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114 Postage Payment Methods

1.0 Postage Payment Methods for Express Mail

1.1 Payment Method

A mailer of Express Mail items may pay postage with adhesive stamps (see 604.1.0), with meter stamps (see 604.4.0), or through an Express Mail corporate account (see 2.0). Federal agency and USPS official Express Mail may use the appropriate indicia, subject to 703.7.0, Official Mail (Penalty). The mailer is responsible for proper payment of postage. Customers wishing to manifest Express Mail items may request authorization to use an Express Mail Manifesting System according to the procedures in 705.2.6.

1.2 Affixing Postage—Single-Piece Rate Mailings

In a postage-affixed Express Mail mailing, the mailer must affix to each piece a value in adhesive stamps or meter stamps equal to at least the postage required.

1.3 Prepaid Reply Postage

Meter stamps may be used to prepay reply postage on any Express Mail shipment. The mailer must place meter stamps, sufficient to prepay postage in full, on the envelope, tube, or other mailing container that bears the return address of the meter license holder. Reply mail prepaid with meter stamps is delivered only to the address of the meter license holder. If the address is altered, the mail is held for postage.

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2.0 Corporate Accounts

2.1 Availability

A corporate account is available to any mailer, subject to 2.3 through 2.6 in Corporate Accounts and the terms on Form 5639. The address provided by the mailer on Form 5639 must be valid as a condition of an account being opened.

2.2 Account

Written application is required to mail with an Express Mail corporate account. Mailers must pay postage through an Express Mail corporate account for all Express Mail items accepted under the terms of an Express Mail Manifesting agreement in 705.2.6.

2.3 Postage Liability

The mailer must pay all postage and fees resulting from shipments presented bearing the assigned account number while the account is active and up to 30 days after the account is closed. After that, any shipment bearing the account number is refused and returned to the mailer.

2.4 Minimum Balance

For opening and maintaining an account, the mailer may do any of the following:

a. Participate in the Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS), which requires no initial deposit and no maintenance of a minimum balance.

b. Use a personal or business credit card, which requires no initial deposit and no maintenance of a minimum balance.

c. Make an initial deposit with cash or by check of $250, or the total postage and fees expected during the first 4 weeks of account usage, whichever is higher. After that, the minimum balance in the account must equal an average week's postage and fees, or $100, whichever is higher.

2.5 USPS Report

By the 10th of the month, the account holder receives a mailing activity statement for the previous month. This statement includes beginning and ending balances; deposits made; and postage and fees deducted. Accounts with activity have an itemized page included in the statement. This itemization lists each piece mailed, the mailing date, label number, origin and destination ZIP Codes, and postage and fees. Deposits, withdrawals, and adjustments also are itemized.

2.6 Closing Account

The USPS may close an account with 10 days' written advance notice to the account holder if the ending balance on the mailing activity statement is below the minimum balance required for two consecutive months. The USPS may also close an account with 10 days' written advance notice if the account remains inactive for three consecutive months, unless circumstances warrant otherwise (e.g., a seasonal mailer, positive balance, etc.). The USPS reserves the right to refer closed corporate accounts with negative balances to a collection agency.

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3.0 Postage Refunds

3.1 Postage Not Refunded

Postage refunds may not be available if delivery was attempted within the times required for the specific service, or if the delay of the item was caused by any of the following reasons:

a. Properly detained for law enforcement purpose; strike or work stoppage; delayed because of an incorrect ZIP Code or address; forwarding or return service was provided after the item was made available for claim; delay or cancellation of flights. Attempted delivery occurs under any of these situations when the delivery is physically attempted, but cannot be made; the shipment is available for delivery, but the addressee made a written request that the shipment be held for a specific day or days; the delivery employee discovers that the shipment is undeliverable as addressed before leaving on the delivery route.

b. As authorized by USPS Headquarters, when the delay was caused by governmental action beyond the control of the USPS or air carriers; war, insurrection, or civil disturbance; breakdown of a substantial portion of the USPS transportation network resulting from events or factors outside the control of the USPS; or acts of God.