USPS International Shipping

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May 29, 2023

The courier service provider you choose determines the quality of your international shipment. With many shipping services out there to choose from, it can be challenging for you to pick one that best fulfills your shipping needs.

Is USPS (United States Postal Service) shipping internationally? What factors determine USPS international shipping cost? If you’re considering USPS for shipping packages internationally, this article is for you.

This write-up discusses USPS international shipping services. It talks about the cost of sending an international package via USPS, the factors determining USPS shipping cost, and the cheapest way to ship internationally through USPS.

USPS aims to offer safe and secure shipping services worldwide at affordable prices. The agency serves about 161.4 million addresses and ships globally to over 180 countries. USPS also manages 31,330 retail offices in Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, and other states across the U.S. 

With thousands of post office locations to look up, finding the nearest one in your area may be time-consuming. FindPostOffice.org can help.

FindPostOffice.org provides you with an easy and accessible post office lookup. Our site lets you access information related to USPS, including its services for shipping to international destinations. 

Is USPS Still Shipping Internationally?

USPS still ships internationally. USPS offers international mail services to more than 180 countries, including Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, Japan, and Australia. 

USPS Offers Secure and Affordable Global Shipping Services 

You can choose a service based on price or delivery speed. You can also use the Click-N-Ship service to get help with filling out customs forms. 

USPS offers Click-N-Ship, an online postage service that allows individuals to use their personal computer and printer to create pre-paid shipping labels for the following mail classes:

You must fill out customs forms each time you ship items from the United States to another country. First-Class Mail International letters and large envelopes under 15.994 ounces are an exemption.  

USPS International Services

Priority Mail Express International, Global Express Guaranteed, and Priority Mail International services provide insurance and international tracking.

International Mailing Services

USPS offers international delivery service options to fit your needs. You can choose a service based on postage prices, flat-rate shipping options, delivery speed, tracking, and insurance coverage.   

Sending International Shipments

Here are step-by-step instructions for sending international packages: 

  1. Before you start shipping internationally, make sure you know the full name of the recipient and their full international address
  2. You need to have a comprehensive list of items you’re sending and their corresponding value for the customs form. 

For example, instead of labeling an item as “clothing,” you should be more specific by labeling it as “women’s sunny dresses.” 

  1. You should have your own printer if you’re printing your customs form. If you want to save more time, you can use the Customs Form Online tool. Use this tool to fill out your form and print it out. 
  2. Bring the form with your parcel to the post office. Pay for postage and ship your item. Prepare packaging materials, such as boxes, tapes, and paddings. 

Print Customs Forms

You can print customs forms and international postage using Click-N-Ship if you use any of these USPS services:

  • Priority Mail International
  • Priority Mail Express International
  • First-Class Package International Service  

Ship to Military

USPS allows you to ship care packages to military addresses at domestic prices even if you’re sending an item overseas. The agency assists with customs forms, free military shipping kits, and military address tips.

USPS also gives you a shipping restriction list by country and free package pickup once your package is ready. 

Follow the destination’s country restriction policies each time you send international packages through diplomatic and military mail. Make sure to include customs forms whenever applicable. 

USPS Click-N-Ship service will guide you through the customs forms process. 

Passports: Apply or Renew

Thousands of post offices across the United States accept first-time passport applicants for the U.S. Department of State. 

Here’s how you apply for a U.S. passport for the first time:

  1. Ensure You Have All the Necessary Documents Early 

You must apply for a new passport several months in advance, especially when you know you’ll be traveling internationally. Passport processing times vary, so check the State Department service estimates

Minors, first-time passport applicants, and individuals who need a new passport may not renew by mail. However, they should submit their passport application at the Post Office and bring these documents:

  • Unsigned passport application forms
  • Proof of identity, including a photocopy of the front and back of the document
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, including a photocopy of the front and back of the document
  • Passport fees 
  1. Prepare Your Application Package 

Check out the official website of the U.S. Department of State to learn how to apply for a passport and know the documents you need. 

  • Fill out the Form DS-11 Application for U.S. Passport on the State Department website. Use this form to apply for a U.S. passport book or card in person at a passport agency or acceptance facility. 

Note: Passport agencies don’t accept walk-in applicants, so make sure to schedule an appointment. If you’re abroad, you can go to a U.S. consulate, consular agency, or embassy to apply for a U.S. passport.

