UPU Congress Plans to Revise Terminal Dues System

The adoption of a revised terminal dues system, which countries use to compensate each other for the reciprocal processing of international mail, is one of the events scheduled for the 23rd Congress of the Universal Postal Union.

The Sept. 15-Oct. 5 meeting in Bucharest, Romania, is being organized by the Romanian government and Posta Romana. It is the first time the international gathering of postal regulators, operators and industry stakeholders will meet in eastern Europe. The UPU Congress includes representatives of the 190 member countries who meet every five years.

The World Postal Strategy Forum will be held at the event. The Congress will adopt a new World Postal Strategy, a four-year roadmap for postal services and their governments. It will adopt objectives focusing on universal postal service; quality of service and efficiency of the postal network; markets and responding to customer needs; postal reform and sustainable development; and cooperation and interaction among stakeholders.

The Congress also will announce the creation of the Consultative Committee, a UPU body that will give a voice to stakeholders not represented by postal operators or regulators. Members will include associations representing groups such as the Direct Marketing Association and courier associations. They will not have voting rights, but can participate in UPU meetings and sessions.

The Congress also will discuss Extra-territorial Offices of Exchange, which some postal services have established in other countries. These let them accept and process mail given to them in that country and use UPU documentation as if the mail had been processed in their own country. This has implications regarding the terminal dues they pay.

Some countries favor ETOEs while others do not. At the October 2003 session of the Council of Administration, Japan had a resolution passed stating that countries wanting to set up an ETOE needed official permission from that country, at least until a suitable solution could be found at the Congress.

A UPU commission also will discuss areas of growth for the postal sector including direct marketing, postal financial services and parcels.

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