Canadian Treaty Series
POSTAL CONVENTION BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The undersigned, by virtue of the authority vested in them by law and having regard for the Acts of the Universal Postal Union, have drawn up in this Convention the following articles which shall regulate postal services between Canada and the United States of America, including any areas for which the postal administrations of these countries exercise responsibility for providing such services.
1. Administration: an abbreviated term used to refer to the postal administrations of the countries signatory to this Convention.
2. UPU Convention: The Universal Postal Convention, its Final Protocol, and Detailed Regulations, as enacted by Universal Postal Congresses from time to time and adopted by the countries signatory to this Convention.
3. Letter-post items: items governed by the UPU Convention.
4. Parcel-post items: parcels exchanged between the countries signatory to this Convention; including “ordinary parcels” (those not subject to any of the special requirements for the other categories defined herein), “insured parcels” (parcels which are insured in accordance with this Convention), “service parcels” (parcels sent on postal service and so endorsed), and “air parcels” (parcels marked for air conveyance).
5. Avoirdupois/imperial measurements of weight and size apply to postal items originating in the United States of America until that administration changes over to the metric system ("Système international”) internally.
1. Unless specifically changed by this Convention, the provisions of the UPU Convention shall govern the exchange of letter-post items between the two countries. For the exchange of parcel-post items this Convention shall apply.
2. Each administration may apply the laws and regulations applicable to its internal mails concerning prepayment, packing, and mailability to mail exchanged pursuant to this Convention, provided that:
(a) such items are consistent with the size and weight limits established under the authority of this Convention; and
(b) such items do not come within the prohibitions established by the administration of destination in accordance with the provisions of the UPU Convention governing prohibitions.
3. Mail exchanged under this Convention shall be forwarded and delivered by the administration of destination in accordance with its internal regulations for analogous items of mail in its internal service.
4. The chief executive officers of each administration or their authorized delegates shall make jointly such Detailed Regulations as may be found necessary to give effect to this Convention. The Detailed Regulations, and any amendments thereto, must be consistent with this Convention, and in case of conflict the latter shall prevail.
Postage rates and other charges
1. Each administration shall fix the postage rates for letter-post items originating in its country, provided that the postage rates for such items other than reduced rate printed papers may not be lower than its postage rates for analogous items in its internal service, and that the postage rates for reduced rate printed papers may not be lower than the postage rates for reduced rate printed papers authorized by the UPU Convention.
2. Each administration shall fix the postage rates applicable to parcel-post items originating in its country.
3. Each administration shall fix the charges and fees payable for the special services authorized under this Convention, provided that such charges and fees shall not be lower than those applicable in its internal service for the same or corresponding service.
1. Each administration shall provide for and bear the expense of the conveyance of mails sent by surface means to the other administration.
2. In cases where the administrations agree that the land conveyance services, other than railway services, are to be provided in both directions by one of them, the administrations shall share the expenses for providing such services in proportion to the distance travelled in the territory of each. Notwithstanding the foregoing principle, the administrations may agree mutually on a different method of sharing those expenses.
3. Each administration shall submit to the other annual accounts for the surface conveyance services it provides pursuant to this article, except where it has been agreed mutually that they be submitted more frequently. In either case the accounts shall be settled at the same time as the general settlement of accounts between the administrations.
Exchanges by air; Internal air conveyance
1. Both administrations shall give air conveyance to the LC category of letter-post items, as well as to the AO category of letter-post items and parcel-post items which are marked for this service, according to the same standards and procedures applicable to analogous items in their internal services.
2. Each administration shall make arrangements for and bear the expense of the conveyance by air to the other country of mail originating in its country. The settlement of the accounts pertaining to air conveyance shall be directly with the airline carrying the mail. In principle, the flight and route providing the best service to the originating mail shall be chosen.
3. Each dispatch of mail conveyed by air shall be accompanied by a properly completed delivery bill on a form conforming to UPU form AV 7.
4. Neither administration shall assess any charges against the other for the internal air conveyance services provided for the mail exchanged between the two countries pursuant to this Convention.
Land and sea transit services
Each administration shall establish the transit charges to be collected for the land and sea transit services it provides for mail received from the other administration for onward transmission to a third country. In the case of letter-post items the charges may not be higher than those specified in the UPU Convention.
Territorial access for surface services
Each administration may use its own surface services to convey its closed mails, addressed to any exchange office in its country, across the territory of the other country without paying any charges to the other administration.
Onward air conveyance services
1. Each administration shall provide onward air conveyance services for closed dispatches as well as for “à découvert” items received from the other administration for onward transmission by air to a third country.
2. Payment for the onward air conveyance of parcel-post items shall be based on actual weights and shall be calculated by analogy with the UPU Convention.
3. Upon request of the transit administration additional statistical sampling shall take place, compared with the provisions of the UPU Convention, for the purpose of arriving at weights on which accounting is to be based for “à découvert” letter-post items. This additional sampling shall be requested only when the normal statistical returns produce results at variance with the actual volumes regularly sent.
