Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

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Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by fletches1 »

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This is a first for me in over 10 years of international shipping Stamps.

Australia Post returned to sender (me) this Air Mail letter weighing 34 grams, and marked as Photos, saying that to meet EAD (Electronic Advance data requirements it must be shipped as a parcel.
It has an Australian return label on it, but is addressed to USA.

I know that "technically" they are correct, and stamps are in fact goods. You see a large number of ebay sellers in the USA who require to ship their Stamp sales by Parcel because of this regulation in the USA.
This is the first time I have seen it policed here in Australia.

There was nothing to indicate the envelope contained stamps, I have to surmise they went to the trouble of x-Raying it !!

Has anybody else in Australia encountered this issue before.

(I just contacted the client and explained, then repacked it as small as I could and shipped it again..... BY AIRMAIL LETTER !!


Not a letter, it is a parcel !!
Not a letter, it is a parcel !!
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Re: Australia Post Refusing to ship stamps as a letter !!

Post by ddaann »

Wow. My mail with stamps from the USA to other countries is usually marked with a big red Do Not Bend handstamp.

I hope this does not happen here, else the cost will go from $2.24 for two ounces for a first class envelope or $3.39 for a large envelope all the way to $15.75 for a "parcel".
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Re: Australia Post Refusing to ship stamps as a letter !!

Post by fletches1 »

ddaann wrote:
05 May 2021 16:24
Wow. My mail with stamps from the USA to other countries is usually marked with a big red Do Not Bend handstamp.

I hope this does not happen here, else the cost will go from $2.24 for two ounces for a first class envelope or $3.39 for a large envelope all the way to $15.75 for a "parcel".
That is already the regulation in the USA. However it can be bypassed as it can be here.

This is the first time I have seen a letter rejected.

The Parcel post base rate from the USA to Australia is cheaper than the other direction.
Compared to Australia to USA.

Starts at $24 for a prepaid satchel.

No cheaper if you use your own packing

Small satchel
22 x 35.3cm
Up to 500g
$24.00 = $18.54 USD
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Re: Australia Post Refusing to ship stamps as a letter !!

Post by norvic »

This new regulation regarding Electronic Advance data requirement comes from the UPU.

I would hope that stamps on stock cards and between 2 postcards would fare better. Less than 100g and still machineable.

It will kill international sales if we have to charge all stamps as parcels.
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Re: Australia Post Refusing to ship stamps as a letter !!

Post by 22028 »

We have the same in Germany with German Post since about 2 years..., it basically kills the small stamp businesses of dealers dealing internationally...

The UPU is taken only as excuse, UPU only wants to separate letters from goods, but what is considered as goods is left to the National Post...

A stamp used as franking on a letter is normal post, the same envelope sent inside an envelope is considered as goods and must be sent as parcel!!!
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Global Administrator »

.

I probably mail more overseas letters from Australia than anyone on this board.

The issue APPEARS to be LETTERS to the USA (only) that contains something that X-Rays show are OTHER than paper only.

I have had endless issues mailing Stampboards COVID masks to the USA in the last month.

https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=93678

britjag wrote:
02 May 2021 09:55

Mailed by Glen March 31 and took longer to get here than mail even at the height of the pandemic! Was getting worried. It’s usually 7-10 days from Australia pre-pandemic.

There was a reason for that.

The envelope came back TWICE back to my street mailbox. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

USPS in their gigantic wisdom, have declared that the ONLY thing that can be loaded to them letter mail MUST be letters. NO merchandise of any kind - like stampboards masks. Seems like they are being all X-Rayed here by AP.

BOTH times the reverse had a mail centre ''RTS'' sticker saying the article needed a green ''CN22'' sticker and hence was returned to sender.

Took them to my postmaster both times, and he assured me that CN22 customs labels can ONLY be used on parcels, i.e. above 500g, and i.e. $19 MINIMUM cost to USA. Not $4 for a 50 gram letter that I have been using.

So after wasting $50 of time on two $10 masks that cost me near that, I finally affixed a green CN22 sticker, dropped it into the nearest red street mailbox, and 3rd time lucky - it appears the Americans decided that now complied, and was now not hiding Nuclear Missiles or Battleships etc.

