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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

UPU News : Updated rules for international postal services adopted

17.04.2013 - The UPU’s Postal Operations Council (POC) this week adopted the revised regulations for international letter-post, parcel post and postal payment services.
 Making it official: Hussein and Metoki sign the updated international rules during  the POC plenary
UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein and POC Chairman Masahiko Metoki signed the updated documents during the body’s plenary session on Monday 15 April 2013 at UPU headquarters in Berne, Switzerland.
More than 300 proposals were adopted to modify the rules dealing with how Posts exchange mail among themselves. These rules describe the processes to follow to efficiently handle and distribute billions of letter-post and parcel-post items that cross international borders every year as well as service conditions and compensation methods for postal operators.
The Agreement on postal payment services deals with the financial services offered by Posts.
The new international regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2014.
Developing new services
Often quite technical, the updates also make way for the development of new optional postal services. This is the case for a merchandise returns service that’s in the works.
Indeed, a new article in the regulations is paving the way for Posts to eventually offer a returns service for merchandise bought internationally. Once the details are ironed out, Posts will be able to offer this optional prepaid and priority service to online retailers who sell goods abroad and want customers to be able to conveniently return unwanted goods.
Joost Magielsen, from PostNL, the Dutch designated operator, which pushed for the inclusion of this new article in the regulations, says it’s only the beginning, but having the article in the regulations is an important step given the rise of e-commerce and the potential for cross-border growth.
“The regulatory framework is in place; now we have to work out the business details,” he says, adding that the UPU must now develop a user guide and align the optional service with other return services being explored for letter-post and express products.
Forty countries are members of the POC, whose session concludes on 19 April. More than 800 delegates are attending. 
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