Danish minister hoping to end Chinese postal discount

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Photo: News Øresund on Flickr

Shoes, phone chargers and jewellery are just a few of the things which can be ordered from China and shipped to Denmark at a discounted price. But if the Danish Minister of Transport, Benny Engelbrecht could choose, the discount would be history.

A deal among the member states of the Universal Post Union (UPU) from 1969 saw that China was only charged one third of the actual postal price. The agreement made sense back then as China was a developing country, but according to Benny Engelbrecht that deal is outdated.

“China is a market on par with us, so it’s only fair that they start paying the same rates as any other company,” the minister told the Danish broadcasting TV 2.

Losing money

Today, the Danish postal service, PostNord, gets about 7.33 Danish Kroner (just under 1 Euro) for a package weighing under 125 grams.

With more than 40,000 Chinese packages entering Denmark every day, it is not only the Minister of Transport who doesn’t see the justice in these figures. Also at PostNord the price is questioned.

“It’s obviously unreasonable that a package from China to Denmark costs far less than a package from Copenhagen to Aabenraa. We lose a significant million-kroner figure on these China deliveries every year,” Morten Rosengreen, the head of international deliveries at PostNord, told TV 2.

Future prospects

UPU has already agreed that the Chinese postal price should rise to 45 percent by 2021. But Benny Engelbrecht is not satisfied with this. According to him, the discount should be abolished altogether.

USA has taken to further means by threatening to leave UPU if the discounted price isn’t eliminated completely. The former Minister of Transport in Denmark was ready to walk out the door following USA, but Benny Engelbrecht finds this a bit drastic. It would damage postal agreements with other countries as well.

He is confident that the discount will eventually become history.

“The question is not if we will get to a point where China and other states pay the full expense. The discussion is simply how fast it will be phased in,” the minister said.

From 24 to 26 September 2019, UPU will have an extraordinary congress.

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