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364 Postage Payment and Documentation

1.0 Basic Standards for Postage Payment

1.1 Postage Payment Options

The mailer is responsible for proper postage payment. Subject to the corresponding standards, postage for Bound Printed Matter may be paid by any method (see 604) except precanceled stamps. Pieces with postage affixed must bear the correct postage. Permit imprint may be used for mailings that contain nonidentical-weight pieces only when authorized by Business Mailer Support. Permit imprint may be used for identical-weight pieces provided the mail can be separated at acceptance into groups that each contain pieces subject to the same zone and same combination of rates (e.g., all are zone 4, Inter-BMC, with a BMC presort discount and a barcoded discount). Identical-weight permit imprint mail also may be mailed under 705.2.0, Manifest Mailing System (MMS), 705.3.0, Optional Procedure (OP) Mailing System, or 705.4.0, Alternate Mailing System (AMS).

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2.0 Mailing Documentation

2.1 Completing Postage Statements

Any mailing claiming a discount and all permit imprint mailings must be accompanied by a postage statement completed and signed by the mailer (in duplicate if the mailer wants a receipted copy). A change made to any postage statement requires the mailer (agent) to correct the postage statement accordingly and document the correction.

2.2 Basic Documentation Standards

Generally, documentation is required from a mailer when a mailing is presented to the USPS. Supporting documentation of postage is required unless the correct rate is affixed to each piece or each piece is of identical weight and the pieces are separated by rate when presented for acceptance. Documentation describes the preparation, rate levels, and content of the mailing; details the volume and postage data; and, by comparison with the actual mailing it describes, supports the claims contained on the postage statement accompanying the mailing and allows the USPS to verify its accuracy. Documentation must be submitted when specified for the rate claimed or postage payment method used.

2.3 Documentation for Mail Claiming the Barcode Discount

A complete postage statement must accompany each mailing, supported by documentation produced by PAVE-certified or MAC-certified software or standardized documentation. Mailers may use a single postage statement and a single documentation report for all rate levels in a single mailing. Documentation of postage is not required if the correct rate is affixed to each piece or if each piece is of identical weight and the pieces are separated by rate when presented for acceptance.

2.4 Preparing Documentation

As provided by standard, documentation may be presented in abbreviated form or on computer-readable media. Required documentation must be presented with every mailing unless, by standard, it may be provided to support multiple mailings or mailings that are part of the same job or cycle.

2.5 Multiple Standards

If multiple documentation standards apply to the same mailing, only one set of documentation is necessary if it provides enough information to meet all applicable standards. Redundant or duplicate documentation is not required simply to meet individual standards.

2.6 Standard Format for Documentation

Documentation must be produced by software certified under the Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) program or the Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) program, appropriate for the accompanying class of mail and rate claimed, or the documentation must be prepared as standardized documentation according to this section. Standardized documentation contains the elements described in 708.1.0, as applicable. Documentation produced by PAVE-certified or MAC-certified software is considered standardized documentation.

2.7 Providing Additional Information

The postmaster of the office of mailing may require additional information if the documentation submitted does not allow the corresponding mailing to be verified. Failure to provide information is sufficient reason for the USPS to refuse a mailing. The mailer may appeal any determination to the PCSC under 607.2.0.

2.8 Reporting Multiple Mailings on One Statement

Each group of pieces prepared as a separate mailing must be presented with a postage statement using the correct USPS form for the particular class, rate, and postage payment method. A mailer may report more than one mailing from a single job on the same postage statement if the mailings are presented at the same time for verification, the pieces are in the same processing category, each mailing separately meets all applicable eligibility standards, and the number of pieces in each mailing is separately reported on the postage statement.

2.9 Facsimile Postage Statements

Facsimile postage statements must contain data and elements in locations as close as possible to where they appear on the USPS form. Data fields that do not pertain to information and rates claimed in the mailing and other extraneous information that appears on the USPS form do not have to be included. Facsimiles must include all other information pertaining to the mailing, including the class of mail (or subclass as appropriate), postage payment method (e.g., permit imprint), and four-digit form number (hyphen and suffix optional). All parts, and line numbers within each part, must reflect those on the USPS form. In some cases, this can include fields from multiple USPS forms onto a single facsimile. Most importantly, the facsimile must fully and exactly reproduce the "Certification" and "USPS Use Only" fields that appear on the USPS form. A facsimile postage statement produced by software certified by the USPS Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) or Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) program is considered a USPS-approved form for these standards. Others may be approved by the entry office postmaster.