Allocation of charges
Except as provided in this Convention each administration shall retain the charges which it has collected.
Limits of size and weight
The limits of size and weight adopted by each administration in accordance with the provisions of the UPU Convention for letter-post items, and the size limits established by each administration under its internal regulations for parcel-post items shall apply in principle to items exchanged between them. Parcel-post items shall weigh more than 1 kilogram/2 pounds, but not more than 16 kilograms/35 pounds if conveyed by surface means or not more than 30 kilograms/66 pounds if conveyed by air. The administrations shall have the authority to agree mutually on any exceptions to the foregoing. Unless otherwise agreed by the administrations any such exception shall take effect not less than three months after the date it is established by mutual agreement.
PROVISIONS CONCERNING LETTER-POST ITEMS
1. Letter-post items, except direct bags of printed papers (including books), may be registered upon payment, in addition to the regular postage, of a fee which is not less than the registration fee charged in the country of origin for the amount of indemnity requested by the sender up to the applicable limit.
2. The following shall apply to each registered item:
(a) the administration of origin shall issue a receipt to the sender at the time of mailing;
(b) both administrations shall keep records concerning the movement of the item during its transmission and delivery;
(c) the administration of destination shall obtain the signature of the addressee or his representative at the time of delivery; and
(d) for each delivered item for which an advice of delivery has been requested and paid for by the sender, the administration of destination shall return a completed advice of delivery form to the sender.
3. The administrations shall be liable to the sender, within the limits of indemnity for registered items mutually agreed upon between them, for the loss of, theft from, or damage to registered items. The amount of the indemnity to be paid to the sender shall be the actual value of the loss, theft, or damage provided that the amount does not exceed the limits of indemnity corresponding to the registration fee paid by the sender.
4. The administration of origin shall undertake the payment of the indemnity according to its postal laws and regulations and shall be reimbursed by the other administration if the latter is responsible for the loss, theft, or damage.
5. Neither administration shall be liable for indemnity in cases of force majeure unless it has undertaken to cover the risks of force majeure.
Each administration shall provide the same special delivery services that it provides in its internal service for letter-post items which the sender has prepaid at the postage rate for letters and has, in addition, paid the applicable special delivery fee.
Unpaid and insufficiently prepaid items
In cases where the administration of origin does not collect from the sender the deficient postage on letter-post items on which postage is unpaid or insufficiently prepaid, it shall forward such items to the other administration with an endorsement on the cover indicating the amount of postage due, calculated according to the internal regulations of the country of origin.
1. Items which are redirected, other than letters and postcards, shall be treated in accordance with the internal laws and regulations of the administration which effects redirection.
2. The charges to be collected from the addressee or the sender, as the case may be, on redirected letters and postcards shall be shown on the cover of the item.
Unless otherwise agreed by the administrations, items which are undeliverable, other than letters and postcards, shall be dealt with in accordance with the internal postal laws and regulations of the country of destination.
PROVISIONS CONCERNING PARCEL-POST ITEMS
1. The originating administration shall pay to the receiving administration a terminal charge for each parcel-post item. This terminal charge shall be the greater of either $2.00 or 70% of the postage rate applicable to a parcel in its internal service which has a weight equal to the average weight of all parcels received from the other administration during the statistical period for parcel-post items, and which is carried a distance equal to the average distance travelled by such items within its territory during the same period. The foregoing calculations shall be made separately for parcels conveyed by surface means and for air parcels, in order to arrive at separate terminal charge rates according to mode of transport, if the $2.00 flat rate per item is exceeded in either case.
2. Accounts for terminal charges for parcel-post items shall be settled as part of the general settlement of accounts between the administrations. The administrations shall agree mutually on statistical sampling periods which shall reflect adequately seasonal fluctuations in parcel volumes and shall determine, separately according to mode of transport (surface and air), the following information for those periods:
a) the total number of parcels dispatched and received,
b) the average weight of all parcels received,
c) the average distance travelled by all parcels received.
In order to arrive at the terminal charge payable reference shall be made to the internal postage rate schedule applicable to parcel-post items mailed from a single location specified for each country by mutual agreement. When more than one distance-related rate may be applied, then the highest shall be used.
1. Postal parcels may be insured against loss, rifling, and damage under the terms and conditions applicable in the country of origin.
2. The administration of origin shall be responsible for and undertake the payment of indemnity for the loss, rifling and damage of insured parcels in accordance with its postal laws and regulations.
Undeliverable parcel-post items
Undeliverable parcel-post items shall be liable on return to the sender to a charge fixed by the administration of origin. The amount of this charge shall be retained by the administration of origin.
Unpaid and insufficiently prepaid parcel-post items
Each administration shall treat unpaid and insufficiently prepaid parcel-post items in accordance with its internal laws and regulations.
Redirected parcel-post items
Redirected parcel-post items shall be dealt with in accordance with the internal laws and regulations of the redirecting administration.
