Universal Postal Union


Universal Postal Union

Infobox UN
name = Union postale universelle Universal Postal Union



image size = 200px
caption = The UPU flag
type = UN agency
acronyms = UPU
head = flagicon|FRA Edouard Dayan
status = Active
established = October 9, 1874
headquarters = flagicon|CHE Berne, Switzerland
website = http://www.upu.int/
parent =
subsidiaries =
commons =
footnotes =
The Universal Postal Union (UPU, French: Union postale universelle) is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, and hence the world-wide postal system. Each member country agrees to the same set of terms for conducting international postal duties. Universal Postal Union's headquarters are located in Berne, Switzerland.

Overview

Prior to the establishment of the UPU, a country had to conclude a separate postal treaty with each other country that it wished to carry international mail to or from. The United States called for an international postal congress, which was held in 1863. This led Heinrich von Stephan, Royal Prussian and later German Minister for Posts, to found the Universal Postal Union, the second oldest international organization (after the ITU). It was created in 1874, under the name "General Postal Union", as a result of the Treaty of Berne signed on 9 October 1874. In 1878, the name was changed to "Universal Postal Union".

The UPU established that
# there should be a more or less uniform flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world;
# postal authorities should give equal treatment to foreign and domestic mail; and
# each country should retain all monies it collected for international postage.

One of the most important results of the UPU treaty was that it ceased to be necessary, as it often had been previously, to affix the stamps of any country through which one's letter or package would pass in transit; the UPU provides that stamps of member nations are accepted for the whole international route.

After the foundation of the United Nations, the UPU became a specialized agency in the UN.

In 1969 the UPU introduced a new system of payment by which fees were payable between countries according to the difference in the total weight of mail between the respective countries. These fees were called terminal dues. The new system was fairer when traffic was heavier in one direction than the other. As this affected the cost of the delivery of periodicals, the UPU devised a new "threshold" system, which was implemented in 1991.

The system sets separate letter and periodical rates for countries which receive at least 150 tonnes of mail annually. For countries with less mail, the original flat rate has been maintained. The United States has negotiated a separate terminal dues formula with thirteen European countries that includes a rate per piece plus a rate per kilogram, and has a similar arrangement with Canada.The UPU also operates the system of International Reply Coupons and addresses concerns with ETOEs.

Philatelic activities

The Universal Postal Union, in conjunction with the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP), has developed the WADP Numbering System (WNS), launched on 1 January 2002. The web site (www.wnsstamps.ch/en/) has entries for some 160 countries and emitting postal entities, with over 25,000 registered stamps since 2002. Many of them have images, which generally remain copyrighted by the issuing country, but which the UPU and WADP permit to be downloaded.

UPU Standards

Standards are important prerequisites for effective postal operations and for interconnecting the global network. The UPU's Standards Board develops and maintains a growing number of international standards to improve the exchange of postal-related information between postal operators and promotes the compatibility of UPU and international postal initiatives. It works closely with postal handling organisations, customers, suppliers and other partners, including various international organisations. The Standards Board ensures that coherent standards are developed in areas such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), mail encoding, postal forms and meters.UPU standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in Part V of the [http://www.upu.int/standards/en/organization.shtml "General information on UPU standards"] and are published by the UPU International Bureau in accordance with Part VII of that publication.

Member countries

The United Nations member states may all become member countries of the UPU. The 192 United Nations member states are all UPU member countries except Andorra, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau whose situation with regard to the UPU has not yet been settled. A non-member state of the United Nations may also become a UPU member if two-thirds of the UPU member countries approve its request. Vatican City is a UPU member country and a non-member state observer of the United Nations (as the Holy See).

The UPU has 191 member countries since Timor-Leste joined on 28 November 2003 and Montenegro on 26 July 2006, including the Dutch territories of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba as a single UPU member, and the British overseas territories, which are not independent states.

The Republic of China joined the UPU on 1 March 1914. After the People's Republic of China was founded, the Republic of China continued to represent China in the UPU, until the UPU decided on 13 April 1972 to recognize the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate Chinese representative. This results in International Reply Coupons not being available for Taiwan. Mail addressed to Taiwan will still be delivered there, albeit routed through a third country. Various other non-recognized countries such as Somaliland and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) need to have their mail routed through third countries as the UPU will not allow direct international deliveries (The TRNC's mail goes via Turkey and Somaliland's mail via Ethiopia). Other entities without direct UPU representation are the Palestinian Authority (although this may soon change [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=27622&Cr=UPU&Cr1=] ) and the Sahrawi Republic / Western Sahara.

