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AID Mailing & Fulfillment cares about it’s customers. We have provided you with definitions of various mailing terms that can help take the confusion out of your experience.

Mailing Industry terms defined:

Army post office (APO)—A branch of a designated USPS civilian post office, which falls under the jurisdiction of the postmaster of either New York City or San Francisco, that serves either Army or Air Force personnel.

Barcode clear zone— A rectangular area in the lower right part of a letter-size mailpiece that must be kept free of printing and symbols, except for the barcode itself. This requirement allows automated processing machines to read or apply a barcode.

Barcode read area—A small area within the barcode clear zone in which the barcode must be printed. This area is defined by the position of the leftmost bar of the barcode and the bottom edge of the bar.

Bound Printed Matter (BPM)—A subclass of Package Services that consists of permanently bound sheets of which at least 90% are printed with advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial matter (or a combination of such matter).

Business reply mail (BRM)—A service that allows a permit holder to receive First-Class Mail and Priority Mail back from customers and pay postage only for the returned pieces. These pieces must have a specific address and format. Postage and per piece charges are collected when the mail is delivered back to the permit holder.

Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)—A service offered to mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors that improves the accuracy of matching to delivery point codes, ZIP+4 codes, 5-digit ZIP Codes, and carrier route codes on mailpieces. CASS provides a common platform to measure the quality of address matching software and to diagnose and correct software problems.

Endorsement—An authorized marking on a mailpiece that shows handling instructions, a service, or a request for an ancillary service.

Facing identification mark (FIM)—A series of five or six vertical bars used by automated postal equipment to identify, orient, and separate reply mail.

Flat—The general term for flat-size mail, so called because the large mail is sorted without bending it so that the mail remains flat.

Indicia—Imprinted designation on mail that denotes postage payment (e.g., permit imprint).

Letter-size mail —A mail processing category of mailpieces, including cards, that do not exceed any of the dimensions for letter-size mail (that is, 11 ½ inches long, 6 1/8 inches high, ¼ inch thick).

Meter stamp—A postage imprint (either on meter tape or as a direct impression) applied in the upper right corner of the envelope, address label, or tag. The type, size, and style of the imprint must be fixed when the postage meter is approved for manufacture by the USPS. For letter-size mail, the imprint must be set in fluorescent ink. Meter stamps may be used to pay postage for all mail classes except Periodicals.

Military post office (MPO) —A branch of a U.S. civil post office, operated by the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps to serve military personnel overseas or aboard ships.

National Change of Address (NCOA)—An address correction service that the USPS provides to mailers through USPS licensees. The licensees match mailing lists submitted to them on tape or disk against change-of-address information for the entire country from all Computerized Forwarding System units. If a match is made, NCOA can correct the address before it is printed on a mailpiece.

Nonmachinable —The inability of a mailpiece to be sorted on mail processing equipment because of size, shape, content, or address legibility. Such mail must be processes manually and could be subject to a surcharge.

Nonprofit Standard Mail —A subclass of Standard Mail that is available only to qualified organizations specified by U.S. statute.

Nonstandard surcharge—A surcharge on any piece of First-Class Mail weighing 1 ounce or less that has an aspect ratio less than 1.3 or greater than 2.5. This surcharge does not apply to pieces claimed at card rates.

Parcel Post —A subclass of Package Services with rates based generally on weight and zone.

Periodicals —A class of mail consisting of magazines, newspapers, or other publications formed of printed sheets that are issued at least four times a year at regular, specified intervals (frequency) from a known office of publication. Periodicals usually must have a legitimate list of subscribers and requesters.

Permit imprint —Printed indicia, instead of an adhesive postage stamp or meter stamp, that shows postage prepayment by an authorized mailer.

Postage statement —Documentation provided by a mailer to the USPS that reports the volume of mail being presented and the postage payable or affixed, and certifies that the mail meets the applicable eligibility standards for the rate claimed.

Precanceled stamp—A postage stamp canceled by marking across the face before it is sold to mailers for use with bulk mailings. Also, a stamp designated by the USPS as a precanceled stamp without cancellation marks. The USPS sells precanceled stamps for Presorted First-Class Mail and regular and nonprofit Standard Mail. Mailpieces with these stamps do not go through a canceling machine at the time of mail processing.

Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) —A voluntary program in which the USPS tests vendors’ presort software and hardware products to determine their accuracy in sorting address information according to USPS standards and producing standardized supporting documentation.

Presorted Standard —The postage rate for Standard Mail pieces that are part of a mailing and that meet minimum volume and preparation requirements.

Rural route (RR)—A delivery route served by a rural carrier.

Single-piece rate —A postage rate available for individual pieces of Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, and Package Services. It is not available for Periodicals except under the rate category of basic. This type of rate contrasts with rates available for bulk mail and presorted mail.

Standard Mail—A class of mail (formerly Standard Mail (A)) that weighs less than 16 ounces. It comprises the subclasses of Regular Standard Mail, Nonprofit Standard Mail, Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail, and Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail. These subclasses include circulars, printed matter, pamphlets, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, and merchandise. Standard Mail may be sent at presorted rates and at automation rates.

Unique ZIP Code —A ZIP Code assigned to a company, government agency, or entity with sufficient mail volume, based on average daily volume of letter-size mail received, availability of ZIP Code numbers in the postal area, and USPS cost-benefit analysis.

ZIP Code—A system of 5-digit codes that identifies the individual post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with an address. ZIP+4 is an enhanced code consisting of the 5-digit ZIP Code and four additional digits that identify a specific range of delivery addresses.

ZIP+4 Code—A nine-digit numeric code composed of two parts: (a) the initial code: the first five digits that identify the sectional center facility and delivery area associated with the address, followed by a hyphen; and (b) the four-digit expanded code: the first two additional digits designate the sector (a geographic area) and the last two digits designate the segment (a building, floor, etc.).