USPS Proposes New Incentive for Intelligent Mail
In a Federal Register Notice (FRN) dated October 17, 2012, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is proposing a new incentive called the Full-Service Technology Credit (“Tech Credit”). This incentive is designed to encourage mailers to convert to Intelligent Mail Full-Service and is intended to help offset the investment required to implement the necessary hardware and software changes to support Full-Service mailings. If approved, the Tech Credit will take the form of a postage credit.
The Tech Credit proposal is included as part of the FRN (Vol. 77, No. 201 FR
63771 - 63781) that proposes the Intelligent Mail barcode be required in order
to claim automation prices as of January 2014. Also in this same FRN – among
other things - is a proposal to officially and finally eliminate the 10/24
transitional barcoded tray label format thus requiring mailers to use the
24-digit Intelligent Mail barcode format on sack, tub and tray labels.
The mail volume of all “Permit Holders” and “Mailing Agents” (as identified on postage statements) will be determined by an evaluation across qualifying permits for each business location/Customer Registration ID (CRID). Each CRID that exceeds 125,000 qualifying pieces annually would be eligible for the Tech Credit.
To determine if a CRID has reached a qualifying volume, the USPS will take the following steps:
- Mail volume associated with each “Permit Holder” and/or “Mailing Agent” permit will be examined. Eligible permit types are:
- Permit imprint
- OMAS Imprint
- OMAS Meter
- Precancelled Stamp
- Full-Service eligible mailings included in the eligible volume are:
- First-Class automation letters, cards, and flats
- Standard Mail automation letters and flats (including IMb Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR), except saturation flats
- Periodicals automation/barcoded letters and flats (including ECR letters and flats)
- Bound Printed Matter barcoded flats
- Other requirements:
- Permits must be opened and CRIDS established to be considered for the tech credit.
- Mail volume for a one-year period will be used in the volume requirement calculation.
- When determining qualifying volumes, the USPS will compare the “Permit Holder” and “Mailing Agent” volume by permit for each CRID and use the higher of the two amounts to determine the final Tech Credit awarded to that CRID. (This scenario should only come into play for Mail Service Providers).
- Each CRID that exceeds 125,000 Full-Service eligible pieces in annual mail volume (total of all eligible volume from all eligible permits) would be awarded one Tech Credit as follows:
- 125,001 to 500,000 pieces = $2000 postage credit
- 500,001 to 2 million pieces = $3000 postage credit
- 2 million and over pieces = $5000 postage credit
Redeeming the Credit
To redeem a Tech Credit, the following guidelines apply:
- Any permit linked to a qualifying CRID may redeem the Tech Credit as a postage credit in mailings containing 90% or more Full-Service pieces.
- To apply the credit, the permit must be the paying permit in the mailing. This permit would be identified as the Permit Holder.
- Permit types eligible for redemption of the credit are:
- Permit Imprint
- Additional Postage (ADDPOS)
- OMAS Imprint
- OMAS Metered
- Precancelled Stamp
- Mailers must redeem the tech credit through eDoc transmission using Mail.dat® or Mail.XML™. Postal Wizard submissions would not be eligible.
- Upon submission of an eligible mailing, the Tech Credit would be automatically applied in full.
- If the Tech Credit is greater than the total postage for the postage statement, a partial tech credit amount would be applied, with the remaining tech credit amount to be applied to subsequent statement(s).
- The redemption period is proposed to run for a one-year period.
The View from Your Window Book
Although this incentive is just now being announced to the general public, it is already generating a lot of buzz and controversy. We will absolutely be issuing future e-Tips, emails and Blog postings about this and other proposals in the FRN. But what you need to know right now is that the Postal Service is dead set on implementing Intelligent Mail Full-Service requirements for all mailers only a very short 15 months from now.
This means if you haven’t already begun your Intelligent Mail migration process,
you’re already behind schedule. Don’t wait any longer. Call us right now for a business evaluation and let us help you build your migration plan. There is no one better suited or more capable of helping you get prepared. Window Book’s Postal Experts have a combined 398 years of experience in the mailing industry and we will use that knowledge to make your transition easier for you.
Download a copy of the Federal Register Notice for more details on the Tech Credit, Intelligent Mail Full-Service, 10/24 transitional tag and other proposals.