12-2 Conditions for Replacements

Replacement postmarks are made for poor quality of postmark, damage to the envelope, or other similar defects, or if the items are lost by the philatelic unit. However, replacements are not made if envelopes are marked on the front or back by letter sorting or barcode numbers as they moved through the mail system.

The Postal Service makes every effort to provide a clean, crisp postmark to each item it receives. However, because a pictorial postmark is a manual operation, it is not reasonable to expect a “perfect” postmark on each item. Postmasters must use their own best judgment when determining whether a customer's complaint about a “poor quality” postmark is actually reasonable or is based on a standard that is too rigorous for a manual operation.