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SMG 2250.1

FDA STAFF MANUAL GUIDES, VOLUME III - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

MAIL MANAGEMENT

BUSINESS REPLY MAIL

Transmittal Number 98-07 -- Date: 11/17/1997

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Responsibility
 3. Business Reply Mail Requirements
 4. Procedures for Requesting Business Reply Mail
 5. Reporting of Costs
 

Attachment A - Official Business Reply Mail Format Requirements
Attachment B - Form PS 3615, Mailing Permit Application and Customer Profile
Attachment C - Quarterly Report Format

1. PURPOSE 

This Guide implements within FDA the United States Postal Service regulations published in the Federal Register September 11, 1979, regarding fees, procedures, and proper format requirements for all business reply mail.

2. RESPONSIBILITY 

A. The Office of Shared Services), Office of Real Property Services (ORPS), Division of Facilities Operations, is responsible for collecting permit applications for business reply mail from individual Agency offices and notifying DHHS and USPS of each additional post office which will be receiving business reply mail. The FDA Mail Manager, (ORPS) is also responsible for instructing FDA components on the proper use of, and the correct format for, business reply mail and for reporting to DHHS and the USPS annual costs for such mail.

B. Headquarters and field executive officers, or their designees, are responsible for determining the need for business reply mail and for completing and submitting the necessary application to the FDA Mail Manager, HFA-215, ORPS, at least 2 weeks prior to the printing of such material.

3. BUSINESS REPLY MAIL REQUIREMENTS 

Effective September 1, 1980, all Federal Government departments and agencies were required to use official business reply mail, metered reply mail, or stamped self-addressed envelopes when providing correspondents with envelopes, cards, or mailing labels for reply purposes. The USPS has developed strict requirements with regard to the format to be used on all business reply mail. Specialized codes and dimensions must be followed and any business reply mail not meeting these requirements may be held up at the point-of-entry post office. The standard format (Attachment A) must be strictly adhered to when requesting the printing of business reply envelopes, self-mailers, labels, etc. Printing of business reply material will be handled by each center/regional executive officer or designee as required. Standard Agency business reply labels may be requested by contacting the FDA Mail Manager, HFA-215, on 301-827-7216.

4. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING BUSINESS REPLY MAIL 

FDA has been assigned a single permit number (946) for all business reply mail to be charged to the Agency. Each point-of-entry post office must be registered with the Agency so that a copy of this permit may be placed on file at the affected post office.

To register a post office for the return of business reply mail, the executive officer, or designee, must complete PS Form 3615 "Mailing Permit Application and Customer Profile" (Attachment B), submit it to the FDA Mail Manager, ORPS, HFA-2l5, at least 2 weeks prior to the printing of business reply mail. Copies of this form may be obtained from the FDA Mail Manager.

5. REPORTING OF COSTS 

Headquarters and field executive officers or their designees are responsible for maintaining records on the number of business reply mail pieces returned to their organizations. A quarterly report (Attachment C), which includes office location, the name of the employee preparing the report, his/her extension and mailing symbol, and the number of pieces of mail returned during the quarter, must be submitted to the FDA Mail Manager, ORPS, HFA-215. This report should be submitted no later than the week following the end of each quarter. Components utilizing business reply mail may contact the FDA Mail Manager on 301-827-7216 concerning proper procedures and forms for recording the volume of such mail.