Foreign gifts

If your job requires you to travel internationally or regularly interact with foreign officials, keep in mind that the Postal Service has rules about accepting gifts from abroad.

Generally, recipients may keep gifts from a foreign government of “minimal value,” determined to be a U.S. retail value of $400 or less. The definition of minimal value is updated every three years.

If a gift has a retail value of greater than $400, you must refuse it — with two exceptions:

• If refusing the gift would cause offense or embarrassment, or

• If refusing it would adversely affect U.S. foreign relations.

If you think a gift may be worth $400 or more, submit it to the USPS Ethics Office for appraisal. When in doubt, let the Ethics Office check it out.

In addition, an employee must not request or encourage the offer of any gift or “decoration” — an award, medal, badge or the like — from a foreign government.

Management Instruction EL-660-2020-2, Gifts and Decorations from Foreign Governments, spells out what may and may not be accepted.

For more on ethics guidelines, check out the Ethics Blue page. If you have questions, email the USPS Ethics Office at

Green connection

The Postal Service recently hosted its annual Sustainability Symposium, a three-day virtual conference that highlighted an array of sustainability efforts.

The June 14-16 event included presentations from industry executives, federal government officials and representatives from several USPS departments, including Legal, Government Relations, Supply Management and the team overseeing the next-generation delivery vehicle program.

Speakers included Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who shared information on the Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America plan to return the organization to financial sustainability and achieve service excellence.

Additionally, Supply Management Vice President Mark Guilfoil highlighted the importance of ensuring a sustainable supply chain.

Emerging technology trends, the Postal Service’s next-generation delivery vehicle program and methods for improving air quality were among the other topics discussed.

“The Sustainability Symposium provides an opportunity for the Postal Service to collaborate with our industry peers and suppliers to ensure we continue to be a good neighbor in all the communities we serve,” said Jennifer Beiro-Réveillé, Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability senior director. “Together, we will continue our work to put our stamp on a greener tomorrow.”