If the US Postal Service (USPS) gets its way, it will no longer sell International Reply Coupons (IRCs) after 27th January 2013. According to the October edition of the Federal Register, there is not sufficient demand for the USPS to continue offering IRCs to customers; however, per the Universal Postal Union (UPU) regulations, the USPS must continue to exchange (redeem) IRCs that have been purchased in foreign countries and presented at USPS facilities. The current Nairobi model is valid through 31st December 2013. Comments on this proposed change will be accepted through 23rd November 2012.
IRCs provide foreign addressees with a prepaid means of responding to inquiries, solicitations or other types of communications — such as QSL cards — that are initiated by US senders. IRCs are exchangeable for postage stamps by postal administrations in member countries of the UPU. Each IRC is equivalent in value to the destination country’s minimum postage price for an unregistered airmail letter. The purchase price is in the US is currently $2.20 per IRC.