In January 2014, the Postal Service introduced and made mandatory a new requirement to affix tracking barcodes to all commercial parcels. The impact of the new commercial parcel requirement goes beyond packages and parcels. It also applies to Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat-rate envelopes. Parcels that do not display an approved barcode risk return and/or delivery delays, as well as increased postage rates in some instances.
The Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) is the Postal Service's next generation tracking barcode for parcels and Extra Services. IMpb-compliant barcodes provide destination routing and piece-level data that enable the Post Office to increase system-wide processing efficiency, enhance tracking capabilities, and provide tracking services that compete more effectively in the package and expedited delivery marketplace.
Full compliance with the new IMpb requirement includes electronic upload of delivery address information in addition to the labeling requirement.
As of January 25, 2015, operators of mailing machines must meet the full Postal Service IMpb requirements in order to continue to receive Commercial Base Pricing postage discounts, qualify for automatic insurance for Priority Mail, and avoid potential per-piece price adjustments for non-compliant pieces.