Contents Index

 

P900 Special Postage Payment Systems

P950 Plant-Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS)

Summary

P950 describes the purpose, program participation, liability, and options for PVDS.

1.0 Description

1.1Purpose

Plant-verified drop shipment (PVDS) enables origin verification and postage payment for shipments transported by a mailer (or third party) at the mailer’s expense, on the mailer’s own or contracted vehicle, to destination USPS facilities for acceptance as mail. The mailings may be prepared for deposit at a destination entry rate, or they may be claimed at the applicable rates from the destination entry facility.

1.2Function

Under PVDS:

a. Mailings are verified at origin by USPS employees assigned to a detached mail unit (DMU) at a mailer’s plant or at the business mail entry unit (BMEU) at the origin post office serving the mailer’s plant. The shipments are then released for transportation to destination USPS facilities.

b. For Periodicals, postage is paid at a valid original entry or additional entry post office serving the mailer’s plant, unless an alternative postage payment method is authorized.

c. For Standard Mail and Package Services, postage and fees are paid under a valid permit at the post office serving the mailer’s plant, or as designated by the district manager.

d. The shipment is deposited at the destination USPS facility, by the mailer or the mailer’s agent, where it is verified and accepted as mail by USPS employees and released for processing.

1.3Other Mailings

The following mailings must be verified, accepted, and paid for at the destination USPS facility:

a. Periodicals mailings not verified at origin under PVDS or under the Centralized Postage Payment System (see P200). The destination USPS facility must be a valid original entry or additional entry post office if mailings are submitted there for postal verification.

b. Standard Mail and Package Services mailings not verified and paid for at origin under PVDS. Mailers must have a valid permit at the destination USPS facility for postage payment.

1.4Dates

The postage statement may be submitted before or at the time a shipment is presented to the origin post office DMU or BMEU. The date shown by the mailer and the post office round stamp date on the postage statement and Form 8125 represents the date the origin post office DMU or BMEU verified the shipment and cleared it for dispatch by the mailer to the destination USPS facility. It does not necessarily represent the date the USPS accepts the PVDS at the USPS destination facility as mail.

1.5Postage Refund

The USPS does not refund postage for any failure to provide service caused by any event that occurs before the shipment is deposited and accepted into the mailstream and becomes mail at a destination postal facility, except under P014.

2.0 Program Participation

2.1Mailer Responsibility

A mailer participating in PVDS must comply with P950. If the mailer does not meet these requirements, the mailer may be prohibited from participating in PVDS by the local postmaster. Any mailer denied a request for PVDS may file an appeal under G020.

2.2Verification at Mailers Plant

Before PVDS verification can be performed at the mailer’s plant, the mailer must have either a USPS plant load authorization for that plant or a postage payment agreement with the USPS that establishes a detached mail unit (DMU) at that plant. The DMU must be separate from the mailer’s activities, in an enclosed, secure, and safe work area with a telephone. The work area must be approved by the USPS. The mailer may submit a letter to the postmaster serving the plant and request PVDS verification at the plant. The postmaster may agree to the mailer’s request to verify PVDS shipments at the plant on an as-needed basis, if an approved DMU is established and staffing can be accommodated.

2.3Verification at Origin BMEU

PVDS verification can be performed at the origin business mail entry unit (BMEU) under these conditions:

a. There is no detached mail unit (DMU) at the mailer’s plant.

b. The mailer is in the service area of the post office where the PVDS is to be verified and where postage is to be paid, unless another postal facility is designated by the district manager.

c. Each vehicle contains only one mailer’s shipment(s), each physically separated.

d. A completed postage statement and Form 8125 accompanies each PVDS (or segment, if the PVDS is contained in more than one vehicle).

e. If an alternate method of paying postage with permit imprint is used, in addition to 2.3d, (additional) required documentation must accompany each PVDS (or segment, if the PVDS is contained in more than one vehicle).

f. The PVDS can be physically verified at the origin BMEU. Shipments to be verified may not be wrapped or otherwise prepared if a presort and postage verification cannot be performed without destroying the physical integrity of the shipment.

g. The BMEU has enough space and staff to handle verification, and scales to calculate per piece and gross weights are available. If the post office serving the mailer’s plant lacks resources, another postal facility may be designated by the district manager.

h. The mailer must transport all shipments to the post office, unload them for verification. When cleared for dispatch, reload the shipments back onto the mailer’s vehicle for transportation to the destination USPS facility.

2.4Periodicals

Periodicals postage must be paid at the post office verifying the copies or as designated by the district. Advertising postage is zoned from the destination USPS facility where deposited and accepted as mail (or from the facility where the Express Mail or Priority Mail drop shipment destinates). The publisher must ensure that sufficient funds are on deposit to pay for all shipments before their release. (A publisher authorized under an alternative postage payment system must pay postage under corresponding standards.)

