Contents Index

 

P900 Special Postage Payment Systems

P910 Manifest Mailing System (MMS)

Summary

P910 describes the basic requirements for manifest mailing systems, including required authorizations and documentation for manifest mailings.

1.0 Description

A manifest mailing system (MMS) is a method of verifying postage payment of permit imprint mailings, as an alternative to weight verification. The MMS is an automated system that allows a mailer to document postage and fees for all pieces in First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Package Services, and international permit imprint mailings. Each piece is assigned a unique identification number that is listed on the manifest along with pertinent information about the mailpiece. The USPS randomly selects pieces from the mailing and compares them to the manifest to determine if postage was accurately reported. The standards below describe how to mail using an MMS.

2.0 Basic Standards

2.1Service Agreement

A service agreement must be signed by the mailer and a USPS representative. The agreement contains provisions regarding mailer and USPS responsibilities, including document retention, quality control, and the duration of the agreement.

2.2Mailer System

The mailer must have an automated system that produces mail consistent with postal standards and calculates postage accurately. For presorted mail, the system also must determine the qualifying presort level and the correct rate of postage for each piece and perform the presort routines. The mailer must assign a unique identification number to each piece. Letter- and flat-size mail produced using batch processing must bear the keyline information in 3.0. The system must produce a manifest for each mailing that allows USPS verification of the postage and levels of presort. The manifest must account for every piece in the mailing, as follows:

a. For presorted letter- and flat-size mail produced using batch processing, the manifest must list destination ZIP Codes, presort categories, batch number ranges, postage amounts, and cumulative postage amounts.

b. For mail produced using itemized processing, the manifest must list the postage for each piece and those factors used to calculate the correct amount of postage, such as the destination postal zone and piece weight. Each page of the manifest must show cumulative postage totals.

c. When special services are used, the manifest must include the fees for each piece.

d. A summary listing the required information on the postage statement must be included as the last page of the manifest unless the MMS produces a computer-generated postage statement facsimile and postage is reported on one postage statement only.

e. A separate summary and register of mailings is required for all plant-verified drop shipment (PVDS) mailings.

2.3Manifest Format

The two basic manifest formats are:

a. Itemized Processing. Each piece of mail is individually listed by unique identification number, weight, and other pertinent information. Publication 401, Guide to the Manifest Mailing System, contains specific formats for manifests using itemized processing.

b. Batch Processing. The mailing is divided into groups of mailpieces with consecutive identification numbers. Only the identification numbers of the first and last pieces of each group are listed, along with the piece count and the total postage charges for the entire batch. This method is limited to piece rate letter- and flat-size mailings. Publication 401 contains specific formats for manifests using batch processing.

2.4Mailer Quality Control

The mailer must implement a quality control program that ensures proper mail preparation and provides accurate documentation. The service agreement must detail the USPS-approved quality control procedures.

2.5Permit Imprint

Mailings deposited under the MMS program must meet the standards for permit imprint mail in P040, except that presorted letter-size or flat-size mail produced using batch processing must include the qualified rate abbreviation in the keyline.

2.6Marking

MMS mailings must meet the marking standards for the rate claimed. Markings on presorted letter-size and flat-size mail produced using batch processing are placed in the keyline as described in 3.3. Markings on itemized mailpieces may be:

a. Incorporated as part of the permit imprint.

b. Printed or rubber-stamped above the address and immediately below or to the left of the permit imprint.

c. Produced as otherwise specified in the MMS authorization.

d. Provided in an endorsement line in the address area, directly above the top line of the address, if no additional information except carrier route information appears on the endorsement line.

2.7Postage Statement

The mailer must submit a complete postage statement with each mailing. If the entry office postmaster approves, mailers may submit a computerized facsimile of the applicable USPS postage statement. Data fields may be omitted on fascimilies if they pertain to rates not claimed in the mailing.

