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bill937ca

US to withdraw from Universal Postal Union

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bill937ca

"President Donald Trump is preparing to withdraw the United States from the Universal Postal Union (UPU) over accusations that the treaty disadvantages the US, White House officials said on Wednesday."

 

"The UPU is a 144-year-old United Nations treaty that coordinates international postal policies. Part of the treaty also allows China and other countries to ship packages to the US at lowered rates."

 

"Under the current UPU agreement, foreign merchants are able to ship small packages weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) or less at a discounted rate to the US. The Trump administration hopes to renegotiate treaty to allow the US to set its own rates for such packages to cover the cost of delivery."

 

https://www.dw.com/en/donald-trump-moves-to-leave-postal-union-in-latest-jab-at-china/a-45931690

 

Question is will this effect shipping from Japan?  I would guess yes and a withdrawal could come around much faster than negotiating a new agreement.

Edited by bill937ca
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Yavianice

Withdrawing the US from the UPU will be a disaster! The UPU calculates all the possible shipping routes between countries to make sure that all postage goes in a proportionate way to member countries. If the US withdraws from the UPU, that will basically terminate all direct mail to the US, and mail can then only flow to the US through countries which have a postal agreement with the US and are within the UPU, incurring way higher shipping costs, delivery times etc. with consumers footing the bill.

 

For people who do not know what the UPU is:

 

 

Edited by Yavianice
added explainer video
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Kiha66

I've already been pretty annoyed seeing components go up 25% due to the tariffs, not happy.  This will be yet another huge mistake with consumers having to pay for it. 

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gavino200

Damn! This is going to be a real pain in the ass!!

 

Thanks for the information. 

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chadbag

This sounds pretty dire for those who get and send mail internationally to/from the US.  I expect there is more to this than the Deutsche Welle article is saying, or we are reading more into it. It is a negotiating tactic, just like the Tariffs.

 

"The UPU is a 144-year-old United Nations treaty" -- this is not true.   The United Nations is not that old so while the UPU treaty may be that old, it was not a United Nations treaty.

 

 

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bikkuri bahn

I don't think it will affect shipping from Japan to the US very much- it is already pricey (or at least, not cheap), as you would expect for agreements between mature economies.  The primary target is China and all the junk that gets sent from there (because Americans want cheap junk).  Hopefully there won't be spillover.  

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/10/trump-changes-terminal-dues-and-epacket-rates/573337/

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Yavianice
3 hours ago, bikkuri bahn said:

I don't think it will affect shipping from Japan to the US very much- it is already pricey (or at least, not cheap), as you would expect for agreements between mature economies.  The primary target is China and all the junk that gets sent from there (because Americans want cheap junk).  Hopefully there won't be spillover.  

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/10/trump-changes-terminal-dues-and-epacket-rates/573337/

 

The problem is that if the US will leave the UPU, all postal treaties have to be renegotiated. And furthermore, it might inspire other countries that have unaffordable rates of postage (Denmark, Netherlands, just to name a few) to leave the UPU as well. Before you know it, we are in the dark ages where post will have to go a roundabout, inefficient way for different countries that all want different postage rates or charge separately for transit mail (one of the main benefits of the UPU, so you can only buy 1 stamp for your letter instead of 3 stamps if it transits through 3 countries).

 

The best would be to renegotiate the prices rather than just say "Screw you guys, i'm going home" attitude the Trump administration does, or it can lead to chaos in the postage market. The UPU is one of those universal treaties that makes everything more efficient for everybody if everyone participates.

Edited by Yavianice

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cteno4

The ebay/China Post/USPS was sposta be profitable to the USPS with it using bar coding to aid USPS sorting and be dropped at the main sorting stations for USPS, but it was hard to see how it was. It is true it has been hurting in country sales with the significantly higher shipping charges. The days of the 99 cent free shipping item from China are going bye bye.

 

an interesting thing is that quite a few of the cheap ebay free shipping small items are shipped first to Kazakhstan first then to the us! You can see the first trans shipping label under the final delivery label. 

 

I do hope this battle does not lead to the disintegration of UPU. 

 

Jeff

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nah00
On 10/18/2018 at 5:32 AM, bill937ca said:

"President Donald Trump is preparing to withdraw the United States from the Universal Postal Union (UPU) over accusations that the treaty disadvantages the US, White House officials said on Wednesday."