2.5Standard Mail and Package Services

The mailer must pay any applicable permit fees, mailing fees, and postage for Standard Mail and Package Services PVDS at either the post office serving the mailer’s plant or the post office that does BMEU verification as designated by the district. If permit imprints are used to pay postage, the mailer must ensure that sufficient funds are on deposit to pay for all shipments before their release. For Nonprofit Standard Mail rates, a valid authorization must be on file at the post office where postage is paid. No permit, fees, or authorizations are required at the destination USPS facility where PVDS mailings are deposited.

2.6Postage Statement
Periodicals

The mailer must submit a Form 3541 for each edition of each issue of each publication prepared for deposit at each destination USPS facility when the corresponding copies are presented to the DMU or the post office BMEU for verification. When required by the USPS, the mailer must submit consolidated postage statements and a postage statement register.

2.7Postage Statement
Standard Mail

At the time mail is presented for verification, the mailer must submit an appropriate Form 3602 representing all the pieces from the mailing job and Form 3602-C (or postage statement register) for all PVDS verified at the mailer’s DMU or the post office BMEU. The mailer must enter the required information on Form 3602-C for each PVDS to be deposited at each destination USPS facility, in lieu of providing a separate Form 3602 for each PVDS.

2.8Postage Statement
Package Services

At the time mail is presented for verification, the mailer must submit an appropriate postage statement for each PVDS mailing destined for each destination USPS facility. When required by the USPS, the mailer must submit consolidated postage statements and a postage statement register.

2.9Form 8125 and Form 8125-C

Form 8125 is used to report a single PVDS that the mailer will transport from origin to a destination USPS facility. Computer-generated Form 8125-C (format available at www.usps.com) provides for reporting multiple PVDS mailings that are prepared by an individual mailer and that are cleared at origin on the same day for entry at a single destination USPS facility on the same vehicle (see 2.11). The mailer must submit a completed Form 8125 (signed and dated by the DMU or BMEU) for each PVDS to the destination USPS facility. The form must be submitted in duplicate, or in triplicate if the mailer desires a signed and dated copy returned to its representative when depositing the mail at the destination USPS facility. Form 8125 is not required for PVDS sent via Express Mail or Priority Mail drop shipment.

2.10Facsimile Forms 8125 and 8125-C

Facsimile Forms 8125 may be used in lieu of the USPS form. Formats must be approved in advance by the district manager of Business Mail Entry or designee. Formats must include all required information, including the correct title (preceded by the word “facsimile”) and edition date, in locations as close as possible to where they appear on the USPS form. Data fields that do not pertain to information relating to the PVDS, and other extraneous information that appears on the USPS form, do not have to be included. Form 8125-C must always be computer-
generated. Form 8125-C may omit the “Number of Pieces” and “Piece Weight” columns for mailings prepared in sacks, trays, or on pallets if there is sufficient information for the origin post office and destination USPS facility to identify the mailings and to compare the information on the form with the physical mail. The mailer must report the number of pieces in each mailing on Form 8125-C if the mailings consist of individual mailpieces that are not prepared in containers (e.g., bedloaded parcels). For mailings consisting of identical-weight pieces, mailers should report the piece weight where possible.

2.11Mailer Transport of PVDS

Using any means of transportation, including Express Mail or Priority Mail drop shipment, the mailer must transport PVDS mailings from origin to the destination USPS facility. The mailer must not transport PVDS mailings on the same vehicle with shipments not entered as PVDS. For Standard Mail and Package Services PVDS, the mailer must meet the scheduling standards for mail deposit at destination USPS facilities. If a vehicle contains mail paid at Parcel Select rates, the applicable standards for scheduling of deposits and unloading of vehicles apply to any other mail on the same vehicle for the same destination USPS facility. Any material classified as hazardous under C023 may not be carried in the same vehicle as PVDS mailings.

2.12Separation of PVDS Mailings

When a vehicle contains more than one PVDS for a single destination USPS facility, the shipments must be separated to allow reconciliation with each accompanying Form 8125. Vehicles containing shipments for multiple destination USPS facilities must be kept physically separated. Where applicable, a single Form 8125 that identifies all the mail for a single facility must be prepared for a shipment of copalletized or combined mailings.

3.0 Liability

The mailer assumes all responsibility and liability for any loss or damage to PVDS mailings before they are deposited and accepted as mail at destination USPS facilities, including third party transportation.

4.0 Standard Mail Documentation

4.1Same Day

All mailings or segments of the same job submitted for verification and release on the same day under PVDS must be reported on a single postage statement and Form 3602-C (or postage statement register), or on computer media under Multiple Entry Point Processing System (MEPPS).

