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USPS Domestic Mail Service Returns to the FSM and RMI

November 5, 2007

In a final rule that takes effect on November 19, 2007, the U.S. Postal Service has declared that “Mail to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia is no longer treated as international mail.” This action removes all references to the RMI and FSM from the USPS International Mail Manual and restores the domestic zip codes of 96941 (for Pohnpei), 96942 (for Chuuk), 96943 (for Yap), 96944 (for Kosrae) and 96960 (for the Marshall Islands) and the two-letter USPS postal codes of FM (for the FSM) and MH (for the RMI).

The Postal Service, after high-level discussions with the FSM and RMI governments together with the U.S. Department of State, has decided to return these two countries to domestic published prices and mailing standards. This action rescinds the previous rule by the USPS which had transferred FSM and RMI mail service from Domestic to International Rates. However, the following USPS domestic mail services will not be reinstated under the new rule: USPS money orders, COD service, delivery confirmation, signature confirmation, electronic return receipt tracking of postal mail items, and guarantee of express mail service.

Relevant text from the new rule follows. “Effective November 19, 2007, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia will revert to the domestic mail classification schedule that was in effect prior to January 8, 2006, the effective date of the original article (previous rule). The application of international rates to these Freely Associated States had observable effect on the economy and business correspondence of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. The Postal Service had considered a number of business solutions to lessen that impact. Technological and other obstacles currently make other solutions impracticable. Therefore, to allow the governments of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia to continue to pursue appropriate long term solutions to this problem without adversely impacting the economies and the lives of their people, the Postal Service takes this step to return the parties and their people to the position they held prior to the application of the international mail schedule to them.”

Citation: Federal Register, Rules and Regulations, Vol. 71, No. 210, Wednesday, October 31, 2007 pages 61522-61533 (“Postal Service: 39 CFR Part 20, International Mail Service to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia Reverted to Domestic Mail Service”).

For further information see the Federal Register Citation.