IMM Revision: Inbound International Registered Mail Change

Effective June 1, 2009, the Postal Service™ is revising Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM®) section 752.13 to change the process for inbound international Registered Mail™ service.

A final rule was published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2009 (74 FR 14932–14933). It detailed new proce­dures on how inbound international Registered Mail items would be processed after receipt at an International Ser­vice Center from foreign posts. These new procedures are consistent with international agreements of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), U.S. law, and the regulations of the United States Postal Service®.

Inbound international Registered Mail service, as defined by the UPU’s agreement, limits the compensation the Postal Service receives for providing this service and markedly limits the indemnity available to customers com­pared to domestic service. Finally, and also in contrast to U.S. domestic mail, the UPU agreement does not require hand-to-hand processing of inbound international Regis­tered Mail items. Therefore, we will no longer handle inbound international Registered Mail items in the domestic Registered Mail system.

International senders of Registered Mail items will con­tinue to receive features that distinguish this service. For example, the Postal Service will verify receipt of a Registered Mail item to the postal administration of origin. In addition, the Postal Service will obtain a signature at the time of delivery in accordance with domestic standards governing the delivery of accountable mail. Also, senders will continue to have access to the inquiry process and may receive indemnity based on UPU limits for loss, damage, or missing contents.

We will incorporate this revision into the next printed ver­sion of the IMM and into the monthly update of the online IMM, which is available via Postal Explorer® at