And Britjag presumably had it eventually arrive with a green CN22 sticker on back. What a time-wasting nonsense. :twisted:

NO other country has this wacky rule for inward mail as far as I know - just the USA, and AP here are enforcing it strictly.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by norvic »

The big problem for sending to the countries that do enforce this is that dealers who put their return address on the packet can hardly claim that it is 'only a letter'. Glen's are more obvious, but my return address rubber stamp is the name of the business - bit of a give-away.

If I have problems I shall just write NORVIC BOX 119 NR20 3YN on the back and leave it at that.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by fletches1 »

I am going to change my Photos do not bend to Printed Material.

Which is true !!, and see if that works.

My rubber stamped return address is to a person, not a business name.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Global Administrator »

fletches1 wrote:
05 May 2021 22:09

I am going to change my Photos do not bend to Printed Material.

Which is true !! - and see if that works.

Or live super dangerously, and spend $10 on one of these for USA sendings, which will last for years. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:




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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by abutukit »

I stopped using PHOTOS DO NOT BEND and resorted to DO NOT BEND after a customer complained to Ebay that what I sent was stamps and not photos.

:? go figure

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by 60022Mallard »

I wonder if the problems with the U.S. are part of the fallout from USPS trying to stem having to deliver millions of awkward packages from China for peanuts, but under UPU rules has to treat all source countries equally.

I have bought packets of chair feet from China for far less, including postage, than possible from a supplier in the U.K.

I wonder if dirt cheap "export" postage rates in China are a weapon in their stiff everyone else economic policy.

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Re: Australia Post Refusing to ship stamps as a letter !!

Post by Wolfgang »

22028 wrote:
05 May 2021 17:52
... A stamp used as franking on a letter is normal post, the same envelope sent inside an envelope is considered as goods and must be sent as parcel!!!

Any mail where I am asked to tell "detailed description of contents"

gets from me the description "philatelic documents"

As it is not allowed to send goods in a letter, I send documents.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Phila-Tourist »

Must be two very peculiar jurisdictions mutually conspiring --- USA and Australia... I must admit I was a bit miffed when years ago I posted an international registered cover from Australia and found out the proof of posting was an A4-sized form full of small print on the back. A form that I, the sender, had to sign and where I basically gave a sworn statement testifying all sorts of things, lest I be summarily executed outside the post office!?

The only similar procedure ever encountered was in the 1990s. I had to show my passport to mail a registered letter. That was in Syria. Under the "old" (father) Assad!

I really can't argue with a postal administration that claims COVID masks are mercandise. But the distinction between "letter" and "parcel" is ridiculous as long as many postal administrations accept "letters" that are a box and weigh 2 kg. I put customs stickers on anything that's heavier than 100 grams or so or where you can feel through the package that there's not just paper inside.

Stamps in smallish envelopes are never a problem. However, the situation becomes tricky when a letter is lost and you claim compensation. In many countries you are not supposed to mail stamps in a registered letter because stamps are considered securities (tradable financial assets), like banknotes. You won't get sanctioned if you do, but the postal service may refuse compensation for lost letters.

I doubt is it technically possible to detect stamp content (and distinguish it from other paper items!) by x-raying a letter. I suspect the post office will be alerted by philatelic postage. And of course all our local post offices know damned well who we are and that what we enclose in 99 percent of our outgoing mail is not "photos" and not "gifts"...

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Number-O-Ne »

One good thing about receiving stamps with inbound mail in the USA: we never pay customs duty. All mail containing stamps, covers etc gets cleared by customs and delivered with no additional charge. I don't know about Australia, but I hear from my Italian friends that every inbound letter containing stamps is taxed without mercy. Must be similar throughout the EU.

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Phila-Tourist »

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Wow, you are indeed lucky! The EU threshold for VAT on products arriving from outside the EU is very low. I think most stamps are sent without customs sticker in the hope that the envelope will slip through, which it might if it is not too heavy or large, even it it is registered or has philatelic postage.

Works quite well for arrivals from private senders who are unlikely to attach an invoice, so any examining customs officer has nothing to help him estimate the value of the letter he is opening.