  • Print your completed application. Make sure not to sign your application without the presence of a postal employee. 
  • Have your passport photo taken.
  • Photocopy your U.S. Citizenship documents and proof of identity. 
  • Calculate your fees. 
  1. Schedule an Appointment  

You need to schedule an appointment should you wish to apply for a U.S. passport at post offices that offer passport services. You may use a self-service kiosk at a post office lobby or use the online Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler

  1. Pay Passport Acceptance and Processing Fees 

There are two basic fees for first-time passport applications: the application acceptance fee and the application processing fee. 

Pay acceptance fees at the post office cost $35. You may also pay a $15 post office photo fee if needed. 

Eligible individuals may also renew their passports by mail. To know whether you’re eligible for passport renewal through mail, you must answer “Yes” to all five eligibility questions: 

  1. Do you have your passport to submit with your application?
  2. Is your passport undamaged?
  3. Was your passport issued when you were 16 or older?
  4. Was your passport issued within the last 15 years?
  5. Was your passport issued in your current name? 

Note: If you need to update or correct your U.S. passport because of a name change, printing mistake, or data error, you can check this page

Apply early for passport renewals since many countries require passport validity for at least six months after you enter their territory. Click here for more information about preparing your application package properly. 

International Money Transfers

USPS allows you to safely send money overseas to individuals or businesses in countries with agreements with the agency. You can also send international money orders and Sure Money wire transfers. 

You can buy international money orders at any Post Office. International money orders can be $700 at most. However, some countries, like El Salvador and Guyana, limit the amount to $500. 

Make sure to fill in the name to whom the international money order is payable. Decide on the amount and go to the nearest Post Office location. You can pay for the money order using cash, a debit card, or a traveler’s check. 

Fill out the money order at the counter before a retail associate and pay its dollar value, the $49.65 issuing fee, and the processing fee. The processing fee varies per country. 

You can send the money order through Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International, First-Class Package International Service, and First-Class Mail International. 

USPS International Shipping Rates

Shipping internationally is easy with USPS mail class options. The agency also offers reasonable price points. 

  1. Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) 

GXG is the fastest USPS international shipping option. USPS provides this international expedited delivery service through an alliance with FedEx Express. 

GXG is ideal for mail and packages weighing up to 70lbs. However, some countries have lower weight limits. 

For example, a GXG shipment to Andorra may contain documents only. So the weight limit is four pounds. 

You can expect a GXG delivery within one to three business days with date-certain delivery with a money-back guarantee. Prices start at $67.80. 

  1. Priority Mail Express International 

Priority Mail Express International service is not only fast. It’s also reliable and affordable. Customers can ship by weight for packages up to 70lbs or ship using free supplies of flat-rate envelopes. 

Prices start at $56 but may vary based on the destination country’s price group. 

  1. Priority Mail International 

USPS Priority Mail International service is an economical way to ship your packages internationally. This international shipping option ships to more than 180 countries, including Australia, Canada, and Mexico. 

The delivery time is 6 to 10 business days. You can ship by weight for packages up to 70lbs or ship using free supplies of Priority Mail International Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes. 

Prices start at $30.35 for envelopes, small boxes up to 4lbs, and medium and large boxes up to 20lbs. Meanwhile, prices may vary by the destination country’s price group for packages up to 70lbs, but the fee usually starts at $42.10. 

  1. First-Class Package International Service 

USPS First-Class Package International Service, or FCPIS, is one of the most affordable international services for small parcels. 

The price starts from $15.75 at the post office and from $14.96 for the commercial base and commercial plus. 

You can send small packages of up to four pounds to more than 180 countries. However, you can’t send items exceeding $400 in value. 

  1. First-Class Mail International 

USPS First-Class Mail International, or FCMI, is the most affordable way to send large envelopes and letters to more than 180 countries, including Australia, Great Britain, and Canada. 

You can send 1oz postcards or letters worldwide using one Global Forever stamp. The stamp costs $1.45 and doesn’t expire, even if the postage price increases. 

However, postage prices for large envelopes up to 15.994oz vary depending on destination and weight. 

U.S. to Canada

Suppose you use Global Express Guaranteed to ship your package to Canada. In that case, you can expect your parcel to reach its destination within one to three business days (one business day for many destinations in Canada). 

You may also use Priority Mail International when shipping to Canada and expect the delivery time to be within 6 to 10 days. 

U.S. to Europe

Let’s say you want to ship packages to specific European destinations, like Great Britain or Northern Ireland, using GXG. 

The maximum value of Global Express Guaranteed shipment to Great Britain and Northern Ireland is $2,499. Generally, GXG delivery speed is within one to three business days.  

