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Customer Support Ruling

 

 

Postage for Periodicals Paid at Other Than Periodicals Rates – Periodicals
REVISED June 2006

PS-186 (707)

This Customer Support Ruling discusses circumstances when rates other than Periodicals postage rates apply for mailing copies of a Periodicals publication.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 707.11.1 provides that copies of Periodicals publications mailed by their publishers or news agents are subject to the applicable Outside-County or In-County Periodicals rates of postage, except as otherwise allowed or required by postal standards.

Publishers may choose to mail any or all copies of their Periodicals publications at the Express Mail, Priority Mail, or First-Class Mail rates of postage. However, they may mail only the types of copies specifically allowed by postal standards at the Standard Mail or Package Services rates. They may not, for example, arbitrarily choose to mail subscriber copies at the Standard Mail or Package Services rates, even though postage computed at those rates may be lower than postage at the Periodicals rates.

There also are rules for mailings by the general public and by printers. The following are some examples of rates applicable to Periodicals publications when mailed by a publisher, versus other mailings of Periodicals copies:

1.   DMM 707.4.8.1 provides that incomplete copies—for example, those lacking pages or parts of pages—may not be mailed at Periodicals rates, but are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, or Packages Services rates of postage.

2.   DMM 707.4.11 provides that unbound back issues (and specified reprint copies) may be mailed at the Periodicals rates, as long as the publication's Periodicals authorization is in effect. Other mailings of back issues (and reprint copies), including permanently bound back issues or reprint copies, are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard  Mail, or Package Services rates.

The term, permanently bound back issues refers to the publisher’s combination of issues or reprints of issues (often a volume of issues for a year) into bound form, usually offered for sale as a product. Bound back issues are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, or Package Services rates.

The term, unbound back issues, refers to individual issues of a Periodicals publication, regardless of whether the individual issues are bound (e.g. magazines) or unbound (e.g. newspapers).

3.   DMM 707.7.9.1-9.8 sets forth the standards governing when nonsubscriber (often referred to as “sample”) copies are mailable by a publisher at Periodicals rates. Nonsubscriber (sample) copies determined to not be mailable by a publisher at Periodicals rates are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, or Package Services rates.

4.   DMM 707.11.5 provides that the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, or Packages Services rates must be paid for copies of Periodicals publications mailed by the general public—i.e., by persons other than the publishers or registered news agents—and on copies returned to publishers or news agents. This provision does not apply to mailings by publishers of a Periodicals publication.

5.   DMM 707.28.2 provides that postage for copies mailed by a printer to a publisher is chargeable at the applicable First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, or Package Services rates.

(Signed)
Sherry Suggs
Manager
Mailing Standards
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436