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120 Preparation for Mailing

121 Packaging - Sender's Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the sender to prepare items and to address them clearly and correctly. In preparing items for mailing, the sender must (1) use strong envelopes or durable packaging material to prevent deterioration or degradation, and (2) consider the nature of the articles being mailed and the distance they must travel to reach the addressee. (See DMM 601 for detailed instructions.)

122 Addressing

122.1 Destination Address

a. At least the entire right half of the address side of the envelope, package, or card should be reserved for the destination address, postage, labels, and postal notations.

b. Addresses must be printed in ink or typewritten. Pencil is unacceptable.

c. The name and address of addressee must be written legibly with roman letters and arabic numbers, all placed lengthwise on one side of the item. For parcels, addresses should also be written on a separate slip enclosed in the parcel.

d. Addresses in Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Japanese, or Chinese characters must bear an interline translation in English of the names of the post office and country of destination. If the English translation is not known, the foreign language words must be spelled in roman characters (print or script). See 293.91 and 284.1 for an optional addressing procedure that applies only to direct country sacks of International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) mail or International Priority Airmail (IPA), respectively.

e. Mail may not be addressed to a person in one country "in care of" a person in another country.

f. The name of the sender and/or addressee may not be in initials except where they are an adopted trade name.

g. Mail may not be addressed to Boxholder or Householder.

h. The following exceptional form of address, in French or a language known in the country of destination, may be used on printed matter: the addressee's name or Occupant.

Example: MR THOMAS CLARK OR OCCUPANT

i. The house number and street address or box number must be included when mail is addressed to towns or cities.

j. The address of items sent to General Delivery must indicate the name of the addressee and the country of destination. The use of initials; figures; simple, given names; or fictitious names is not permitted on articles addressed for general delivery.

k. The last line of the address must show only the country name, written in full (no abbreviations) and in capital letters. For example:

MR THOMAS CLARK
117 RUSSELL DRIVE
LONDON WIP 6HQ
ENGLAND

MS C P APPLE
APARTADO 3068
46807 PUERTO VALLARTA JALISCO
MEXICO

Exception: To Canada, there must be two spaces between the province abbreviation and the postal code, as shown below between "ON" and "KIA 0B1":

MS HELEN SAUNDERS
1010 CLEAR STREET
OTTAWA ON K1A 0B1
CANADA

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122.2 Return Address

Due to heightened security, many foreign postal administrations require complete sender and addressee information in roman letters and arabic numerals on postal items. The complete address of the sender, including ZIP Code and country of origin, should be shown in the upper left corner of the address side of the envelope, package, or card. Only one return address may be used. It must be located so that it does not affect either the clarity of the address of destination or the application of service labels and notations (postmarks, etc.). Unregistered items bearing a return address in another country are accepted only at the sender's risk. In the case of bulk mailings, the return address must be in the country of mailing. For the purpose of this section, a "bulk mailing" is 200 or more pieces mailed at the same time by the sender.

123 Customs Forms

123.1 General

Only two customs declaration forms are used, as required under 123.6, for international mail: PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 - Sender's Declaration (green label); and PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note - CP 72. PS Form 2976-E, Customs Declaration Envelope - CP 91, is used as a carriage document for PS Form 2976-A.

Note: The current edition of PS Forms 2976 and 2976-E is January 2004. The current edition of PS Form 2976-A is January 2006. Except as provided in 123.3, mailers must present at the time of mailing a fully completed Sender's Declaration (the Post Office copy of PS Form 2976), which specifies both the sender's name and address and the addressee's name and address.

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123.2 Availability

Customs declaration forms are available without charge at Post Office™ facilities. Upon request, mailers may receive a reasonable supply for mail preparation. Customers may also order supplies of the customs forms from The Postal Store at http://shop.usps.com; search on the words "customs forms." Customs declaration forms are also available through an online customs form application at www.usps.com/webtools.

123.3 Privately Printed Forms

If authorized, mailers may privately print PS Forms 2976 and 2976-A. Privately printed forms must be identical in size, design, and color to the Postal Service™ forms, and each form must contain a unique Code U 128 barcode symbology that can be read by Postal Service equipment. Mailers may obtain form specifications from the following address:

BARCODE CERTIFICATION
NATIONAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT CENTER
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
6060 PRIMACY PKWY STE 201
MEMPHIS TN 38188-0001

Mailers can also obtain form specifications by calling the NCSC at 800-238-3150 - select option 5 for barcode certification - or online at http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/IntCustomsForms; click on customstechguide.pdf.

