I figured I would post this since it is possible it may impact someone here and the mail services haven't been particularly good about letting people know of these important changes -
Pursuant to the promulgation of the New Universal Postal Union Convention (Geneva Congress), from Friday, January 1, 2010, there will be partial amendments to the international mail service. The main changes are as follows:
Inclusion of personal documents in postal parcels:
Current Regulation: As a rule, parcels may contain only objects.
(Inclusion of private documents (equivalent to personal correspondence) is forbidden.)
New Regulation: Besides objects, the inclusion of personal documents in parcels is permitted. For items exchanged between parties other than the sender and recipient, besides objects, inclusion of registered documents (formerly known as records and files) is permitted.
Postal items for which a postal refund shall be made in cases where they are returned without the reason for non-delivery being displayed:
Current Regulation: Parcels only.
New Regulation: Besides parcels, this applies also to registered mail and insured mail.
Shortening of compensation period when investigation is renewed:
Current Regulation: After a renewed investigation in response to a request for investigation, compensation shall be made if no response has been given within 2 months by the office in the destination country.
New Regulation: After a renewed investigation in response to a request for investigation, compensation shall be made if no response has been given within 30 days by the office in the destination country.
Additional prohibited items:
1. Fake or pirate-version items.
2. Military ammunition containing inert explosive devices or inert grenades, shells, or the like, or imitation military ammunition, was added to the list of prohibited goods.
Additional ways of entering name of addressee:
New Regulation: In cases where the recipient’s address has a post office box number, that number shall be written on the postal item.
Amendments to the packaging requirements, etc. of infectious materials:
Current Regulation: In cases where biological materials, B-type infectious materials, or dry ice are contained, the prescribed packaging requirements shall be observed.
New Regulation: In cases where B-type infectious materials, specimens considered atypical that are taken from patients, or dry ice are contained, the prescribed packaging requirements shall be observed.
Abolition of investigation requests regarding ordinary mail:
Current Regulation: In certain countries, requests for investigation of non-delivery of ordinary mail are possible.
New Regulation: Investigations of non-delivery of ordinary mail have been abolished.
Sending conditions: Destination country - Afghanistan:
Current Regulation: The weight limit for small parcels is 1kg.
New Regulation: The weight limit for small parcels is 2kg.
There are a couple more changes, but they are are rather unusual and would most likely not apply to anyone here. If you're interested in reading up on the complete list of changes inquire with your local postal service and/or check the website of the postal service for your country.