Anyone may submit material to the service, but APS members receive discounted rates (refer to the Expertizing Fee Table below). Submitting items constitutus agreement of the APEX Terms which are printed on each form.
1. Complete an APEX application form for each item to be expertized
Each item must be accompanied by a special APEX Application Form which is available for download as a fillable PDF for a single item. if have multiple items for expertizing, please email or call to have forms mailed to you (814) 933-3803 ext. 206.
2. Mail completed forms and fees along with the required return envelopes to APEX.
A stamped addressed No. 10 envelope must accompany the item(s) submitted plus one small stamped addressed envelope. The small envelope will be used to acknowledge receipt of the item(s). If you are an APS member you can check confirmation in the MyCerts section of stamps.org rather than sending the small envelope. The No 10 will be used to return the items submitted with the rendered opinion. Insurance against loss in the mails both to and from the owner and the APS will be the responsibility of the owner. Be sure to include enough postage to insure or provide tracking for the envelope.
3. Once submitted - View Item Status
Items then are directed to up to three experts by registered mail before a decision is rendered. Therefore, allow 60-90 days before expecting a certificate. You can view the status of items by logging in at www.stamps.org, click MyAPS, and click the MyCertificates tab.
The APS will compensate the owner of a philatelic item that has been wrongly certified as genuine or misidentified by an APEX certificate. For full details read The APEX Guarantee.
If you purchase an item with an APEX certificate describing the item as genuine and it subsequently is proven to be counterfeit, altered or misidentified, APEX will compensate you up to $5,000. The guarantee is valid for five years after the date of the certificate. There are no other guarantees or warranties, express or implied.
The APEX guarantee does not apply to condition, such as thins, creases, gum disturbance, tears or gum loss, since condition can change after the certificate is issued. The guarantee terminates immediately if the item is altered (e.g., cleaned, repaired, reperfed, regummed) after the certificate is issued.
If, during the period of the guarantee, APEX agrees that its original decision is incorrect and that the material is counterfeit, altered or misidentified, APEX will purchase the guaranteed material from the owner. APEX reserves the right to determine the value of the material.
In establishing the value, APEX will consider: 1) the sales price, 2) receipts or other documentation provided by the owner, 3) value placed on the item when submitted for certification, and 4)the judgment of experts in the field. In no case will APEX pay more than $5,000 per certificate or the value of the item, whichever is less.
If APEX does not agree that its original decision is in error, the owner may, as his or her sole remedy refer the matter to a disputes panel, consisting of three APS members: one selected by APEX, one selected by the owner of the material and one selected by the other two. The panel would function under the laws of Pennsylvania and its decision will be binding on both parties.
The APEX guarantee is issued by the American Philatelic Society and not by individual members of the APEX expertizing committee or its staff.