 

We're supposed to preparing to have a separate Space Force and kicking the UN out of New York. This just seems like bluster. There's too much money to be lost by pulling out of this. And assuming this did go through would it impact DHL or FedEx? 

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cteno4

its also most likely a lot about putting pressure on china as well, thats happening on all fronts.

 

we need to watch the politics here. while its something potentially effecting our hobby, lets not let it spill out too far here as we want to stay away from heavy political discussions on the forum.

 

thanks

 

jeff

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toc36

Link to a short article from the Wall Street Journal on the impact of the in-balance of the Universal Postal Union on small businesses in the US.  Don't know if this article is behind a firewall:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-subsidy-for-china-is-dumb-as-a-post-1517963275

 

The gist of the article raises issues of China subsidizing its small exporters and the US subsidizing revenue losing Postal rates supporting Chinese importers and it impact on an American small business. 

 

In all seriousness, reversal of the UPU will not impact my model train purchasing habits from Japanese or vendors from other nations.    

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kvp

I would like to ask if the planned EU postal privatization could affect international shipping and if it is effectively a withdrawal or if there are plans to honor the UPU interchange agreements by the private postal companies? Especially considering that the Japan Post has already been privatized and we are still getting our orders from Japan.

 

ps: In case of traffic flow (and revernue) imbalance, the extra costs could be transferred to the recipients, like in the UK or Hungary, where the post office could charge a customs handling free or refuse to deliver the package. This means the last mile price is paid by the recipient regardless of the actual shipment fee for the package. This circumvents the whole problem. (and also allows adding import tax and local VAT to imported goods, up to 30% in Hungary and including the shipping fees in the base price, then adding the local postal handling fee on top and if you don't pay, you can fetch the package from the customs office yourself for free as the post won't touch it)

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Yavianice

New UPU regulations starting 1.1.2019 for Germany/European Union: Now there will be a separation between companies and consumers. 

 

For companies nothing will change price wise, weight wise, or dimension wise.

 

Consumers will no longer be able to ship anything below 2 kg (except documents). The only alternative is DHL now (or other country specific alternative)

Edited by Yavianice
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brill27mcb

Ouch! This may make buying single pieces of rolling stock second-hand from German individuals prohibitively expensive for me. DHL to the U.S. is the most expensive shipping I have encountered...

 

Rich K.

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Yavianice
5 hours ago, brill27mcb said:

Ouch! This may make buying single pieces of rolling stock second-hand from German individuals prohibitively expensive for me. DHL to the U.S. is the most expensive shipping I have encountered...

 

Rich K.

 

Now the cheapest option from Germany is 16 euro for non tracked items, or 20 for tracked items with insurance of 50 euro, up to 2kg weight. Fixed maximum dimensions. No more cheaper options.

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brill27mcb

Thanks for the info!

 

Rich K.

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bill937ca

Latest update:

A 'nightmare scenario' if Trump pulls US out of global postal union, agency warn

 

Trump says UPU rules unfairly benefit China and wants to charge other countries more than rules permit for deliveries in the US

 

Donald Trump’s threat to pull the United States out of the global postal system could lead to a “nightmare scenario” of mail going undelivered, packages piling up and American stamps no longer being recognised abroad, the UN postal agency has warned.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has been holding an emergency meeting in Geneva to persuade Washington not to follow through on a threat to quit the agency, which sets rules to ensure mail gets delivered around the globe.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/24/universal-postal-union-disruption-trump-us-pullout

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Yavianice

The final UPU vote is due tomorrow. If no agreement can be reached, it’s likely that Trump will exit. But he might be distracted by KFC or the newly announced impeachment process long enough to not do it? I can only hope!

 

The vote choices are as follows:

 

A: Continuation of the rate structure decided at the 2016 Congress, but bringing scheduled rate increases for bulky letters and small packets forward from 2021 to 2020 and moving all countries into a single rate system by 2020. (Aka: status quo but accelerated).

