay for the items as Large Letters.

Material recommendations
It is recommended that:
  • Opacity - the paper used for the envelope and the paper which the address is printed on is more than 85% opaque to prevent any character on the reverse side showing through (BS ISO 2471 paper and board); 
  • Porosity - the paper has porosity of <700 ml/minute; 
  • Absorbency - the paper has absorbency of 15-35gsm of water in one minute; and 
  • Density - the paper has a density no less than 70g per square metre (gsm). Postcards are recommended to be made of paper with a density no less than 200gsm and should be at least 0.25mm thick.
12.5 Perforations 
It is recommended that the Mailing Items have perforations or tear-off strips that meet the specifications detailed below in order to ensure they can be processed efficiently and without any damage being caused.

You have the option of using either 'roulette' or 'zip Strip' perforations, or designing a 'pressure seal' envelope which effectively has double roulette perforations on the reverse.

12.5.1 Roulette Perforations 
It is recommended that: 
  • the perforations be die cut into the Mailing Item, the cut being the hole, and the bridge being the paper that is left intact and subsequently torn when the Mailing Item is opened;

Figure 79: Perforations

  • the paper weight for the Mailing Items be ? 100gsm; 
  • the perforations be located to both 'short' sides of the Mailing Item, and one of the long sides of the Mailing Item, i.e. only 3 sides should be perforated; 
  • the perforations are inset from the edge of the Mailing Item by 12 ± 1mm; 
  • the cut of the short side perforations are set at 1.3 – 2mm and with a bridge of 0.8mm as illustrated in Figure 99. Each cut should be of uniform and each bridge should be of uniform ; 
  • the cut of the long side perforation is set at 0.5 – 1.4mm and with a bridge of 0.4mm as illustrated in Figure 100. Each cut should be of uniform and each bridge should be of uniform ; 
  • the cuts are rectangular in shape and have a width of 0.1mm; 
  • the short side perforations extend from each edge of the envelope; 
  • the long side perforation do not extend beyond the short side perforations; 
  • the Indicium is not printed over the perforations. This effectively reduces the area available for your Indicium as follows:
           o in landscape orientation where the Indicium is adjacent to both 'long' edge and 'short' edge perforations the Indicium should be inset and be 12 ± 1mm on 2 sides. This limits the area available for your Indicium to a maximum of 64mm by 29mm;

           o in landscape orientation where the Indicium is adjacent to just the 'short' edge perforation the Indicium is recommended to be inset on 1 side by 12 ± 1mm. This limits the area available for your Indicium to a maximum of 64mm by 40mm; 
           o in portrait orientation where the Indicium is adjacent to just the 'short' edge perforation the Indicium is recommended to be inset on 1 side by 12 ± 1mm. This limits the area available for your Indicium to a maximum of 75mm by 29mm; 
           o in portrait orientation where the Indicium is adjacent to both 'long' edge and 'short' edge perforations the Indicium is recommended to be inset and be 12 ± 1mm on 2 sides. This limits the area available for your Indicium to a maximum of 64mm by 29mm;

  • no other colour is visible through the perforations in the Tag and Route Clear Zones; 
  • the perforated edges are securely sealed all round from the perforation to the letter edges; 
  • the glue does not run out onto the outside of or produce protruding mounds on the Mailing Item; 
  • the glue is fully cured before you handover your mailing to us; and 
  • the tensile strength of the glue is recommended to be ?0.4N and fibre tear must be exhibited on separation.

Figure 80: Perforation sizes

12.5.2 Pressure seal envelope
 A pressure seal envelope is a single sheet of paper which has been folded either two or three times to make a DL or C5 Mailing Item. The short sides need to be sealed and are opened by means of a standard perforation. One long side has to be a fold, the other will be sealed and have effectively a 'double' perforation to allow the item to be fully opened.

It is recommended that: 
  • the short sides have perforations through all layers of the Letter (there will be 3 layers of paper for DL or 2 layers of paper for C5 Mailing Items); and 
  • the long side has a roulette perforation that does not go through to the front of the Mailing Item. The Mailing Item is opened by removing the short edge perforated strips first and then tearing back the tear off strip on the reverse.
Design and general requirements for pressure seal envelopes: 
  • the Mailing Item is produced from a single sheet of paper; 
  • inserts are not permitted; 
  • DL design must be > 100gsm (3 ply);
  • C5 design must be > 150gsm (2 ply); 
  • landscape or portrait are permitted; 
  • Mailing Items must not be square;
  • perforations to be on both short sides; 
  • the roulette tear strip must be on the back of the Letter; and 
  • the longest edge from the Indicium must be a fold (bottom edge for landscape, left side for portrait).
Perforated strip (short edges): 
It is recommended that: 
  • the Roulette Perforation specification is followed 
  • the cut of the perforated strip perforations is set at 1.3mm – 2mm and with a bridge of ? 0.8mm; and 
  • the cuts are rectangular in shape and have a width of ? 0.1mm.
Perforated strip (long edge on reverse): 
It is recommended that:
  • only one roulette tear strip is on each Letter; 
  • is the strip be die cut into the Letter; 
  • is the strip be placed on the back of the Letter (i.e. the side which does not have the Delivery Address and Indicium) and should run parallel to the long edge; 
  • is the strip be >10mm from the long edge of the Letter and should be >10mm wide; 
  • the cut is set at <3.3mm and with a bridge of >0.6mm; 
  • each cut is of uniform ; 
  • each bridge is of uniform ; 
  • the cuts are rectangular in shape and have a width of <0.1mm; 
  • if the 'long' perforation extends into the 'short' side perforations, it is securely sealed i.e. the strips are totally sealed along their length; 
  • the edge between the tear strip and the edge of the Letter is securely sealed along its entire length; 
  • sealing adhesive is < 80 microns thick; 
  • the glue does not run outside of or produce protruding mounds on the Mailing Item; 
  • the glue is fully cured before you handover your mailing to us; and 
  • the tensile strength of the glue is ?0.4N and fibre tear should be exhibited upon separation.
12.5.3 Zip Tie Perforations 
Recommendations:
  • the Mailing Items may be presented in both landscape and portrait orientation; 
  • the zip tie should be die cut into the Mailing Item; 
  • the paper weight for the Mailing Item should be ?150gsm; 
  • the zip tie should always be placed on the back of the Mailing Items; 
  • the zip tie may be positioned either horizontally or vertically, but the 'tear' direction of the tie is dependent upon the orientation of the Mailing Item. Figure 101 illustrates the back of the landscape and portrait oriented Mailing Items, the orientation, and 'Tear' directional requirements (the relative position of the Indicium on the front of the Mailing Item being illustrated).

