P200 describes basic information about postage payment methods for Periodicals.
The publisher must file a copy of each issue with the postmaster of the original entry office.
The publisher must file a copy of each edition of each issue marked by the publisher so the advertising content may be verified when necessary. This marked copy must be filed either with the postmaster of the original entry office or the postmaster of the additional entry office where the publication is produced or prepared for mailing. On the first page of each marked copy, the publisher must show the total units and percentage of space devoted to advertising and nonadvertising in the copy. Advertising matter printed on envelopes, wrappers, and the back of detached address cards must be included in the measurement of the advertising space. The computed percentage of advertising must be rounded off to two decimal places, if necessary, as shown in P013. Mailers are not required to submit marked copies if they are certified by the USPS to use the Periodicals Accuracy, Grading, and Evaluation (PAGE) Program.
The mailer is responsible for proper payment of postage. Postage must be fully prepaid before Periodicals mailings are dispatched. The publisher must ensure that all information on postage statements is correct and that all copies qualify for the rates claimed.
Payment for Periodicals must be by advance deposit account at the original or additional entry post office, except under procedures in 3.0 for Centralized Postage Payment (CPP) or in P950. Postage for Periodicals may not be paid with permit imprint, meter stamp, postage stamp, or precanceled stamps. Postage for enclosed First-Class Mail and Standard Mail matter must be paid under P070.
A complete postage statement must accompany each mailing. The postage statement must be supported by documentation as required by P012 unless each piece in the mailing is of identical weight and the pieces are separated when presented for acceptance by rate, by zone (including separation by In-County and Outside-County rates), and by entry discount (i.e., DDU, DSCF, and DADC). Additional documentation must be submitted if required by the standards for the rate or discount claimed. Subject to 2.0, the entry office postmaster, on request, may authorize the publisher of a publication regularly printed on sheets of uniform weight to provide one postage statement after each calendar month for mailings made during that month.
At least once a year, the USPS verifies the advertising percentage reported on the corresponding postage statement by measuring the advertising and nonadvertising portions of one issue.
The total advertising and nonadvertising portions may be determined by column inches, square inches, pages, or by another recognized unit of measure if the same unit of measure is used for both portions. One full page of advertising must equal one full page of nonadvertising regardless of the amount of blank space between each advertisement or nonadvertising article on a page. If measured in column inches, nonadvertising inches are determined by subtracting the total measured advertising inches from the total column inches of the publication. A blank page, portion of a page, or blank border or margin is counted as advertising if consideration was received for the whole page, the blank portion, or the blank border or margin. The border of a page is otherwise considered neither advertising nor nonadvertising and is not measured, but it is included in the total weight of the publication for purposes of postage calculation. When measuring nonrectangular sheets, the measurement is based on the smallest rectangle that could contain the irregular sheet; exact measurement is not attempted. When two or more sheets are permanently glued together to form a single sheet, the surface area of the resulting sheet (front and back) is included when measuring the advertising or nonadvertising portion.
Instead of marking a copy of each issue to show the advertising and nonadvertising portions, the publisher may pay postage at the advertising zoned rates on both portions of all issues or editions of a Periodicals publication (except a requester publication). This option is not available if the rate for advertising is lower than the rate for nonadvertising. When the amount of advertising exceeds 75%, the copies provided to the postmaster must be marked Advertising over 75%. When the amount of advertising is 75% or less, the copies provided to the postmaster must be marked Advertising not over 75% on the first page. The entire weight of the copy must be entered on the postage statement in the column provided for the advertising portion. The words Over 75% or Not over 75% must be annotated on the postage statement and the word Waived must be written in the space provided for the weight of the nonadvertising portion.
When a reasonable number of copies of previous issues are included in a mailing of a current issue, those issues may be accepted and charged with postage by the percentages of advertising and nonadvertising material in the current issue. The issue forming the bulk of the mailing is regarded as the current issue. The advertising and nonadvertising percentages for the current issue are based on the edition forming the bulk of the current issue.
