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224 Mail Preparation

224.1 Preparation by Sender

224.11 Using Label 11-B

Prior to mailing, the sender must do the following:

  1. Complete the “From” and “To” portions of Label 11-B, Express Mail Post Office to Addressee (dated March 2004), for each piece of mail and affix the completed label to each piece.
  2. To determine if a customs forms is required, see the Individual Country Listings. If a customs form is required, prepare and affix (or enclose) the appropriate customs form to the piece of mail.
224.12 Using PS Form 2976-B or Other USPS-Produced Online Combined Shipping Label and Customs Form

Prior to mailing, the sender must do the following:

  1. Enter both the sender’s and addressee’s full name and full address in the blocks provided. Provide the sender’s telephone/fax number or email address.
  2. In block (1), enter, if applicable, a USPS corporate account (USPSCA) number, federal agency account number, or Postal Service account number for payment by account.
  3. In block (2), check all applicable boxes to indicate whether the package contains a gift, documents, commercial samples, or other items. Check the box for “Dangerous Goods” if the shipment contains mailable dangerous goods.
  4. In block (3), enter the applicable Automated Export System (AES) Internal Transaction Number (ITN) or AES Exemption.
  5. In block (4), 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 additional forms, if necessary) to continue listing the contents, and indicate on the first form that the contents are continued on a subsequent form(s). When using this option, customers must ensure that the barcodes on the subsequent forms are totally obliterated to avoid multiple barcodes being assigned to the package. Place all forms listing the contents into PS Form 2976-E (plastic envelope).
  6. In blocks (5), (6), and (7), enter the quantity, net weight (in pounds and ounces), and value (in U.S. dollars) of each article.
  7. In block (8), enter, if known, the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule number, which is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System developed by the World Customs Organization.
  8. In block (9), enter the “Country of Origin,” which is the country where the goods originated i.e., where they were produced/manufactured or assembled.
  9. In block (10), enter the total weight (in pounds and ounces) of the package, including packaging (the total weight is used to calculate postage), and enter the total value in U.S. dollars.
  10. In block (11), sign and date the form. The sender’s signature certifies that all entries are correct and that the item contains no undeclared dangerous, prohibited, or restricted contents per postal, customs, or destination country regulations.
  11. In blocks (12) and (13), enter the applicable number if the item requires a sender’s customs reference or importer’s reference.
  12. In blocks (14), (15), and (16), enter license, certificate, and/or invoice number, if applicable.
  13. Insert the completed form(s) into PS Form 2976-E (plastic envelope) and affix PS Form 2976-E to the address side of the package.
  14. Allow the Postal Service employee to complete PS Form 2976-B as described in 224.2.

224.2 Preparation by Acceptance Employee

224.21 Using Label 11-B

Employees must do the following:

  1. Check the address label to ensure that the sender has completed the “From” and “To” portions.
  2. Verify that the customer has properly completed the appropriate customs form, if required.
  3. Enter the originating facility ZIP Code, date and time received, weight, merchandise insurance fee (if applicable see 222.71 and 222.72), total postage, and the acceptance employee’s initials.
  4. Ensure that the correct amount of postage is affixed to the mailpiece.
  5. Give the Customer Receipt copy to the mailer and retain the Finance copy. Peel off the backing of the remaining portion and affix it to the item.
  6. After acceptance, place each item in the appropriate working pouch for forwarding to the international exchange office authorized to dispatch Priority Mail Express International shipments to that destination. (See Handbook T-5, International Mail Operations.)
224.22 Using PS Form 2976-B

Employees must do the following:

  1. Verify that the sender has entered on the form the information required by 224.1 and has signed and dated the declaration.
  2. Instruct the sender to complete any incomplete portions of the form. Remind the sender that failure to complete the form properly can delay delivery of the item or inconvenience the sender and addressee. Further, 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.
  3. To comply with U.S. Census Bureau requirements, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that an appropriate AES ITN, AES Exemption, or AES Downtime Citation is displayed on PS Form 2976-B if required. If this information is not entered, remind the customer that he or she may be subject to civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance.
  4. If the sender purchases additional insurance against loss, damage, or missing contents, the retail associate will record the insured amount in U.S. dollars on PS Form 2976-B in the space provided.
  5. Weigh the Priority Mail Express International package. Enter the weight, insured amount and insurance fee (if applicable see 222.71 and 222.72), originating facility ZIP Code, postage, total postage/fees, date and time received, and scheduled delivery date in the shaded areas provided on the form.
  6. Apply the correct amount of postage to the mailpiece, or ensure that the correct amount of postage is affixed to the mailpiece.
  7. Round stamp the form in the appropriate place on each copy (Copies 15).
  8. Remove the Post Office copy (Copy 4) and tell the mailer that the Postal Service will retain this document for 30 days as a record of mailing. Remove the Sender copy (Copy 5) and give it to the mailer.
  9. Round stamp any uncanceled stamps, and if postage is paid by meter, round stamp the front of the piece near the meter postage.
  10. After acceptance, place each item in the appropriate working pouch for forwarding to the international exchange office authorized to dispatch Priority Mail Express International shipments to that destination. (See Handbook T-5, International Mail Operations.)

Note: Consistent with IMM 225.12, customers must present any item bearing a handwritten PS Form 2976-B to an employee at a Post Office retail service counter.

224.23 Using Another USPS-Produced Online Combined Shipping and Customs Label

Employees must do the following:

  1. If presented to a USPS acceptance employee, check to ensure the mailer has completed the sender’s information, the addressee’s information, and the customs information portions.
  2. Ensure postage is affixed to the mailpiece.
  3. After acceptance, place each item in the appropriate working pouch for forwarding to the international exchange office authorized to dispatch Priority Mail Express International shipments to that destination. (See Handbook T-5, International Mail Operations.)

Note: For online shipments, customer receipts are not necessary; for non-IRT or non-POS offices, record the required finance information on the special form provided for this purpose.