The members are listed below by alphabetical order in their ISO 3166 English names, with the date of entering the UPU (multiple entry dates for some countries). Territories covered by a sovereign member country are included under that country.

compactTOC2__NOTOC__

A

*AFG - 1 April 1928
*ALB - 1 March 1922
*DZA - 1 October 1907
*AGO - 1 March 1977
*ATG - 20 January 1994
*ARG - 1 April 1878
*ARM - 14 October 1992
*AUS - 1 October 1907:*NFK
*AUT - 1 July 1875
*AZE - 1 April 1993

B

*BHS - 24 April 1974
*BHR - 21 December 1973
*BGD - 7 February 1973
*BRB - 11 November 1967
*BLR - 13 May 1947
*BEL - 1 July 1875
*BLZ - 1 October 1982
*BEN - 27 April 1961
*BTN - 7 March 1969
*BOL - 1 April 1886
*BIH - 1 July 1892; 26 January 1993
*BWA - 12 January 1968
*BRU - 15 January 1985
*BRA - 1 July 1877
*BGR - 1 July 1879
*BFA - 29 March 1963
*BDI - 6 April 1963

C

* - 21 December 1951
* - 26 July 1960
* - 1 July 1878
* - 30 September 1976
* - 28 June 1961
* - 23 June 1961
* - 1 April 1881
* - 1 March 1914 [Initially "China" was represented by the ROC (ROC) from 1914 to 1972, before the UPU recognized the PRC (PRC) as the only legitimate representative of "China" after 13 April 1972.] :* HKG - 1 April 1877:* MAC
* - 1 July 1881
* - 29 July 1976
* Congo, Democratic Republic of the - 1 January 1886
* Congo, Republic of - 5 July 1961
* - 1 January 1883
* - 23 May 1961
* - 20 July 1992
* - 4 October 1902
* - 23 November 1961
* - 18 May 1920; 18 March 1993

D

*DNK - 1 July 1875:*FRO:*GRL
*DJI - 6 June 1978
*DMA - 31 January 1980
*DOM - 1 October 1880

E

*ECU - 1 July 1880
*EGY - 1 July 1875
*SLV - 1 April 1879
*GNQ - 24 July 1970
*ERI - 19 August 1993
*EST - 7 July 1922; 30 April 1992
*ETH - 1 November 1908

F

*FJI - 18 June 1971
*FIN Finland (including the Åland Islands) - 12 February 1918
*FRA - 1 January 1876:"French Overseas Departments":*GUF:*GLP (including Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin):*flag|Martinique|local:*REU:*MYT:*flag|Saint Pierre and Miquelon|local:"Territories coming within the UPU's jurisdiction by virtue of article 23 of the UPU Constitution:*PYF (including Clipperton Island):*flag|French Southern and Antarctic Lands:*NCL:*flag|Wallis and Futuna|local

G

*GAB - 17 July 1961
*GMB - 9 October 1974
*GEO - 1 April 1993
*DEU - 1 July 1875
*GHA - 10 October 1957
*GRC - 1 July 1875
*GRD - 30 January 1978
*GTM - 1 August 1881
*GIN - 6 May 1959
*GNB - 30 May 1974
*GUY - 22 March 1967

H

*HTI - 1 July 1881
*HND - 1 April 1879
*HUN - 1 July 1875

I

*ISL - 15 November 1919
*IND - 1 July 1876
*IDN - 1 May 1877
*IRN - 1 September 1877
*IRQ - 22 April 1929
*IRL - 6 September 1923
*ISR - 24 December 1949
*ITA - 1 July 1875

J

*JAM - 29 August 1963
*JPN - 1 June 1877
*JOR - 16 May 1947

K

*KAZ - 27 August 1992
*KEN - 27 October 1964
*KIR - 14 August 1984
*flagicon|North Korea Korea, Democratic People's Republic of - 1 January 1900; 6 June 1974
*flagicon|Republic of Korea Korea, Republic of - 1 January 1900
*KWT - 16 February 1960
*KGZ - 26 January 1993

L

*LAO - 20 May 1952
*LVA - 1 October 1921; 17 June 1992
*LBN - 12 May 1931; 15 May 1946
*LSO - 6 September 1967
*LBR - 1 April 1879
*LBY - 4 June 1952
*LIE - 13 April 1962
*LTU - 1 January 1922; 10 January 1992
*LUX - 1 July 1875

M

*MDG - 2 November 1961
*MWI - 25 October 1966
*MYS - 17 January 1958
*MDV - 15 August 1967
*MLI - 21 April 1961
*MLT - 21 May 1965
*MRT - 22 March 1967
*MUS - 29 August 1969
*MEX - 1 April 1879
*MDA - 16 November 1992
*MCO - 12 October 1955
*MNG - 24 August 1963
*MNE - 26 July 2006
*MAR - 1 October 1920
*MOZ - 11 October 1978
*MMR - 4 October 1949