A publisher mailing under an advance deposit account while a Periodicals application is pending must submit with each mailing both a Periodicals postage statement (annotated with the words Pending Application) and a Standard Mail or Package Services postage statement.
A mailer who provides more than one postage statement per day must enter a sequenced statement number in the proper block on each postage statement prepared that day. At the mailers discretion are the content and length of the number, the cycle of the sequence (beyond 1 day), and the number of concurrently active cycles, if the same series of numbers is not active in two cycles at the same time. If the same mailing of one edition of one issue includes copies reported on two postage statements (e.g., when additional postage is paid for nonsubscriber/nonrequester copies over the 10% limit), the sequenced statement number of the second form must be included with the other information required on the primary postage statement reporting the total postage for the mailing.
Official (penalty) Periodicals matter is also subject to the standards in E060, which supersede conflicting standards below.
A news agent presenting Periodicals matter subject to the zone rates of postage must provide a statement showing the percentages of such matter devoted to advertising and nonadvertising.
The postmaster may authorize a publisher to submit Form 3541-M after the month for all issues mailed during that month, if all issues are printed on sheets of the same weight. If authorized, the publisher must provide Form 3541-M no more than 72 hours after the first mailing of the last issue mailed each month.
The total advertising and nonadvertising portions may be expressed in column inches, square inches, pages, or by any other recognized unit of measure. The same unit of measure must be used for the advertising and nonadvertising portions. When measuring nonrectangular sheets, base the measurement on the smallest rectangle that could contain the irregular sheet. No attempt is made to determine the exact area of the irregular shape. When two or more sheets or parts thereof are glued together, the surface area of each sheet (front and back) is counted when measuring the advertising or nonadvertising portion for determining postage.
The combined weight of one copy from each issue mailed during a calendar month is obtained as follows:
a. Determine the weight of one copy as described in P013.
b. Determine the weight of one sheet by dividing the average weight of one copy by the number of sheets (not pages) in the copy. Express the result in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places.
c. Select one copy of each of the issues mailed during the month; count the sheets (not pages) in each; add these figures to determine the total number of sheets.
d. Multiply the total number of sheets by the weight of one sheet; do not round the product.
Subject to specific standards and authorization by the PCSC, the Centralized Postage Payment (CPP) System allows the publisher of a Periodicals publication to pay Periodicals postage for that publication at the PCSC instead of at each authorized additional entry office. An additional entry is required at each post office where copies of the Periodicals publication are presented for postal verification under D230.
The Periodicals Accuracy, Grading, and Evaluation (PAGE) Program is a process to evaluate publishing and print planning (PPP) software and to determine its accuracy in computing per-copy weights and calculating advertising percentages for Periodicals. Certification of PAGE software is available only to those companies that develop or write PPP software. PAGE certification does not guarantee acceptance of the publishers per-copy weights and advertising percentages prepared with PAGE-certified software.
The PAGE Program evaluates and tests PPP software. In addition, the PAGE Program tests and qualifies publishing personnel to submit data to the USPS using PAGE-certified PPP software. The Postal Service National Customer Support Center (NCSC) in Memphis, TN, is the USPS location for certifying developers software and publishers employees to use certified PPP software to submit Periodicals mailings. The PAGE Program involves the following three elements:
a. Stage I, Product Certification for Software Developers. NCSC evaluates the accuracy of the calculations of PPP software by processing a test publication file either at the NCSC or at the developers location (on-site visit).
b. Stage II, User certification for PPP software. NCSC provides test packages to the users and evaluates the results.
c. Stage III, PAGE Program authorization. Publishers who want to use PAGE-certified software and PAGE-certified users to submit per-copy weight and calculated advertising percentages must apply for authorization to the manager, PCSC.
For information about charges and the PAGE Program, publishers may request a technical guide (including order forms) from the NCSC (see G043 for address). Additional information is also available from the PCSC (see G042 for address).
DMM Issue 58 Updated 12-9-04