4.2Documentation

In addition to the documentation required in P012, the mailer must also submit the documentation below at the time the first mailing identified on Form 3602-C is presented for verification:

a. Form 3602-C, which serves as the postage statement register, along with the appropriate postage statement. All mailing volumes, weights, and postage for each rate category are entered on the postage statement and used to debit the mailer’s account for permit imprint mailings and to enter data on postage-affixed mailings.

b. A separate Form 8125 for each PVDS listed on Form 3602-C (or postage statement register). Each PVDS must be identified with a unique statement number (e.g., the date and a sequential three-digit suffix) on the Form 3602-C (or postage statement register) and the corresponding Form 8125, as appropriate.

c. A separate postage statement showing the mailing post office is the same as the post office of PVDS origin for any portion of a job accepted by the local verifying office under a standard plant load arrangement. Plant load mailings are not considered a PVDS and are not reported on Forms 3602-C and 8125.

5.0 Package Services PVDS Option

5.1General Standards

Under this option, in addition to the individual postage statements required for each Package Services mailing, the mailer may be required to submit postage statement registers and consolidated postage statements for PVDS mailings. A single, unique USPS mailing number must be on all related individual postage statements and postage statement register listing these individual statements, and the associated consolidated postage statement. When a mailer is required to submit consolidated postage statements, the information on these statements is used to debit the mailer’s account.

5.2Individual Postage Statements

The mailer must submit a complete postage statement for each mailing for each destination USPS facility when the mailing is presented for verification and postage payment. In addition to the information required on all individual postage statements, if the mailer is required to submit consolidated postage statements (for three or more entry post offices) for debiting of the advance deposit account, each individual postage statement must include a uniquely assigned postage statement sequence number that must not exceed nine digits. The numbers must be sequential within a job or mailing cycle for mailings verified, paid for, and cleared for dispatch on the same day. The statements must also include a unique USPS mailing number corresponding to the number on the related postage statement register and consolidated postage statement.

5.3Postage Statement Register

A postage statement register is a computer-generated line item listing of all individual postage statements for PVDS permit imprint mailings verified and released for dispatch on a single day from a job or mailing cycle. All postage statements listed on a postage statement register must be represented by a corresponding consolidated postage statement. The total postage charge on the postage statement register must be identical to the total postage charge on the corresponding consolidated statement. The following information must appear on each postage statement register:

a. At the top of the first page the endorsement “Register of Postage Statements”; name and location of the mailing agent; date mailings are verified and cleared for dispatch; the permit imprint number; the unique USPS mailing number corresponding to the number on related postage statements; and the related consolidated statement.

b. Each line item must include (based on the individual postage statement on that line) the unique postage statement sequence number; destination USPS facility; and, for that statement, total postage, weight, and number of pieces.

c. The sum of the total postage charges must appear with total weight, and total pieces must be listed from each postage statement. The total postage charge on the register must match total postage charge on the related consolidated statement.

d. If necessary, manual corrections may be made to the postage statement register listing the data from any revised individual statement. These corrections must be documented by the DMU, and the corrected register must be signed and dated by both the mailer and the USPS representative approving the changes. The changes on the register must be reflected on the associated consolidated postage statement.

5.4Submitting Register

The mailer must submit the postage statement register to the DMU before or when presenting the first individual mailing on the register to the DMU for verification and dispatch.

5.5Consolidated Postage Statement

The consolidated postage statement assembles data from the individual postage statements representing permit imprint mailings verified, paid for, and released for dispatch on a single day from a job or mailing cycle. The consolidated statements are used to debit the mailer’s account. The following information must be identical for each individual statement consolidated onto a single (consolidated) postage statement:

a. Mailing date.

b. Name and location of mailing agent.

c. Processing category.

d. Permit imprint number.

e. Job or mailing cycle description.

f. Unique USPS mailing number corresponding to the number on related individual postage statements.

5.6Consolidated Postage Statement

The consolidated postage statement must be a computer-generated facsimile similar in format to the appropriate USPS postage statement. The mailer must sign and date the consolidated statement. Certain data elements not on the individual postage statements must be reflected on the consolidated statement, including the range of unique individual statement sequence numbers, the number of individual statements represented, and the endorsement “Consolidated Postage Statement.” Other data elements on individual statements, such as each post office of deposit for PVDS mailings, are not shown on the consolidated statement. Each individual statement must contain a USPS mailing number that corresponds to the USPS mailing number on the related consolidated statement.

5.7Calculating and Reporting Data

Each field on the consolidated postage statement represents the sum of the figures in that field from the individual postage statements. The figures reported on the consolidated statement must be rounded in accordance with P013. All fields containing data on the individual statements must be rolled up to the consolidated statement. The total postage on the consolidated statement must be the sum of the total postage for all individual postage statements. This total is used to debit the mailer’s account.

5.8Submitting Statement

The mailer must submit the consolidated postage statement to the DMU at or before the time the last individual postage statement it represents is submitted to the DMU for the day’s mailing.

DMM Issue 58 Updated 12-9-04