USPS Will Start Reclaiming Postage Discounts in May

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NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. Postal Service will start reclaiming postage discounts from First-Class mailers who do not comply with its Move Update rules in May, Angelo Wider, USPS manager of finance, said at the Spring National Postal Forum here.


The reclaimed discounts will be only for the portion of mailings not in compliance. The decision follows tests last year that revealed some mailers did not use Move Update properly.


Under Move Update, which is designed to reduce undeliverable-as-addressed mail, mailers using automation or presort rates are required to update addresses every 180 days using the Address Change Service, National Change of Address, FastForward or other USPS-approved method.


As part of its training and communication program to tell mailers about the enforcement ramp up, the USPS plans to distribute a pamphlet in the next two weeks that will be available at all Bulk Mail Entry Units. It also created a form mailers can fill out that allows the mailer to acknowledge that it has updated its mail using a USPS-approved method.


In other Move Update news, Rick Arvonio, USPS manager of product management, said the agency planned to issue a new Federal Register notice involving rule changes to Move Update that were first proposed last May.


Under last year's proposals, mailers would have been required to update mailing lists every 90 days rather than the current 180. In addition, the program would have been expanded beyond the current First-Class mail to include Periodicals, Standard Mail and Package Services.


Arvonio said the proposed rules will be published in the next 45 days, followed by a notice and comment period.


Though Arvonio could not be specific about what would be included in the rules, they might include having mailers update their mailing lists every 95 days versus every 90 days.


Arvonio also said the USPS will review the cost of UAA mail to assess the effect of address-quality initiatives on the mailing industry and the postal service. Currently, the USPS said it spends almost $1.9 billion annually forwarding and returning mail to sender.


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