Membership of the Universal Postal Union


Republic of Moldova - stamp UPU Membership 1992Any member of the United Nations may accede to the UPU. Sovereign countries that are not members of the UN may also become members of the UPU provided that their requests are approved by at least two-thirds of the member countries of the Union. The UPU currently has 191 member countries.


Out of 192 UN member states, 188 are UPU members. The situation of Andorra, Marshall Islands, Federates States of Micronesia and Palau is not yet settled. Two groups of territories are ranked as a member state: Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, and Overseas Territories (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Vatican City is also a UPU member state (under that name).


The Overseas Territories are specified as: Anguilla, Ascension, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno (Islands), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, St. Helena (dependencies) (Islands), Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos Islands.


Some member states also represent their dependent territories and these territories are deemed to fall under UPU jurisdiction: Australia (Norfolk Island), China (Hong Kong, Macao), Denmark (Faroe Islands, Greenland), France (French Overseas Departments and French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, New Caledonia, Scattered Islands, Wallis and Futuna), New Zealand (Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau), United Kingdom (Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey), United States (Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Virgin Islands of the United States of America, Northern Mariana Islands). The Northern Mariana Islands are still listed as Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Samoa is better known as American Samoa, to distinguish it from the neighbouring state of Samoa.


In contradiction with UN practice, the United Kingdom is listed as Great Britain. In the case of Finland, the country is named as 'Finland (including the Åland Islands)'. New Zealand is listed as 'New Zealand (including the Ross Dependency)' and Tonga as 'Tonga (including Niuafo'ou)'.


Numerous countries have issued special stamps to commemorate their admission to the Universal Postal Union or to celebrate the anniversary of their membership.


Before 1940, several countries that existed then were UPU members. These included Natal, Cape Colony and Hawaii at the end of the 19th century. Unfortunately there is no historical list.





List of UPU Member States with dates of admission.



Related subjects



Universal Postal Union



Catalogue - admission to the Universal Postal Union


Niger                                         12 June 1963

Papua New Guinea                     23 January 1980

Republic of Moldova                   26 December 1992



Catalogue - membership centenary


Fakland Islands                          26 November 1979









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UNOstamps subject page 096

last revised: 15 August 2010