2.8Manifest Adjustments

When mailpieces are mutilated, spoiled, or destroyed during normal operations and cannot be presented as part of the mailing, a method of adjusting the manifest and postage statement that has been approved by the USPS must be used. Whether the method in 2.8a or 2.8b is used, the total number of pieces must be deducted at the end of the manifest and the postage statement adjusted. Use one of the following methods:

a. For manifests using itemized processing, line out the identification number, weight, and postage information (if applicable, also line out the piece on Form 3877) or write the unique identification number, piece weight, and postage (and, if applicable, the fee amount) on a separate listing. Deduct the total number of pieces, piece weights, and postage and fees from the totals shown on the manifest, summary, and postage statement.

b. For manifests using batch processing, write the adjustments directly on the manifest listing showing the consecutive serial number, weight increment, rate category, and postage of each item next to the batch that includes the serial number. Alternatively, a separate list may be prepared as an attachment to the manifest showing, for each spoiled piece, the consecutive serial number, weight increment, rate category, and postage. The total number of pieces, piece weight, and postage must be deducted from the batch, manifest summary, and postage statement.

3.0 Keyline

3.1Batch Mailings

The keyline printed on each piece of presorted letter- or flat-size First-Class Mail or Standard Mail produced using batch processing must contain, in order, the consecutive unique piece number, the weight increment (First-Class Mail only), the rate category for which the piece qualifies, and the postage paid by weight and rate category (see Exhibit 3.1).

3.2Mailer Codes

Codes for internal mailer use may be printed to the right of the postage-paid information, if at least two spaces separate the postage paid and any internal code information.

Exhibit 3.1Letter-Size Keyline Information

Shows the placement of letter-size keyline information.
 

3.3Rate Category Abbreviations

Keylines on First-Class Mail or Standard Mail may use only the rate category abbreviations in Exhibit 3.3a or Exhibit 3.3b, respectively. All pieces that qualify for more than one postage rate must show each rate category abbreviation, separated by a “/” (slash) (e.g., EB/DS).

Exhibit 3.3aRate Category Abbreviations First-Class Mail

Code Rate Category
AC Automation Carrier Route [letters only]
AV Automation 5-Digit
AT Automation 3-Digit
AB Automation AADC
AB Automation ADC
MB Automation Mixed AADC
MB Automation Mixed ADC
FP Presorted
SP Single-Piece Rate (when fewer than 500 pieces accompany automation rate mail)

Exhibit 3.3bRate Category Abbreviations Standard Mail

Code Rate Category
AV Automation 5-Digit [letters only]
AT Automation 3-Digit [letters only]
AF Automation 3/5 [flats only]
AB Automation AADC
MB Automation Mixed AADC
BB Automation Basic
RA 3/5
BS Basic
EA Enhanced Carrier Route Automation Basic [letters only]
EB Enhanced Carrier Route Basic
EH Enhanced Carrier Route High Density
ES Enhanced Carrier Route Saturation
DB Destination Bulk Mail Center (DBMC)
DD Destination Delivery Unit (DDU)
DS Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF)
3.4Keyline Location Batch Mailings

The keyline must be readily identifiable and placed anywhere on the address side that does not conflict with other standards (see Exhibit 3.1 for examples). On letter-size mail, the keyline must not interfere with the OCR read area (see A010.1.3) or barcode clear zone (see C840.2.1). If printed on an insert, the keyline must conform to C840.2.0.

3.5Unique ID Number Location
Itemized Mailings

The unique identification number must be printed on the address side of each itemized piece. It may be a product number or any other number that is not duplicated within the mailing. The numbers must be printed in overall ascending order, or in ascending order within each zone or 5-digit, 3-digit, or BMC ZIP Code area on the manifest list.

4.0 Authorization

4.1Application

The mailer must submit an MMS application and supporting documentation as specified on the application to the postmaster of each post office where mailings will be deposited. Publication 401 contains an application to mail using an MMS. Application procedures for mailers who want to manifest and pay postage for Express Mail using an Express Mail Manifesting System are outlined in 6.0.

