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Lettermail™

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Last updated: 2014-03-31

IMPORTANT UPDATES
Last Updated Date
Description
Location
March 31, 2014
Discontinuation of the Medium size format of Lettermail service
Throughout document.
February 24, 2014
Addition of CDC Level 3 to deposit location types.
January 13, 2014
Clarification to Deposit Location Types.
Changed all references to Change of Address (Mail Forwarding) requests to Mail Forwarding requests.

1

What Is Lettermail?

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Lettermail is the most convenient and cost-effective way in Canada to send personal messages, business correspondence, invoices, and billing statements within Canada.

Lettermail can include:

  • a letter
  • a postcard
  • a card
  • a receipt or invoice
  • notice of voting for federal, provincial or municipal events
  • a self-mailer
  • an annual, semi-annual or quarterly report (or similar document containing financial information)
  • product/service information
  • a CD or DVD
  • flexible magnets
  • dry biological specimens (see Section 3.2.1 Suggestions for how to package and wrap items of ABCs of Mailing)
  • any other mail that the sender chooses to post at the Lettermail price and which meets the regulatory requirements.

Lettermail falls into two categories:

  • Standard(S/L) – mail that meets the size and weight requirements detailed in Table 1.
  • Other (Non-standard and Oversize) – mail that does not qualify as Standard Mail and which does not exceed the maximum size and weight requirements detailed in Table 1.
NOTE:
Lettermail with a postal indicia and tendered with an Order (Statement of Mailing) is subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the General Terms and Conditions. See in particular the section entitled “Entire Agreement”.

2

Unacceptable Items

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The following items cannot be mailed as Standard Lettermail:

  • bottle caps
  • loose coins*
  • food stuffs
  • glass
  • jewellery
  • keys
  • liquids
  • pencils
  • pens
  • powders
  • seeds
  • anything fragile or perishable
  • anything that may soil or harm other mail, postal equipment, or can cause injuries to persons handling them.

The above items may only be mailed as Other (Non-standard and Oversize) and the applicable price shall be charged.

*
Coins can be accepted as Standard Lettermail provided they are properly enclosed (see the applicable Postal Standards).
NOTE 1:
In order to qualify for Standard mail prices, place punched or perforated cards, or self-mailers with a pin-feed hold strip in sealed envelopes.
2:
Staples are not permitted on the outside of a Standard item.

3

Enclosures

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Enclosures are acceptable as long as they are securely wrapped to prevent loss of or damage to the items, damage to postal equipment or the other mail and injury to persons handling them.

A Business Reply Mail item may be enclosed in Lettermail provided the customer has signed the appropriate Agreement with Canada Post.

Repositionable Notes (RPN) – repositionable notes is an option that allows mailers to affix an adhesive note to the outside of a Lettermail item (excluding polybags). Visit canadapost.ca/postalstandards for additional information on the requirements and placement of repositionable notes.

4

Size and Weight

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Each Lettermail item must meet the size and weight specifications.

NOTE 1:
The metric unit is the official measure. Imperial equivalents are provided for reference and convenience only.
2:
The longest dimension is the “length”, the second longest is the “width”.
Table 1: Lettermail size and weight
Category
Length
Width
Thickness
Aspect Ratio*
Weight
Standard (S/L)
Standard Lettermail other than cards and postcards (e.g. envelopes and self-mailers)
min.
140 mm
(5.6 in)
90 mm
(3.6 in)
0.18 mm
(0.007 in)
1.3 : 1
3 g
(0.11 oz)
max.
245 mm
(9.6 in)
156 mm
(6.1 in)
5 mm
(0.2 in)
2.6 : 1
50 g
(1.75 oz)
Cards and postcards
min.
140 mm
(5.6 in)
90 mm
(3.6 in)
0.18 mm
(0.007 in)
1.3 : 1
Should be of sufficient grammage to provide the stiffness necessary for the card or postcard to withstand processing without difficulty.
max.
245 mm
(9.6 in)
156 mm
(6.1 in)
5 mm
(0.2 in)
2.6 : 1
Category
Length
Width
Thickness
Aspect Ratio*
Weight
Other (e.g. envelopes, cards and self-mailers)
Non-standard
min.
140 mm
(5.6 in)
90 mm
(3.6 in)
0.18 mm
(0.007 in)
N/A
3 g**
(0.11 oz)
max.
380 mm
(14.9 in)
270 mm
(10.6 in)
20 mm
(.8 in)
500 g
(17.6 oz)
Oversize
min.
140 mm
(5.6 in)
90 mm
(3.6 in)
0.18 mm
(.007 in)
N/A
5 g**
(0.17 oz)
max.
380 mm
(14.9 in)
270 mm
(10.6 in)
20 mm
(0.8 in)
N/A
500 g
(17.6 oz)
*
Aspect ratio is the relationship between the length and the width.
**
Recommended by Canada Post.
NOTE 1:
A self-mailer is an article other than a card, postcard, magazine or catalogue that does not have an outer cover, wrapping or envelope in addition to the paper or material on which the communication is written.
2:
Standard items that exceed any one of the maximum dimensions become a Non-standard item. Standard size items must not be square in shape.
3:
Any item that exceeds the maximum size or weight of Oversize Lettermail no longer qualifies as Lettermail and may qualify for one of the Parcel Services.

