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USA Ultimatum To UPU: Fix Terminal Dues Or We’re Out

This story is developing:

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States announced it will pull out of the Universal Postal Union, giving a one-year notice as required by the UPU Constitution.

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According to sources, a US delegation is in Berne now (Wednesday, October 17) delivering the formal, written notification.

The US raised concerns earlier in the year about the abuse of the terminal dues system, where national postal authorities are reimbursed for delivering another nation’s mail. The rise of ecommerce has seen the system abused by foreign marketers at the expense of domestic ecommerce providers and postal services.

The US came away empty-handed on the issue at the most recent Extraordinary Congress in Addis Ababa in September. The US, with the support of Brazil, Chile and Argentina, sought to move commercial packets into a parcel service that would not fall under the terminal dues system.

The Extraordinary Congress did not vote on the proposal. Instead, it kicked the issue to the 2020 UPU Congress and authorized Proposal 11 to draft a new renumeration plan. Many in the UPU feel that US policy is being driven by FedEx and UPS, who want to end cheap postage rates for foreign mailers shipping into the US.

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New Legislation to End Subsidies of Foreign Mail

Founded in 1874 in Berne, Switzerland, the UPU gives each country one vote. The United States was instrumental in starting the UPU, with U.S. Postmaster General Montgomery Blair calling for an international postal conference in 1862. The Paris Conference met in 1863. By this time international mail was in a state of chaos, encumbered by conflicting laws/regulations and dozens of bilateral treaties.

Click for 2018 UPU Congress – Proposal 11

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