4.2Approval Review

After the mailer completes the development and installation of the MMS, the USPS will review the system and give temporary approval if the system is functioning as required. A final review will be conducted within 90 days of the temporary approval, and final approval will be given if the system is functioning as required.

4.3General Requirements for Authorization

General requirements for authorization are as follows:

a. Verification samples are deemed representative of the entire mailing, and postage adjustment calculations are applied to the total mailing. The mailer must pay additional postage for any underpayments identified during USPS verification. A mailer may elect to overpay postage for pieces that are borderline weight or rate increments to avoid postage underpayment adjustments.

b. If the total postage or the total weight of pieces sampled during a verification differs from the manifest by more than 1.5%, total postage for the mailing is adjusted.

c. An MMS is authorized for no more than 2 years.

d. The mailer must notify the USPS in writing of any system change that affects postage calculation, generation of required documentation, or mail presorting before the mailing is presented.

e. Postage must be paid by an advance deposit account from which funds may be deducted by the USPS to cover any deficiency discovered after acceptance of the mail.

4.4Approval Authority

The final authority for manifest mailing approval is as follows:

a. The district Customer Service and Sales manager approves systems that produce separate or mixed mailings of single-piece rate First-Class Mail, Package Services, or international mail, including mailings with special services and predetermined weights.

b. The Business Mailer Support manager, USPS Headquarters, approves systems that produce presorted mailings, including First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Package Services, and PVDS mailings.

4.5Denial

If an MMS application is denied final approval, then the mailer may appeal the decision as follows:

a. For MMS authorizations denied final approval by the district Customer Service and Sales manager, the mailer may, within 15 days from the receipt of the notice, file a written appeal, including additional evidence showing why the MMS should be authorized. The appeal is sent to the Business Mailer Support manager, USPS Headquarters, who issues the final agency decision.

b. For MMS authorizations denied final approval by the Business Mailer Support manager, the mailer may, within 15 days from the receipt of the notice, file a written appeal, including additional evidence showing why the MMS should be authorized. The appeal is sent to the Business Mail Acceptance manager, USPS Headquarters, who issues the final agency decision (see G043 for address).

4.6Renewal

An MMS authorization may be renewed before its expiration date after a review. The district Customer Service and Sales manager will review systems originally given final approval by that office. The Business Mailer Support manager reviews systems originally given final approval by that office. If the system remains qualified, the following applies:

a. When the review determines that the system remains qualified, without any modifications, the existing service agreement is extended for 2 years. Approval to extend the existing agreement is sent in writing from the authorized USPS manager.

b. When the review determines that the system was modified but continues to remain qualified, a new service agreement that details the changes to the system must be prepared. The revised service agreement must be signed by the authorized USPS manager and by the mailer.

c. When the review determines that modifications are needed before renewal, the mailer is informed in writing of the necessary modifications. If the mailer chooses to make the modifications, the system is reviewed again under 4.6b.

5.0 Revocation

5.1Revocation Authority

The revocation authority for MMS is as follows:

a. The district Customer Service and Sales manager may revoke a mailer's MMS authorization that was originally given final approval by that office.

b. The Business Mailer Support manager may revoke an MMS authorization originally given final approval by that office or by the district Customer Service and Sales manager.

5.2Reasons for Revocation

An MMS authorization may be revoked if:

a. The mailer provides incorrect data on the manifest list and appears unable or unwilling to correct the problems.

b. The mailer is not properly completing the required quality control procedures.

c. The mailings no longer meet MMS criteria established by this standard and in the MMS service agreement.

d. The mailer does not present mailings under MMS for more than 6 months (except as noted in the service agreement).

e. The mailer continues to present mailings that are improperly prepared and proper postage is not being paid.

5.3Corrective Action

After a notice of revocation is issued, the mailer and the USPS determine corrective actions, including an implementation schedule. At the conclusion, the USPS reexamines the mailer’s system. Failure to correct identified problems is sufficient grounds to revoke the mailer’s MMS authorization.

