Industry FAQs

What are the trade customs regarding spoilage of customer-owned materials in the mailing/fulfillment area?

As more printers get into the fulfillment service area, this question from one member becomes of increasing interest. Association of Marketing Service Providers has published trade customs regarding mailing and fulfillment and specifically on "shrinkage." An excerpt: "All direct mail handling and processing involves spoilage. Spoilage of up to three (3) percent of customer’s material is typical. Allowances for spoilage should be taken into consideration in ordering material. Every effort will be made to handle customer's material with frugality and to prevent undue spoilage. Nevertheless, the mailer cannot accept responsibility for shortages of material as a result of normal spoilage in processing. All stock and materials belonging to a customer will be held and stored only at the customer's risk, and the customer shall be responsible for insurance on their material."

When must an employer provide personal protective equipment (PPE)?

OSHA requires employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. Hazards that an employer must protect its employees from include any processes, equipment, chemicals, radioactive materials, or mechanical irritants that could cause injury or impairment of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact. If the hazard(s) cannot be eliminated by engineering controls, the employer must provide any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to enable the employees to safely complete their duties.

All PPE used in the workplace must be of the type design and material adequate for the task performed and/or hazard encountered. PPE must be in a condition good enough to protect the employee from the hazard. Since the condition of PPE will degrade with use (or due to shelf life), the employer and employee must inspect PPE to make sure that damaged or defective PPE is removed from service. The OSHA PPE regulations are found at 29 CFR 1910.132 – 138.

What is my state's law on business licenses, incorporations and naming regulations?

Go to the Small Business Administration (SBA) website, and you'll find a link to the best site that offers state-specific advice. If you need small business data on your state, review the SBA's fact book, Small Business Profiles by State.

When are air quality permits required of Maryland printing companies?

The air quality permitting process for Maryland sheetfed printers recently got much better! Two years of effort by PGAMA has paid off in big savings of time, money and aggravation. A new and simple General Permit is available to sheetfed printers using less than 1,000 gallons of fountain solution concentrate per year. The general permit covers all the presses in the qualifying companies with just one $500 fee. No waiting for approval is necessary before being able to legally install or use a press.

Do we have to pay Maryland sales tax on computer equipment used only in the production process such as in our prepress department?

No, such equipment is considered manufacturing equipment and exempt from sales tax and personal property tax.

Do we have to pay Maryland sales tax or property tax on leased printing equipment?

No, if the leased equipment is manufacturing equipment and if the cost is capitalized by the leasing company, then it is not subject to sales tax or personal property tax in Maryland.