As we’ve discussed previously in this blog, the red round date stamp from the United States Postal Service® (USPS®), which mailers have used for years as proof of mailing, is no longer available for electronically submitted postage statements. The USPS recently announced that the red round date stamp will also be discontinued for hard copy statements, effective March 15, 2010. This change will be effective for postal facilities that are equipped with PostalOne! Facilities without access to PostalOne! will continue to round stamp hard copy postage statements.
In lieu of the red round stamp, the USPS is asking mailers to obtain their receipts using the Business Customer Gateway to access PostalOne! Upon request, mailers may also obtain a hard copy receipt (Form 3607) from the USPS. The 3607 form, currently called the Weighing and Dispatch Certificate, will be reformatted and renamed in March to Mailing Transaction Receipt, Form 3607-R.
The mail verification and acceptance processes will not change, only the transaction receipt process. The acceptance clerk will verify the mailing as usual; however they will no longer complete the “USPS Only” section of the postage statements. In the past, the clerk would record the results of the verification process and manually apply the red round date stamp in this area. In the future, the clerks will enter this verification information into PostalOne! The wording on the postage statement form will change from “USPS Use Only” to “USPS Use Only—To Be Completed at Non-PostalOne! sites ONLY.” PostalOne! is the system of record and can be accessed to view postage statement details and print hard copies, if needed.
The Postal Service will modify the DMM® (Domestic Mail Manual) language regarding the return of a duplicate postage statement to the mailer, differentiating between PostalOne! and non-PostalOne! sites.
Here are the key changes:
- If not submitting postage statements electronically, the customer must provide an original postage statement with the mailing.
- Acceptance personnel will no longer complete the “USPS Use Only” section of hard copy postage statements for offices that enter postage statements into the PostalOne! system.
- Acceptance personnel will no longer complete and return a “duplicate” postage statement (as defined in sections 244.4.1, 334.4.1, of the DMM).
- Acceptance personnel will no longer round-date stamp hard copy postage statements.
- Acceptance personnel will retain the original copy of the postage statement and attach the USPS Form 3607 (Statement of Mailing/Weighing and Dispatch Certificate)* to it on file, as prescribed by the Administrative Support Manual.
- Upon a customer’s request, the acceptance personnel will print the USPS Form 3607 and provide it to the customer along with any duplicate copies of postage statements provided.
- The only acceptable means of proof of postage payment for mailings will be an electronic version of a finalized postage statement, or the USPS Form 3607, generated from the Postal Service’s PostalOne! system.
*In the March 15 upgrade to the PostalOne! system, PS Form 3607 will be replaced with PS Form 3607-R (Mailing Transaction Receipt).
Mailers may obtain more information regarding electronic postage statements by referencing the User Access to Electronic Mailing Information and Reports Guide: Business Customer Gateway Information, On-line Services, and Full-Service Tools. In this document, Appendix B, Access to Hard Copy Postage Statements, provides information on how to access the Business Customer Gateway and retrieve postage statements.
For more information about the Business Customer Gateway and how to access it, visit ribbs.usps.gov.