USPS Homepage

272 Eligibility

272.1 Eligible Participants

Mailers may send Free Matter for the Blind free of postage provided that at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The item is sent to or by an organization for the blind.
  2. The item is sent to or by a blind person.

272.2 Eligible Matter

Mailers may send the following items as Free Matter for the Blind:

  1. Letters bearing writing used by the blind and plates bearing the characters of writing used by the blind.
  2. Books, periodicals, literature, and other correspondence.
  3. Paper, records, tapes, musical scores, or sound recordings.
  4. Equipment or materials of any kind adapted to assist blind persons in overcoming the problems of blindness, including reproducers or parts of them for sound reproductions.
  5. Specially adapted CDs.
  6. Braille writing equipment, typewriters, educational or other materials or devices, or parts thereof used for writing by a blind person or designed or adapted for use by a blind person.
  7. Braille watches.
  8. White canes.
  9. Recording equipment.

272.3 Ineligible Matter

Free Matter for the Blind items are solely intended for the use of an eligible participant who is unable to read conventional materials. The following list is not inclusive but provides guidance about ineligible items:

  1. The item is for purposes of advertisement.
  2. The item is intended as a profit-making transaction. There should be no charge (rental, subscription, or other associated fee) that is in excess of the actual cost.

272.4 Customs Forms Required

When required (see Exhibit 123.61), the mailer must affix a fully completed PS Form 2976 or 2976-A to each item. The known mailer exemption in 123.62 does not apply to Free Matter for the Blind items.

272.5 Mail Not Sealed Against Inspection

Free Matter for the Blind is not sealed against inspection (see ASM 274). Mailers must prepare items in such a way that the contents are sufficiently protected while permitting quick and easy inspection or verification of the contents.

272.6 Extra Services

Mailers must pay for any extra services requested for Free Matter for the Blind items. The Postal Service authorizes only the following extra services:

  1. Registered Mail service for First-Class Mail International items, First-Class Package International Service items, and Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes or Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes.
  2. Insurance service for Priority Mail International parcels up to 15 pounds.