What is the USPS Automated Package Verification System (APV)?

When is APV going out?
As of August 1st, 2017, the USPS will implement a new Automated Package Verification system (APV for short). APV will greatly change how the USPS delivers domestic packages. Any domestic package shipped using USPS will be impacted, including USPS postage providers such as Stamps.com and Endicia. (This excludes letters, large envelopes, certified mail, and any/all international shipments). 


How does APV change shipping? 
New equipment at USPS processing facilities checks your packages for correct specifications. The specifications that APV checks are: 

  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Mail Class
  • Packaging
  • Origin ZIP Code
  • Destination ZIP Code
  • Postage paid 

In the past, improperly-applied specifications would result in a shipment being returned, and in some cases delivery charges would be tacked on for the recipient to pay.

Now, the USPS will deliver the package but with cost adjustments being issued back to your postal account balance. These adjustments apply to both overcharged and undercharged shipments. This will make for a much more seamless shipping process with the USPS. The goal here is to make sure that all shipments are delivered on time. 


How can I tell if APV made an adjustment on a shipment?
The USPS has 30 days from a shipment's delivery to apply an adjustment to a shipment. And when these adjustments are made, any special discounts your account has will be applied to the charge. So if your Stamps.com account is on the free ShipStation SAS plan, these rates will used. 

Within ShipStation, you can keep track of APV adjustments for Stamps.com shipments (Adjustments to Endicia shipments will still need to be viewed within Endicia.com). Just head to the Insights tab and click Postage Purchase History. Select the date range, provider and select the Filter criteria Adjustment. This will bring up any adjustments made through ShipStation!



Can I dispute an APV adjustment?
Absolutely! Keep in mind, this won't be done through ShipStation, nor will it be done through Stamps.com. As with a claim for a missing/damaged package, you will need to take this up directly with USPS. They even have a direct email for disputes: VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov. When emailing the Verify Postage Help department, include the following info: 

  • The package's Tracking Number
  • The reason for disputing the adjustment (be as detailed as possible!). 

If the USPS requests more info, they'll reach out via email. And once a decision is made on the status of your dispute, they'll reach out to you via a forwarded email. 

For more info on APV, head here


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