Revised global postal rate must be affordable, MCMC stresses amid concerns of price hike

The UPU remuneration system for letters and small packets is also known as the terminal dues system. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
The UPU remuneration system for letters and small packets is also known as the terminal dues system. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) today said it would support any revision in the remuneration rates for inbound letters and small packages from overseas.

However, it stressed that the new rates, should they come into agreement, must be affordable for users of postal services.

MCMC told Malay Mail that Malaysia has already sent two representatives, who will be joining 800 others from more than 130 member countries in Geneva, for the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) Extraordinary Congress beginning today to deliberate on the future of the remuneration system.

“The Extraordinary Congress will be asked to review three proposals — one which would accelerate rate changes under the current methodology, another which would allow countries to self-declare their rates, and a third convergence proposal which blends the two.

“Malaysia at this juncture will be together with Group III (developing countries) member countries is in terms of protecting our interest, governance and trade dues/matters. In principle, we support revision of the rates to be oriented towards costs but must be reasonable and affordable for the people,” MCMC told Malay Mail.

The UPU remuneration system for letters and small packets is also known as the terminal dues system.

The system essentially ensures that post operators are compensated for the cost of handling, transporting and delivering items across borders. 

This multilateral agreement is what facilitates the movement of postal items across nations, ensuring that anyone, anywhere who is in the UPU’s 192 country-membership, can send and receive international posts.

The UPU is part of the United Nation (UN), and is the second oldest international organisation in the world.

However, the US, under the leadership of its president Donald Trump, is now reportedly threatening to leave the world’s mail system, owing to disagreement on the terminal dues.

The potential withdrawal of the US from the 145-year old international organisation could mean higher shipping rates for certain types of mail such as parcels of a certain weight.

It is also feared that this could lead to increased shipping prices for goods which will be passed onto consumers in other nations, including Malaysia.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo had earlier today refused to comment on the United States’ threat to withdraw from the UPU and how it may impact Malaysia.

He said as the UPU is currently meeting today in Geneva, Switzerland, he will refrain from commenting until it has concluded.

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