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Process to Increase U.S. Postal Rates Moves Forward

As previously reported, delegates from 192 nations reached a breakthrough agreement on postal rates at the 24-25 September congress of the Universal Postal Union in Geneva that will allow high-volume importers of mail and packages to begin imposing “self-declared rates” for distributing foreign mail from January 2021, with a five-year period for phasing in new fees. Countries that meet certain requirements, including in-bound letter-post volumes in excess of 75,000 metric tonnes based on 2018 data, may self-declare their rates from 1 July 2020. In particular, the agreement will allow the United States to increase inbound delivery rates for small packages weighing up to two kilogrammes.

The U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission is inviting public comments through 10 December on this price-setting process. On 20 November, the U.S. Postal Service filed a motion to transfer inbound letter post small packets and bulky letters to the “competitive product list”, effective 1 January 2020. Terminal dues established by the Universal Postal Convention and its Regulations will apply from 1 January through 30 June 2020. For shipments from exporting countries with mail flows that exceed applicable annual tonnage thresholds, the USPS is proposing specific per-item and per-kilogramme self-declared prices for inbound letter post small packets and bulky letters effective 1 July 2020.

However, the USPS announced that the specific per-item and per-kilogramme prices should remain confidential at this time. The notice does state that the USPS will file notice of the specific prices at least 15 days prior to their 1 July 2020 planned effective date.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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