April 25, 2018

NIAC Requests U.S. Government Issue Exemption to Allow Mail to Iran

Washington, D.C. – With many Iranian Americans finding in recent months that their mail to family in Iran is being returned to them with obscure instructions from the U.S. Postal Service, NIAC has taken formal action to call on the U.S. government to once again allow Americans to send mail to Iran.

Americans have been free to send mail to Iran via the U.S. Postal Service for years despite a U.S. embargo against the country. For the past several months, NIAC has been in contact with relevant agencies to determine why Iranian Americans were having their envelopes and packages to Iran returned. Through that process, NIAC learned that the Trump Administration quietly began enforcing a prohibition blocking such deliveries to Iran beginning in August of 2017. The prohibition requires that individuals sending mail to Iran must go through the process of filing an “Electronic Export Information” (EEI) form if sending anything of value, including gifts under $100 or even greeting cards.

In a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Customs and Border Protection Agency, NIAC is now requesting that an exemption be issued to allow Americans to once against send mail to Iran without an EEI. The requirement to obtain an EEI authorization has technically been U.S. policy for years but has been superseded by other U.S. policies – including a General License issued by the Treasury Department to allow most personal mail to Iran.

The agencies NIAC has contacted have the authority to issue exceptions to the policy if it causes undue burden, which appears self-evident given the inability of many Iranian Americans or Americans with friends and family in Iran to successfully send mail and packages. NIAC will continue its efforts to press the agencies for a solution until our members’ problems have been resolved.

The full text of the letter is here.

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