Move Update Non-compliance Penalties on Mailings
- Effective January 4, 2010
Move Update non-compliance penalties on mailings will become effective January 4, 2010. Just a reminder that the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) plans to implement postage penalties on mailings not meeting the Move Update requirements in 2010. These Move Update requirements have been in place for quite some time for First-Class presort mailings, and in November 2008, these requirements were extended to Standard Mail. Although the requirements have been in place for a while, there was no postage penalty attached to mailings determined to be non-compliant, but that will change starting in January.
There will be two potential penalties assessed for non-compliant mailings starting in January. The Move Update Assessment (i.e. Move Update methods have been used on the mailing, but there are addresses with errors) charge will be $.07 per piece on a percentage of pieces in First-Class and Standard Mail mailings that fail Performance-Based Verifications at the time of mail acceptance. There is also a non-compliance (i.e. no Move Update methods have been used on the mailing) charge of $.07, applicable to ALL of the pieces in a mailing, for Standard Mail mailings that are determined to be non-compliant.
The Performance-Based Verification is performed at the time of mail acceptance using MERLIN® (Mailing Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument) equipment. The MERLIN equipment scans the address on the sampled mailpieces and transmits this information to the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) in Memphis. The NCSC then processes this information against the NCOALink® database, transmits this data to PostalOne!, where it is compiled and output in the form of a verification worksheet.
The Move Update verification worksheet/report calculates a change of address error rate for the sample tested. The calculation is based upon the number of pieces sampled, and from within this sample, the number for which a change-of-address should have been applied but was not. The number of mailpieces that were correctly updated will determine the passing percentage.
The verification worksheet, along with copies of the failed mailpieces, should be made available to the mailer. If your mailings have been verified using MERLIN equipment during the past year, and you have not received any of these verification reports or sample mailpieces, you should contact your local Business Mail Acceptance unit.
Obviously these penalties could be substantial, so we strongly encourage our clients to review their mailing processes to insure compliance with the Move Update requirements. Publication 363 contains the complete details of the Move Update requirements. The USPS also has a Move Update Mailer Advisement Policy that explains some of the testing in more detail.