NNA Issue Brief ⁠— past-due subscribers get an extension from USPS

Tonda Rush

Jul 2, 2020

The U.S. Postal Service has notified the Periodicals industry that it is extending eligibility for past-due subscribers to October 31, 2020. The eligibility period for the extension began January 25. 2020.

Normally, after subscribers fall into a past-due status for six months, publishers are required to remove them from the paid-subscriber list. But USPS is recognizing the difficulty of invoicing and collecting from subscribers during the pandemic. The extension will provide publishers more time to keep these subscribers on the paid list.

The new ruling also applies to requesters for requester publications.

USPS notes that the Statement of Ownership due Oct 1 must still be filed. Keeping the past-due subscribers on the list will bolster paid circulation totals.

Publishers always have the option of keeping past-due subscribers on the circulation list, but if the total of paid recipients falls below 50%+1 of the total recipient list, the Periodicals permit can be revoked by USPS. The paid/requester rule is found at DMM 207.4.2 and DMM 207.7.6.