How is payment for international mail handled?
November 18, 2005 2:06 PM   Subscribe

When I send mail internationally (say, from the US to Italy) who pays for it? I pay the USPS but at some point the mail presumably gets handed off to the Italians who have not been paid by me to deliver the mail. Does the USPS pay Italy for their end of the delivery? Is there some sort of reciprocal treaty?
posted by bryanboyer to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The Straight Dope
posted by grouse at 2:14 PM on November 18, 2005


I'm pretty sure the UPU has a policy whereby "every letter must be answered." The theory being along the lines of a letter from Country A to Country B being paid for only in Country A, but processed by both countries' postal systems, and the response being paid for only in Country B, but processed by both countries' postal systems.
posted by oaf at 2:15 PM on November 18, 2005


I love AskMe because I didn't even know I was interested in this question, became intensely interested in it as soon as I saw it, and then pretty much had the answer in hand seconds later.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2005


A tangential observation about international postage: a single first-class stamp has worked just as well on multiple occasions for me. I've received mail in England and in Africa that was sent all the way from America on a single first-class stamp. No postage due on my end, no delays--though I guess those letters screwed up the balancing out at the end of the year.
posted by handful of rain at 6:38 PM on November 18, 2005


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