Upon receipt of the request, the NCSC will send mailers an application and specifications for preparing PS Forms 2976 and/or 2976-A. The application clearly explains the process necessary for authorization. When authorized by the NCSC, a mailer may omit printing the Post Office copy (copy 4) of PS Forms 2976 and/or 2976-A by submitting an authorized manifest listing of the items. The manifest must be typewritten, legibly handwritten, or computer-generated, and must contain the following information:

a. The sender's name and address.

b. The sender's print authorization number (i.e., barcode).

c. The edition date of the privately printed form.

d. The same certification statement that is printed on the Postal Service form.

e. A list of the foreign recipients' names and delivery addresses.

f. The mailer's signature and date.

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123.4 Nonpostal Forms

Certain items must bear one or more of the forms required by the nonpostal export regulations described in chapter 5.

123.5 Place of Mailing

Except as specified below, a mailer may not deposit a postal item that requires a completed customs declaration form into a street collection box or a Post Office lobby drop. Mailers must tender such items to a Postal Service employee at a Post Office facility or other location as designated by the postmaster. Otherwise, the Postal Service will return them to the sender for proper entry and acceptance.

Exception: The above restriction on the deposit of customs mail does not apply to Global Express Mail™ (EMS®) shipments paid through an Express Mail corporate account (EMCA). Mailers may deposit such items into a designated Express Mail® collection box or Post Office lobby drop.

123.6 Required Usage

123.61 Conditions

Mailers must use PS Forms 2976 or 2976-A and 2976-E as shown in Exhibit 123.61.

Exhibit 123.61

Customs Declaration Forms Usage

Mail Category Declared Value Required Form Comment
Global Express Guaranteed (documents and nondocuments) All values Mailing label (item 11FGG1) blank
Global Express Mail (EMS) All values 2976 or 2976-A unless otherwise specified See Note 3 at the bottom of this exhibit and the Individual Country Listings.
Global Priority Mail (GPM) items, airmail letter-post items, and economy letter-post items that:
Weigh less than 16 ounces and do not have potentially dutiable contents.
Weigh 16 ounces or more, do not have potentially dutiable contents, and are entered by a known mailer.
N/A None A known mailer, as defined in 123.62, may be exempt from affixing customs forms to nondutiable mailpieces that weigh 16 ounces or more.
Global Priority Mail (GPM) items, airmail letter-post items, and economy letter-post items that:
Weigh less than 16 ounces and have potentially dutiable contents.
Weigh 16 ounces or more, regardless of their contents.
Under $400

$400 and over
2976 *

2976-A *
blank
Free matter for the blind - economy Under $400
$400 and over
2976 *
2976-A *
blank
Parcel post - airmail or economy Regardless of value 2976-A with 2976-E Do not use PS Form 2976 (green label) on parcel post packages.
M-bag - airmail or economy
(Note: An M-bag requires a customs form when it contains potentially dutiable printed matter, admissible merchandise items as defined in 261.22 or some combination thereof.)
Under $400

$400 and over
2976 *

2976-A *
blank

* Placement of forms: Use PS 2976 (green label) for letter-post items under $400 in value and affix it to the outside of the package. If the value of the contents is $400 or more, affix the upper portion of PS Form 2976 (green label) (cut on dotted line and discard the lower portion) to the outside of the package, complete a separate PS Form 2976-A, and enclose the form set inside the package.

Notes:

1. See 233.3 for the customs form requirements that specifically pertain to Global Priority Mail (GPM) items.

2. Bulk business products, including International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) and International Priority Airmail (IPA), require customs forms based on package contents and weight as specified above and as required by the country of destination.

3. Global Express Mail (EMS) shipments that contain nondutiable correspondence, documents, or commercial papers are subject to the following customs form requirements:

a. When an EMS shipment weighs less than 16 ounces, the determination as to whether or not to affix PS Form 2976 is dependent upon the conditions of the destination country. Some countries require that a customs form be affixed to EMS shipments regardless of the weight or contents. Other countries require that a "BUSINESS PAPERS" endorsement be applied to the package. See the Individual Country Listings for each country's specification.

b. When the EMS shipment weighs 16 ounces or more, PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A is required.

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123.62 Known Mailers

A "known mailer" is defined as:

a. A business customer who tenders volume mailings through a business mail entry unit (BMEU) or other bulk mail acceptance location, completes a postage statement at the time of entry, pays postage through an advance deposit account, and uses a permit imprint as an indication of postage payment. International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) and International Priority Airmail (IPA) customers are considered to be "known mailers" for this purpose.

b. A federal, state, or local government agency whose mail is regarded as Official Mail.

c. A contractor who sends out prepaid mail on behalf of a military service, provided the mail is endorsed "Contents for Official Use - Exempt from Customs Requirements."

Note: "Known mailers" are exempt from the customs form requirement that would otherwise apply to mailpieces weighing 16 ounces or more provided that the following conditions of entry are met:

a. The mailpieces contain no merchandise items or other contents that are potentially dutiable.

b. The mailer pays postage through an advance deposit account and accounts for the postage on the required postage statement.

