AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Mar 12 2019 14:03:10

A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

From glacial pace to lightening speed, things are suddenly moving rapidly when it comes to changing how the US charges for delivery of packages from overseas shippers. The State Department is holding a meeting in Washington DC on Thursday, March 14, 2019 to discuss the US withdrawal from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and any member of the public can provide input.

The current administration is taking a great interest in the issue of what many see as "unfair" postal rates in which sellers from some international countries can pay less postage to get packages delivered to US shoppers than domestic US shippers, thanks to Terminal Dues set by UPU members.

An August 23, 2018 Presidential Memorandum set the tone when President Trump wrote, "Some current international postal practices in the UPU do not align with United States economic and national security interests," and noted, "UPU terminal dues, in many cases, are less than comparable domestic postage rates."

That was followed with the White House statement of October 17, 2018 announcing the US withdrawal from the UPU, a radical step that has set things moving before the October 17, 2019 deadline.

On Thursday, the Department of State Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services is holding a meeting: "The agenda of the meeting will include discussion of the announced U.S. withdrawal from the Universal Postal Union, and efforts underway that might allow the United States to meet the goals articulated in the October 17, 2018 White House announcement while remaining in the Organization."

Any member of the public can provide input, and though the deadline was March 7th, you can still request input into the meeting.

Contact Ms. Shereece Robinson via email at RobinsonSA2@state.gov, or by mail at IO/STA, Suite L– 409 SA–1; U.S. Department of State; Washington, DC 20522.

(Also let her know if you'd like the State Department to webcast Thursday's meeting or at minimum have the transcript published online after the event.)

The US is not the only country concerned about Terminal Dues, and Canada Post is leading a wave to force change at the UPU and work to find a solution that will keep the US and others in the UPU while stopping "cost coverage inadequacies."

Ian Kerr, founder and host of the Postal Hub Podcast, interviewed Pierre Morin, International Relations at Canada Post, who provided some information about behind-the-scene developments.

It appears the US administration will only be satisfied with self-declared rates that cover the costs of delivering overseas parcels, possibly with some exceptions for the least economically developed nations. The questions are whether the State Department is open to remaining in the UPU and whether UPU countries will agree to participants setting self-declared rates. 

That's a vast oversimplification of the issues involved, and much remains unknown to the public about the process and what lies ahead, including what rates foreign countries will charge US exporters and what stance the Postal Regulatory Commission will take when approving rates proposed by the US Postal Service.

Should the US move to self-declared rates? If it does, should the State Department nevertheless work hard to remain in the UPU if the countries can come to an agreement? Don't just answer here - write to the State Department and let them know. And if you can make it to Thursday's meeting in DC, consider requesting an opportunity to speak before the committee.

With the October deadline for UPU withdrawal nearing, things are rapidly coming to a head.

Update: Immediately after posting we received a very timely response from Ms. Robinson about our request that the meeting be webcast: "This meeting will not be available via webcast as we do not have the capabilities to do so. This meeting will be open to the public, therefore your readers are welcome to attend. There will be an opportunity for questions and comments." I'll be following up with a request that a transcript be made available, feel free to do so as well.

Comments (22) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Jim S. This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 12 14:16:00 2019

I wonder what effect leaving the Universal Postal Union might have on USPS international packaging tracking.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Mar 12 17:24:47 2019

With or without leaving the UPU, if we raise our rates for international inbound, seems other countries would raise their rates for receiving our packages... But one would think that as a member, we would have influence into such issues.  

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 12 20:02:54 2019

This is less about leaving the UPU, than forcing them to recognize that countries like China are not 3rd world emerging markets, China has the #1 economy in the world and it should be charged rates as other 1st market countries are.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 12 21:33:40 2019

I sent Ms. Robinson an e-mail supporting the withdrawal.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 00:29:28 2019

As long as they level the playing field I don't care which way it goes

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 02:27:23 2019

This change is directly aimed at China who the UPU voted to give continued status as a 3rd world economy for at least another 2 years despite all the evidence to the contrary.  China pays the same rate for packages to the US as the country of Gabon, which is still a 3rd world economy.