Figure 81: Perforation positioning and tear direction

It is recommended that: 
  • the zip tie is located on a flap that is ?40mm wide, as illustrated in Figure 102 and
  • the zip tie is positioned ?9mm from the edge of the flap, as illustrated in Figure 102.
Figure 82: Perforation positioning

The dimensional for the cut of the zip tie are provided in Figure 103.

Figure 83: Zip tie dimensions

It is recommended that:
  • all cuts and bridges are of uniform ; 
  • the cuts are rectangular in shape and have a width of ?0.1mm; 
  • the glue used to seal the flap does not run out onto the outside of or produce protruding mounds on the Mailing Item; 
  • the glue is fully cured before you handover your mailing to us; and 
  • the tensile strength of the glue must be ? 0.4N and fibre tear should be exhibited on separation.
12.6 Flexibility 
It is recommended that Mailing Items are flexible enough to be capable of being processed in our sorting machines without damage to the machine, the Mailing Item, or other Mailing Items. Each Mailing Item should therefore be capable of being transported around a pulley with a radius of 140mm with a maximum force of 26 Newtons. Items that are too stiff will not be able to meet this recommendation, as illustrated in Figure 104.

Figure 84: Flexibility

12.7 Window envelopes – general 
It is recommended that:
  • gloss –the maximum gloss value of the window material is 150 when measured at 60º in accordance with ASTM 2457 'Standard Test Method for Specular Gloss of Plastic Films'; 
  • haze –the window haze should not exceed 75% in accordance with ASTM D1003 'Standard Test Method for Haze of Plastic Films;' 
  • strength – the window is robust enough not to become deformed. It should be fixed to the envelope evenly across the surface area it is in contact with; and
  • location – it is recommended that only one window (two at maximum) appears on the front of the Mailing Item and that the window(s) do(es) not take up more than 50% of the surface area of the surface area.
12.7.1 Windows on the reverse
For Letter format Mailing Items only, a maximum of one window is permitted on each face i.e. one on the front and one on the back.

Window dimensions: 
  • front window dimensions: the shape must be rectangular, <174mm long and <45mm high; and 
  • back window dimensions: the shape must be circular, <48mm diameter.
Window position: 
If a window is on the back face of the Mailing Item the perimeter of the window must be 31mm ± 2mm from the bottom of the envelope and centred along the long edge.

12.8 Clear zones 
Clear zones are the areas on your Mailing Items that you must leave free of any text or markings. They are used by our machines to identify the Delivery Address Block, Delivery Address and Mailmark Block and Mailmark barcode and enable us to print and read tag and route codes.

You are recommended to leave a clear zone on each Mailing Item where we can apply a unique tag code. For landscape Mailing Items this area starts 60mm from the bottom edge up to 10mm high, stretching 100mm from the right hand edge. Portrait Mailing Items should be rotated to be landscape with the Indicium in the top left hand corner and the tag code clear zone is as set out for landscape Mailing Items.

We also recommend that you leave a clear zone that starts from the bottom edge up to 18mm high, stretching to 130mm from the right edge.

13. Mailmark Large Letter requirements 
The recommendations and requirements set out in this sections 13 are additional to the recommendations and requirements already set out in sections 1 – 11 and section 14 but are specific to Large Letter format Mailing Items. You should prepare your Mailmark option Large Letter format Mailing Items in line with sections 1 – 12 and section 14.

Getting started with the Large Letter format 
In addition to Mailing Items with dimensions that fall within the Large Letter criteria, any Letter format Mailing Items that are polywrapped must also be presented, declared and paid for as Large Letters.

13.1 Large Letter dimensions


FormatSizeWeightThicknessShape
Large
Letter
Rectangle:
Max: 245mm x 345mm
Min: 95mm x 145mm
If square:
Max: 245mm x 245mm
Min: 145mm x 145mm
Max: 750gms
Min: 10gms
Max: 10mm
Min: 0.5mm
Each corner to be 90 °.
Portrait, landscape or square

13.2 Technical recommendations and requirements 
This section covers general recommendations and requirements for paper and polymer envelopes; polywrapped; and Unwrapped Mailing Items.

13.3 Position of Logos or Advertising
To reduce any potential for address interpretation errors, any logo or advertising slogan printed on the Mailing Item are not recommended to look like an address, geographical location, country or a Royal Mail bag or bundle label, and they must not be printed in the Delivery Address Block, over the Mailmark barcode, in any clear zones around either the Delivery Address Block and/or the Mailmark barcode, or in the Indicium area. Slogans where the company name contains the words 'Return', 'Address' and 'Undelivered' are not recommended.

Please note: You must maintain a clear zone of at least 2mm around the indicum

Figure 85: Logo positioning

13.4 Inserts 
  • For Unwrapped Mailing Items loose inserts are not permitted, and all pages must be secured to the binding. It is recommended that: 
  • for any insert other than the paper contents, they are fixed in position so they don't move around during processing. You can use glue or self-adhesive tabs to fix any inserts; 
  • inserts, other than paper that are placed in an envelope, are fixed in position and attached to the insert, so that they cannot move around during the processing of the Mailing Item. The inserts may include small metal objects such as keys, coins, and badges; and 
  • if you do choose to have any inserts, where you have 'step changes' in the thickness of the Mailing Item, the spatial distortion (i.e. variation in the thickness of the contents - see Figure 106) should not be more than 50% of the thickness of the Mailing Item up to a maximum of 10mm, and the address should be on the 'flat side of any Mailing Item. It cannot be placed on any irregular or convex shaped sides.
Figure 86: Spatial distortion

Inserts Paper envelopes 
For paper envelopes, depending on the thickness of your Mailing Item, to prevent damage to your Mailing Item and other Mailing Items there are limitations on how much 'empty' envelope you are recommended to have i.e. the thicker the item, the less 'empty' envelope you are recommended to have (see figure 107).

The following applies to the movement of the largest paper insert: 
  • if your Mailing Item is ? 2mm thick there is no restriction on the lateral movement of the largest paper insert up to the maximum envelope of 345mm ; and 
  • for any Mailing Item which has a thickness of >2mm then the lateral movement of the largest insert within the Mailing Item is recommended to be ?20mm or less.
Inserts Polymer envelopes 
For polymer envelopes or polywrapped Mailing Items, where the polymer is transparent only the largest insert must be visible to the front of the Large Letter and the lateral movement is recommended to be <30mm (see figure 107). There is no requirement for the content to be referenced to the bottom left corner, but you should ensure that there is no more than 30mm along the long edges and no more than 30mm along the short edges.

