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374 Postage Payment and Documentation

1.0 Basic Standards for Postage Payment

1.1 Postage Payment Options

The mailer is responsible for proper postage payment. Postage for Media Mail and Library Mail may be paid by any method (see 604) except precanceled stamps. Pieces with postage affixed must bear the correct postage. Permit imprint may be used for mailings that contain nonidentical-weight pieces only when authorized by Business Mailer Support.

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2.0 Mailing Documentation

2.1 Completing Postage Statements

Any mailing claiming a discount and all permit imprint mailings must be accompanied by a postage statement completed and signed by the mailer. The mailer may submit a computer-generated facsimile (see 2.4). A change made to any postage statement requires the mailer (agent) to correct the postage statement and document the correction.

2.2 Basic Documentation Standards

Generally, documentation is required from a mailer when a presorted mailing is presented to the USPS, unless the correct price is affixed to each piece or each piece is of identical weight and the pieces are separated by price when presented for acceptance. Documentation describes the preparation, price levels, and content of the mailing; details the volume and postage data; supports the postage statement, and allows the USPS to verify its accuracy. If multiple documentation standards apply to the same mailing, only one set of documentation is necessary if it meets all applicable standards. The postmaster of the office of mailing may require additional information if the documentation does not allow the mailing to be verified. Failure to provide information is sufficient reason for the USPS to refuse a mailing. The mailer may appeal any determination to the PCSC under 607.2.0.

2.3 Reporting Multiple Mailings on One Statement

Each mailing must be presented with a postage statement using the correct USPS form for the particular class, price, and postage payment method. A mailer may report more than one mailing from a single job on the same postage statement if the mailings are presented at the same time for verification, the pieces are in the same class of mail and processing category, each mailing separately meets eligibility standards, and the number of pieces in each mailing is separately reported on the postage statement.

2.4 Facsimile Postage Statements

Facsimile postage statements must contain data and elements in locations as close as possible to where they appear on the USPS form. Data fields that do not pertain to information and prices claimed in the mailing and other extraneous information on the USPS form may be omitted. Facsimiles must include all other information pertaining to the mailing, including the class of mail, postage payment method, and four-digit form number. All parts, and line numbers within each part, must reflect those on the USPS form. In some cases, this can include fields from multiple USPS forms onto a single facsimile. Most importantly, the facsimile must fully and exactly reproduce the “Certification” and “USPS Use Only” fields that appear on the USPS form. A facsimile postage statement produced by software certified by the USPS Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) or Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) program is considered a USPS-approved form for these standards. Others may be approved by the entry office postmaster.