As the saying goes: “it was fun while it lasted”. I always expected the shopping spree from AliExpress, eBay and friends in China would come to an end one day but did not expect it to go out with such a bang. Today PostNord (they handle snail mail in Sweden) announced they will impose a 125SEK + 25% VAT fee (about €16 in total) on every single parcel arriving from China. I would not mind paying VAT on China imports but I do mind getting robbed by the mail man. Apparently, there is an inflow if 150k Chinese parcels every day in Sweden. PostNord expects that number to drop to 120k/day. Multiplied with 125SEK/parcel, this will lead to “significant income” according to the PostNord spin doctor. I expect not.
According to the terms set out in Universal Postal Union treaty, the USPS in 2014 gets paid no more than about $1.50 for delivering a one-pound package from a foreign carrier, which makes it hard to cover costs.  The USPS inspector general’s office estimated that the USPS lost $79 million in fiscal year 2013 delivering this foreign treaty mail. (The Postal Service itself declined to provide specific figures.)
In an effort to ride the e-commerce boom, the Postal Service signed a deal in 2010 with China’s state carrier to sell a special service for small packages entering the U.S. For a small premium, the USPS offered tracking and delivery confirmation, an essential feature for online retailers, as well as expedited shipping.
The U.S. Postal Service entered into a deal with eBay and China Post last year to help Chinese sellers send small packages to the U.S. in a much shorter period of time than regular international delivery services. eBay revealed that the agreement has led to 30,000 parcels a day sent from its sellers in China, with package-tracking included.
Nearly 40% of eBay sellers in China are using the ePacket service to ship to the U.S., with over 80% of items delivered in five to 10 days. Upon arrival in the U.S., these shipments are processed as domestic First-Class Mail, with a one to three-day delivery standard.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
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