The Universal Postal Union asked the Direct Marketing Association to comment on proposed changes to Extra-Territorial Offices of Exchange, which are offices set up by countries outside their national territories for the international exchange of mail.
The UPU is the United Nations agency in charge of global postal policy.
There are about 90 registered ETOEs worldwide, including 20 in the United States. The offices let international direct marketers send mail through an international postal administration without leaving their host country. Mailers in the United Kingdom, for example, can send mail bound for France through La Poste using a La Poste office in the UK.
Proponents say ETOEs offer lower mailing rates and eliminate the need for mailers to use international postal consolidators, which either have deals with or in some cases are owned by postal administrations.
But some mailers are concerned about bulk ETOE items that receive the indicia of a country with more favorable terminal dues than that of the host country. In some countries, including the United States, these items are considered commercial freight and ineligible for entry under UPU documentation or terminal dues.
A work group is studying the situation and will make recommendations to the UPU Congress.
The DMA is soliciting input from members regarding their experiences with ETOEs. Remarks should be sent to Richard Miller, executive director, International Mailers Action Group at [email protected] DMA members also can send comments to Charles Prescott, DMA vice president of international business development and government affairs, at [email protected]