Compare Mail Services

You can refer to the table below to compare USPS mail services. Note that most USPS services already include USPS Tracking. You can also purchase additional insurance and extra services

ServiceShip TimeStarting PricePricing OptionsWhere to Pay PostageInsuranceOther Services
Media Mail2 – 8 days$3.65 (at the Post Office)
$2.32 (commercial)
Variable pricePost OfficeAvailableIncluded: USPS Tracking (packages only)
Available: Signature Confirmation (parcels only), Return Receipt, Collect on Delivery
USPS Retail Ground2 – 5 days$8.95 (at the post office)Variable pricePost officeAvailableIncluded: USPS Tracking (packages only)
Available: Signature Confirmation (packages only), Return Receipt, Collect on Delivery
First-Class Package Service2 – 5 days$4.75 (at the post office)
$3.59(commercial)
Variable pricePost office and online with Click-N-Ship business accountAvailableIncluded: USPS Tracking
Available: Signature Confirmation, Return Receipt, Collect on Delivery, USPS Label Delivery (with online business account)
First-Class Mail1 – 5 days$0.63 (at the post office and online)
$0.471 (commercial)
Variable pricePost officeAvailableAvailable: Return Receipt, Collect on Delivery
Priority Mail1 – 3 days$9.35 (at the post office and online)
$7.64 (commercial)
– Flat rate- Variable price- Regional rate- PrepaidPost office and online$100 includedIncluded: USPS Tracking
Available: Signature Confirmation, Return Receipt, Collect on Delivery
Priority Mail ExpressNext-day to two-day guarantee by 6:00 PM$28.75 (at the post office and online)
$24.90 (commercial)
– Flat rate- Variable pricePost office and online$100 includedIncluded: USPS Tracking
Available: Signature Confirmation, Return Receipt, Collect on Delivery

Note: The data in the table were retrieved from this page on January 25, 2023. Visit the USPS website regularly for updates.  

How Long Does USPS Take to Ship Internationally?

The delivery speed depends on the USPS international service you choose. You can refer to the table below to check individual services’ delivery speed and prices. 

USPS International Mail ServicesDelivery SpeedPrice
Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)one to three business days (one business day to many destinations in Canada)From $71.10
Priority Mail Express Internationalthree to five business daysFrom $54.75
Priority Mail International6 to 10 business daysFrom $30.35
First-Class International ServiceVaries by destinationFrom $15.75
First-Class Mail InternationalVaries by destinationFrom $2.90
Airmail M-BagsVaries by destinationFrom $55

Note: The data in the table were retrieved from this page on January 25, 2023. Visit the USPS website regularly for updates.

What Factors Determine Shipping Costs?

The factors determining the shipping costs include the shipment’s dimensions, weight, the type of services you use, and the shipping distance. The costs increase with the shipping distance. Similarly, expect to pay more for shipping heavier packages. 

References

  1. International Services
    https://www.usps.com/international/
  2. Click N Ship, Print USPS Shipping Labels
    https://www.stamps.com/usps/click-n-ship/
  3. Customs Forms
    https://www.usps.com/international/customs-forms.htm
  4. International Mail & Shipping Services
    https://www.usps.com/international/mail-shipping-services.htm
  5. How to Send a Package: International
    https://www.usps.com/international/preparing-international-shipments.htm
  6. Military & Diplomatic Mail
    https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm
  7. Passports
    https://www.usps.com/international/passports.htm
  8. Get My Passport Fast
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast.html
  9. Application for U.S. Passport
    https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds11.pdf
  10. Sending Money Internationally
    https://www.usps.com/international/money-transfers.htm
  11. USPS International Shipping Rates
    https://www.stamps.com/usps/usps-international-shipping-rates/
  12. Global Express Guaranteed
    https://www.usps.com/international/gxg.htm
  13. Country Conditions for Mailing — Andorra
    https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/ab_004.htm
  14. Priority Mail Express International
    https://www.usps.com/international/priority-mail-express-international.htm
  15. Priority Mail International
    https://www.usps.com/international/priority-mail-international.htm#flatrate
  16. First Class Package International Service® (FCPIS)
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/First-Class-Package-International-Service-FCPIS
  17. Country Conditions for Mailing — United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/tz_018.htm#ep6534449
  18. Mail & Shipping Services
    https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm
  19. International Mail & Shipping Services
    https://www.usps.com/international/mail-shipping-services.htm