Improvements in Charges and Settlements of International Mail Accounts

ID-77-38: Published: Aug 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 1977.

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The Universal Postal Union--composed of the United States and 156 other countries--makes the rules for exchanging mail between countries and sets charges for services performed. In 1976 the United States charged other countries $47 million for international mail services and was charged $59 million. U.S. agencies are actively pursuing collection of balances due the United States and U.S. flag carriers.

Monetary gains or losses are incurred in settling international postal accounts because there are differences between the market exchange rates of the countries' currencies and their exchange rates set under the monetary standard used to settle accounts. Continued use of the gold franc as the monetary standard of the Universal Postal Union is unrealistic. Coordination between the Postal Service and the Department of State in collecting delinquent debts owed the United States and U.S. air carriers for international mail services has improved in recent years.

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