4.1

Format

Standard size Lettermail envelopes and self-mailers must be fully sealed on all sides. Customers mailing unsealed envelopes or brochures, fanfolds or newsletters not enclosed in envelopes, are subject to a surcharge.

When supported by two level supports located no more than 10 mm from the left and right edges, Standard Lettermail may not sag more than 22 mm in the middle.

On an item of Standard Lettermail, graphics or other printing shall not be located in the following zones:

  • all the areas to the right of the address block
  • all the areas below the address block
  • 19 mm high by 105 mm long, measured from the right edge along the bottom
  • in the area prescribed for postage.

Additional regulatory requirements apply to Standard Lettermail paid by postage meter or postal indicia. Visit the Lettermail Regulations at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cr/SOR-88-430 or visit canadapost.ca/postalstandards for information regarding format requirements for Lettermail.

4.2

Postal Indicia

If a Postal Indicia is used, it must meet the requirements outlined at canadapost.ca/indicia.

4.2.1

Customized Postal Indicia

A Customized Postal Indicia gives customers the opportunity to leverage the upper-right corner of an envelope for marketing purposes.

Customized Postal Indicia must be created using Canada Post-supplied artwork. Visit canadapost.ca/indicia for the requirements, artwork and the specifications.

5

Pricing Information

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To obtain information on pricing:

6

Payment Options

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6.1

Proofs of payment

Table 2 lists the acceptable proofs of payment for Lettermail items. Some restrictions or conditions may apply.

Table 2: Lettermail proofs of payment
Contract Customer
Consumer
  • meter impression
  • postage stamp*
  • postal indicia
  • postage stamp
*
A postage stamp cannot be applied to a Lettermail item as a method of payment for orders prepared using Electronic Shipping Tools (EST).

6.2

Methods of payment

Table 3 lists the acceptable methods of payment for Lettermail items. Some restrictions or conditions may apply.

Table 3: Lettermail methods of payment
Contract Customer
Consumer
  • account
  • business cheque
  • cash*
  • credit card (where available)
  • debit card (where available)*
  • meter
  • money order*
  • postage stamp**
  • cash
  • certified cheque
  • credit card (where available)
  • debit card (where available)
  • money order*
  • postage stamp
*
Payment by cash, debit card or Money Order is available only to customers paying at a post office.
**
Customers using the EST cannot pay by postage stamp.

For more information, see Paying For Your Mailing.

6.2.1

Government Mail Free of Postage

Government Mail Free of Postage allows for mail to be sent to and from the following individuals free of postage provided that both the sender and receiver are in Canada:

  • the Governor General
  • the Speaker or Clerk of the Senate or House of Commons
  • the Parliamentary Librarian or the Associate Parliamentary Librarian
  • Members of the Senate
  • Members of the House of Commons
  • the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner or Senate Ethics Officer.

For more information, see Government Mail Free of Postage of the Canada Postal Guide.

6.2.2

Literature for the Blind

Materials for the use of the blind mailed in Canada for delivery in Canada may be sent free of postage. See Literature for the Blind for more information.