Exception: Mailpieces that are paid for by postage meter do not qualify for the "known mailer" exemption. The exemption applies only to International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) and International Priority Airmail (IPA) mailpieces that are paid with a combination post method (meter postage affixed to the piece and additional postage by permit imprint). Such mailpieces must bear the ISAL/IPA service endorsements prescribed in 292.222 and 293.92, respectively.

c. The mailer certifies on the postage statement that the mailpieces contain no dangerous materials that are prohibited by postal regulations.

d. The import regulations of the destination country allow individual mailpieces without a customs form affixed.

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123.63 Additional Security Controls

When the chief postal inspector determines that a unique, credible threat exists, the Postal Service may require a mailer to provide photo identification at the time of mailing. The signature on the identification must match the signature on the customs declaration form.

123.7 Completing Customs Forms

123.71 PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 - Sender's Declaration (green label)
123.711 Sender's Preparation of PS Form 2976

A sender must complete PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 - Sender's Declaration (green label). See Exhibit 123.711 for a copy of PS Form 2976.

a. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether the package contains a gift, documents, commercial samples, or other items.

b. In block (1), provide a detailed description, in English, of each article and the quantity for each article. General descriptions such as "food," "medicine," "gifts," or "clothing" are not acceptable. In addition to the English text, a translation in another language is permitted.

c. In block (2), give the weight of each article in pounds and ounces, if known.

d. In block (3), declare the value of each article in U.S. dollars.

Note: The sender may declare that the contents have no value. However, declaring that the contents have no value does not exempt an item from customs examination or charges in the destination country.

e. In blocks (4) and (5) - which are only for commercial items (i.e., any goods exported/imported in the course of a business transaction, whether or not they are sold for money or exchanged) - enter, if known, the HS tariff number (6 digits), which must be based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System developed by the World Customs Organization, and the country of origin, which is the country where the goods originated (i.e., where they were produced, manufactured, or assembled).

f. In block (6), give the total weight of the item, if known.

g. In block (7), give the total value of the item in U.S. dollars.

h. In block (8), sign and date in the blocks indicated on the left side and the right side of the form. The sender's signature certifies that all entries are correct and that the item contains no dangerous article prohibited by postal or customs regulations

i. Enter the sender's full name and address and the addressee's full name and address in the blocks indicated.

j. Affix the form to the address side of the item and present the item for mailing.

Exhibit 123.711

PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 - Sender's Declaration (green label)

Exhibit 123.711 - PS Form 2976 (Page 1 of 2)

Exhibit 123.711 - PS Form 2976 (Page 2 of 2)

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123.712 Postal Service Employee's Acceptance of PS Form 2976

The Postal Service acceptance employee must do the following when accepting PS Form 2976 from the sender:

a. Instruct the sender how to complete, legibly and accurately, PS Form 2976, as required. The sender's failure to complete the form properly can delay delivery of the item or inconvenience the sender and addressee. Moreover, a false, misleading, or incomplete declaration can result in the seizure or return of the item and/or in criminal or civil penalties. The Postal Service assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information that the sender enters on PS Form 2976.

b. Verify that the sender has entered the information on the form, and has signed and dated the form in the spaces provided on the left side and the right side of the form. The sender's address on the mailpiece must match the sender's address on PS Form 2976.

c. Enter the total weight of the package on the form, if the sender has not already done so.

d. Round stamp the right side of the form (the Post Office copy) and tell the sender that the Postal Service will retain this document for 30 days as a record of mailing.

Note: To comply with international mail aviation security procedures, the Postal Service employee must endorse any item weighing 16 ounces or more that is not accepted by an authorized employee, or that is subject to uncertain acceptance conditions (e.g., if received through a collection box or left on an unattended dock), with a "customer notification DDD-2" sticker and "surface only" and return the item to the sender by surface transportation. Consult the most recent international aviation security procedures for comprehensive acceptance procedures.

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123.72 PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note - CP 72
123.721 Sender's Preparation of PS Form 2976-A

a. Enter the sender's full name and address and the addressee's full name and address in the blocks indicated.

b. Enter information for customs reference, importer's reference, and telephone/fax/email, if known.

c. In block (1), provide a detailed description, in English, of each article. General descriptions such as "food," "medicine," "gifts," or "clothing" are not acceptable. In addition to the English text, a translation in another language is permitted. If there is insufficient space on the form to list all contents, use a second form (and subsequent forms, if necessary) to continue listing the contents and indicate on the first form that the contents are continued on a subsequent form(s). Place the form(s) into PS Form 2976-E (plastic envelope).

d. In block (2), enter the quantity of each article.

e. In block (3), enter the net weight of each article in pounds and ounces, if known.

f. In block (4), enter the total weight of the package in pounds and ounces, if known.

g. In blocks (5) and (6), enter the value for each article and the total in U.S. dollars.

