Speaker: UPU to Discuss Terminal Dues, Proposed ETOE Changes

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NEW YORK -- Terminal dues and changes to extra-territorial offices of exchange are just two of the topics to be debated at this fall's Universal Postal Union Congress in Romania.


Terminal dues are the system of reimbursement between countries in the UPU for the delivery of each other's mail.


One proposal includes moving terminal dues toward "a system where costs are more accurately known and covered," said Richard Miller, executive director of the International Mailer's Advisory Group, who spoke at yesterday's DMA International Council's International Day 2004.


In addition, "we want predictable cost increases so that all of us know about what we can expect over the next five years or so, what those increases are going to be and when they are going to occur," Miller said.


Another proposal involves a quality of service fund, in which a portion of a country's terminal dues are set aside as a development fund for projects for developing countries. Currently, 7.5 percent of terminal dues are put into this trust fund, generating $15 million a year.


"As a developing country, you may apply to this fund for a project to help you bootstrap your own postal systems," Miller said. "There are now almost 200 projects under way."


A proposal that will be discussed at the UPU, set for Sept. 15-Oct. 5 in Bucharest, Romania, would increase the percentage to 9 percent, but it "would be more tightly controlled and dedicated to only the least developed countries," Miller said.


ETOEs are offices set up by countries outside their national territories for the international exchange of mail. The offices essentially allow international direct mailers to mail through an international postal administration without leaving their host country.


There are 120 ETOEs throughout the world, and 20 operate in the United States.


An ETOE proposal from the United States that will be discussed is a resolution that says, "Mail being moved through ETOEs that is not using the correct terminal dues rates and paperwork for that particular transaction shall be declared a commercial entity and will be slapped with the appropriate domestic tariff in that country at that time," Miller said.


Charles Prescott, the DMA's vice president of international business development and government affairs, also spoke at the meeting and told attendees that the DMA is hosting a senior executive study tour to China from Sept. 10-19.


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