The PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) has rejected the first-class rate increases that are scheduled to become effective Jan. 26, 2020.
In the Nov. 13 order, the commission stated that the proposed increases are in excess of what a price cap allows and directed the USPS to rework rates that apply to letters, postcards, printed papers and small packets weighing up to 2 kilograms coming into the United States from other countries.
The commission seems confident that the rates can be revamped in time for the planned rate change.
The commission calculated the planned first-class increases at 2.109 percent. This exceeds the 1.933 percent increase that is allowed.
The Postal Service’s board of governors is expected to revisit First-Class Mail prices, and any subsequent filing of revisions with the PRC will occur no later than Dec. 12.
At a PostCom (Association for Postal Commerce) board member meeting last week, Postmaster General Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said that the Board of Governors would not seek an increase in mail and shipping product services in the upcoming new year. As a result, current rates will stay in place during the extended holiday season and through the early part of 2015.
On September 9, oral arguments were held in the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit on the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) order, approving the emergency 4.3% exigent surcharge. Uncertainty over whether the exigency will be temporary – as stipulated by the Postal Regulatory Commission in its approval of the rate increase – or will be built into the base rate influenced the board’s decision to wait, according to a statement issued by USPS.
Due to the delay, the earliest an increase could be seen would be late March or early April of 2015.