N

*NAM - 30 April 1992
*NRU - 17 April 1969
*NPL - 11 October 1956
*NLD - 1 July 1875:"Netherlands Antilles and Aruba" - 1 July 1875 [A separate member from the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands] :*ABW:*ANT
*NZL (including the Ross Dependency) - 1 October 1907:*COK:*NIU:*TKL
*NIC - 1 May 1882
*NER - 12 June 1961
*NGA - 10 July 1961
*NOR - 1 July 1875

O

*OMN - 17 August 1971

P

*PAK - 10 November 1947
*PAN - 11 June 1904
*PNG - 4 June 1976
*PRY - 1 July 1881
*PER - 1 April 1879
*PHL - 1 January 1922
*POL - 1 May 1919
*PRT - 1 July 1875

Q

*QAT - 31 January 1969

R

*ROU - 1 July 1875
*RUS - 1 July 1875
*RWA - 6 April 1963

*KNA - 11 January 1988
*LCA - 10 July 1980
*VCT - 3 February 1981
*WSM - 9 August 1989
*SMR - 1 July 1915
*STP - 22 August 1977
*SAU - 1 January 1927
*SEN - 14 June 1961
*SRB - 1 July 1875; 24 December 1921; 18 June 2001
*SYC - 7 October 1977
*SLE - 29 January 1962
*SGP - 8 January 1966
*SVK - 18 May 1920; 18 March 1993
*SVN - 24 December 1921; 27 August 1992
*SLB - 4 May 1984
*SOM - 1 April 1959
*ZAF - 1 January 1893; 22 August 1994
*ESP - 1 July 1875
*LKA - 13 July 1949
*SDN - 28 July 1956
*SUR - 1 May 1877; 20 April 1976
*SWZ - 7 November 1969
*SWE - 1 July 1875
*CHE - 1 July 1875
*SYR - 12 May 1931; 15 May 1946

T

*TJK - 9 June 1994
*TZA - 29 March 1963
*THA - 1 July 1885
*flag|The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [cite web | title = Members by continents | publisher = UPU | url = http://www.upu.int/members/en/members_continents.html | accessdate = 2008-09-07 ] - 12 July 1993
*TLS - 28 November 2003
*TGO - 21 March 1962
*TON (including Niuafo'ou) - 26 January 1972
*TTO - 15 June 1963
*TUN - 1 July 1888
*TUR - 1 July 1875
*TKM - 26 January 1993
*TUV - 3 February 1981

U

*UGA - 13 February 1964
*UKR - 13 May 1947
*ARE - 30 March 1973
*GBR - 1 July 1875:" Acceeded automatically as Crown dependencies of the United Kingdom :*GGY:*IMN:*JEY:"British overseas territories" - 1 April 1877:*AIA:*BMU:*IOT:*VGB:*CYM:*FLK:*GIB:*MSR:*PCN:*SGS:*SHN::"Dependencies of St Helena::*flagicon|United Kingdom Ascension::*flag|Tristan da Cunha:*TCA
*USA - 1 July 1875:"Territories coming within the UPU's jurisdiction by virtue of article 23 of the UPU Constitution:*GUM:*PRI:*ASM:*VIR:*MNP (including Saipan and Tinian)
*URY - 1 July 1880
*UZB - 24 February 1994

V

*VUT - 16 July 1982
*VAT - 1 June 1929
*VEN - 1 January 1880
*VNM - 20 October 1951

Y

*YEM - 1 January 1930

Z

*ZMB - 22 March 1967
*ZWE - 31 July 1981

UN member countries whose situation with regard to the UPU has not yet been settled

*AND [http://www.andorra-intern.com/news_2004/de_news_040227.htm]
*MHL
*FSM
*PLW

Former member countries of the UPU

In the course of history a number of member countries of the UPU saw their membership lapse, due to political changes. Where there was an immediate successor state, membership would normally devolve on that state. In other cases membership lapsed.

* - 1 January 1898 [The Orange Free State acceded to the Postal Convention of Vienna on this date, and a year later also acceded to that of Washington. cite book
last = Spies
first = F.J. du Toit
authorlink =
title = 'n Nederlander in diens van die Oranje-Vrystaat
publisher = Swets & Zeitlinger
location = Amsterdam
date = 1946
pages = 67
] – 31 May 1902Dissolution of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic at the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging. Membership did not lapse but was absorbed in the British South African membership.]
* - 1 January 1895 [cite book
last = Spies
title = 'n Nederlander in diens van die Oranje-Vrystaat
pages = 66
] – 31 May 1902

References and sources

;Notes

;Sources
*
*

External links

* [http://www.upu.int/ UPU official site]


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