7

Delivery Standards at a Glance

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The delivery standards are estimates of how long it will take for the mail to be delivered. These delivery standards are not guaranteed.

Table 4: Delivery standards for the Lettermail service
Delivery Zone
Local
Within Province
National
Major Urban Centres
2 days
3 days
4 days
Non-major Urban Centres
2 days
3 days
4 days
Northern Regions and Remote Centres
2 days
up to 6 days
up to 8 days
NOTE 1:
For specific delivery standards, see Section 2.4 Lettermail™ of Delivery Standards.
2:
Delivery standards for items deposited at Canada Post Receipt Verification Unit (RVU) sites are subject to cut-off times. Mail deposited after the cut-off time is considered as being deposited on the next business day. Visit canadapost.ca/ilmsupportdocuments for current cut-off information for each RVU site.

For a list of FSAs for Major Urban Centres and Non-Major Urban Centres, visit Delivery Standards of the Canada Postal Guide under Section 4 “Parcel Services Domestic” Table 11.

8

Features

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A feature is something that is provided as part of the basic service. The available features are described below.

8.1

Mail Forwarding

Lettermail items that cannot be delivered as originally addressed will be forwarded to the addressee while there is a Mail Forwarding request in effect.

8.2

Return to Sender

For Lettermail items that are undeliverable, or for which no Mail Forwarding request is in effect, these will be returned to the sender if a Canadian return address appears on the outside of the item. When the return address is on the inside of the item, it will be returned to the customer for a fee.

9

Options

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An option is a service enhancement which is not included automatically as part of the basic service. The Customer must select the option by checking a box or affixing an additional label or sticker. Most options are available for an additional fee. The available options are described below.

9.1

Registered Mail

Registered Mail secures the signature of the addressee (or representative) and provides the sender with a proof of mailing, a copy of the signature and the date upon delivery of the item.

Barcoded shipping labels allow Registered Mail items to be tracked. Delivery information is available, usually by noon on the business day following delivery, on Canada Post’s website, by contacting Customer Service at
1-888-550-6333, the EST or the Electronics Data Interchange, where links exist. Some exceptions apply in smaller centres.

Registered Mail offers Signature Copy, Delivery Confirmation and Coverage for loss or damage. For detailed information, see Registered Mail™ (Domestic).

9.2

Forward Under Cover

Letters forwarded under cover to a postmaster with a request for reposting must be endorsed “POSTED AT _______ UNDER COVER TO THE POSTMASTER AT ___________”. Items containing Lettermail prepaid by postage stamps that are sent under cover to the postmaster must bear the words “POSTMASTER, PLEASE OPEN FOR CANCELLATION AND PROCESSING” and are processed in the usual manner. The item containing the Lettermail must have the correct postage.

9.3

Do Not Forward

Do Not Forward is an option whereby a Lettermail item, which cannot be delivered as addressed because the addressee has filed a Mail Forwarding request with Canada Post, shall be returned to the sender and not forwarded to the addressee.

Do Not Forward is:

  • subject to the Do Not Forward fee as specified in the Lettermail Price Sheet posted at canadapost.ca/prices. This fee will be applied to every item in the mailing that is endorsed with the Do Not Forward option regardless of the number of actual returned items.
  • available for Lettermail Customers using Electronic Shipping Tools or the Online version of EST to create an electronic Order (Statement of Mailing).
  • subject to the Terms and Conditions for Lettermail posted at canadapost.ca/generalterms.

Lettermail Customers wishing to use the Do Not Forward option must:

  1. Use Electronic Shipping Tools 2.0 or the Online version of EST to add the Do Not Forward option to an Order (Statement of Mailing), and
  2. Apply the Do Not Forward endorsement (see Figure 1) to the front of each mail item (placed to the left and above the destination address, or in the upper left-hand corner below the return address). The Do Not Forward endorsement can be downloaded from canadapost.ca/indicia.
Figure 1:
NOTE 1:
Do Not Forward mailings may be combined on the same Order (Statement of Mailing) as other mailings; however, Do Not Forward items must be placed in separate containers from other mailings on the Order.
2:
The dimensions of the Do Not Forward endorsement should be 59 mm x 13 mm. It is the customer’s obligation to obtain Canada Post approval prior to altering.

