For USA information Requests

372 International Reply Coupons
372.1 Description
a. The sender of a letter may prepay a reply by purchasing reply coupons, which are sold and exchangeable for postage stamps at post offices in member countries of the Universal Postal Union. The period of exchange of international reply coupons issued by the Universal Postal Union on or after January 1, 1975, is unlimited.

b. International reply coupons (in French, Coupons-Reponse Internationaux) are printed in blue ink on paper that has the letters "UPU" in large characters in the watermark. The front of each coupon is printed in French. The reverse side of the coupon shows the text relating to its use in German, English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.

c. Coupons sold in the United States have the selling price printed on them, while coupons in other countries may not.

372.2 Availability
Reply coupons may be requisitioned by Post Office facilities in the same manner as postage stamps. The coupons should be stocked at Post Office facilities that have a demand for them.

372.3 Selling Price and Rate of Exchange
a. The selling price of a reply coupon in the United States is $1.75. One coupon is exchangeable in any other member country for a stamp or stamps representing the minimum postage on an unregistered air letter. Unused U.S. coupons (that is, those with the U.S. selling price stamped on them) may be exchanged only for United States postage stamps by the original purchaser at a discount of 1 cent below the purchase price.

b. International reply coupons purchased in foreign countries are exchangeable at U.S. Post Office facilities toward the purchase of postage stamps and embossed stamped envelopes (including aerogrammes) at the rate of $0.80 per coupon, irrespective of the country where they were purchased.

372.4 Processing Requests
a. When an international reply coupon is sold, the Postal Service clerk must place a postmark in the block which is headed control stamp of the country of origin.

b. Under Universal Postal Union's regulations, member countries are not required to place a control stamp or postmark on the international reply coupons that they sell. Therefore, some foreign issue reply coupons, which are tendered for redemption, may bear the name of the issuing country (generally in French), rather than the optional control stamp or postmark. Such coupons are exchangeable for U.S. postage, as specified in 372.3b.

c. A Post Office facility redeeming an unused U.S. coupon must postmark it in the unpostmarked circle. A Post Office facility exchanging a foreign reply coupon must postmark it in the right circle. Post Office facilities must not accept foreign coupons that already bear a Postal Service postmark.

d. Reply coupons issued by foreign countries prior to January 1, 1975, are no longer redeemable at U.S. Post Office facilities. These old-style coupons are distinguishable from the newer coupons printed by the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union because the name of the country of origin is always present on the old-style coupons. Customers processing pre-1975 coupons of foreign origin should be advised to return them to their correspondents in the country of issue for replacement or redemption through the selling post office.

e. Reply coupons formerly issued by the Postal Union of the Americas and Spain are no longer valid. These coupons are printed in green ink and bear the caption Cupon Respuesta America-Espanol. Customers possessing any of these coupons should return them to their correspondents in the country of issue for redemption through the selling post office.

f. Postmasters must process exchanged foreign and redeemed U.S. coupons as prescribed in 426.9 International Reply Coupons (IRCs) Handbook F-1, Post Office Accounting Procedures.

From US Postal Service web site
http://pe.usps.gov/text/Imm/immc3_007.html#tOjUq2dbwats


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