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§ 403. —  General duties.



[Laws in effect as of January 24, 2002]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
  January 24, 2002 and December 19, 2002]
[CITE: 39USC403]

 
                        TITLE 39--POSTAL SERVICE
 
                             PART I--GENERAL
 
                      CHAPTER 4--GENERAL AUTHORITY
 
Sec. 403. General duties

    (a) The Postal Service shall plan, develop, promote, and provide 
adequate and efficient postal services at fair and reasonable rates and 
fees. The Postal Service shall receive, transmit, and deliver throughout 
the United States, its territories and possessions, and, pursuant to 
arrangements entered into under sections 406 and 411 of this title, 
throughout the world, written and printed matter, parcels, and like 
materials and provide such other services incidental thereto as it finds 
appropriate to its functions and in the public interest. The Postal 
Service shall serve as nearly as practicable the entire population of 
the United States.
    (b) It shall be the responsibility of the Postal Service--
        (1) to maintain an efficient system of collection, sorting, and 
    delivery of the mail nationwide;
        (2) to provide types of mail service to meet the needs of 
    different categories of mail and mail users; and
        (3) to establish and maintain postal facilities of such 
    character and in such locations, that postal patrons throughout the 
    Nation will, consistent with reasonable economies of postal 
    operations, have ready access to essential postal services.

    (c) In providing services and in establishing classifications, 
rates, and fees under this title, the Postal Service shall not, except 
as specifically authorized in this title, make any undue or unreasonable 
discrimination among users of the mails, nor shall it grant any undue or 
unreasonable preferences to any such user.

(Pub. L. 91-375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 723; Pub. L. 96-70, title I, 
Sec. 1331(e)(1), Sept. 27, 1979, 93 Stat. 482.)


                               Amendments

    1979--Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96-70 substituted ``The Postal Service'' 
for ``Except as provided in the Canal Zone Code, the Postal Service''.


                    Effective Date of 1979 Amendment

    Amendment by Pub. L. 96-70 effective Oct. 1, 1979, see section 3304 
of Pub. L. 96-70, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3601 
of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.


                             Effective Date

    Section effective Jan. 20, 1971, pursuant to Resolution No. 71-10 of 
the Board of Governors. See section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91-375, set out as 
a note preceding section 101 of this title.


                 Continuation of Mail Delivery Services

    Provisions requiring continuation of six-day delivery and rural 
delivery of mail at not less than the 1983 level were contained in the 
following appropriations acts:
    Pub. L. 107-67, title II, Nov. 12, 2001, 115 Stat. 525.
    Pub. L. 106-554, Sec. 1(a)(3) [title II], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 
2763, 2763A-135.
    Pub. L. 106-58, title II, Sept. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 444.
    Pub. L. 105-277, div. A, Sec. 101(h) [title II], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 
Stat. 2681-480, 2681-492.
    Pub. L. 105-61, title II, Oct. 10, 1997, 111 Stat. 1290.
    Pub. L. 104-208, div. A, title I, Sec. 101(f) [title II], Sept. 30, 
1996, 110 Stat. 3009-314, 3009-326.
    Pub. L. 104-52, title II, Nov. 19, 1995, 109 Stat. 476.
    Pub. L. 103-329, title II, Sept. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 2392.
    Pub. L. 103-123, title II, Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1234.
    Pub. L. 102-393, title II, Oct. 6, 1992, 106 Stat. 1737.
    Pub. L. 102-141, title II, Oct. 28, 1991, 105 Stat. 843.
    Pub. L. 101-509, title II, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1396.
    Pub. L. 101-136, title II, Nov. 3, 1989, 103 Stat. 790.
    Pub. L. 100-440, title II, Sept. 22, 1988, 102 Stat. 1727.
    Pub. L. 100-202, Secs. 101(m) [title II], 102, Dec. 22, 1987, 101 
Stat. 1329-390, 1329-397, 1329-433.
    Pub. L. 99-500, Secs. 101(m) [title II], 102, Oct. 18, 1986, 100 
Stat. 1783-308, 1783-314, 1783-346, and Pub. L. 99-591, Secs. 101(m) 
[title II], 102, Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341-308, 3341-314, 3341-346.
    Pub. L. 99-190, Secs. 101(h) [H.R. 3036, title II], 102, Dec. 19, 
1985, 99 Stat. 1291, 1315.
    Pub. L. 98-473, Secs. 101(j) [H.R. 5798, title II], 102, Oct. 12, 
1984, 98 Stat. 1963, 1964.
    Pub. L. 98-151, Secs. 102, 106, Nov. 14, 1983, 97 Stat. 975.
    Pub. L. 98-107, Secs. 102, 108, Oct. 1, 1983, 97 Stat. 740, 741.
    Pub. L. 97-377, title I, Sec. 111B, Dec. 21, 1982, 96 Stat. 1912.
    Pub. L. 97-35, title XVII, Sec. 1722, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 759, 
as amended by Pub. L. 98-369, div. B, title II, Sec. 2209, July 18, 
1984, 98 Stat. 1061.
    Pub. L. 96-499, title IV, Sec. 412, Dec. 5, 1980, 94 Stat. 2607.


                     Prohibition of 9-Digit ZIP Code

    Pub. L. 97-35, title XVII, Sec. 1726, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 761, 
provided that:
    ``(a) The Postal Service shall not implement any ZIP code system 
using more than 5 digits before October 1, 1983. This subsection shall 
not be construed as precluding the Postal Service or the Postal Rate 
Commission from taking such actions as may be required before October 1, 
1983, to prepare for the implementation of such a ZIP code system.
    ``(b) During the period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
this Act [Aug. 13, 1981] and ending December 31, 1982, no Executive 
agency shall take any action to conform its mailing procedures to those 
appropriate for use under any ZIP code system using more than 5 digits. 
As used in this subsection, the term `Executive agency' has the same 
meaning given such term by section 105 of title 5, United States Code.''



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