Beginning April 1, 2021, it will cost more to receive small packages from Japan. On an announcement on the Japan Post website, the country’s postal service wrote:
Partial Revision of International Postage Rates
The delivery charges for international mail, paid from the sender’s country to the recipient’s country, had been set rather low by the UPU convention, considering the circumstances of developing countries. However, an amendment was adopted that allows the charges, especially for small packets, to be increased significantly in order to enable countries like the United States to cover their delivery costs.
At Japan Post, we had kept our international postal charges at the same level since revising our postal rates in March 1996. However, to ensure stable international postal service, we decided to revise some international postal charges. Your understanding of this necessity is appreciated.
The UPU refers to the Universal Postal Union, and the changes impact epacket rates, which are packages under 4.4 lbs.
The US had threatened to leave the UPU after complaints that it cost US sellers more to send items domestically than it cost Chinese sellers (and those in some other countries) to ship the same items to US buyers.
While more equitable shipping sounds good for domestic US sellers, they will presumably face higher shipping costs when sending orders to international buyers.
A Japan-based reader tweeted us the news – we’re unsure of the status of epacket rates in other countries. You can find the new rates, which take effect next year, on the JapanPost.jp website.