As of 2014, the installation of new automated equipment at Canada Posts new Richmond-located Receipt Verification Unit (RVU) has resulted in a few changes in machineability and readability requirements. Some of the changes outlined below reflect the capabilities of this new equipment.
Machineable Mail is a mail prep option that applies to Incentive Lettermail, Addressed Admail and Publications Mail services. Going machineable reduces data and mail preparation costs as well as qualifies the mailer for lower postage rates.
Key requirements for Machineable Mail include:
- Meet minimum volume requirements
- Meet readability requirements
- Meet all machineable specs and design elements
Minimum volume requirements for Machineable Mail:
- A 1,000 piece minimum applies to Incentive Lettermail and Publications Mail services.
- A 500 piece minimum applies to Addressed Admail services.
If you do not meet the volume requirement a phantom option exists where you can pay phantom postage (aka “Phantom Adjustment”) on the balance to make up the minimum, as shown in the example below.
|Pieces||Weight||$/Piece||Total Cost (not including taxes)|
Machineable mail must meet readability requirements to ensure that Canada Post’s automated equipment can read the address for effective processing and successful delivery. This equipment must be able to machine-read at least 95% of addresses in Standard Short and Long (S/L) mailings and at least 85% of addresses in Oversize (O/S) mailings.
Machineable specs and design elements
Canada Post’s machineability specs are put in place to ensure that your mail items can travel through Canada Post’s automated equipment without damage to them or to the equipment.
When designing a machineable mailer please keep the following physical requirements in mind; size, weight, aspect ratio (ratio of length to width) and construction (strength, flexibility and sealing).
The most important design elements include quiet zones around the address block, the quiet zones for barcoding and the graphic zones. Quiet zones are areas on a mail item that must be left clear of any printing in order for Canada Post’s equipment to read the address information and apply the necessary barcode. Alternatively, the graphic zone is the allowable printable area. These zones vary depending on the type of mailer you are sending.
Address Block Quiet Zones for Non-Window Standard (S/L) Envelopes:
- 13 mm to the left and right of the address block, measured from the longest line in the address
- 6 mm above the top line and below the bottom line of the address block
Address Block Quiet Zones for Window (S/L) Envelopes:
- 6 mm to the left and 13 mm to the right of the address block, measured from the longest line in the address
- 4 mm above the top line and below the bottom line of the address block
- The address must remain fully visible even if the enclosure shifts within the envelope
Address Block Quiet Zones for (S/L) Postcards:
- Leave clear of printing the entire area to the right of the dividing line and 6 mm to the left of the dividing line.
Quiet Zones for Barcoding on Envelopes & Postcards:
- Horizontal Address Orientation – 19 mm high and 105 mm long measured from the bottom right edge on the front and 15 mm high and 140 mm long measured from the bottom left edge on the back
- Vertical Address Orientation – 19 mm long and 105 mm high measured from the bottom left on the front and 15 mm long by 140 mm high measured from the bottom right edge (optional for lettermail)
NEW 2014! Machineable specs and design elements for Self-Mailers
A fold-over self-mailer is a single sheet of paper (less than 65lb cover) folded in half. This kind of self-mailer must be completely sealed at right and left edges.
Two and Three-Panel Folded Self-Mailers
These self-mailers must be sealed with a continuous glue strip or a tab or glue spot on the top or right edge provided the self-mailer is constructed of a 65lb -100lb matte coated card stock. Semi-gloss stock is also acceptable provided it meets the ink absorbency requirements.
*For all self-mailers the fold must always be the bottom edge of the item
Acceptable Pantone colours within the quiet zones