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USPS denies Canada Post claims over international registered mail

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The US Postal Service has insisted it is scanning and obtaining signatures for inbound international registered mail, after Canada Post complained that it was not.

Canada Post issued a statement this week announcing that it has suspended its Registered Mail (USA) service, effective 13th January 2014, because items “may not be scanned and a signature at delivery may not be obtained” after they arrive in the US.

The suspension came, Canada Post said, because USPS had changed the way it handles Registered Mail from other countries – processing them within the First Class Mail stream.

Canada Post also claimed that the number of claims for lost or undelivered items from its Registered Mail (USA) service had increased “significantly” following the changes.

It said of the suspension of its service: “The suspension will remain in place until Canada Post is confident that the service performance of USPS has improved enough to offer the Registered Mail (USA) service to its customers once again.”

Canada Post recommended customers wanting proof of delivery and a signature for sensitive, important and confidential items going to the United States to use its Xpresspost — USA service.


A spokesperson for the US Postal Service told Post&Parcel today that it changed the way it handles inbound international registered mail way back in June 2009, switching from a separate manually-processed stream to its domestic First Class Mail stream, “which benefits from high security and is protected by the United States Postal Inspection Service”.

Patricia Licata of the US Postal Service explained: “The UPU regulations for inbound registered mail require a signature upon delivery, but providing a delivery scan on registered mail is optional. USPS does scan inbound recognized registered items and exchanges tracking data with Canada Post. USPS does obtain a signature on inbound recognized registered mail from Canada.”

USPS processes all inbound international registered mail from all countries in its secure First Class Mail mailstream, but its spokesperson insisted that the Postal Service does require capture of a signature on such mail.

Regarding the increase in number of claims for lost or undelivered registered mail items, she said the number represented “a very small percentage” of total registered mail volumes on both sides of the border, “typically 1 to 2%”.

“USPS is currently reviewing the number of claims with Canada Post representatives,” she stated.

Licata went on to note that the US Postal Service joined the UPU’s Registered Tracking Programme in July 2013, and the IPC PRIME Registered Tracking Programme in October 2013, and is exchanging tracking data with 51 countries.

“These programs provide monthly scanning and delivery performance information which USPS is using to provide further service improvement and greater visibility for registered items with other countries participating in the programs,” she explained.

Source: Post&Parcel/Canada Post/USPS

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2 Responses to “USPS denies Canada Post claims over international registered mail”

  • Paul Lacey says:

    I have first hand knowledge that registered mail sent to me by the Government of Canada was lost in transit. The investigation was very professionally handled by Canada Post, however not by USPS. I am very satisfied my item was on the plane to JFK however was thereafter lost or stolen after that, bravo Canada Post for taking this action!

  • Eric Bustad says:

    1% to 2% is not “a very small percentage” for a service such as registered mail. The US Postal Service should be ashamed.

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Direct Link specialises in international cross border distribution and returns of e-commerce packages worldwide. Parent company PostNord (the merged Swedish and Danish Post Offices) supports Direct Link with IT expertise, postal connections and international logistics solutions, across the Nordic countries and intercontinentally.


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