Within the next two years alone, 22% of all physical products being shipped are expected to have a cross-border destination. More of what we own, rent, buy, and ship is being bought and sent internationally. As a result, governments across the world and other regulatory bodies are increasing oversight and enacting new provisions for international shipments. In order to remain competitive, carriers will have to adapt their services to remain in compliance or pay the price.
One newer piece of legislation in the United States’ STOP Act. To curtail the flow of illegal drugs across the border via the US Postal Service, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention ACT holds several provisions that will impact how parcels can enter the United States.
There are many aspects of the STOP Act which deal with opioid prescription and handling. However, regarding cross-border shipments, the law which was signed in late 2018 will bring requirements currently enforced on private shipping companies to the US Postal Service.
Not all components of the act are currently in place. However, by 2021 the US Postal Service will have to transmit advanced electronic data (AED) to Customs and Border Protection on all international packages. USPS will have to provide this information or face civil penalties if it allows cross border parcels to enter the country without transmitting AED information. For most foreign parcels, this will require a fee to cover the additional processing costs.
Pre-STOP Act, foreign posts provided AED to the US Postal Service. Generally, USPS did not generate its own AED. This will change now as they work to implement the various provisions of the Act with cooperation from foreign postal services.
The United States is not alone in ramping up regulatory requirements for cross-border shipments. However, as a major shipping destination, other countries and carriers from those countries are taking steps to ensure they can cope with the increased scrutiny their outgoing parcels may face.
In August of 2018, Japan Post issued a notice which advised parcel carriers that failure to send customs information on international tracked mail electronically to the USPS would result in increased time for items to clear customs and security control. In some cases, failure to provide the required AED may also result in parcels being returned.
Other nations and carrier services are also sending similar advisories. Consequently, whether a parcel originates from the USA or any other country, regulations on delivery are increasing across the globe.
Posts and other parcel carriers are faced with an increasing amount of scrutiny on their shipments and a bevy of new compliance hurdles to manage. From the customer’s perspective, many of these new regulations and requirements are not yet considerations, so it falls on the shipper to not only be aware of the necessary compliances, but also any costs associated with them.
Increased regulation and oversight create a more challenging experience both for posts and the customers which they serve. Posts need access to up-to-date information in order to swiftly process parcels in accordance with all regulatory requirements. This leads to increased satisfaction and greater efficiency at the time of drop-off, such as a retail counter. If the postal operator is not armed with the latest information, customers run the risk of having their parcels delayed at best or returned to them.
To navigate this, posts are turning to technology to do the heavy lifting. At Escher, we’ve hoisted the burden and developed a system that can make the cost and barrier of compliance far easier to manage for both customers and shippers alike. We’re making cross-border shipments easier than ever by providing the tools and systems to navigate taxes, duties, and compliance pitfalls.
Stay tuned for future posts on this topic. If you’d like to speak with our postal technology experts, get in touch with us today.