5.4Appeal of Revocation

After initial notice of revocation is received, the mailer may appeal. The mailer can continue to mail under the MMS during the appeal process. Appeals are handled as follows:

a. For MMS authorizations given final approval by the district Customer Service and Sales manager, the mailer has 15 days from date of receipt of the notice to file a written appeal with the Business Mailer Support manager. The appeal must include showing why the MMS authorization should not be revoked. The Business Mailer Support manager issues the final agency decision. The final revocation decision takes effect 15 days after receipt by the mailer.

b. For MMS authorizations given final approval by the Business Mailer Support manager, the mailer has 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice to file a written appeal with the Business Mail Acceptance manager, USPS Headquarters. The appeal must include evidence showing why the MMS authorization should not be revoked. The Business Mail Acceptance manager issues the final agency decision. The final revocation decision takes effect 15 days after receipt by the mailer.

6.0 EXPRESS MAIL MANIFESTING AGREEMENTS

6.1Description

Express Mail Manifesting (EMM) is an automated system that allows a mailer to document postage and fees for all pieces in an Express Mail mailing by transmitting an electronic file to the Postal Service.

6.2What May Be Manifested

EMM may be used to pay postage for domestic Express Mail items and Global Express Mail items as well as any special service fees. Postage for other classes of mail cannot be paid through EMM. Custom-designed service and mailings to military (APO/FPO) addresses may not be mailed using EMM.

6.3Service Guarantee

Express Mail items mailed using an EMM are covered by current Express Mail service and postage guarantees. Refunds for service failures are subject to the standards in P014.5.0. Reimbursements are paid under P014.5.7.

6.4Postage Payment

Postage for EMM is paid through an Express Mail corporate account (EMCA) using the information in the mailer’s electronic file. Mailers wishing to mail using an EMM system must apply for an EMCA using the procedures in P500 before an EMM agreement will be authorized.

6.5Mail Volume

EMM is designed for large volume mailings; however, there are no minimum volume requirements.

7.0 BASIC STANDARDS

7.1Mailer Participation Requirements

To participate in Express Mail Manifesting, mailers must:

a. Develop or purchase computer software that will meet the EMM technical requirements outlined in Publication 97, Express Mail Manifesting Technical Guide.

b. Obtain a DUNS number for each mailing location.

c. Obtain USPS certification that the mailer’s software and barcoded labels meet EMM requirements.

d. Develop and administer effective quality control procedures that will ensure the integrity of the system.

e. Use one-ply Express Mail labels that meet the requirements in Publication 97.

f. Be able to have the USPS accept and dispatch EMM items from their company or a postal facility at the times approved by the district marketing manager.

g. Receive authorization to mail items using EMM under 8.0.

7.2Mailer Quality Control

The mailer must implement a quality control program that ensures proper mail preparation and provides accurate documentation. The service agreement must detail the USPS-approved quality control procedures.

7.3Mailer System Accuracy/Manifest Adjustments

The USPS verifies the accuracy of the EMM system by selecting mailpieces at random and comparing them to a verification manifest. If the sampling indicates that the total postage (for the sample mailpieces) is understated by more than 1.5%, the mailer must either withdraw the mailing or pay postage at an adjusted rate. Specific procedures are outlined in Publication 97.

7.4Markings, Label Specifications, and Barcodes

No special rate markings are required on EMM items. However, barcoded EMM labels are required on all EMM mailpieces, and specific label formats must be followed. Detailed barcode and Express Mail label specifications and options are published in Publication 97. The labels are subject to approval by Product Information Requirements, Product Development, USPS Headquarters, and the National Customer Support Center (NCSC). Mailers must follow the specific certification procedures outlined in Publication 97.

7.5Mail Entry

Mailers must present a photocopy or facsimile of Form 3152-E and a verification manifest with each mailing.

7.6Manifest Data Edit Error/Warning Listing

Mailers must retrieve and retain the Manifest Data Edit Error/Warning Listing for each mailing that will be made available by the host computer. The listing confirms whether an electronic transmission was successful or contained errors or warnings. Specific information about this requirement is included in Publication 97 and in the mailer’s EMM agreement.