Note: The sender may declare that the contents have no value. However, declaring that the contents have no value does not exempt an item from customs examination or charges in the destination country.

h. In blocks (7) and (8) - which are only for commercial items (i.e., any goods exported/imported in the course of a business transaction whether or not they are sold for money or exchanged) - enter, if known, the HS tariff number (6 digits), which must be based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System developed by the World Customs Organization, and the country of origin, which is the country where the goods originated (i.e., where they were produced, manufactured, or assembled).

i. In block (10), check the appropriate box for type of service.

j. In block (11), check the appropriate box to indicate whether the package contains a gift, documents, commercial samples, or other items.

k. In block (12), provide details if the contents are subject to quarantine (plant, food products, etc.) or other restrictions.

l. In blocks (13), (14), and (15), if the item is accompanied by a license, a certificate, or an invoice, enter the number.

m. In block (16), sign and date the form. The sender's signature certifies that all entries are correct and that the item contains no dangerous article prohibited by postal or customs regulations.

n. In block (17), provide disposal instructions in the event that a package cannot be delivered. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether the parcel is to be returned, treated as abandoned, or forwarded to an alternate address. Undeliverable parcels returned to the sender are, upon delivery, subject to collection of return postage and any other charges assessed by the foreign postal authorities. If unwilling to pay return postage, check the box "Treat as Abandoned."

o. Affix PS Form 2976-A according to the class of mail, as follows:

(1) For parcel post, first allow the Postal Service employee to complete PS Form 2976-A as described in 123.722 and then place the form set inside PS Form 2976-E (plastic envelope) and affix it to the outside of the package.

(2) For a letter-post item valued at $400 or more, or if you do not want to list the contents on the outside wrapper of a letter-post item, affix the upper portion of PS Form 2976 (green label) (cut on dotted line and discard the lower portion) to the address side of the package, complete PS Form 2976-A, and enclose the form set inside the package.

p. Present the item for mailing.

Exhibit 123.721

PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note - CP 72
(Copies 1 and 4 and instructions only)

Exhibit 123.721 - PS Form 2976-A (Copy 1)

Exhibit 123.721 - PS Form 2976-A (Copy 4)

Exhibit 123.721 (continued)

PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note - CP 72
(Copies 1 and 4 and instructions only)

Exhibit 123.721 - PS Form 2976-A (Instructions)

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123.722 Postal Service Employee's Acceptance of PS Form 2976-A

The Postal Service acceptance employee must do the following when accepting PS Form 2976-A from the sender:

a. Instruct the sender how to complete, legibly and accurately, PS Form 2976-A, as required. The sender's failure to complete the form properly can delay delivery of the item or inconvenience the sender and addressee. Moreover, a false, misleading, or incomplete declaration can result in the seizure or return of the item and/or in criminal or civil penalties. The Postal Service assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information that the sender enters on PS Form 2976-A.

b. Verify that the sender has entered the information on the form and has signed and dated the declaration. The sender's address on the mailpiece must match the sender's address on PS Form 2976-A.

c. If the sender wishes to insure the contents, complete an insurance receipt and affix the insured numbered label to the package. Enter on PS Form 2976-A the insured number and the insured amount in U.S. dollars and SDR value. (See Exhibit 324.22 for conversion to SDRs.)

d. Weigh the parcel and enter in block (4) the gross weight, and enter in block (9) the amount of the applicable postage and fees.

e. Round stamp the form in the appropriate place on each copy (copies 1-6).

f. Remove the Post Office copy (copy 5) and tell the mailer that the Postal Service will retain this document for 30 days as a record of mailing. Remove the Mailer copy (copy 6) and give it to the mailer.

g. Round stamp any uncancelled stamps, and if postage is paid by meter, round stamp the front of the piece near the meter postage.

Note: To comply with international mail aviation security procedures, the Postal Service employee must endorse any item weighing 16 ounces or more that is not accepted by an authorized employee, or that is subject to uncertain acceptance conditions (e.g., if received through a collection box or left on an unattended dock), with a "customer notification DDD-2" sticker and "surface only" and return the item to the sender by surface transportation. Consult the most recent international aviation security procedures for comprehensive acceptance procedures.

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123.73 PS Form 2976-E, Customs Declaration Envelope - CP 91

PS Form 2976-E is a transparent plastic envelope designed to carry and protect the PS Form 2976-A form set. After completing the forms, the sender inserts the PS Form 2976-A form set into the envelope of PS Form 2976-E, removes the backing sheet, and affixes it to the package on the address side.

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