Figure 87: Insert movement

13.5 Material - Construction 
13.5.1 Paper envelopes

It is recommended that:
  • the envelope paper weight is no less than 70gsm; 
  • the paper weight for single piece (folded and sealed) Mailing Items is no less than 100gsm; 
  • the paper weight for Large Letter d postcards is no less than 200gsm; and 
  • the Mailing Items do not have perforations.
13.5.2 Polymer envelopes and polywrap 
  • polymer envelopes must be made of polymer film e.g. polyethylene; and 
  • materials produced from polymer fibres that are randomly distributed and non-directional (laid as a web) and bonded together by heat and pressure are not acceptable e.g. Tyvek.
13.5.3 Unwrapped Mailing Item 
  • The cover of the Mailing Item must have a paper weight of ? 50gsm. 
  • The pages of the booklet must have a paper weight of ? 50gsm. 
  • All pages (including the cover) must be of equal . 
  • All pages must be secured to the binding, and loose inserts are not permitted 
  • The spine must always be on a long edge. 
  • The spine must be glued or stapled. (Punch & bind bindings are not permitted). 
  • Onserts must not be attached to the mail. e.g. Pens or product samples
13.5.4 Material - general recommendations and requirements
  • Absorbency - (paper based envelopes) 15–35g of water in 1 minute (BS EN 20535 - Paper and board. Determination of water absorptiveness); 
  • Glue - Any adhesives used in the production of envelopes are recommended not to leak onto the open surface of the envelope and produce protruding mounds and is recommended to be fully cured when the mail is presented to Royal Mail. It is a requirement that Mailing Items are not stuck together as we may not be able to read items that are and your Appe will appear incomplete. When polymer envelopes are used, the glue is recommended to be stronger than the polymer and is recommended not to produce protruding mounds on the mail item; 
  • Opacity - ?85 % (BS ISO 2471 - Paper and board. Determination of opacity (paper backing)); 
  • Porosity - <700 ml/minute (BS 6538-2 - Air permeance of paper and board); 
  • Rigidity / Stiffness - The acceptable rigidity / stiffness are recommended to be ?8N.mm. There is no upper limit on Mailing Item stiffness. This can be measured as follows (see figure 108):
                 o a single large letter should be placed on a flat surface with the shortest edge of the large letter overhanging a straight edge of a flat surface by a horizontal distance of 100mm; 
                 o the leading edge of the large letter is then released and allowed to bend down under its own weight; and 
                 o if the leading edge drops to 40mm or more, then the stiffness is less than 8N.mm and the large letter on machine-readable.

Figure 88: Rigidity/Stiffness

  • Separation - The Mailing Items must not be stuck together and it is recommended that they are capable of separating to allow them to be effectively processed. When placed on a slope of 65º to the horizontal, the Mailing Items are recommended to be capable of separating, by sliding one from another, under the force of gravity (see figure 109); and

Figure 89: Separation

  • Shape – Mailing items are required to be rectangular or square within the permitted dimensions and can be laid out in landscape or portrait format. We do require you to ensure that the four sides are all straight lines and intersected by a 90º angled corner.
13.5.5 Polywrap outer 
  • the film is required to be intact, undamaged and must not be punctured or torn apart from perforations(although perforations are not recommended)?; 
  • the film must be > 15 ?m (15 microns) thick when measured at any point on the large letter other than the seal; 
  • it is recommended that any Mailmark barcode printed on the film must adhere to the film and must not break up or wear during processing; 
  • it is recommended that any text printed on the film adheres to the film and must not break up or wear during processing; 
  • only be a single layer of film must cover the Delivery Address Block and Mailmark barcode ; and 
  • it is recommended that the film is sufficiently strong enough to tolerate handling without tearing or splitting at the seals.
13.5.6 Print contrast recommendations 
  • Print Contrast Ratio for addresses printed on envelopes should be ?50 %; 
  • Print Contrast Ratio for addresses printed on window inserts should be ?55 %;
  • Minimum Reflective Difference should be ?30 %; and
  • Minimum Background Reflectance should be ?35 %.
13.5.7 Print contrast recommendations
Inverse printing i.e. negative contrast is not permitted (i.e. Address Block lighter than background).

13.6 Flaps and sealing 
This section is divided into paper and polymer/polywrap recommendations and requirements as they are different.

Paper envelopes 
  • it is recommended that the paper envelopes are sealed securely on the back, front and edges; 
  • a tolerance of 35mm x 25mm is permitted on the opening flap. Regardless of whether the opening flap is placed on the front or reverse of the Mailing Item (the front being where the Delivery Address Block and the Indicium are located) it is recommended to be sealed to within 35mm from the fold of the envelope and 25mm from the envelope side.

Figure 90: Sealing tolerances paper

Polymer envelopes 
It is recommended that: 
  • Polymer envelopes are sealed along all the edges and have the opening flap on the back; and 
  • the opening flap is sealed to within a minimum of 25mm from the fold of the envelope flap and 25mm from the sides of the envelope (see figure 111).

Figure 91: Sealing tolerances polymer

Poly wrapped Mailing Items 
Mailing Items which are poly wrapped must be securely sealed on the front, back and side edges.

The preferred location for the poly wrapped seal is the back of the Large Letter. 

We recommend that if the seal runs along the length or width of the Mailing Item that the free edge of the seal is less than 30mm deep.

Additionally if the poly wrapped seal is on the front of the Mailing Item it is a requirement that: 
  • the seal must not be over the Delivery Address Block or Mailmark barcode; and
  • the seal must not be across the width of the Mailing Item.

Figure 92: Sealing poly wrapped.

13.7 Windows (paper envelopes)

Although you are only permitted one window on your Mailing Item, you do have the option of using this window for either the Delivery Address Block or for advertising information. You do need to ensure that the window is not an open space i.e. there must be a transparent film covering the aperture and that it is square or rectangular (circular windows are not permitted).