Whether China gave bribes or in some other way coerced the voters to not change their postal rates China forced Trumps hand with this withdrawal as these constant offers for 99 cents including shipping with tracking is just one example of how they are hurting other countries economies for their own gains.  I don't care if China continues to pay for their businesses shipping cost as long as it does not continue to cost me as the USPS must make up for the losses they incur on each and every Epacket by charging US sellers more and more every year.  Let China pay the same rates we have to pay to return things to China (over $10 to start) and their packages should receive the same crappy service that US packages going to China receive when it comes to tracking, there is none.  This is why nobody can afford to return the constant flow of broken or wrong items being sent to them on Ebay and Ebay laughs all the way to the bank.

Its time for China to start paying their fair share of all costs just like other countries which have equivalent economies/

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 13 06:14:12 2019

"The current administration is taking a great interest in the issue of what many see as "unfair" postal rates"

I don't have any faith that the current administration will do anything but muck this up further.   Ask US farmers how those tariffs are working out for them.   Ask the folks in Ohio about those jobs "coming back".  I won't even get started on coal jobs in West Virginia coming back because that was just ridiculous to begin with.

They'll simply drive inbound postage up so high that everyone in the US will be paying more for anything that is imported.

Really, be careful what you wish for.  You'll be paying for the difference in the stores where you shop.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 06:41:25 2019


too funny, China manufactures so much stuff now that ANY country who dares to stop or slow or raise costs of china imports will instantly be pressing their recession button. and turning their country into poverty.

it's retarded to believe china will pay anything, the consumers will be the ones to pay dearly

maybe something could have been done 25 years ago, but not anymore , at this point, it's way too late to stop china, they are on track to become, if not already the number 1 superpower, get use to it.,





Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Mar 13 11:48:21 2019

@Rexford

"Really, be careful what you wish for. You'll be paying for the difference in the stores where you shop."

How do you figure?

Walmart doesn't get chinese merchandise in an "ePacket"

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 11:52:06 2019

Yes, get OUT of the union! Whoever runs that is an idiot. They said " its business" but what kind of business deal gives the opposing entity all the benefits and the usa zero?
That person should also be investigated because it seems a little fishy to me.

China has hurt small sellers AND importers because by selling directly at stupid prices and free shipping they have created a scenario that they can't be competed with.

Its disgusting and needs to be addressed and sellers truly need to stand up to it.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 14:34:38 2019

I don't get it...its becoming so expensive to ship overseas anywhere that, in most cases, its just not worth it.  I offered an item for $40.00 on eBay and a buyer contacted me and asked if I would ship to Australia (shipping was for US only).  I looked it up and found my 1 lb $40.00 item would cost $23.50 to send to Australia.  She paid the price but I felt like she was being gouged!  I feel its an outrage to charge that much for a 1 lb package that only measured about 10 X 12 X 1".  I feel a lot of sellers cannot compete with countries like China as far as shipping is concerned!

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 16:45:55 2019

Rexford
Wed Mar 13 06:14:12 2019

Really, be careful what you wish for.  You'll be paying for the difference in the stores where you shop.

Rexford, no retail entity is importing merchandise through the postal system, they come in on those giant cargo ships, which only add pennies to the cost of a single item.

I believe its against US law for the Post Office to charge different pricing based on national origin of the package. I shipped a 2 oz package from SC to CA for $3.09, yet someone from China can ship halfway around the world for less than a dollar.  Its not fair to me, a US taxpayer, to support Chinese sellers.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 00:18:04 2019

Simple: NO 'Direct To Consumer' Made In China Products.
Let China sell WHOLESALE; whether to Big Box, or, to a U.S. re-Seller who buys in bulk, shipped Cargo only.
This puts the U.S. Business person BACK 'in business'.
This saves OUR Postal Service & keeps OUR rates low.
Idiot Americans buying 99 cent 'free shipping' junk from China, get junk, and only hurt their own economy, too.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: kazaly This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 02:42:37 2019

