Customer Support Ruling
Postage for Periodicals Paid at Other Than Periodicals Rates – Periodicals
UPDATED January 2017
This Customer Support Ruling discusses circumstances when prices other than Periodicals prices apply for mailing copies of a Periodicals publication.
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 707.11.1 provides that copies of Periodicals publications mailed by their publishers or news agents are subject to the applicable Outside-County or In-County Periodicals prices, except as otherwise allowed or required by postal standards.
Publishers may choose to mail any or all copies of their Periodicals publications at Express Mail, Priority Mail, or First-Class Mail prices. However, they may mail only the types of copies specifically allowed by postal standards at the USPS Marketing Mail or Package Services prices. They may not, for example, arbitrarily choose to mail subscriber copies at the USPS Marketing Mail or Package Services prices, even though postage computed at those prices may be lower than postage at Periodicals prices.
There also are rules for mailings by the general public and by printers. The following are some examples of rates applicable to Periodicals publications when mailed by a publisher, versus other mailings of Periodicals copies:
1. DMM 126.96.36.199 provides that incomplete copies—for example, those lacking pages or parts of pages—may not be mailed at Periodicals prices, but are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Packages Services prices.
2. DMM 207.4.10 provides that unbound back issues (and specified reprint copies) may be mailed at the Periodicals prices, as long as the publication's Periodicals authorization is in effect. Other mailings of back issues (and reprint copies), including permanently bound back issues or reprint copies, are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Package Services prices.
The term, permanently bound back issues refers to the publisher’s combination of issues or reprints of issues (often a volume of issues for a year) into bound form, usually offered for sale as a product. Bound back issues are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Package Services prices.
The term, unbound back issues, refers to individual issues of a Periodicals publication, regardless of whether the individual issues are bound (e.g. magazines) or unbound (e.g. newspapers).
3. DMM 188.8.131.52 - 184.108.40.206 sets forth the standards governing when nonsubscriber (often referred to as “sample”) copies are mailable by a publisher at Periodicals prices. Nonsubscriber (sample) copies determined to not be mailable by a publisher at Periodicals prices are subject to the applicable First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Package Services prices.
4. DMM 207.11.5 provides that the applicable First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Packages Services prices must be paid for copies of Periodicals publications mailed by the general public—i.e., by persons other than the publishers or registered news agents—and on copies returned to publishers or news agents. This provision does not apply to mailings by publishers of a Periodicals publication.
5. DMM 207.28.2 provides that postage for copies mailed by a printer to a publisher is chargeable at the applicable First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Package Services prices.
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