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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG 2250.2

FDA STAFF MANUAL GUIDES, VOLUME III - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

MAIL MANAGEMENT

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE EXPRESS MAIL

Effective Date: 01/10/2003

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Description of Express Mail Service
 3. Policy
 4. Applicability
 5. Responsibility
 6. Procedures
 7. Record Keeping
 8. Effective Date

1. PURPOSE 

This Guide implements PHS regulations concerning the use of express mail and the reporting of costs of such mailings.

2. DESCRIPTION OF EXPRESS MAIL SERVICE 

This service offers guaranteed next day delivery of items up to 70 lbs. to over 400 cities in the U.S. It also provides a faster than air mail service for items with various weight limits to the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, and Japan destinations. Anything that is mailable may be included in the same pouch. A piece of express mail may not weigh more than 70 pounds or measure more than 108 inches in length and girth combined. Returned receipt service is available to furnish the mailer with evidence of delivery. There are three different service options:

1. Custom-Designed Service. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will custom design a program by combining different levels of services to transmit regularly scheduled shipments.

2. Next-Day Service.

a. Post Office to Post Office. Shipments taken to an express mail post office by 5:00 p.m. may be picked up by the addressee at the receiving post office as early as 10:00 a.m. the next business day.

b. Post Office to Addressee. Shipments taken to an express mail post office by 5:00 p.m. will be delivered within the city delivery area to the addressee by 3:00 p.m. the next day.

c. Same-Day Airport.Shipments taken to an airport mail facility may be picked up the same day by the addressee at the destination airport mail facility.

3. POLICY 

Since express mail is the most expensive service offered by the USPS, it is the policy of the Food and Drug Administration to discourage its use. However, express mail may be used when speed of delivery is critical. Offices are also encouraged to make cost comparisons between express mail service and private carriers in order that they may select the most economical method of shipping each individual package.

4. APPLICABILITY 

This Guide applies to all Headquarters and field organizations.

5. RESPONSIBILITY 

A. All Center/Office executive officers, or their designees, are responsible for reviewing and approving or disapproving requests by offices in their organizations for use of express mail, for maintaining records of all express mail shipments approved, and for sending original copies of receipts to the FDA Mail Manager (HFA-2l5). Headquarters personnel utilizing the express mail service provided by the Parklawn Program Support Center (PSC) or the College Park (CPK1) Mailroom are exempt from providing the FDA Mail Manager with copies of receipts.

B. All Regional Food and Drug Directors, District and Headquarters Field Activities Directors, or their designees, are responsible for reviewing and approving or disapproving all requests for use of express mail by offices in their respective jurisdictions, for maintaining records of all express mail shipments approved, and for sending original copies of receipts to the FDA Mail Manager.

C. The FDA Mail Manager, Office of Real Property Services (ORPS), Division of Facilities Operations, is responsible for reporting the actual costs of such mailings made by both Headquarters and field activities to the Office of Financial Management.

6. PROCEDURES 

A. Offices wishing to utilize express mail service must obtain prior approval from the appropriate approving officer (see paragraph 5).

B. After receiving approval, offices should consult with the FDA Mail Manager to select the service option (described in paragraph 2) which would best suit their needs and make necessary arrangements. Please note that custom-design services require prior approval by the FDA Mail Manager.

C. The Agency has been assigned a control number, which must be used each time a shipment is made. The control number identifies the agency to be billed for the shipment. All FDA activities must show Federal Control No. 27515-000 as the required customer number. In addition, a envelope or label is to be utilized for each package. A return address must appear in the upper left corner of the envelope or label. This identifies all FDA express mail pieces as U.S. Government mail.

D. A receipt for the article, completed by USPS, and showing the cost of the shipment, must be obtained by the sender for each shipment made. The receipt should be sent to the approving officer, who will make a copy of the receipt and send the original to the FDA Mail Manager within five working days after the shipment is made. The only exceptions to this are shipments made through the Parklawn Program Support Center (PSC) and the CPK 1 Mailroom at Headquarters locations. Receipts for express mail shipments being made through the Parklawn PSC will be returned to the FDA Mail Manager by the PSC after completion by USPS. Receipts for express mail shipments being made at CPK 1, should be forwarded to the CPK 1 Mailroom (HFA-218), after completion by USPS.

7. RECORD KEEPING 

Approving officers must keep a copy of the receipt plus a written statement of justification for use of express mail for each shipment approved by them.

8. EFFECTIVE DATE 

The effective date of this guide is January 10, 2003.