As we do not wish to limit your options when it comes to designing or purchasing window envelopes, we do not have any specific requirements for the strength of the window but we do recommend that when we do receive the Mailing Items from you:
  • the window film is not flimsy i.e. should be sufficient strength and quality that it is not visibly creased or crumpled; 
  • it is flat and securely and evenly sealed to the inside of the envelope, with corners of the aperture that are curved rather than straight as this will help prevent damage occurring when the Mailing Items are going through the final machine sortation stage; 
  • it does not take up more than 25% of the surface area on the side where it is found; 
  • the window area where it is used for an address should fall within the Delivery Address Block area – please see figures, 113 and 114 
  • Gloss - (window and poly film): The gloss value should be ? 150 (American standards of testing and materials (ASTM) 2457 Measured at 60 degrees); and 
  • Haze - (window and poly film): The haze value should be ? 75 % (ASTM D1003-00 Procedure A (Hazemeter)).
13.8 Delivery Address Block and the Mailmark barcode 
When printing the Delivery Address the recommended maximum characters per line of the Address Block is 64 and please ensure that the content of one address line is not wrapped onto a second line i.e. Team Valley Trading Estate must be printed on the same line and not spread over two.

We recommend that you use one of the fonts and s detailed in section 7 of this Appendix M and ensure that each line of the address has characters which are the same font and point and that the spacing between the words is less then 5mm.

13.9 Delivery Address Block and the Mailmark barcode positioning 
The Delivery Address Block and the Mailmark barcode position is dependent on the orientation of the mail piece; details are shown in Figures 113 and 114.

The Delivery Address Block and the Mailmark barcode cannot be located in the following areas:

  • A frame around the envelope 40mm from the top and 15mm around the rest of the perimeter i.e. the bottom, left and right edges; and 
  • over the edge of the envelope flap.
Please note: 
For polymer envelopes or polywrapped items you will need to allow for any lateral movement (maximum 30mm) when defining the Delivery Address Block location. The assumption must be made that the poly may fold during processing and, should this happen we still need a defined clear area from the edge to ensure the Delivery Address Block can be read. (e.g. If a Large Letter had 10mm excess polywrap then you would leave 25mm clear) 
See Figures 113 and 114

Figure 93: Landscape Delivery Address and Mailmark Area

Figure 94: Portrait Delivery Address and Mailmark Area

14. Mailmark barcode specification 
Please note that all specifications set out in this section are requirements unless stated otherwise.

A Mailmark barcodes can be either a: 
  • 2D data matrix barcode; or 
  • 4-state barcode.
2D data matrix Mailmark barcodes 
There are three types of 2D data matrix barcodes: 
  • Type 7 24 x 24 modules 
  • Type 9 32 32 modules 
  • Type 29 16 x 48 modules
2D data matrix barcodes vary in and shape and they contain different quantities of spare space. 2D data matrix barcodes are made up of black & white square modules. Each module must be printed with minimum of 0.5mm x 0.5mm and a maximum of 0.7mm x 0.7mm. Modules must always be square so it is not acceptable to print with a module of 0.5mm x 0.6mm or 0.7mm.

Figure 95: Example of a 2D data matrix Type 7 barcode
  • Minimum 12mm x 12mm when printed with 0.5mm x 0.5mm module .
  • Maximum 16.8mm x 16.8mm when printed with 0.7mm x 0.7mm module Total of 51 characters 
  • 6 spare characters.

Figure 96: Example of a 2D data matrix Type 9 barcode

  • Minimum 16mm x 16mm when printed with 0.5mm x 0.5mm module . 
  • Maximum 22.4mm 22.4mm when printed with 0.7mm x 0.7mm module . 
  • Total of 90 characters 
  • 45 spare characters. 
  • (Identified by a cross within box).

Figure 97: Example of a 2D data matrix Type 29 barcode

  • Minimum 8mm x 24mm when printed with 0.5mm x 0.5mm module . 
  • Maximum 11.2mm x 33.6mm when printed with 0.7mm modules 
  • Total of 70 characters 
  • 25 spare characters.
Important note: 
No information (confidential or otherwise classified) should be placed in the spare space within the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode that could or would place anyone in danger of breaching their or our data protection obligations.

4-state Mailmark barcodes 
There are two types of 4-state barcodes: 
  • Barcode L (long). Length up to 89mm. No spare space
  • Barcode C (consolidated). Length up to 76.2mm. No spare space

Figure 98: Example of a 4-state barcode L 4-state barcode C

The following diagram helps you work out which Mailmark barcode will best suit your needs.

14.1 Background Reflectance (BR) and Reflective Difference (RD) 
Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode only
In order to provide sufficient reflectance from the Mailing Item material that allows sufficient light to be reflected back, a BR value of a minimum of 35% is required. Mailing items not meeting this requirement will appear as a block of dark grey or even black, making it impossible to identify the Mailmark barcode on the Mailing Item.

In order to provide sufficient contrast between the Mailing Item material and the printed Mailmark barcode, the RD between the Mailing Item background and the BR must be a minimum of 30%. Mailing items not meeting this requirement will appear as black making it extremely difficult to distinguish the Mailmark barcode from the Mailing Item material.

14.2 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode 
A 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode is a specified format of a Data Matrix type ECC200 code complying with the international standard ISO/IEC 16022 whose data content matches a configurable set of characters for the first 6 characters of the data. The supported formats from ISO/IEC 16022 and the data content are as specified within the separate document - Mailmark Barcode Definition Document.

2D data matrix Mailmark barcodes must be printed according to the international standard.

14.3 Characteristics of 2D Mailmark barcode
  • a 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode is a Data Matrix type ECC200 code complying with the international standard ISO/IEC 16022. Version of ISO specification is ISO/IEC 16022:2006; 
  • a 2D Mailmark can be any of the following formats of Data Matrix type ECC200 as defined in ISO/IEC 16022:
                             o 24x24 modules (Also known as Format 7); 
                             o 32x32 modules (Also known as Format 9); and 
                             o 16x48 modules (Also known as Format 29);

  • 2D data matrix Mailmark barcodes must have a module in the range of 0.50 – 0.70mm; 
  • the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode must not appear within 15mm of the short edges of the Mailing Item, within 18mm of the long edge furthest from the Indicium (for landscape items this is the bottom edge) or in an area that must be kept clear of text or graphics as set out elsewhere in this appendix; 
  • the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode must be printed on a background that is of consistent contrast by design, with a positive contrast for the symbol (dark on a light background). Note: Certain recycled paper does give an inconsistent background, but this is acceptable so long as the print quality criteria are achieved. Note the codes are always positive contrast. 
  • there must always be a clear zone of at least 4 times the module around any 2D Mailmark barcode. For example if printed with a 0.5mm module the clear zone must be at least 2mm. With a 0.7mm module the clear zone must be at least 2.8mm; 
  • the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode can be orientated vertically or horizontally but are required to have edges that are parallel with the edges of the Mailing Item; 
  • the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode is differentiated from other Data Matrix symbols that may be present on the Mailing Item by a defined string of 6 characters in the first part of the data within the code. All systems that are required to read and extract data from the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode shall have a configurable file that can contain up to 100 different 6 character strings to identify a 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode type from other Data Matrix codes. The configurable file shall, for each of the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode types defined by the 6 character string:
                    o assign the precedence of each 2D Mailmark barcode string where more than one 2D Mailmark barcode exists on a Mailing Item; and 
                    o set the threshold limit for the minimum amount of unused error correction by the ECC algorithm that is allowed before rejecting the code read.