7.7Form 3152-E for Postage Payment

Form 3152-E is presented with each mailing. There is no postage affixed to the mailpieces and no postage statement presented with mailings. Postage payment is completed by electronic withdrawal of funds from a mailer’s Express Mail corporate account. Form 3152-E must include the following information:

a. Number of pieces in the mailing.

b. Total weight of pieces in the mailing.

c. Total postage and special service fees, if applicable, for the mailing.

d. EMCA number.

e. Electronic file number from header record positions 4-25.

f. Mailer signature.

g. Date of mailing.

8.0 Applications, Agreement Renewals, Modifications, Suspensions, and Cancellations

8.1Applications

Mailers must apply to use an EMM system by completing the application in Publication 97. The application must be sent to the USPS sales representative at the post office where the items will be accepted as mail. After the application and other documentation has been received and reviewed, the application and Form 1357-S is faxed to Product Information, Product Requirements, USPS Headquarters. This office will send the contact page of the application to the Postal NCSC Delivery Confirmation Office. The Delivery Confirmation Office will send a test kit to the applicant via electronic mail to test the electronic file transmission accuracy. The application for EMM must be accompanied by the following:

a. A completed Form 1357-S.

b. A copy of Form 5637 showing that an Express Mail corporate account has been established.

c. A DUNS number for each mailing location.

d. Sample copies of a verification manifest created from the mailer’s EMM software.

e. An EMM label sample.

f. A rate matrix, if applicable.

8.2Approval

An initial service agreement will be issued by the district marketing manager at the location where the mailings will be verified and accepted when the mailer has met the eligibility requirements for entry of Express Mail items using an EMM system. The office of Business Mailer Support, USPS Headquarters, gives final approval of the EMM system. Publication 97-A, Express Mail Manifesting Implementation and Administration Guide, outlines the specific responsibilities of the various USPS departments involved in the approval process.

8.3Denial

If an application for EMM is denied by the district marketing manager, the denial is effective 15 days from the mailer’s receipt of the notice unless a written appeal is filed within that time to the Business Mailer Support manager, USPS Headquarters, who issues the final agency decision on the application.

8.4Changes, Additions, or Modifications to the Service Agreement

If a mailer proposes to change the method of presenting or documenting mailings from the method specified in the agreement, or the mailer is no longer able to comply with the standards that apply to the authorization, the mailer must immediately notify the Business Mailer Support manager through the district marketing manager at the administering post office.

8.5Renewal

EMM agreements are valid for 2 years. The Business Mailer Support manager, USPS Headquarters, will conduct renewal reviews.

8.6Postal Service Suspension

The Business Mailer Support manager may suspend an EMM agreement at any time, pending review, when there is an indication that postal revenue is not fully protected. The Business Mailer Support manager will notify the mailer of the decision in writing. The suspension becomes effective upon the mailer’s receipt of the notification.

8.7Postal Service Cancellation

The Business Mailer Support manager may cancel an EMM agreement upon 15 days notice if:

a. The mailer fails to provide a manifest with correct data.

b. The required quality control procedures described in the EMM agreement are not properly performed.

c. The EMM does not comply with USPS requirements.

d. Mailings are presented that are not properly prepared or paid.

e. No Express Mail manifest mailings are presented for more than 6 months (unless approved by the Business Mailer Support manager).

f. The mailer has relocated or has changed ownership without notification.

g. The 2-year renewal review reveals that the EMM agreement should no longer be authorized or the mailer is not complying with the agreement.

8.8Cancellation Notice and Appeal

The cancellation takes effect 15 days from the mailer’s receipt of the notice unless, within that time, the mailer files a written appeal with the Business Mailer Support manager. The appeal must present additional information explaining why the EMM agreement should not be canceled. If the Business Mailer Support manager does not uphold the appeal, it and any additional information and the complete record underlying the initial decision to cancel the agreement/authorization are forwarded to the Business Mail Acceptance manager, USPS Headquarters, who will issue the final agency decision.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)