China is certainly a problem with their govt. supporting China Post pricing O/S post at below cost.
China is more than happy to subsidise acquisition of substantial foreign capital reserves a few pennies at a time.
Nobody ever seems to mention the UK though.
They also do this, though to a lesser extent and not through pricing subsidies.
Royal Mail, in the run-up to privatisation, tried to build volume by offering great bulk rates and negotiating cheap airmail freight carrier rates.
Strange as it may seem, their profits actually went through the roof.
If any other country was truly interested in leveling the intn'l postage playing field, they could do a lot worse than studying how RM turned a dinosaur into a racehorse (and a quick one at that).
Check out the deals from big pommy booksellers on eBay then compare USPS pricing in the other direction.
Lately, all the US wants to do is quit any agreement the govt finds difficult and that's no way to demonstrate any form of leadership.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 07:17:58 2019

You cannot send any package to Europe, Japan or even China  without paying  about 1200 percent more for 4 ounces than Chinese sellers who ship up to 4 pounds in US for $1.60.  Try shipping 4 pounds from California to New York and tell me what will you pay? About 30.00 more than the Asian seller who is shipping from half way around the world.
Every American who uses the Post Office has been forced to subsidize Asian sellers by paying more for postage costs to cover the losses incurred delivering the billion or so packages that come into this country from Asia per year. I think it is about time the Asian sellers pay their share. Especially since Asia has a bigger import business than any other country in the world. About time the government stepped in and protected the people who keep them in business.  

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 14 07:24:10 2019

"Simple: NO 'Direct To Consumer' Made In China Products."

Seriously?  And what would follow, China retaliating and shutting down "direct to consumer" from the USA?    

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 08:19:17 2019

by: Patricia
"   I looked it up and found my 1 lb $40.00 item would cost $23.50 to send to Australia. "

It is even worse. USPS had a special rate for thin envelopes (up to 1/4") so called flats that one could send for less than the package rate. As I understand it based on some Int'l Union regulations one cannot use them for commercial content and they have to be mailed as a package.

So if you had a piece of paper  mailed in a sturdier envelope weighing let's say  6oz, they used to cost $5-6 to mail. Now because of the new rule if you sell the same piece of paper on line and put it into the same type envelope it has to be mailed as a a package. Stamps.com asks $13.50 for a package below 8 oz. This is a ROBBERY.

BTW use Pirate Ship for international packages. A 1 lb package (or more accurately 0.99 lb) cost 'only' $15.95. (I am not affiliated with them in any way, except that I started to use them recently)

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 08:40:00 2019

As a Plastic injection Mold maker 30 years ago, we lost most of our jobs in the plastic industry We screamed murder, to our government and anyone who would listen, about China, NO ONE DID NOTHING, because it didn't affect them, or they liked the cheap products.

It's nice to see it now hurts a LOT more people, and people feel they need to do something, well it's way too late.

I buy tons of stuff from China, one e-packet at a time, even if I need 150 of the same items, I get them shipped one at a time, I don't care, how much it costs our government or the post office customers,

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 10:37:18 2019

It all boils down to whatever rates we set, the Chinese gov will subsidize. That is fine with me.

BUT, it is companies that need to come forward and adhere to their own policies. If that China seller is in China, THEN THE LISTING SHOULD REFLECT THAT. If it's cheaper and you want to wait, that is up to you.

AND, if that China item is really being warehoused here, then that item should be shipped from US to US, and should be charged the appropriate shipping charge, the same and you and I would pay to ship from CA or NJ or wherever it is located. That would make things considerably better. That would level the playing field without hurting the world UPU in any way. China should NOT be a 3rd world economy and we should not be supporting them in any way any longer. Anyone can see that.  

If those simple rules could be adhered to, that would suffice for me.

Perminate Link for A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates   A Chance to Weigh in on Overseas Package Rates

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 12:40:42 2019

Chinese first world economy should not be able to sell to US customers for less than what I can ship within the US (which is now over 5.00 for some first class packages!)

These same Chinese sellers are usually the factory anyway, they can continue to sell wholesale direct but at least our US postage rates should not be constantly going up to make up for the loss on these packages.
And whatever the rate is, it should be a 2 way, if they can mail to me for 2.00 shipping then I should be able to mail to them for 2.00 shipping.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.