The representation of the 6 character string within the configuration file shall comprise of characters A – Z, 0 – 9, or Space. No wild cards will be used;
  • the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode is differentiated from other Data Matrix symbols by a defined string of 6 characters in the first part of the data within the code. Each of the Royal Mail products that use the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode has the following data strings in the first part of the data content:
                o UPU identifier – 1 Characters (J); 
                o Royal Mail identifier assigned by the UPU – 3 Characters (e.g. GBA, or GB); 
                o Information (Product) type ID – 1 Character; and 
                o Information type ID version number – 1 Character;
  • each attribute within any 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode is of a fixed and defined length. This is to ensure that any individual attribute can be located by specifying the start character of the attribute with reference to the start of the character string; 
  • the information within the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode shall comply with the C40 encodation scheme (Character set) as described within ISO 16022. All data that is within the code shall comply with the C40 Basic Character set (Uppercase Alphas, Numerals and SPACE only); 
  • the data within the barcode will not comply with optional message structures that are referenced from ISO 16022, such as ISO 15434 or 15418. The data will be a single continuous string of data with no header, footer or data identifiers included; 
  • for 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode, the information contained in the barcode is not sensitive as much of it can be found within human readable information on the Mailing Item and the 2D data matrix Mailmark Supply Chain ID is not relevant to any other Royal Mail or customer account information. Therefore, there is no requirement for encryption; 
  • all of the attributes must start at a defined point in the data string, so any missing or optional attributes must be filled with the SPACE character unless otherwise stated in the barcode definition. The one exception to this rule is the customer data space that is available in some codes. Any unused data space shall not be filled with space characters as this maximises the amount of error correction employed in the 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode; and 
  • where space characters have been inserted into the code for the purposes of padding out the code as outlined above, these padding characters will not be included in the data fields after the parsing of the barcode information following barcode reading.

14.4 Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode
4-state Mailmark barcodes encoded content will be output as a string of text that consists of 4 characters:

1. D for Descender bar;
2. A for Ascender bar;
3. F for Full bar; and 
4. T for Track bar.

The DAFT text strings when presented in the Royal Mail 4-state font form the Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode. Figure 119 shows a Full bar followed by a Descender bar, an Ascender bar and a Track bar.

All systems that are required to read and extract data from Mailmark barcode C and L shall have a configurable file that can contain up to 100 different 2 character strings to identify different data fields within the code. The configurable file shall for each of the Mailmark barcode C/L defined by the 2 character string:
  • assign the precedence of each Mailmark barcode C/L string where more than one Mailmark barcode C/L exists on a Mailing Item; 
  • set the threshold limit for the amount of error correction by the ECC algorithm that is allowed before rejecting the code read;
The representation of the 2 character string within the configuration file shall comprise of characters 0 – 9 only. No wild cards will be used.

14.5 Optical specification for all Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode 
The Mailmark barcode must be printed so that it contrasts with the background, typically black bars on a white background, and the print quality shall be consistent throughout the code.

The optical characteristics of the printed Mailmark barcode characters can vary substantially, depending on the varied print processes used to produce them, and the quality of the substrate onto which they are printed. Please make sure that the reflectance and print quality characteristics are maintained within acceptable limits, to ensure the reading process is reliable.

14.6 Print Contrast Ratio (PCR) for all Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcodes 
The PCR is an indication of how well the printed Mailmark barcode on the Mailing Item stands out from the background. For Mailmark barcode mail this must be a minimum of 40%. Positive Contrast or Inverse Printing (Barcode lighter than the Background) is not permitted.

14.7 Symbology, dimensions and tolerances measurement for the Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode 
When Mailmark barcodes are magnified, their edges may not always be clearly defined, making accurate measurement more difficult. In order to ensure that measurements are within required specifications, it is necessary to define the edges between each light and dark element of the Barcode. The edge of a bar is defined as:

"the position where the apparent reflectance is exactly halfway between the minimum and maximum reflectance values of the adjacent bar and space, when viewed using a circular sample aperture of less than 0.6X, where X is defined as the nominal width of the bars in the code"

Dimensions for a Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode 
Barcode C contains approximately 66 bars 
Barcode L contains approximately 78 bars

The Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode has been developed for use with most common printing systems. However, as many of these systems might not be able to match ideal requirements, we have also incorporated systems that read imperfect Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcodes to the extent those practical algorithms will allow. The dimensions shown below represent the maximum tolerances that are required when using the Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcodes.

Dimension recommendations:
  • bar width is set at 0.54mm (with width tolerance of +/- 0.05mm); 
  • the Ascender and Descender height is set at 1.9mm; 
  • the track bar is 1.4 times module high (with height tolerances of+/- 0.1mm); and 
  • the pitch is 21.2 (+/- 0.2) bars per inch (25.4mm).
Dimension requirements:
  • 4-state Mailmark barcode edges must be sharp and clearly defined to help eliminate misreading. For clarification, to ensure that this form of code can be read:
                   o the width requirements apply throughout the whole bar i.e. no part of the bar can be less than 0.38mm wide or greater than 0.64 times module wide; and 
                   o the print quality must be consistent throughout the code and there must be no gaps between the printed dots within a bar;

  • there must be between 20 and 24 bars per 25.4mm which must be equally spaced; and 
  • the 4-state Mailmark barcode must be a continuous string of characters and must not include gaps or space characters.

Figure 99: Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode dimensions

Vertical alignment 
The track element of the bars must be symmetrical about the centre line of the code +/- 10% of the height of the centre line.

Figure 100: Vertical alignment

14.8 Clear Zone for all Mailmark barcodes 

The Clear Zone is the area where the Mailmark barcode is placed in addition to a square or rectangular border of at least 2mm for Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcodes on all sides and at least 4 times module for 2D data matrix Mailmark barcodes on all sides. It consists of a background with constant reflectance, to comply with the optical specification in this appendix for Royal Mail 4-state Mailmark barcode and in the ISO specification for 2D data matrix Mailmark barcode.

