U.S. to leave global postal union next month barring last-minute action; exit could send global parcel rates soaring - Freightwaves Barring an eleventh-hour agreement, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will leave the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on October 17, ending 144 years of U.S. involvement in the international body that governs the exchange of mail and postal parcels between countries, and perhaps fundamentally changing the landscape of global air shipping. Members of the 192-member United Nations body will gather on September 25 and 26 in Geneva, Switzerland in only the third “extraordinary Congress” in UPU history. The key agenda item will be to vote on what UPU is calling the “possible revision of small packet remuneration rates,” which is the core issue to determine the future of U.S. involvement. The U.S. State Department, which is the lead negotiator for the U.S. in UPU, has submitted a proposal that would allow the U.S. to “self-declare” international postage pricing and to decide on subsidy levels, if any. Unless the UPU agrees to the proposal by a September 30 deadline, the U.S. will leave the Union 17 days later and, over time, begin a framework of bilateral negotiations with individual postal authorities. The self-declare regime would begin in 2020.