372 International Reply Coupons

372.1 Description

  1. The sender of a letter may prepay a reply by purchasing reply coupons that are sold and exchangeable for postage stamps by postal administrations in member countries of the Universal Postal Union.
  2. International reply coupons (in French CouponsReponse Internationaux) are printed in blue ink on paper that has the letters “UPU” in large characters in the watermark. The front of each coupon is printed in French. The reverse side of the coupon shows the text relating to its use in German, English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.
  3. Coupons sold in the United States have the selling price printed on them while coupons in other countries may not.

372.2 Availability

Reply coupons may be requisitioned by Post Office facilities in the same manner as postage stamps. The coupons should be stocked at Post Office facilities that have a demand for them.

372.3 Selling Price and Rate of Exchange

  1. The selling price of a reply coupon in the United States is $2.00. One coupon is exchangeable in any other member country for a stamp or stamps representing the minimum postage on an unregistered air letter. Unused U.S. coupons (that is those with the U.S. selling price stamped on them) may be exchanged only for United States postage stamps by the original purchaser at a discount of 1 cent below the purchase price.
  2. With the exceptions noted in 372.4d, international reply coupons purchased in foreign countries are exchangeable at U.S. Post Office facilities toward the purchase of postage stamps and embossed stamped envelopes at the rate of $0.90 per coupon irrespective of the country where they were purchased.

372.4 Processing Requests

  1. When an international reply coupon is sold the Postal Service clerk must place a postmark in the block which is headed control stamp of the country of origin.
  2. Under Universal Postal Union’s regulations member countries are not required to place a control stamp or postmark on the international reply coupons that they sell. Therefore some foreign issue reply coupons which are tendered for redemption may bear the name of the issuing country (generally in French) rather than the optional control stamp or postmark. Such coupons are exchangeable for U.S. postage as specified in 372.3b.
  3. A Post Office facility redeeming an unused U.S. coupon must postmark it in the unpostmarked circle. A Post Office facility exchanging a foreign reply coupon must postmark it in the right circle. Post Office facilities must not accept foreign coupons that already bear a Postal Service postmark.
  4. As of January 1, 2007, the following international reply coupons issued by foreign countries are no longer redeemable at U.S. Post Offices: coupons issued before 2002, and coupons bearing an expiration date of December 31, 2006. The pre-2002 international reply coupons are approximately 2.5 inches by 4 inches and do not have a barcode on the back. The latest versions of the international reply coupons printed by the Universal Postal Union are approximately 3.75 inches by 6 inches, have a barcode on the back, and have an expiration date of December 31, 2009. Customers should return foreign-origin pre-2002 coupons and coupons with the December 31, 2006, expiration date to their correspondents in the country of issue for replacement or redemption through the issuing postal administration. This policy is only for international reply coupons issued by foreign postal administrations — U.S.-origin coupons are not affected.
  5. Reply coupons formerly issued by the Postal Union of the Americas and Spain are no longer valid. These coupons are printed in green ink and bear the caption Cupon Respuesta AmericaEspanol. Customers possessing any of these coupons should return them to their correspondents in the country of issue for redemption through the selling post office.
  6. Postmasters must process exchanged foreign and redeemed U.S. coupons as prescribed in 426.9 International Reply Coupons (IRCs) Handbook F–1 Post Office Accounting Procedures.