It is required that no other text, graphic, picture, window edge, flap, perforations etc. appear in the area taken up by the Mailmark barcode and associated 2mm or at least 4 times module clear zone. The minimum module is 0.5mm x 0.5mm; in which case the required clear zone is 2mm. The maximum module is 0.7mm x 0.7mm; in which case the required clear zone is 2.8mm.

It is a requirement that you do not place a border or lines around the Mailmark barcode or the associated clear zone.

14.9 Location for all Mailmark barcodes 14.9.1 
Location of Mailmark Barcode on Letters
We require that you place the Mailmark barcode:
  • on the same side of the envelope as the Indicium and Delivery Address Block; 
  • at least 15mm from top edge of the Mailing Item; 
  • at least 15mm from the short edges of the Mailing Item; 
  • at least 18mm from the long edge furthest away from the Indicium (i.e. the bottom edge of a landscape Mailing Item); and 
  • so that it does not infringe on any other Clear Zone set out in this Appendix or other literature (e.g. the clear zone that is required around the Indicium and the route and tag clear zones)
14.9.2 Location of Mailmark Barcode on Large Letters 
We require that you place the Mailmark barcode:
  • on the same side of the envelope as the Indicium and Delivery Address Block; 
  • at least 40mm from top edge of the Mailing Item;
  • at least 15mm from the short edges of the Mailing Item; 
  • at least 15mm from the long edge furthest away from the Indicium (i.e. the bottom edge of a landscape Mailing Item); and
  • so that it does not infringe on any other Clear Zone set out in this Appendix or other literature (e.g. the clear zone that is required around the Indicium and the route and tag clear zones)
Location recommendations: 
We recommend that the four edges of the Mailmark barcode and the clear zone remain parallel with the four edges of the Mailing Item.

14.10 eManifest 
The eManifest is an electronic record of your Mailmark Mailing Items posted against a non-transferrable SCID on each day. The data within the eManifest, together with the machine processing data validated against it, is used for reporting.

eManifest requirements and procedure: 
  • an eManifest is a requirement for both 4-state barcode Mailmark Mailings Items and 2D data matrix Mailmark Mailings Items and is in addition to a Manifest; 
  • an eManifest is created via the eMHS and populated with item level data through a software solution or by the Mail Producer's IT systems. It is required for any Mailmark Mailing Item recorded against a SCID; 
  • one eManifest is required per SCID per day. It is important that you include all Mailing Item data in the eManifest. If you don't we will see those items as we process them and may invoice the Bill Payer for them for them; 
  • once the eManifest is created, Mailmark Mailings Items are uploaded to each eManifest via the eMHS by the Mail Producer in one or more Batches; 
  • when a Batch is completed it is closed by being submitted, and once all Batches are submitted the eManifest must be confirmed; and 
  • each eManifest will have a unique eManifest ID. This eManifest ID and Supply Chain ID (SCID) must be included in the relevant fields on the Manifest.
Please note:
Each Batch must have a minimum volume of 4,000 Mailing Items. It is possible to split Batches and submit more than one Batch to make use of reporting by Batch, providing each Batch contains the minimum volume of Mailing Items required.

When you must submit your eManifest:
  • an eManifest is created via the eMHS and must be confirmed within 2 calendar days from the time of creation; 
  • the eManifest can be confirmed up to two days prior to the mail handover date; 
  • the deadline for confirming Network Access Item eManifests is configured to 9pm on the handover date specified in the eManifest. At this time, any remaining open Item eManifests will be automatically confirmed and closed to further Batch submissions.
The deadline for confirming Consolidator Item eManifests is configured to 2am on the handover date specified in the eManifest. At this time, any remaining open Item eManifests will be automatically confirmed and closed to further Batch submissions.

Handing over Mailing Items 
Mailing Items should be handed over on the day the eManifest is confirmed. Please note that if Mailing Items are handed over five (5) or more working days after the eManifest is confirmed the Bill Payer may be invoiced twice.

Failure to create an eManifest: 
If an eManifest is not created we may process your mail and apply error charges. Please note that without an eManifest we cannot provide reporting.

Mandatory fields within an eManifest: 
The following information is required: 
Header:
1. Supply Chain ID (SCID) 
2. Mail Originator 
3. Date (the date of the eManifest confirmation and the handover date) 
4. eManifest status (open, finalised, test) 
5. eManifest ID

Detail: 
1. Unique Mailing Item ID 
2. Batch ID 
3. Address (full address is recommended, only postcode and DPS are required. Recipient details must not be included) 
4. Product attributes (format, weight etc.)

The Mailmark eMHS implementation guidelines contain more information and is available from your Access Account Director.

14.11 Mailmark barcode Definition Document 
There is a choice of Mailmark barcode available. At a high level Mailmark barcodes can be either a 2-Dimensional (2D) Complex Mail Data Mark barcode or 4-state Mailmark barcode. There are three types of 2D CMDM Mailmark barcodes available offering varying space for your non-Royal Mail use. The Mailmark barcode Definition Document provides full details of:
• The specifications for the format and structure of the Mailmark barcode 
• The data content of each Mailmark barcode, including the legitimate character sets and ranges of data

14.12 Other useful documents for implementing the Mailmark option. 
We have created the following useful guidelines and technical documents which you will need to refer to as they will provide you with details and instructions on: 
  • how to create your Mailmark barcode
  • how to ensure your systems correctly interface with the eMHS; 
  • how to create a 4-state barcode and barcode options; and 
  • how to encode and decode 4-state barcodes.
For ease we have provided a link to each of the relevant guidelines and technical documents on the Mailmark option section of our Website. Mailmark link.

You are also required to accept the Royal Mail Mailmark Participant Terms and Conditions® (attached below) in order to become a Participant in a Supply Chain, and you acknowledge that before you can use the Mailmark option each of the Mail Originator, Mail Producer, Carrier and Bill Payer in your Supply Chain will need to have accepted the Participant Terms and Conditions to become a Participant.

Appendix N Advertising Mail Catalogue specification

Introduction 

This specification contains the requirements that must be adhered to by customers when posting Catalogues (as defined in the Eligibility section of this Appendix N below). 

The Royal Mail Catalogue™ option is a variant of the Royal Mail Advertising Mail® service. 

