Postal Service® Form 8017
There is a little-known Postal Service form that is recently coming to mailers' attention - the PS Form 8017, Expedited Plant-Load Shipment Clearance. This form, similar to PS Form 8125, provides proof to the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) that a shipment of mail was verified and paid for at the origin - entry post office. The difference between the two forms is that the PS 8017 is used with Expedited Plant-Load shipments, which do NOT qualify for drop-ship discounted pricing, whereas the PS 8125 is used with Plant-Load Verified Destination Drop Shipment (PVDS) mailings that DO qualify for drop-ship discounted pricing.
Expedited Plant-Load Agreements
The Expedited Plant-Load program was established by the USPS to assist mailers with time-sensitive mail. This program allows for the mail to be transported, at the mailer's expense, to a postal facility closer to the ultimate destination of the mail. Although mail under this agreement does not qualify for any drop-ship discounted pricing, mailers may elect to take on the expense of transporting the mail themselves in order to expedite and control the transport, which may be necessary for time-sensitive or dated mail. It is not a commonly used program, as most mailers who transport the mail at their own cost wish to take advantage of drop ship discounts. It is, however, beneficial for time-sensitive mail that does not qualify for drop ship discounts, such as First-Class™ or Priority Mail®. It may also be used for Periodicals, Standard Mail® and Package Services mail. To participate in this program, mailers must apply using Form 8026, and once approved by the USPS, the mail is prepared, verified and paid for under the rules of this program.
The PS 8017 has actually been in place for some time. However, its use has not been strictly enforced, and in many cases acceptance clerks at the origin entry post offices were completing these forms themselves. With the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the USPS is revising many of its processes and procedures to become "SOX-compliant". For this reason, many mailers are now being asked to complete this form, even though they have not been required to do so in the past. In fact, some mailers are surprised to learn that they even have an Expedited Plant-Load Agreement with the USPS, as they may have entered into the agreement years ago under different staff and the agreement documents have been misplaced. In these cases, mailers should review their need for these agreements and revise as necessary.
We have also heard from a number of clients that the USPS is asking for these forms to be completed on all origin-entered mail, even though there is no Expedited Plant-Load Agreement in place. Our contacts at postal headquarters have indicated that there are indeed other situations where the PS 8017 is required, but at the time this e-tip was written, no further details were available. We will keep you posted as further information is provided.
Support for the PS 8017
If you are a mailer who needs to generate 8017 forms, you are in luck because Window Book's software now supports the generation of the PS 8017. For more information about DAT-MAIL™ or Post Master™ software, please log on to www.windowbook.com.