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IMpB required for all USPS Packages – Starts January 25th, 2015

January 27th, 2015

IMpB Blog New

Effective Sunday, January 25th, 2015, the USPS requires that all First Class, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select packages be shipped with an Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpB) tracking label. First Class letters, Large Envelopes and Postcards are not affected by this new USPS requirement.

Packages that do not include an IMpB may face delivery delays as well as increased postage charges. Moreover, if you print postage online with a service like Stamps.com, the IMpB is required in order to receive Commercial Base and Commercial Plus discounts.

Stamps.com shipping labels already include IMpB barcodes!
Stamps.com customers printing shipping labels need not worry. All shipping labels generated by Stamps.com already contain the IMpB-compliant tracking barcode and our customers will continue to receive discounted rates.

Printing NetStamps? Learn how this update impacts you.
Stamps.com customers printing NetStamps are impacted by this update. Since NetStamps are designed to function like regular stamps, they don’t carry a barcode like shipping labels. Within the Stamps.com software, customers can still print NetStamps postage for packages but at Retail Post Office Rates only. A Form 400 USPS Tracking Label must be included. If using NetStamps with First Class letters, Large Envelopes or Postcards, Stamps.com customers will still receive discounted rates and will not need to include the Form 400 USPS Tracking Label. The Form 400 USPS Tracking Label is available for order at the Stamps.com Store. Stamps.com Online customers will no longer be able to print NetStamps postage for First Class Packages, as well as for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select packages.

Pay Retail Post Office Rates with a Postage Meter
Businesses that print shipping labels on a postage meter are also impacted by this USPS update. Since postage for a package using a meter is typically printed on “meter tape”, there is not enough space to print a barcode.  Therefore, as of January 25th, 2015, metered postage for packages is not eligible for discounted shipping rates.  Commercial Base rates are only available to shippers who have the ability to print their own unique IMpB tracking label.  All other shippers can continue to use their postage meters but will no longer receive the discounted rates.  Since costs can add up quickly without the commercial base discounts, high volume shippers may want to consider alternative shipping solutions.  Moreover, these shippers need to ensure that each mail piece includes a USPS Tracking label (Label 400) to comply with the new requirement.

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