Eligibility 

A Mailing Item will constitute a "Catalogue" if the Mailing Item is Advertising Mail and we determine that: 
  1. the Mailing Item comprises a list of goods and/or services together with a description, image and price; 
  2. the editorial and other content of the Mailing Item is minimal; and 
  3. the content of the Mailing Item enables sales orders to be taken on such goods and/or services (including auctioned goods and services) directly from the page at the prices listed. 
Service Sortation, Format and Weights 

The Catalogue option is for items that are sorted to the Access 1400 selections. The maximum dimensions and weights applicable to Mailing Items that are Catalogues are set out in Figure 101 below:

Figure 101: Figure 101 - Ad Mail Catalogue Weight Bands

All Letter format items and Large Letter format items must be sorted into weight bands. 

Mixed Weight 

Mixed Weight is a presentation option for Large Letters and, for the purposes of the Catalogue option only, for Letters but only to the extent that the Letters constitute Catalogues. 

If you are posting Letters as Catalogues using Mixed Weight you must inform your Account Director in advance of commencing posting. When declaring Catalogues as Mixed Weight on the Manifest, the weight band indicators to be used are those specified in Figure 101 of this Appendix N. For all other types of Mailing Items, you must declare the item weights using the weight bands detailed at Section 6.11 of this User Guide.

Product Codes 

You must use specific discrete products codes when declaring Catalogue mailings as specified in the Royal Mail Network Access: External Web Services technical specification that can be found at https://www.royalmailwholesale.com/dockethub/

Seeds/Samples 

You must send us a seed/sample of your Catalogue mailing in line with the Advertising Mail terms and conditions of Schedule 6: Royal Mail Advertising Mail. 

Container Labels 

It is a requirement to identify the bags and trays containing Advertising Mail Catalogue mailings. You must use the abbreviation 'CAT' and place it above the Customer Type in the Customer Indicator Box of the bag label or tray label. See example below.

Bag Label example:
Figure 102: Figure 102 - Bag Label for Ad Mail Cat

Tray Label example:
Figure 103: Figure 103 - Tray Label for Ad Mail Cat

Appendix P Poll card services

1. Introduction

Poll cards are uniquely used by local councils to notify constituents of elections. You may post poll cards under the Access Letters Contract using one of the manual services and pay the applicable manual price. Or you may choose to post poll cards using one of the services detailed in this appendix which will enable you to take advantage of price savings on the manual services.
This appendix contains detailed specification requirements for sending poll cards using one of the following services:
  1. Royal Mail Mailmark®: we detail an enhanced Mailmark specification for sending of poll cards in section 3;
  2. Royal Mail Poll Sort: we have a delivery aim of 3 Working Days for this service. See section 4 for specification details.
You can find prices for both these services on the website, www.royalmailwholesale.com/pricing

2. Poll card dimensions

We require poll cards to meet the following specified dimensions:



3. Royal Mail Mailmark®: Poll cards

Unless otherwise specified in this section 3, the requirements set out in Appendix M: Mailmark apply to poll cards posted using Mailmark services. The requirements set out in this section 3 are mandatory for poll cards posted under Mailmark. If they contradict any of the Mailmark specification requirements, as set out in Appendix M, the poll card requirements set out in this section 3 take precedence.

3.1 Mailmark Accreditation (QA Process)

Customers wishing to send poll cards using the Mailmark service must send examples of the poll cards to be accredited by us before they post them. In our Quality Assurance process, we check the poll cards for the following:
  • the physical design passes our mail processing test
  • the Mailmark barcode can be read by our machines
  • the address accuracy and positioning
  • the DPS allocation and accuracy

You must complete a “Mailmark Poll Card Quality Assurance” application form and send it with 200 fully addressed sample poll cards to the address detailed on the application form. Applications will be processed within 10 days. You can find the form at www.royalmailwholesale.com/accreditation-process/

3.2 Poll Card Physical Design


The physical design requirements for poll cards are illustrated in Figure 101. The poll card must be produced from a sheet of paper that is cut, folded twice and adhered on all sides. This shall provide a rectangular finished mailpiece in landscape orientation that has 2/3 Ply thickness (the 3 Ply being at the bottom of the mailer):-
  • External dimensions – 210mm x 150mm (a manufacturing tolerance of ± 2mm is permitted)
  • Paper Weight – 120 - 150 gsm
  • Paper thickness - ≥ 0.18mm
  • Finish – Matt or Silk
  • The first fold creates an internal flap that is 66mm deep (a manufacturing tolerance of ± 2mm is permitted). The second fold forms another flap that covers the internal flap and ends 1mm short of the bottom (reference) edge. This is illustrated in Figure 102.
  • A permanent and continuous adhesive seal of 15mm width (a manufacturing tolerance of ± 2mm is permitted) is required on 3 sides of the mailpiece, as illustrated in Figure 101.
  • In addition:-
    • the adhesive must go to the edge of the mailpiece.
    • the adhesive must be ≤ 80 microns thick.
    • the glue must not seep onto the outside of the mailpiece, and must not produce protruding mounds on the mailpiece.
    • the glue must not be brittle, or designed to be easily broken.
    • the peak peel adhesion strength of the glue must be ≥ 0.4N.
    • the cure time for the glue must be sufficient to ensure that it has fully cured prior to posting.
  • The mailpece must be flat and not curled when presented to Royal Mail.

Figure 104: Generic Physical Mailpiece - Design (Not to Scale)


Figure 105: Generic Physical Mailpiece - Construction (Not to Scale)


3.3 Mailmark Poll Card - General layout

The Indicia and Delivery Address Block must be printed on the front of the poll card together with either the Polling Station address or Return Address. You may use one of two design variants to enable some flexibility in the placement of the voting information:-
  • Option 1 – the Polling Station address is on the front and the Return Address is on the back.
  • Option 2 – the Return Address is on the front and the Polling Station address is on the back.
The positioning and content of the poll card and voting information boxes are shown in Figures 103 – 106 below. The red text in the figures indicates the variable text fields. The black text areas are fixed text.
Figures 103 – 106 also illustrate the specific requirements as described below.

  • 3.4 Polling Station / Return Address
  • The top left corner on the front face of the two ply section of the poll card provides a field for either :-
  • Option 1 - the Polling Station address prefixed by the words 'Your Polling Station will be'.
  • Option 2 - the Return Address prefixed by the words 'Return Address'.
  • Standard Mailmark requirements regarding Return Address punctuation, text formatting, printing and background, and clear zones apply to the Polling Station / Return Address.
  • The Polling Station / Return Address must be printed in Letter Gothic 12pt font.

3.5 Indicia

The Indicia and its required clear zone must be located in the 75mm x 40mm ± 2mm Indicia area in the top right corner on the front face of the two ply section of the poll card.