10

Addressing

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See Addressing Guidelines for information on addressing.

Additional regulatory requirements apply to Standard Lettermail paid by postage meter or postal indicia. Visit http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cr/SOR-88-430 for the Lettermail Regulations.

11

Mail Preparation and Presortation

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Lettermail must be securely wrapped to prevent loss of or damage to the item, damage to postal equipment or other mail and injury to persons handling the item.

NOTE:
Standard and Oversize Lettermail tendered with an Order (Statement of Mailing) must be containerized as set out in the Machineable Mail Preparation and Presortation Guide. Visit the Machineable Mail Preparation and Presortation Guide at canadapost.ca/mailpreparation for instructions.

12

Deposit of Lettermail

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Postage for Lettermail can be purchased at any post office. If sufficient postage (stamp or meter impression) is affixed to the item, it may be deposited in a street letter box, at any post office, in a Community Mailbox (CMB) or at a deposit location. Items with a postal indicia cannot be dropped into a street letter box or a Community Mailbox (CMB) and must be dropped off at a post office or a deposit location (see section 12.1).

Items deposited after the last collection time specified on the street letter box or after the Canada Post-approved postal facility cut-off times, are considered as being deposited on the next business day. Visit canadapost.ca/cutofftimes for the list of facility cut-off times.

12.1

Deposit location types

We have assessed the capabilities of our deposit locations to ensure they are properly equipped and capable of handling your mail efficiently and on time. The type of mail and the volume which can be accepted in each of these facilities have been defined into the following Deposit Location Types:

  • Receipt Verification Units (RVUs) accept all volumes.
  • Commercial Deposit Centres (CDCs) are facilities that are equipped to accept, verify, and process commercial mailings. Commercial mailings deposited at a CDC will continue to be processed at a Canada Post mail processing plant. These deposit locations can accept up to the equivalent of 2 shipping units (monotainers/pallets) CDC Level 1, 3 shipping units (monotainers/pallets) CDC Level 2 or 7 shipping units (monotainers/pallets) CDC Level 3 – of commercial mail per day per customer with the exception of Machineable Mail (customers exceeding these volumes will be referred to the nearest RVU) (see Table 5).
  • Corporate Post Offices will accept all commercial products, except Machineable Mail (MM). Deposit volumes will be limited to the equivalent of up to 5 containers (Corporate Post Office Level 1) or 12 containers (Corporate Post Office Level 2) of commercial mail per day per customer, with the exception of Machineable Mail (MM), which must be deposited at an approved RVU.
  • Delivery Facilities (i.e. not designated as Commercial Deposit Centres) will not accept commercial mailings of any kind, except Unaddressed Admail for local delivery (up to a maximum of full coverage for that delivery facility).

The following table lists the different location types and maximum volume each location is designed to handle. A full list of deposit locations across Canada can be found at canadapost.ca/depositlocations.

Table 5: Maximum volume acceptable per day, by deposit location type for Lettermail
Product Type
Deposit Location Type
Maximum Volume
(Per Day)
Lettermail Standard (S/L) & Other
Receipt Verification Unit (RVU)
No Maximum
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) - LEVEL 1
2 shipping units*
(monotainers/pallets)
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) - LEVEL 2
3 shipping units*
(monotainers/pallets)
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) - LEVEL 3
7 shipping units*
(monotainers/pallets)
Corporate Post Office - LEVEL 1
5 containers
Corporate Post Office - LEVEL 2
12 containers
Delivery Facility
Not accepted
Find a Deposit Location at canadapost.ca/depositlocations.
NOTE:
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Delivery Facilities are not equipped to process mail received in monotainers or pallets that are double-stacked.
*
Containers include Canada Post-supplied containers and customer-supplied cardboard containers.

13

Delivery of Lettermail

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Lettermail items can be delivered to any of the following locations:

  • to the door
  • to a group mailbox
  • to apartments and condominiums
  • to a community mailbox
  • to a rural mailbox
  • to a post office box
  • via general delivery
  • via a container.
NOTE:
Some exceptions apply.



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