UPU member countries narrow options on remuneration rates by rejecting Option B

24.09.2019 - The first day of discussions on international postal remuneration rates at the UPU’s third Extraordinary Congress have wrapped, with member countries rejecting the first of three proposals up for debate.

(Photo: Sophia Bennett)

In line with Congress rules of procedure, countries first reviewed the proposal furthest from the status quo, known as “Option B”, which would allow countries to self-declare their rates from 2020. They rejected the proposal in a vote by secret ballot, with 78 countries voting against the proposal, 57 voting in favour and 9 abstaining. More than 150 countries were represented at the opening day’s plenary session.

Speaking on remuneration at a press conference earlier in the day, UPU Secretary General* Bishar A. Hussein said, “This has been a subject of so many Congresses since 1969. At every Congress we revisit it, we review it and we propose a new set of tariffs.”

UPU member countries voted in June to hold an Extraordinary Congress to discuss the remuneration of international bulky letters and small packets after several countries raised concerns related to cost coverage and market distortions under the current system.

The Congress will resume at 9 a.m. (Central European Time) on 25 September to discuss a convergence proposal, known as “Option C”, which would accelerate rate increases under the current remuneration methodology, phasing in optional self-declared rates between 2021-2025. If that proposal fails, countries will examine the proposal closest to the status quo – “Option A” – that would continue the current rate structure, but proposes accelerating planned rate increases and moving all countries into a single rate system in 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the United States delegation earlier in the day, Mr Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President of the United States for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, credited continued discussions with UPU’s leadership for the country’s presence at the Geneva negotiations. Last year, the country signaled its intent to withdraw from the UPU in October 2019, citing the remuneration of bulky letters and small packets as its main concern.

“Over the past year, through countless meetings – including a visit to the White House – we have relentlessly sought to fix a terminal dues system that everyone in this room knows is broken. Our success to date is illustrated by the very fact that we are gathered here together at what is only the third Extraordinary Congress in the UPU’s long history,” said Mr. Navarro.

Plenary sessions will continue throughout the 25 September and the closing session takes place on the morning of 26 September. The afternoon of 26 September has been reserved for making changes to the UPU’s regulations, if needed.   

The postal remuneration rates system ensures that Posts are compensated for the cost of handling, transporting and delivering bulky letters and small packets across borders.

*The Director General is referred to as Secretary General within the context of the Congress.


The Universal Postal Union is a UN specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. Established in 1874, it is one of the world’s oldest international organizations and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.

To watch the Congress via live streaming, please go to: www.upu.int/tv/home.html

For further information, please contact:

David Dadge

Spokesperson, Third Extraordinary Congress

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

Executive Office Directorate

Work Telephone : + 41 31 350 31 23

Mobile Telephone: + 41 764 573 654

Email: david.dadge@upu.int



Press release, Congress


Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
    Test comment.

Write new comment

CAPTCHA image for SPAM prevention If you can't read the word, click here.