Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Fall, international-focused issue of our sister publication, PARCEL. However, we wanted to be sure to share it with our Mailing Systems Technology readers as well, since we know this information affects many of you.
2021 INTERNATIONAL MAIL CHANGES LEAD TO UNCERTAINTY
By Merry Law
ith higher international postage prices in January 2021, particularly for small packages; potential new requirements for Advanced Electronic Data (AED) and to the USPS Shipping Services File (SSF); and changes to customs duties and to foreign taxes on sales, international mailers are facing many changes in a short timeframe. These issues, plus the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, have created uncertainty and concerns among international mailers. Terminal dues, the rates countries pay each other for international mail, will again increase across all types of letter mail in January. Under UPU definitions, letter mail includes all items weighing less than two kilograms (4.4 pounds). Within letter mail,
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2020 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
the UPU defines three formats — P, G, and E — by size and weight. Format P for petit (small) is basically postcards and regular sized letters. Format G for grand (large) covers larger sized letters and flats. Small packages and all items containing goods are format E for encombrant (cumbersome). Terminal dues are expressed as X SDR per kilogram plus Y SDR per item. SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) are used by UN agencies to calculate charges or credits between countries. Effective July 2020, 31 countries self-declared rates, and an additional 13 did so for January 2021. Of those on both lists, eight reduced their July rates, 19 increased their rates, and one remained about the same. The remaining three countries made changes between the per kilogram and per item rates. The US rate for inbound packages as of July 1 was 2.088 SDR per item plus 2.878 SDR per kilogram ($2.948/ item + $1.843/pound). In January, the US inbound rate will be 2.332 SDR per item plus 3.038 SDR per kilogram
Mailing Systems Technology Nov/Dec 2020