152 Payment Methods

152.1 Prepayment

Each item must be fully prepaid to ensure prompt dispatch and to avoid assessment of charges against the addressee. For the treatment of shortpaid and unpaid mail, see 420.

152.2 Stamps

  1. Postage and fees for extra services (see chapter 3) may be paid by means of U.S. postage stamps, postage meter stamps, or postage validation imprinter (PVI) labels. PVIs are acceptable for all international mail transactions.
  2. Mailer precanceled stamps may be used with international mail under the same conditions as are applicable to domestic mail. See DMM 604.
  3. Nondenominated postage stamps (except for those that bear unique domestic markings, such as First-Class Presort, Nonprofit Org.) may be affixed to postal items that are sent to foreign countries. The value of such stamps is linked to either a current or a former domestic postage price (e.g., the “Lady Liberty and U.S. Flag” stamp has a postage value of 39 cents). The postage value of the Forever Stamp, as well as the nondenominated Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp, is always the domestic First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter price that is in effect on the day of use (mailing). Since international postage prices are always higher than the comparable domestic postage prices, mailers who affix a single nondenominated postage stamp to their outbound mailpieces must add additional postage to comply with the international price schedule.

Note: See DMM 604 for stamps not valid as postage.

152.3 Computing Postage

152.31 Determining Single-Piece Weight

To determine single-piece weight in any mailing at single-piece prices, or in a bulk price mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in any other bulk or presort price mailing of identical weight pieces (e.g., IPA or ISAL), weigh a sample group of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express all single-piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places.

152.32 Rounding Numerical Values

For these standards:

  1. Round off requires increasing by 1 the last digit to be kept if the digit to its right, which is not to be kept, is 5 or greater. If that digit is 4 or less, the last digit kept is unchanged (e.g., 3.3761 rounded off to two decimal places is 3.38, whereas 3.3741 is 3.37).
  2. Round up requires increasing by 1 the last digit to be kept if there are any digits to its right, regardless of value (e.g., rounding up either 3.3701 or 3.3791 to two decimal places yields 3.38).

152.4 Permit Imprint

152.41 Conditions of Use

Postage may be paid by permit imprint, subject to the standards in DMM 124, 604, and 705. Postage charges are computed on PS Form 3700. This postage payment method may be used for postage and extra service fees for the following services:

  1. Global Express Guaranteed service prepared under 213.8.
  2. Express Mail International service prepared under 223.221.
  3. Priority Mail International service.
  4. First-Class Mail International service.
  5. International Priority Airmail (IPA) service.
  6. International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) service.
152.42 Place of Mailing

Mail must be deposited and accepted at the Post Office that issued the permit, at a time and place designated by the postmaster, except as otherwise provided for drop shipments.

152.43 Usage Criteria

To use a permit imprint for international mailing purposes, a mailer must enter a minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail matter addressed to recipients in foreign countries. All of the mailpieces bearing a permit imprint do not have to be addressed to the same destination country. See 292.23 and 293.23 for the minimum quantity requirements that govern the entry of International Priority Airmail (IPA) items and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) items, respectively.

Note: The 200-piece or 50-pound minimum requirement does not apply to M-bags.

152.44 Required Format

Each mailpiece sent under this payment method must bear a permit imprint indicia showing that postage is paid. Permit imprint indicia must be prepared in one of the formats shown in Exhibit 152.44. No variations or additions — such as Bulk Rate, Media Mail, Presorted Standard, Enhanced Carrier Route Sort, Automation Rate, Nonprofit Organization, or Bound Printed Matter — are allowed. Mailpieces may bear a company permit imprint, in which the exact name of the company or individual holding the permit is shown in the indicium in place of the city, state, and permit number. Mailings prepared with a company permit imprint must comply with the standards in DMM 604.5.3.9.

Exhibit 152.44 

Indicia Formats




Global Express Guaranteed indicia.


Express Mail International indicia.


Priority Mail International indicia.

Exhibit 152.44 

Indicia Formats (cont’d)




First Class Mail International indicia.


Official Mail indicia.