3.6 Poll Card Box

A variable 'Poll Card Box' must be included in the top left quadrant of the front face of the poll card. The box defines the election type and the purpose of the card in 3 lines of text.
  • This should be 103mm long, 30mm high, be inset by 2mm from the left edge, and must not extend into the area 40mm from the top edge.
  • The content of the box may be modified, but the text must be printed centre justified, and must not be shaped like a Delivery Address Block. The fonts to be used are:-
  • a. Line 1 (variable text) – Arial Black 14pt Title Case;
  • b. Line 2 (Poll Card) – Arial Black 22pt Capitals;
  • c. Line 3 (Voting Details) – Arial Black 14pt Normal case.

3.7 Polling Day / Information Box

A variable 'Candidate Information' or 'Polling Day Information Box' may be included in the top right quadrant of the front face of the poll card. The box defines the election type and the purpose of the card in 3 or 4 lines of text.
  • This should be 103mm long,30mm high, be inset by 2mm from the right edge, and must not extend into the Indicia area. The content options are as follows :-
  • Option 1 - Polling Day;
  • Option 2 - Candidate Information.
  • The content of the Poll Card and Candidate Information boxes may be modified, but must be printed centre justified and must not be shaped like a Delivery Address Block. Arial Black 14pt Normal case font is to be used.
  • A '?' symbol must be used instead of the word 'Call'.

3.8 Delivery Address Block

The Delivery Address Block must be printed on the front face of the poll card:
  • beneath the Poll Card and Candidate Information boxes;
  • in an area 57mm high and 95mm long; and
  • be inset by 15mm from the left and right edges, and 18mm from the bottom edge.
  • Voter registration references may be included as Mailer Defined Information above the Delivery Address.
  • The standard Tag Codemark clear zone must be observed.
  • The Delivery Address must meet the PAF compliance requirements for the product type.
  • The Delivery Address Block must be printed in Letter Gothic 12pt font.

3.9 Mailmark Code


  • Poll cards must bear the standard 2D Code formats or 4-State Barcode L.
  • When using a 2D Code format, you must ensure that the Information Type ID value 'P' (Poll cards) is selected as specified within the Mailmark Barcode Definition Document.
  • The Mailmark barcode must be printed on the front face of the poll card.

Figure 106: Mailmark Poll Card - Option 1 - Front Illustration (Not to Scale)



Figure 107: Mailmark Poll Card - Option 1 - Front Illustration with Dimensions (not to scale)


Figure 108: Mailmark Poll Card - Option 2 - Front Illustration (Not to Scale)


Figure 109: Mailmark Poll Card - Option 2 - Front Illustration with Dimensions (not to scale)



3.10 Mailmark Poll Card - Back Designs


The back of the poll card provides the voting information with variable content being included for date, time, address, and content information that is not printed on the front of the poll card. There are two options for the back designs as illustrated below in Figure 107 and Figure 108.

Unless stated otherwise, Arial font is to be used for the text. The content may be modified with the exception of the following where specific requirements for the address content are:-
  • The Polling Station address must be prefixed with the words 'Your Polling Station will be:' and must be printed in Letter Gothic 12pt font.
  • The Return Address must be prefixed with the words 'Return Address' and must be printed in Letter Gothic 12pt font.
  • Any other text block must not be shaped like an Address Block.

Figure 110: Mailmark Poll Card - Option 1 - Back Layout (Not to Scale)



Figure 111: Mailmark Poll Card - Option 2 - Back Layout (Not to Scale)


3.11 Mailmark Postal Voting Poll Card


The design requirements for the Mailmark Postal Voting Poll Card are mandatory. The requirements are summarised and illustrated below in Figures 109-111. The design requirements are based on the Mailmark Poll Card Option 1. The Indicia and Delivery Address Block must be printed on the front of the poll card together with the Return Address.

The red text in Figures 109 – 111 below indicates the variable text fields. The black text areas are fixed text.


Figure 112: Mailmark Postal Voting Poll Card - Front Illustration (Not to Scale)


Figure 113: Mailmark Postal Voting Poll Card - Front Illustration with Dimensions (Not to Scale)


Figure 114: Mailmark Postal Voting Poll Card - Back Illustration (Not to Scale)


4. Royal Mail Poll Sort

Royal Mail Poll Sort is a manual service for the posting of poll cards only (“Poll Sort”). We aim to deliver within 3 working days. Unless otherwise stated in this section 4, the standard presentation requirements for Letters apply, as specified in the Contract and the User Guide. The requirements set out in this section 4 are mandatory for poll cards posted under Poll Sort. If they contradict any of the specification requirements as set out elsewhere in the Contract and the User Guide, the poll card requirements set out in this section 4 take precedence.

4.1 Sortation

Under Poll Sort, you must sort poll cards to approximately 70,000 selections using the specified Election Sort Selection File as contained within the Access Selection Files. You must use the current version of the Access Selection Files (see Appendix C).

4.2 Forecasting


When presenting Poll Sort you must follow the KNP process as defined in Appendix I: Key National Posting (KNP).

4.3 Presentation

The following presentational requirements are mandatory for poll cards sent using the Poll Sort service:
  • Maximum weight of each poll card is 20g;
  • Poll cards must all be the same and weight, up to 240mm in length, 165mm in width and no thicker than 5mm;
  • Each item must clearly show the Access indicia and the wording 'Delivered by Royal Mail'. This must be printed in the top right hand corner of the front face of the items in either 12 or 14 point font ;
  • Items must be 100% fully addressed and post coded;
  • Items in a bundle must be facing same way and facing up;
  • Items for a single delivery walk must be bundled separately, labelled according to walk name, and must not contain anything other than poll cards;
  • Bundles must be banded using elastic or paper bands;
  • Poll cards should be bundled (ideally in bundles of 100) but each bundle must not exceed that which can be held in one hand (approximately 15cm);
  • Bundles with less than 10 items must be single banded;
  • Poll cards must be handed over to RM in Trays only
  • Each Tray may contain multiple walks;
  • Trays must be clearly labelled detailing the Delivery Office name.

4.4 Labelling

Standard Manual White labelling requirements apply with the addition of the following:
  • use a bundle label that identifies an individual walk OR print the walk name on each item at least 5mm above the first line of the address block. If you are printing the walk name on each item you can also optionally print the words 'Royal Mail Walk Name' before the walk name; 
  • Tray Labels and York cards must clearly be identified as Poll Sort. Examples of labels are shown below in Figures 112 to 115.

Figure 115: Bundle label

Figure 116: Tray Label
 
Figure 117: York card (standard)


Figure 118: Segregation by Format York card