UPU official statement concerning “sovereign citizens” and similar movements

16.04.2018 - The Universal Postal Union's attention has been drawn to various correspondences, being circulated via e-mail, on websites or via regular mail or fax, falsely stating that the UPU has the authority to confer official recognition upon alleged “sovereign citizens”, or to grant some kind of formal status to such individuals.

Moreover, some of these individuals, motivated either by fraudulent purposes or a fundamental misunderstanding of the status and legal framework of the UPU, have made inaccurate public claims that the organization exercises legal “supremacy” among nations or in maritime law.

In this regard, it must be pointed out that, as an intergovernmental organization founded in 1874 (and a specialized agency of the United Nations since 1948), the UPU comprises 192 member countries, and has as its main aims the organization and improvement of international postal services, as well as the promotion, in this sphere, of the development of international collaboration.

In particular, the UPU strives to facilitate communication between the inhabitants of the world by: i) guaranteeing the free circulation of postal items over a single postal territory composed of interconnected networks; ii) the adoption of fair common standards and the use of technology; iii) ensuring cooperation and interaction among stakeholders; iv) promoting effective technical cooperation; and v) ensuring the satisfaction of customers' changing needs.

Moreover, the UPU does not have any enforcement, investigative or jurisdictional authority to involve itself in third-party civil or contractual disputes, allegations of fraud (including claims of fraudulent imprisonment), or any other matters associated with such sovereign citizen movements. In addition, the use of postage stamps on legal documents does not create an opportunity or obligation for the UPU to become involved in those matters.

In the light of the above, any electronic or paper-based submissions to the UPU on the aforementioned matters (including any declarations of so-called “sovereign citizens” or “proclamations of claim and interest”; requests for certification or granting of alleged “individual sovereignty”, “affidavits of obligation” or “international and universal guardianship”; requests for ”admonishment” of UPU member countries on individual debt- and tax-related issues; requests for recognition of “private postmaster” claims; and other non-postal issues) will not be acknowledged or returned; nor will they be recorded or kept on file in the archives of the UPU. In addition, any individuals seeking to deliver such submissions in person will not be admitted into the headquarters of the UPU in Berne, Switzerland.

For further information contact:

David Dadge

Manager, Communication and Events Programme

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

Executive Office Directorate

International Bureau

Weltpoststrasse 4

P.O. Box 312

3000 BERNE 15



T +41 31 350 31 23

E david.dadge[at]upu.int


Press release


Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
    Test comment.

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