Automated Package Verification FAQs

What is USPS Automated Package Verification (APV)?

Automated Package Verification (APV) is the process by which USPS automatically verifies if accurate postage has been applied to a package. USPS uses technologies that capture package properties, including weight and dimension, and then calculates the correct postage amount. If the calculated postage differs from the postage paid, USPS notifies Pitney Bowes of the discrepancy. USPS has up to 30 days after a package is shipped to issue an adjustment. Most adjustments occur within a few days of the package being shipped. A label can have only one adjustment.

APV applies only to domestic packages and does not apply to letters and envelopes. You can learn more about APV at https://www.usps.com/business/verify-postage.htm.

To test APV transactions in the sandbox environment, please contact the Shipping API Support team at ShippingAPISupport@pb.com.

What are the benefits of APV over manual postage due?

By eliminating the need to manually collect additional postage through the postage-due process, APV eliminates shipment delays and the need for collection upon delivery from recipients, which allows USPS to maintain competitive and economical shipping prices for their customers.

How can I ensure postage is calculated accurately when I print a label?

Ensure you have the correct weight, dimensions, service, and packaging for your shipment by following the USPS instructions at https://www.usps.com/business/verify-postage.htm. To calculate whether dimensional (DIM) weight applies, use the USPS calculator at https://www.usps.com/dimensionalweight/.

How will I know if there has been an APV adjustment?

To query for APV adjustments, use the Transaction Reports API. Each APV adjustment is reported as a separate transaction. APV adjustments have the transactionType field set to one of the following:

  • APV-POSTAGE OVERPAID: The adjustment is for an overpaid shipment and has been credited back to the postage account.
  • APV-POSTAGE UNDERPAID: The adjustment is for an underpaid shipment and has been debited from the postage account.

If you manage postage on behalf of your merchants, you can use Transaction Reports to retrieve APV adjustments and then apply them to your merchant accounts.

The following is an example Transaction Reports request to retrieve APV adjustments:

curl -X GET "https://<domain>/v2/ledger/developers/<dev_id>/transactions/reports" \
--data-urlencode "transactionType=APV-POSTAGE ALL" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <oauth_token>"

The following is an example adjustment returned by the Transaction Reports API. Not all fields are shown.

{
    "transactionId": "24989977_shp8612033",
    "transactionDateTime": "2018-06-02T13:17:34.000+0000",
    "transactionType": "APV-POSTAGE UNDERPAID",
    ...,
    "developerRateAmount": 5.14,
    ...,
    "merchantRate": 5.14,
    ...,
    "weightInOunces": 8,
    ...,
    "externalId": "000001065208938",
    "adjustmentReason": "Weight"
}
  • The developerRateAmount and merchantRate fields display the amount of the adjustment, which is the difference between the original charge at time of print and the recalculated charge based on information from USPS. The amount shown has been either added or subtracted from the postage account. In the case of an OVERPAID adjustment, the amount has been added back to the account. In the case of an UNDERPAID adjustment, the amount has been subtracted from the account.
  • The returned transaction includes the updated shipment information as reported by USPS, such as updated weight, dimensions, zone, or package type. In the above example, the weightInOunces field has been updated.
  • The externalId field contains the USPS Revenue Assurance ID, for use in case of a dispute.
  • The adjustmentReason field gives the reason for the adjustment, which can be one of the following: Weight, Dimension, Package, Zone

Does the Merchant Portal display APV adjustments?

Yes. Merchants with their own Pitney Bowes-managed postage accounts can view APV adjustments by logging into the Merchant Portal and navigating to the Transaction History page. They can use search filters to retrieve APV adjustments and can expand adjustments to view details, including adjustment amount, reason for adjustment, and adjustment ID.

What happens if the postage account does not have sufficient funds?

If the postage amount being debited is more than the postage balance, an auto refill is triggered to replenish the account balance. The adjustment transaction then debits the adjustment amount from the postage balance.

Does APV take into account my discounted rates?

APV takes into account your specific discounted rates when recalculating the postage amount that should have been paid for a package.

How do I dispute an adjustment?

To file a dispute, email USPS at VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov. Ensure your email contains the following:

  • IMpb (Tracking) Number.
  • Revenue Assurance ID. This is the externalId in the Transaction Reports API response.
  • Detailed reason for the dispute.
  • Your contact information (name and email).

A Pitney Bowes representative will get in touch with you once Pitney Bowes receives information on your dispute status from USPS. You can learn more about APV at https://www.usps.com/business/verify-postage.htm.

How long does it take USPS to review a dispute?

Most responses can be expected within 5 business days, and at most, 15 business days.