U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 12, 2019

§ 23.3 - Plan.

(a) The Department of Commerce will supplement and expand the national effort to assist in the location and recovery of missing children through the economical use of missing children information in domestic penalty mail directed to the public and Federal employees.

(b) The Department of Commerce may include, on or inside authorized types of penalty mail, pictures and biographical data related to missing children, provided such use is determined to be cost effective. The authorized types of penalty mail include:

(1) All envelopes; and

(2) Self-mailer publications (newsletters, bulletins, etc.) with a shelf-life of no more than 90 days.

(c) The manner in which pictures and biographical data may be used includes:

(1) Printing on envelopes at the time they are initially printed with the United States Postal Service (USPS) required postal code identification;

(2) Printed inserts that are placed in envelopes along with other mailing material;

(3) Stickers that are printed and placed on envelopes prior to mailing; and

(4) Printing as part of the content of self-mailers such as bureau newsletters, bulletins, etc.

(d) Missing children information will not be placed on letter-size envelopes in the areas described as the “Penalty Indicia Area,” “OCR Read Area,” “Bar Code Read Area,” and “Return Address Area” per Appendix A of the OJJDP guidelines.

(e) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (National Center) will be the sole source from which the Department of Commerce will obtain the camera-ready and other photographic and biographical materials for use by organizational units. Photographs which were reasonably current as of the time of the child's disappearance shall be the only acceptable form of visual media or pictorial likeness used on or in penalty mail.

(f) The Department of Commerce will remove all printed penalty mail envelopes and other materials from circulation or other use (i.e., use or destroy) within 90 days of notification by the National Center of the need to withdraw penalty mail envelopes and other materials related to a particular child from circulation. The Department of Commerce will not include missing children information on blank pages or covers of items such as those to be included in the Superintendent of Documents' Sales Program, or to be distributed to Depository Libraries, as such material generally could not be withdrawn from use within 90 days of notification. The National Center will be responsible for immediately notifying the Department Contact Person, in writing, of the need to withdraw from circulation penalty mail envelopes and other materials related to a particular child.

(g) The Department of Commerce will give priority:

(1) To penalty mail that is addressed to the public for receipt in the United States, its territories and possessions; and

(2) To inter- and intra-agency publications and other media that will be widely disseminated to and viewed by Federal employees.

(h) All suggestions and/or recommendations for innovative, cost-effective techniques should be forwarded to the Department Contact Person. The Department Contact Person shall conduct biannual meetings of departmental representatives to discuss the current plan and recommendations for future plans.

(i) This shall be the sole regulation implementing this program for the Department of Commerce.