 

B: Introduce optional self-declared rates for bulky letters and small packets from 2020. The UPU would apply country-specific ceilings based on domestic tariffs to prevent excessively high rates. (Trump’s pick)

 

C: Bring forward scheduled rate increases, at higher levels, and move all countries into a single rate system by 2020. This option proposes phasing in optional self-declared rates between 2021 and 2025 with country-specific ceilings based on domestic tariffs to prevent excessively high rates. (The compromise option)

 

source:

https://www.aircargonews.net/policy/customs/row-over-subsidised-e-commerce-packages-into-the-us-faces-crunch-vote/

 

update:

 

Option B is voted out (self declaring rates with a maximum). Option C will be voted on tomorrow at 9 am European Time (moving to a universal one rate fits all system and self determined price hikes). If no agreement can be reached, Option A will be considered. But I think that Option A isn’t what Trump wants. So we might know the fate of the UPU by tomorrow morning, European time.

 

update 2: 

 

Congress vote postponed until this afternoon while there are more behind the scenes negotiations between the US and China delegation.

Edited by Yavianice
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Yavianice

Latest news:

 

Option C was also voted out, I think, but apparently the secretary general had an ace up his sleeve in the form of Option V. What Option V exactly entails is a modification of Option C, allowing individual countries, depending on how many postage they receive, to set individual price standards per country up to a certain maximum. If I understood it correctly (UN bureaucracy speak is not exactly easy to understand). Option V was accepted by the majority of the countries participating in the UPU. But I fell asleep several times listening to the bureaucratic stuff and apparently missed the U.S. response (each country could have their say, the Portuguese participants were especially boring, the Maroc participant was some sexy lady voice and China and Japan were very enthusiastic about the whole endeavor... couldn't listen to much more).

 

So... wait and see until the newsagencies can be bothered to pick up the latest postal news or the UPU people finally waking up after not sleeping for a year (this was repeatedly said during the meeting) and update their news website.

Edited by Yavianice
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Kiha66

Seems like the US got what it wanted, big countries can start charging their own rates in July 2020.  Less pandemonium in the system than pulling out of the UPU, but rates are certainly going to increase quite a bit for shipments.  Get your orders in while you can!

 
http://news.upu.int/no_cache/nd/upu-member-countries-reach-unanimous-agreement-on-postal-remuneration-rates/

 

"The decision, which took place during the second day of the Geneva meeting, will see the UPU accelerate rate increases to the system used to remunerate the delivery of inbound international bulky letters and small packets, phasing in self-declared rates starting as soon as 2020. The Extraordinary Congress approved the proposal, known as “Option V,” by acclamation." ...  "Under the agreed solution, member countries that meet certain requirements – including inbound letter-post volumes in excess of 75,000 metric tons based on 2018 data – would be able to opt-in to self-declare their rates starting 1 July 2020.  The decision also includes thresholds to protect low-volume, developing countries from the impact of the swift reform."

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Yavianice

I'm happy they reached an agreement! It's better than the U.S. just backing out because 'patriotism is better than globalism'. And now I no longer have to listen to UN bureaucracy speech for a while I hope.

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cteno4

Could really shoot the rates to the us up a lot as they are quite high now with priority and express mail. I could see EMS being above dhl soon. Sadly the Sal deal will also not be so sweet.

 

its funny as usps did the deal with ebay and China on the bulk shipments as usps thought they would make good money with the bulk deals being dropped shipped to the proper distribution centers. Oh well.

 

jeff

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Yavianice

My guess is that they will continue to use it as a wildcard for the trade war with China. Since Japan and the U.S. have pretty good relations and equal postage in both ways, not to mention SOFA agreements (though it’s unclear for everyone where SOFA mail is dealt with in regards with the UPU), I think it’s unlikely that us japanese collectors will notice much.

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Yavianice
4 hours ago, bill937ca said:

Another article from DW:

 

Pexit? US prepares to pull out of Universal Postal Union

 

Bishar Hussein, director general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) said Tuesday that "a nightmare scenario" looms if the US made good on its threat to pull out of the 145-year-old organization.

The UPU is the UN body that regulates global postal services.

Hussein, speaking at a special three-day emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, said the US move could lead to mail going undelivered, packages piling up, and US postage stamps being no longer recognized around the world.

The US is angered by the so-called terminal dues system of prices set by the UPU for international postal delivery. The current system charges sender countries for delivery in destination countries, yet it distinguishes between them, with developing countries paying significantly lower rates than industrialized countries.

 

https://www.dw.com/en/pexit-us-prepares-to-pull-out-of-universal-postal-union/a-50569818

 

This is outdated info

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