We often hear complaints that it costs less for a Chinese seller to post a packet to the UK than it does for a local UK merchant to post a similar packet domestically. I recall a time when Tamebay Co-Founder Sue moved to France and her postage also went down when posting from France compared to posting from the UK.
The mis-match occurs as international rates are agreed with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and there are low rates agreed for so-called developing nations. Strangely China has been considered developing thus attracting low postage rates.
The Universal Postal Union is a double edged sword, as whilst it might set postal rates for other countries to ship into the UK, it also sets rates for packets leaving the UK to be delivered in other countries and operates similarly in the US and around the world.
This is an issue around the world and, now under the Trump Administration, considerations are taking place to withdraw USPS from the Universal Postal Union as early as next month. eBay are calling on their US users to write to their member of Congress to oppose the withdrawal of USPS from the Universal Postal Union citing potential increased costs for US small businesses who ship Internationally. They are offering tools to write a letter to Congress or to tweet elected officials opposing the move.
This is an issue for UK and EU sellers who ship via postal services to the US as it means from October delivery rates will be unknown just as we enter the busiest part of the year.
“This October, the United States is planning to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which oversees and manages critical parts of international mail delivery. If the US withdraws, small businesses that sell online to customers around the world could see service disruptions and dramatically increased costs for shipping through the US Postal Service – all heading into the holiday season. Congress needs to hear from you about how small businesses would be hurt if the US goes through with this plan. We encourage you to take advantage of these easy-to-use tools to contact your representatives and stop the US from withdrawing from the UPU.”
– eBay Main Street