The USPS Automated Package Verification (APV) System

Published 8/2/2017 6:25 PM | Updated 8/2/2017 6:35 PM

The USPS is changing the way that they handle under-paid and over-paid postage amounts for packages by implementing a new “Automated Package Verification” (APV) system. This system will allow the USPS to verify that the correct amount of postage has been paid for each package shipped through them, and to issue debits or credits to shippers in cases where postage was under-paid or over-paid. The current launch date for this program is August 15, 2017.

The USPS requires all PC Postage providers, including Endicia, to support APV.
You will need to accept new Terms and Conditions in order to continue printing shipping labels using your Endicia account - please visit  www.endicia.com/terms (and log in to your Endicia account, if necessary) in order to review and accept the updated Terms and Conditions.  This must be done by August 15, 2017.  Updates to the new Terms and Conditions include:
  • Mandatory changes from the U.S. Postal Service related to the new USPS Automated Package Verification (APV) system.
  • Support for upcoming features, such as pay-on-use labels
  • Future improvements related to refunds
  • Other updates covering a number of beneficial new programs

How Does APV Work?
The USPS has outfitted their processing facilities with new scanning and weighing equipment that automatically verifies the weight, dimensions, Mail Class, packaging, and origin and destination ZIP codes for each parcel being processed through that facility. This information is used to calculate the amount of postage due for each package.

If the USPS identifies that an incorrect amount of postage was paid (either too little or too much), they issue a corresponding debit or credit to the shippers Endicia postage account.

What's New Under APV Compared to the Current System?
Under the current system:
  • Under-paid packages are either rejected by the USPS or delivered “postage due” to the recipient. This causes either late deliveries or a bad customer experience.  
  • Nothing is done to handle over-paid packages. You lose whatever amount you have overpaid.
Under the new APV system:
  • Identified under-paid packages will be delivered, and the shipper's account balance will be deducted for the amount of under-paid postage.
  • When over-paid packages are identified, the shipper's account balance will be credited for the amount of over-paid postage.
How Long Does It Take for APV Adjustments to Be Processed?
The USPS has up to 30 days after a package is shipped to issue an adjustment. However, we expect the vast majority of adjustments to occur within just a few days of the package being shipped.

How Can I View APV Adjustment Details?
Once APV goes into effect, you will be able to view adjustment details by logging in to your Endicia account, opening the Account Transactions report, and selecting the new “Adjustments” tab.

Can I Dispute Adjustments That Were Made in Error?
Yes. You can dispute any adjustment with the USPS directly by sending an email to VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov.  This email should include the following information:
  • Adjustment ID
  • The last four digits of the Tracking #
  • The reason or explanation for the dispute (please provide as much detail as possible).
If the USPS requires more information, they will reach out to you via email.
The USPS will notify us once they reach a decision, which we will forward to you via email.

Does APV Affect Letters/Envelopes?
No. APV is currently limited to verifying packages only.  Letters and envelopes (including Certified Mail) will not be affected by APV.

I Have Special Discounted Rates – How Will APV Work for Me?
APV considers your specific rates when calculating the amount of postage that should have been paid for a package. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • The Commercial Base Pricing discount enjoyed by most Endicia customers
  • Commercial Plus Pricing
  • Cubic Pricing
  • Negotiated Service Agreement
  • Other discounted rate programs