So he doesn't bother and instead focuses on catching and taxing 500 $ merchandise mailed from China labelled "gift, value 1 $"...

If you buy stamps from philatelic bureaus you are screwed though as most will insist on attaching a customs label and stating the full invoice value of the stamps.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by ddaann »

Ebay adds something like this to the address for purchases from USA sellers to AU or Europe buyers:

ABN#64652016543 Code:PAID

Does this suffice to clear customs, without a delay?
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Stewie1980 »

At PostNL (Post Netherlands) rules for sending mail to the USA changed too a few months ago.

All goods must be send as parcel. This parcel has to be online registered in advance and with an online customs form. US Customs wants to know what's inside in advance.

If you don't do this and just go to a PO the parcel will be denied.

And to make it more worse for us: Postage has to be paid online too. No more stamps as postage! :x

At the PO's they will check if you registered and paid. Then they will print some sort of postage paid label.

For sending stamps the smallest parcel type (letterbox size, <100gr) rate to USA is €10,30 (US$12.35)

Letter rates to USA are €1,55 for <20gr, €3,10 for <50gr, and €4,65 for <100gr.

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by 60022Mallard »

Stewie1980 wrote:
07 May 2021 00:01
At PostNL (Post Netherlands) rules for sending mail to the USA changed too a few months ago.

All goods must be send as parcel. This parcel has to be online registered in advance and with an online customs form. US Customs wants to know what's inside in advance.

If you don't do this and just go to a PO the parcel will be denied.

And to make it more worse for us: Postage has to be paid online too. No more stamps as postage! :x

At the PO's they will check if you registered and paid. Then they will print some sort of postage paid label.

For sending stamps the smallest parcel type (letterbox size, <100gr) rate to USA is €10,30 (US$12.35)

Letter rates to USA are €1,55 for <20gr, €3,10 for <50gr, and €4,65 for <100gr.
I'm beginning to think the answer is to send low value stamp lots inside birthday cards with garish coloured envelopes!

All joking aside this seems to be making the international trading of philatelic material much more difficult, but also shows that government taxation always eventually catches up with areas that seem to be demonstrating a large turnover with little or no tax revenue arising.

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by LJG »

Stewie,

I received the following "package of stamps" this week from Nijmegan, NL. No other markings except for the markings by postnl and the cancelled stamps. This was a large package (A4 size), however weight was minimal (would say < 50gr). Thoughts here as to why this would have gone through without being classified as a package?
img20210506_10542407.jpg

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by norvic »

60022Mallard wrote:
07 May 2021 01:58
I'm beginning to think the answer is to send low value stamp lots inside birthday cards with garish coloured envelopes!

All joking aside this seems to be making the international trading of philatelic material much more difficult, but also shows that government taxation always eventually catches up with areas that seem to be demonstrating a large turnover with little or no tax revenue arising.
I agree with your first point but not your political point about government taxation. Although some 'tax' may be levied by declaring the contents, the excessive postage charged through requiring these 100g letters to be treated as parcels is a UPU/postal administrations problem.

Whilst it may be through the agency of some foreign government's action (stand up Mr Trump) it is not due solely to all the governments involved.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by 60022Mallard »

norvic wrote:
07 May 2021 02:37
60022Mallard wrote:
07 May 2021 01:58
I'm beginning to think the answer is to send low value stamp lots inside birthday cards with garish coloured envelopes!

All joking aside this seems to be making the international trading of philatelic material much more difficult, but also shows that government taxation always eventually catches up with areas that seem to be demonstrating a large turnover with little or no tax revenue arising.
I agree with your first point but not your political point about government taxation. Although some 'tax' may be levied by declaring the contents, the excessive postage charged through requiring these 100g letters to be treated as parcels is a UPU/postal administrations problem.

Whilst it may be through the agency of some foreign government's action (stand up Mr Trump) it is not due solely to all the governments involved.
Did DJT tell the USPS to sort out its problem caused by Chinese economics, or the USPS make it own mind up as a business that it was costing them a fortune and needed to do something. Under UPU I believe you have to treat all equally.

eBay is a multi billion turnover business under cover of which many are conducting undeclared businesses that should be declaring income on tax returns. As ever the sledge hammer applied has consequences that philately is being affected by.

