Universal Postal Union Convention Article 43

Joint Study on Universal Postal Union Convention Article 43,
Posting Abroad of Letter-post Items

Under Article 43 of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Convention, a postal administration is not bound to forward or deliver to the addressee letter post items which senders residing in its territory post or cause to be posted in a foreign territory to take advantage of more favorable postal rates there. The delivery administration may charge domestic postage rates to the sender or origin postal administration for such mailings.

Prior to the 1999 UPU Congress in Beijing, recommendations were put forward to the Department of State that the U.S. Government consider proposing to eliminate Article 43 from the UPU Convention. Before proceeding, an interagency group on postal policy related to the UPU, led by the Department of State, the United States Postal Service and Postal Rate Commission, agreed to joint sponsorship of a study to analyze the risks of eliminating Article 43 provisions.

In January 2000, the U.S. Department of State, Postal Rate Commission and United States Postal Service (USPS) jointly commissioned a study to try to determine the likely impact that elimination of Article 43 would have on postal stakeholders, including the financial impact on the Postal Service's domestic revenue base. Following a competitive solicitation process, the three study sponsors chose Battelle Memorial Institute in Arlington, Virginia as the contractor for the study. Battelle served as the study's project manager, sub-contracting the market research aspects of the study to National Analysts of Philadelphia, PA and the financial/technical aspects of the study to International Postal Financial Consultants (IPFC) of Washington, DC. The study was concluded in February 2003 and reviewed by the Department of State, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Rate Commission.

A link to the study and related documents is at left. The study should be read in conjunction with the analytical commentary on the statistical validity of the study provided by the Postal Rate Commission and National Analysts, both of which follow the report. Please note that all information of a commercially sensitive nature has been redacted.

The Department of State welcomes comments concerning Article 43. Comments should be addressed to: Director for UPU Affairs, IO/T Room 5333, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520