Getting your package to an international destination requires some decision-making and some extra work.
The route you select for sending your package will determine the extra work; here are your options:
International Shipping via USPS
As with domestic shipping, USPS® tends to be the lowest-cost option. USPS® also tends to have longer delivery times and fewer/less powerful tracking options. When you go this route, the USPS® will deliver your package to the customs office in the foreign country destination. From there (assuming everything is in order) the local postal service will deliver the package. The local post office’s takeover will influence your ability to track the package and confirm its delivery to its final destination.
Other factors to understand when using USPS®:
- Insurance: USPS® has built-in insurance for Priority Mail Express International ® and Priority Mail International® shipments (with the exceptions of Priority Mail International Flat Rate® Envelopes and Small Priority Mail Flat Rate® Priced Boxes).
- Priority Mail International® shipments are insured against loss, damage or missing contents up to $200 at no additional charge.
- Priority Mail International® shipments containing non-negotiable documents are insured against loss, damage or missing contents up to $100 for document reconstruction at no additional charge.
- Priority Mail Express International® includes insurance for document reconstruction up to $100 and for merchandise up to $200 against loss, damage or missing contents.
- Forms: USPS® uses short and long customs forms for international shipments.
- The names of these forms are 2976, 2976-A, and 2976-B; which form you need to use depends on the weight, mail class, and other attributes of the package you are shipping.
- Like UPS® and FedEx® forms, they contain the required information for getting your shipment through customs in the receiving country.
- Payment of taxes: USPS® makes the recipient responsible for customs duties and taxes. Refer to USPS 712 Customs Clearance and Delivery Fees page for more information.
- Other: USPS® ISC (International Service Centers) are located in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
- When shipping internationally with USPS®, your package will depart the US from one of these hubs.
- Some services provide tracking only until the package leaves the US.