USPS may require Parcel Select clients to use e-voucher system

The U.S. Postal Service is weighing whether to require all customers of its Parcel Select program to use an electronic system that the agency hopes will help ease payment and verification for mail acceptance.

In a proposed rule, the Postal Service also said its Electronic Verification System (e-VS) may be expanded for all users if it demonstrates cost savings and efficiencies during its initial rollout.

E-VS is an electronic manifest program for tracking payments and verifying all Parcel Select mailings, and it is expected to replace an inefficient and complex paper filing database. Parcel Select is a ground delivery program for medium-to-large customers.

'Clearly there is a need to provide a more flexible and convenient mechanism for mailers to provide and update documentation, induct mail, and for the Postal Service to verify parcel mailings,' according to the rule published in the Federal Register.

Under e-VS, mailers will bar code all packages and submit an electronic manifest to the Postal Service. The manifest contains data such as weight, destination and induction facility to support postage and fee information. Mail will not be verified at local postal offices, and mailers will no longer need to create paper documents listing the same information, the rule said.

'In today's environment, where mailers engage in dynamic scheduling, electronic manifests enable them to update information as change occurs,' the rule said. 'Mailers can pay the Postal Service closer to the time of mailing, as electronic manifests can be received right before the mail is inducted.'

If adopted, the rule will be effective within a year, the notice said. Comments on the proposal are due Dec. 7.

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