In-county rates and 10% rule
Thursday, 06 January 2005 14:51

The 10 percent rule for mailing at in-county rates during the calendar year. Publishers can easily identify non-subscriber copies on their postage statement. There also is more than one 10 percent rule and this may or may not come into play depending upon the number of comp copies that are mailed outside county.

Step 1: Count the number of subscriber copies mailed in-county during the past year and take 10 percent of that figure — that equals the number of copies (non-subscriber) that can be mailed at the in-county postal rates during the calendar year.

A newspaper may exceed the 50 percent circulation rule more than once during a calendar year. The Postal Service allows you to mail more non-subscriber copies than paid if they are within the 10 percent limit for a calendar year.

Step 2: Count the number of subscriber copies mailed outside county and the number of subscriber copies mailed in-county and take 10 percent of the total subscribers (in-county + outside county). This would be an overall 10 percent limit.

Once a newspaper meets the in-county 10 percent limit or the overall 10 percent limit, whichever comes first, the newspaper is not eligible to mail any additional nonsubscriber copies at the in-county rates.


A mailing is not eligible for periodicals rates if it consists entirely of nonsubscriber copies over the 10 percent limit.

These copies are subject to the appropriate other rate. Therefore, you must track the number of copies mailed to subscribers and nonsubscriber before mailing all copies as nonsubscriber.

If the numbers (exceeding 10 percent) look close and you do not have time to check records of prior mailings, you should include at least two subscriber copies. The two subscriber copies must have a name and address and be claimed on the postage statement as subscriber copies.