Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates


DMM Revision: Postage Evidencing Systems — Revised Procedures for Collection of Postage Discrepancies

Effective September 13, 2015, the Postal Service™ will revise Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®), section 604.4, to modify procedures for the collection of postage discrepancies for customers using Postage Evidencing Systems. These DMM revisions are consistent with the recent modifications to the Code of Federal Regulations (39 CFR Part 501) “Revisions to the Requirements for Authority to Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems.” The CFR modifications support the ongoing effort of the Postal Service to collect the appropriate revenue on mailpieces in a more automated fashion.

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Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

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600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

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604 Postage Payment Methods and Refunds

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4.0 Postage Meters and PC Postage Products (“Postage Evidencing Systems”)

4.1 Basic Information

4.1.1 Definitions

[Revise the third through fifth sentences to read as follows:]

***Postage evidencing systems print indicia, such as information-based indicia (IBI) or intelligent mail indicia (IMI), to indicate postage payment. Customers print indicia directly on a mailpiece or on a label that is affixed to a mailpiece. Customers must place indicia in the upper-right corner of the mailpiece or label, according to 4.3.3.

4.1.2 Product Categories

[Delete the second sentence of the introductory paragraph in its entirety. Revise the second sentence of item a. and all of items b. and c. to read as follows:]

a. ***Meters print indicia that may be IBI or IMI, to indicate postage payment and are digitally generated indicia that include a two-dimensional barcode.***

b. PC Postage products allow customers to purchase and print postage with IBI or IMI indicia directly onto mailpieces, shipping labels, and USPS-approved customized labels.

c. USPS-approved commercial providers offer PC Postage products for customers through subscription service agreements.

4.1.3 Authorized Meter Providers

[Revise text to read as follows:]

The following providers are authorized:

1217 BAY RD
WEBSTER NY 14580-1958



ADDISON IL 60101-5629



MILFORD CT 06461-9105



STAMFORD CT 06905-4317



4.1.4 Authorized PC Postage Providers

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The following providers are authorized:

PALO ALTO CA 94306-1864

800-576-3279 x140


STAMFORD CT 06905-4317



EL SEGUNDO CA 90245-5013



4.1.5 Authorized Classes of Mail

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Customers may use Postage Evidencing Systems to affix or apply indicia on any class of mail except Periodicals and Bound Printed Matter and as follows:***

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4.2 Authorization to Use Postage Evidencing Systems

4.2.1 Customer Agreement

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[Revise item d. to read as follows:]

d. The customer agrees to make the postage meter available for provider or USPS examination upon request.

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4.2.2 Authorized Possession

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Only authorized customers may possess or use Postage Evidencing Systems. Customers must surrender Postage Evidencing Systems to the provider or its agent as follows:

a. Upon termination of the lease or rental agreement.

b. Upon device malfunction.

c. Upon a 30-day notice by the USPS in writing.

4.2.3 Use Outside the United States

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The manager of Payment Technology (see 608.8) must give specific approval to the provider before a provider may place or operate a Postage Evidencing System for use outside the customs territory of the United States.

4.2.4 Denial of Use

[Revise the introductory paragraph and item c. to read as follows:]

The customer authorized to use a Postage Evidencing System may be denied use when the customer:

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c. Enters mailpieces for which there is a postage discrepancy into the mailstream.

4.2.5 Surrender of Postage Evidencing System

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If authorization to use a Postage Evidencing System is denied, the customer must surrender the systems, upon request, to the service provider, or USPS authorized agent.

[Delete 4.2.6 in its entirety.]

4.3 Postage Payment

4.3.1 Paying for Postage

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***Authorized USPS payment options vary by provider and product category.

4.3.2 Legibility of Postage

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Postage indicia must be legible (readable by mail processing equipment) and meet the reflectance measurements in 708.4.4. Illegible or unreadable (unscannable) indicia are not acceptable as payment of postage.

4.3.3 Placement of Postage

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Customers must print or apply indicia in the upper-right corner of the envelope or, if postage is printed on an address label, the upper-right corner of that label. When placing indicia on mailpieces, position indicia at least 1/4 inch from the right edge of the mailpiece and 1/4 inch from the top edge of the mailpiece and as follows:

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4.3.4 Postal Markings

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Indicia are comprised of human-readable information. Information-based indicia (IBI) and intelligent mail indicia (IMI) also contain machine-readable information that identifies the Postage Evidencing System, postage payment information, and mail service requested.

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4.4 Postage Discrepancies

4.4.1 Definitions

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Mailpieces with a postage discrepancy are those for which the total postage and fees affixed are not equal to the postage required for the applicable price and any extra services fees as determined by current, at the time of mailing, Postal Service prices. Postage discrepancies include no postage paid, or the use of counterfeited, replicated, duplicated, falsified, otherwise modified postage, or postage with zero value.

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4.4.2 Detection Process for Postage Discrepancies

For mailpieces with shortpaid or unpaid postage found in the mailstream, both manual and automated processes are used to detect and verify the discrepancy. Comparisons of the piece characteristics captured within the mail processing network will be matched against the characteristics affirmed by the customer to identify where a potential postage discrepancy exists.

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4.4.3 Handling of Mailpieces with Postage Discrepancies

For mailpieces with a detected postage discrepancy when postage is due, corrective measures may include one of the following:

a. A payment adjustment from the customer, facilitated by the PES provider in the amount equivalent to the postage due, described in 4.4.4.

b. Returning the mailpiece to the sender.

c. Delivering the mailpiece to the addressee and collecting the deficiency as postage due.

d. If identified at the time of induction, collecting the postage due from the customer at the retail location.

[Revise 4.4.4 in its entirety to read as follows:]

4.4.4 Notification of Payment Adjustments for Postage Discrepancies and Suspension

PC Postage customer discrepancies may be resolved via an automated payment adjustment from the customer when possible which will be reflected in the customer’s account by the PES provider. If an adjustment for the entire postage discrepancy amount is not possible, the customer will be notified by the PES provider to provide funds to resolve the discrepancy within 14 calendar days, or 10 business days if by electronic means, from the date of the notification. The PES provider may be notified to temporarily suspend the customer’s ability to print PC Postage under the following circumstances:

a. After the 14- or 10-day notification payment period has ended and the customer has not paid the postage due.

b. When an electronic notification to the customer is undeliverable.

c. Following notification, the customer’s cumulative revenue deficiency increases during the 14- or 10-day period due to additional mailpieces being identified as shortpaid or unpaid.

d. Suspensions may be reversed and the ability to print PC Postage may be reactivated once the postage discrepancy resulting in the suspension is resolved, or the Manager of Payment Technology provides written approval based on exceptional circumstances.

[Revise 4.4.5 in its entirety to read as follows:]

4.4.5 PC Postage Discrepancies Dispute Process

Customers wishing to dispute postage discrepancies must do so electronically through the PES provider within 60 calendar days of either 1) the reflection in the customer’s account of the automated payment adjustment by the PES provider; or 2) the notification by the PES provider to make funding available to resolve identified discrepancies, whichever is applicable. Customers must substantiate that the postage affixed was valid and sufficient for the postage and applicable fees owed. An electronic notification will be sent to the customer of the decision to uphold or deny the dispute along with a brief rationale. The USPS reserves the authority to make the final decision on all disputes.

[Delete 4.4.6 through 4.4.9 in its entirety]

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next update of the online DMM, which is available on Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com.