Periodicals mailers supplying hard copy postage statements (Form 3541) to their Business Mail Entry units (BMEUs) are facing earlier deadlines.
National Newspaper Association has been advised by USPS that a formal rulemaking will begin in January to push Periodicals mailers toward electronic filing. Hard copy statements will still be accepted, but in full-time post offices, mailers will be required to enter their statements two hours earlier than current deadlines. For part-time post offices (open fewer than 8 hours a day), the statement entry time will be one hour earlier.
Business Mail entry units have already been advised of the change and have begun contacting mailers to prepare them for the shift.
Newspapers dropping mail overnight and presenting the statements when the post office opens the next morning should not be affected. However, USPS considers overnight mail drop as a privilege that assumes electronic statement filing. Local BMEUs may be urged to push publishers to adopt electronic filing if that shift has not already been made.
There are two ways to accomplish electronic filing. One is through postal software that sorts mail, prepares labels and formats each mailing’s data into a format acceptable for USPS’s PostalOne operating software.
The other is to use USPS’s online tool, Postal Wizard, which is free for mailers.
NNA Foundation will offer renewed training in 2023 on the use of electronic documentation.