Should extraordinary circumstances justify it, either administration may temporarily suspend, wholly or in part, its operation of the services governed by this Convention. Notice of such suspension shall be given immediately to the other administration by telecommunication medium, as shall the notice when the suspended service is resumed.
Prior agreements superseded
This Convention abrogates and supersedes the Postal Convention between the United States of America and Canada signed at Ottawa on 12 January 1961, and at Washington on 23 January 1961, and all other agreements and understandings between the two countries concerning the matters governed by this convention.
Entry into force and duration
This Convention shall enter into force on a date mutually agreed upon and shall remain in force thereafter until terminated by one of the signatories on six months notice or by both signatories on a date mutually agreed upon.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized to that effect, have signed this Convention.
DONE in duplicate at Ottawa, this tenth day of September 1981, and at Washington this fourteenth day of September 1981, in the English and French languages, each version being equally authentic.
POSTMASTER GENERAL OF CANADA
William F. Bolger
POSTMASTER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
DETAILED REGULATIONS OF THE POSTAL CONVENTION BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The undersigned, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 4 of the Postal Convention between Canada and the United States of America, have drawn up the following Detailed Regulations for the implementation of the afore-mentioned Convention.
Information to be supplied by the administrations
1. Each administration shall communicate to the other administration in writing:
(a) the necessary information concerning the customs or other regulations, as well as the prohibitions or restrictions, governing the entry and transit of postal items in the territory of its country and other areas for which it has responsibility for providing postal services;
(b) the postage rates, charges, and fees authorized under article 3 of the Convention;
(c) the charges and dues established under articles 6, 8, and 16 of the Convention; and
(d) The limits of size and weight adopted in accordance with article 10 of the Convention, apart from the exceptions requiring mutual agreement.
2. Each administration shall notify the other, as far in advance of the effective date as possible, of any changes in the postage rates, charges, and fees referred to in paragraph 1(b) of this article.
3. Any other change of the information mentioned in paragraph 1 shall be communicated in writing immediately to the other administration.
Maximum bag weight
The maximum weight of each bag shall be 30 kilograms/66 pounds.
Letter bills and parcel bills
1. Each administration may dispatch non-registered letter-post items and both ordinary and insured parcel-post items for delivery in the other country without the use of letter bills or parcel bills except during the periods agreed upon by the administrations for collecting statistical information.
2. In absence of an agreement between the administrations to bulk bill registered letter-post items, each dispatch of such items shall be accompanied by a document which descriptively lists each item.
3. Closed dispatches of parcel-post items submitted by either administration to the other for land or sea transit or onward air conveyance shall be accompanied by documentation indicating the gross weight of the items in each dispatch.
4. À découvert parcel-post items for land or sea transit or onward air conveyance shall be accompanied by parcel bills indicating the weight of such items for each country of destination.
Each administration shall treat missent items which originated in the other administration in the same manner as it treats missent items in its internal service. No charge shall be assessed against the other administration with respect to such items.
Bundling of newspapers and periodicals
When publishers have a number of individually addressed copies of newspapers or periodicals for delivery by the same destination post office, they may be enclosed in a securely fastened bundle without individual wrappers or envelopes. Each such newspaper or periodical shall be considered as a separate item for the purposes of payment of postage. Each bundle shall be wrapped and bear a label showing the name and address of the destination post office, and shall be endorsed with the instruction "Open and distribute". The wrapper shall be marked "Postage paid at (name of post office of mailing)" and endorsed "Printed Papers Second Class". The weight of such bundles shall not exceed the maximum bag weight.
1. Each item containing goods shall be accompanied by one customs declaration in the form prescribed by the administration of origin, properly completed by the sender and securely affixed to it.
2. In the case of parcel-post items each customs declaration shall indicate whether, if undeliverable at the address shown, the item is to be delivered to an alternate address, returned to sender, or treated as abandoned.
3. In the absence of such an indication, each undeliverable parcel-post item shall be returned to the sender.
Admission of postage stamps
Cancelled or uncancelled postage stamps may be sent in all categories of letter-post items, other than those sent at printed matter rates, and in parcel-post items exchanged between the two countries. Insurance of the latter shall be at the option of the administration of origin.
Sealed greeting cards
Greeting cards which are acceptable for posting at the postage rate for printed papers (those containing conventional words of courtesy expressed in no more than five words or five initials) may be enclosed in sealed envelopes and endorsed as “printed papers”. Such items shall be subject to postal inspection by the administration of origin in accordance with its internal regulations.
Entry into force and duration
The Detailed Regulations shall enter into force on the same date as the Convention to which they refer and shall have the same duration as that Convention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized to that effect, have signed these Detailed Regulations of the Postal Convention.
DONE in duplicate at Washington, this fourteenth day of September 1981 in the English and French languages, each version being equally authentic.
James C. Corkery
DEPUTY POSTMASTER GENERAL OF CANADA
William F. Bolger
POSTMASTER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA