ifsda Magazine – February 2011

The following editorial from the January February 2011 issue of the Collectors Club (New York) Philatelist is especially important news for members receiving registered mail from foreign destinations in the USA, or to those sending registered mail to the USA.

Warning to all who might receive registered mail from overseas: Inquiries by overseas senders regarding missing registered mail have discovered a disturbing problem.

Since June 2009, all registered mail arriving in the U.S. from overseas is treated by the U.S. Postal Service as ordinary mail from its original arrival at the U.S. exchange office, and is not given the usual processing that is expected from registered mail.

A post inspector has commented that any such registered mail items can be considered the same as having a “Steal Me” label on them. The applicable regulation, taken from the USPS International Mail Manual, says: 752.13 Treatment of Registered Items – All registered mail by the country origin must be handled domestic First-Class mail stream from the exchange office to the office of delivery. A signed delivery recipient must be obtained at the time of delivery.
The second sentence show that simply because the recipient has to sign on delivery does not mean that the mail was given the secure handling expected of registered mail.
“Traveling in the domestic First Class Mail mailstream” means that the letter or package will be sent along with all other ordinary first class mail. Registered mail within the U.S. remains the same secure process as before, as does registered mail send to overseas addresses. The danger is restricted to arriving mail. The best alternative is to use either Express Mail or Courier Services. Be warned, and tell your overseas correspondents.
(Source: Editorial by Robert P. Odenweller, The Collectors Club Philatelist, Jan. – Feb. 2011)