On October 17, the President announced his intentions to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and adopt self-declared rates for terminal dues, no later than January 1, 2020. For more details of the actual announcement, please check out this statement from the Press Secretary.

The Universal Postal Union, established in 1874, sets fees that national postal services charge to deliver mail and small parcels to countries around the world. Many poor and developing countries, including China, are receiving lower rates than other wealthier countries. As such, it has allowed China to ship products to the United States cheaper than US merchants can ship within the United States.

The Postal Regulatory Commission agrees with this position. In fact, Chairman Robert Taub issued a press release supporting the move stating, “President Trump’s concurrence today with the State Department recommendation to adopt self-declared rates for terminal dues as soon as practical and no later than January 1, 2020, is a tremendous step towards finally addressing these distortions on behalf of our fellow Americans – particularly U.S. merchants, U.S. mailers, and U.S. private-sector carriers who are trying to compete fairly in these global markets.”

However, not everyone is on board with the decision to withdraw in such a short timeframe. The International Mailers Advisory Group (IMAG), an association that represents consolidators, marketers, vendors, and international mailing organizations, believes the US should remain in the UPU and believes the next UPU Congress in 2020 provides an opportunity to negotiate a solution that can move toward self-declared rates.

Despite this differing opinion, all parties agree that negotiations are necessary to provide for a level playing field.

BCC Software will continue to keep you updated on this issue, so stay tuned.