Franking machines - handling
- Printing quality and color
The franking impression is provided in blue and clearly legible, directly on the item in the franking zone or on a self-adhesive franking strip. The quality of the ink in FRANKIT machines is important to ensure that the postage charged can be correctly checked and services properly used.
The blue color must therefore correspond to the requirements of Deutsche Post.
- The ink/alternative ink
To ensure that the franking impression of your franking machine has high-quality printing, Deutsche Post has introduced a certifying process both for "alternative" ink, also called "ink from third party suppliers", and for original ink based on the certification of the FRANKIT machines.
The certification process ensures that the matrix can be read perfectly in the mail centers and thus guarantees the validity and authenticity of the franking mark, the recognition of the product and the special services which may be associated with it (e.g., registered items).
Deutsche Post therefore recommends that only original ink or certified ink should be used for your franking machine.
We have compiled an overview of the suppliers of ink for franking machines for you.
Certification is restricted to the print quality. Deutsche Post cannot make any statements about the general suitability of these alternative inks in the various FRANKIT machines of individual manufacturers (especially regarding their chemical qualities).
- Postage loading and payment
For FRANKIT machines and machines with a remote resetting functionality, the downloaded postage amount will normally be debited from your account by Deutsche Post using direct debit.
From a postage top-up of EUR 200 the customer will receive a 1% discount. The discount will be taken into account in billing.
The items will be franked with the net charge. For products liable to VAT, e.g., Infopost or international letter mail at the kilo-rate, the VAT will be subsequently calculated and displayed as part of the mailing process.
For details on the subject of VAT, see
If your items have been franked at the wrong rate, or if the franking value has been printed incorrectly, the difference will be repaid to you and transferred to your account. For this purpose the "Application for repayment of franked amounts" is available to you.
- Posting the item
Items may be posted at all authorized acceptance offices of Deutsche Post
(e. g., retail outlets, agencies etc.). The number or size of items to be posted may be limited by Deutsche Post in line with the space capacity available.
The stated franking date must not differ from the date of postage.
- Test/sample franking
FRANKIT machines, depending on the manufacturer's model, provide the opportunity for test or sample printing whose sole purpose is to check on the print-outs and the detailed adjustment of the printer.
Items printed as test prints must not be sent out.
- Response items
Envelopes, wrappings, cards and address labels for letter mail may be franked in advance for returning items within Germany and are designated "Antwortsendung" (response item). In this case franking is allowed even though the date in the franking mark differs from the actual date of posting by more than one day.
The following conditions must be fulfilled when franking in advance:
- For response items, the return address must be attached.
- Response items must bear the very visible note "Antwort" (response) above the address.
- Window envelopes, envelopes for multiple use and transparent wrappings with the franking mark underneath the wrapping must not be used for response items.
- Adhesive strips with franking marks must not be attached to response items (Exception: Items with medical specimens).
- Notes on Infopost, the kilo-rate and special services in connection with Frankit machines
When Infopost items franked by FRANKIT are posted, one test print is sufficient for the required sample mail-out. Depending on the manufacturer's model, FRANKIT machines offer the possibility of test or sample printouts.
Letters at the kilo-rate
The note "Infopost int. postage paid" (Infopost int Entgelt bezahlt) in the plain text area of the franking mark is applied by the FRANKIT machine. There are several possibilities for calculating the charge, depending on the manufacturer's model. The manufacturer's instructions for use contain additional information.
Special services for letter mail
Depending on the manufacturer's model, there is a possibility, when using the special services for letter mail such as registered items, to print the bar-code directly on to the item. In this case, attaching an extra 1D bar-code adhesive label on the envelope is not required.
The appropriate numbers for the special services will be delivered by the manufacturer to your FRANKIT machine on request.
- Price and product changes
FRANKIT allows automatic rate updates. The "Price and product list" on which franking is based will be provided by the manufacturer of your franking machine either automatically as part of a postage loading/zero-load process or by data carrier.
Additional information on using a franking machine or on machine franking can be found at Franking machine FAQs.