Who knew?…Keeping up to date on Reply Mail

Sometimes the changing requirements of the USPS can be complex and a little overwhelming.  For years, the USPS has had a long standing rule that all reply envelopes that are mailed inside automated mailings must have the most current barcode printed on it.
With the new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) requirements finally coming into play next week on Monday January 28th, many mailers have been unsure just what to do with all their old  preprinted reply envelopes.  There are millions of Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) and Business Reply Mail (BRM) envelopes sitting on shelves with the old POSTNET barcode printed on them.   Are we supposed to recycle all these now and reprint new envelopes with the correct IMb??
No!  Don’t recycle…
You will be allowed to continue to use your CRM and BRM envelope inventory with the old POSTNET barcode inside outgoing IMb mail!  Without much fan fare in May of 2012 (in Federal Register Notice: Barcode Discontinuation final rule Vol. 77, No. 86) the USPS granted a reprieve to their long standing barcode rule.  The USPS wanted to make the transition to the IMb easier for everyone and this rule change certainly has done that!  It is a good idea to update your envelope to remove the POSTNET barcode when your inventory is depleted.  It’s best to work directly with your envelope printer to make sure your envelope artwork is updated properly on your next order.  If you are up for some adventure, the links below contain information and online tools that allow you to update your own envelope artwork.
It is important to note that as of January 28th, 2013, an IMb will still be required for all Qualified Business Reply Mail (QMRM) envelopes and Permit reply mail.
Read here about a new USPS web tool to build your own Reply envelope artwork only for CRM and BRM
Click here to learn about building your own CRM and BRM reply mail artwork and descriptions of different types of Reply Mail and discounts that are available

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