From your postings you may well be a law abiding stamp dealer who makes appropriate declarations to HMRC or whoever, but there are a very large number on eBay in the grey area above occasional private sellers who make a "tax free" income and attract the attention of the tax gatherers.

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by ddaann »

This is drifting off topic, but...

I think DJT wanted China to pay it's fair share of postal costs, but I'm not sure that happened and I doubt this is even on the agenda of the new administration.

For US sellers, eBay sends the IRS a report of US seller's sales, so those sales will be subject to income taxes.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by norvic »

ddaann wrote:
07 May 2021 05:55
This is drifting off topic, but...

I think DJT wanted China to pay it's fair share of postal costs, but I'm not sure that happened and I doubt this is even on the agenda of the new administration.

For US sellers, eBay sends the IRS a report of US seller's sales, so those sales will be subject to income taxes.
Yes, the Mallard took it off topic to taxes when what we are discussing is postage rates.

As was explained in detail here over 5 years ago the inequalities of the old Terminal Dues system is what has led to the present situation, and postal authorities are now reaping the rewards.

I haven't studied the UPU final declaration, but if the latest one has a lower weight/size limit for 'parcels', then this is undermining international small business trade, and non-business exchanges.

Unfortunately because a great deal of small goods from developing countries (which included China when the old system was set up) qualify for the letter (5mm) or Large Letter (25mm) size of mailpiece which can easily accommodate a huge variety of goods, from smartphone cases to ear-pieces, and many non-electrical items, the requirement to send them as parcels and thus fall into the same bracket as 500g boxes of 'merchandise' is catching everybody.

I don't see a way round it unless the basic 5mm letter was excluded, but even then SD memory cards (for example) in their cases can be sent in an envelope, so even that might not work.
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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Global Administrator »

Global Administrator wrote:
05 May 2021 20:51

USPS in their gigantic wisdom, have declared that the ONLY thing that can be loaded to them letter mail MUST be letters. NO merchandise of any kind - like stampboards masks. Seems like they are being all X-Rayed here by AP.

I probably send more overseas mail than anyone else on the board.

From here it seems to ONLY be a USA issue. AP scans all letters to USA and it they see anything APART from paper they are RTS.

The white sticker on the reverse states that the item does not conform to US REGULATIONS .. nothing to do with UPU.

The Septics want a bar code on anything containing other than paper. They are still living in the 1980s, and Anthrax in the mail etc.

The free CN22 form achieves that requirement it seems. All Americans can now sleep safely in their beds, and have no fear of Anthrax letters from Australia - the 400 million legal GURRRNZZZ over there does not bother them either - we all know that. :roll:

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by Number-O-Ne »

Global Administrator wrote:
07 May 2021 12:25


From here it seems to ONLY be a USA issue. AP scans all letters to USA and it they see anything APART from paper they are RTS.

It certainly is, but it's hard to understand the wisdom behind that. We're not asked to pay a penny in customs duties if it turns out "merchandise" is sent us instead of documents.

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Re: Australia Post now refusing to ship stamps as a letter?!!

Post by earlierthebetter »

.
I sent a book as a large letter to the US some months ago.

It was returned back to me as I did not complete the EAD.

AP sent the item to the US where they determined the contents were goods.

Below are a couple of extracts from the Australia Post website explaining the situation.

Note this was effective from January 2021.

I wonder how many overseas (particularly to the US) Christmas postings will be Returned To Sender this season?

What is EAD?

Electronic Advance Data (EAD) is an essential part of sending items overseas, where your item requires a customs declaration to be completed. It gives the customs officials in the destination country all the information they need to complete their inspections.

What happens if EAD is not provided?

Items sent without EAD to countries that require it may be delayed in delivery, held by customs or returned to sender. US regulations permit their authorities to automatically return any items without EAD. As EAD is required to be captured and transmitted for goods sent via Parcels and Express Letters, it is important that goods are not sent as Economy Air Letters as these will be deemed non-compliant. Any Economy Air letters containing goods may be held by customs or returned to sender.


https://auspost.com.au/sending/send-overseas/customs-forms-r ... e-data-ead
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