Deciphering the Mystery of Mailability Made Easier – Held for Mailability Determination

Explaining Held for Mailability Determination

Understanding mailability can seem like a daunting and complex task. Held for Mailability Determination (HFMD) is an automated process created by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to help evaluate and decide which envelopes, parcels, and packages can legally be processed through mail as Vizibility and which need to be held back by the post office. It is often referred to as a mailability “gatekeeper” or “postal inspector.” HFMD is triggered if the mail item is deemed unprocessable due to in-route sorting considerations or quality issues that originate at the mailpiece preparation level, such as insufficient postage or incomplete addresses.

What is a Held for Mailability Determination Queue?

The “held for mailability determination” queue (also known as HMD) is a temporary holding place for mailpieces that have failed to meet USPS guidelines or requirements that allow for their immediate processing. The USPS applies HMD when high-speed, automated procedures are unsatisfactory and/or there is no reliable means of detecting errors that can be automotically corrected. HMD allows for manual action to be taken and for the mailpiece to be released back for further sorting and processing.

When is Held for Mailability Determination Used?

There are several circumstances when the USPS applies HMD. When the address, zip code, or delivery point barcode (DPBC) are unclear, incomplete, or misinterpreted, then the mailpiece needs to be checked for mailability before it can undergo further processing. When postage charges don’t correspond with size or weight of the mailpiece, when the address includes a delivery point barcode (or DPBC) that’s not printed correctly, or when the number of postage stamps affixed to the mailpiece needs to be identified, HMD is applied.

How is Held for Mailability Determination Implemented?

    • Check if the mail piece is acceptible according to USPS size, weight, and shape requirements.
    • Check to see the postage corresponds with the size, shape, and weight of the mail piece.
    • Check the address to ensure the address is complete, correct, and includes a delivery point barcode (DPBC).
    • Check for any additional sorting requirements or instructions to sort the mail piece correctly.
    • Check for any additional information on the mail piece such as a promo, indicia, or extra services.

What’s Next After Held for Mailability Determination?

After the mail pieces in the HMD queue have been manually checked and the errors have been corrected, the pieces are released back into the system and continue to be processed. If the mail pieces cannot be processed, they are sent back to the sender. What you should now
Mailability refers to the set of criteria that determines whether an item can be accepted for delivery by a postal service. These criteria ensure that the item is safe to handle, transport, and deliver without posing risks to people, processing equipment, or other mail. Factors that affect mailability include the item’s size, shape, content, packaging, and labeling. When an item is “Held for Mailability Determination,” it typically means that there’s uncertainty or a potential issue with the item’s ability to be mailed according to these criteria. Postal workers or inspectors may hold the item to further examine its contents, packaging, or associated documentation to ensure it meets all legal and safety requirements for mailing. If an item is deemed non-mailable, it might be returned to the sender, disposed of, or handled in a manner consistent with postal regulations and safety protocols.

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