As of June 27, healing 2012 the shipping of U.S.P.S. packages over 1 pound from Micronesia countries has been restored. Helen Reed-Rowe, site Ambassador to the Republic of Palau, drugs has informed OTV that TSA, United Airlines and USPS will work out any remaining issues while averting any future disruption to service.
Below is th original story when service was suspended on June 26, 2012.
Under a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) directive all United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) packages over 1 pound must be x-rayed for security screening prior to boarding. As most of the Micronesia countries do not have the proper x-ray equipment in place, United Airlines cannot allow the packages onto the aircraft.
Postal operators across Micronesia were notified by United today via email, that packages would not be accepted. The postal offices were told that packages sent to the airline would be held until the situation was resolved. According to one source United has been attempting to obtain an exception for the Micronesia countries for some time but was notified today by TSA that there would be no exception and to stop accepting packages immediately. The x-ray machines required by the TSA are available in many airports around the world but due to the high acquisition and operational cost, most of the Pacific islands do not have them. With no notice, shippers were turned away from the post office on Tuesday with no information on when this issue will be resolved.
United has been considering purchasing the expensive equipment to allow for continued shipment of packages but if and when that equipment will be installed is unknown. This does not affect the packages coming into the islands only outgoing packages. The directive will have far reaching impacts on the governments, businesses and people of all Freely Associated States who use the U.S.P.S. as their main carrier for everything. Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae) and the Marshall islands are home to hundreds of thousands scattered over many islands across the Pacific. The directive was first enacted in Japan in December 2010. http://www.naturalnews.com/030642_TSA_airmail.html.
Here are a few things the Micronesia islands rely on the U.S.P.S. for:
- Repair of medical equipment, computers and other technology
- Medical testing
- Export of goods and services
- Shipping of data due to limited Internet capacity
- Sending of birthday and holiday presents
- Shipping of print and digital media for promotional purposes
- Sending traditional items for customs
- And …