USPS Priority Mail International


January 12, 2023

Sending mail and packages to international locations is no longer a problem, all thanks to the Priority Mail International service provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS). 

If you are one of the people who want to learn more about USPS Priority Mail International, this article is for you. 

Questions commonly asked by people wanting to send packages overseas include the following: how does USPS Priority Mail work? What places can you ship a package using Priority Mail? 

Are there any available step-by-step instructions on how to use Priority Mail online? When I use Priority Mail, how long will it take for my package to reach its destination? What are the Priority Mail International prices? 

This article gives an overview of the USPS Priority Mail International service and where you can send mail using Priority Mail. 

Furthermore, this article provides a step-by-step guide on how Priority Mail works and how long it will take for a parcel to reach its intended destination.

Do you need to find the location of different post offices in the United States where you send your Priority Mail? 

You can check out our website, This online search tool pinpoints the location of all 31,330 post offices in the United States. Find the post office nearest to you using our website.

How Does USPS Priority Mail International Work?

The USPS Priority Mail International service is a reliable and affordable way to ship packages to 180 countries. 

You can have your package delivered practically anywhere in the world, including Canada, Australia, and Mexico, within 6 to 10 days, 

You can visit the USPS website to get a complete list of countries the company ships to.

Where Can I Ship to With Priority Mail International?

Using Priority Mail International service provided by USPS, you can ship your mail or packages to almost anywhere in the world. 

The USPS website states that you can send your packages to 180 different countries, including Canada, Australia, and Mexico. 

Weight, Size, and Shape Requirements

USPS has the following requirements for mail and packages shipped via the Priority Mail International service:

  • A maximum weight of 4lbs for Priority Mail International flat-rate envelopes and small flat-rate boxes
  • A maximum weight of 20lbs for medium and large flat-rate boxes
  • A maximum weight of 70lbs for packages sent by weight
  • A flat-rate envelope or box must have flaps that close within the standard folds 

What Is Priority Mail International?

Priority Mail International is one of your options if you want a fast and affordable way to ship your packages abroad. 

Usually, it takes 6 to 10 days for a package to arrive at its destination using this service. Also, Priority Mail International mail service can accommodate up to 70 lbs. 

Features and Pricing: How Much Does International Priority Cost?

Priority Mail International is a go-to option for people wanting to ship packages overseas because of its price and features. 

Below is the cost of sending packages through this service. 

Priority Mail International Flat Rate Pricing

Flat rate prices offer you a hassle-free way of paying for international shipping. 

You do not need to do a lot of calculations, you only need to ensure that your package fits the size of the box and the prescribed weight limit. 

  • Flat Rate envelopes and boxes to Canada cost $28.13 to $70.13 (with pre-priced shipping rates)
  • Flat Rate envelopes and boxes to other countries cost $35.01 and up 

When you want to use Flat Rate envelopes, you must ensure that your package fits inside the container and should remain within the weight limit of 20lbs. 

Note that the Large Flat Rate box can hold up to 20lbs. So, if your package is heavier than the weight limit, you will need to use retail pricing services. 

Priority Mail International Retail Pricing

Retail pricing rate means you will package and ship your items using your box. 

The price will depend on the total weight of the package and the destination country. Retail pricing begins at $40.45 and adjusts accordingly. 

Note that oversized packages or large envelopes may have surcharges that will increase costs. 

Send International Packages: Step-by-Step Instructions

Do you think Priory Mail is the type of mail service suitable for the package you want to send? 

Here is a step-by-step guide to what to do when using Priority Mail International shipments. 

Before You Start

There are the things you should prepare for when you plan to ship your items through Priority Mail International. 

  • Full name of the recipient or company and their international address
  • A detailed list of things you will send and their value 
  • Printer or a means to print the customs form. You can use the online customs form on the USPS website
  • Payment for postage
  • Packaging materials, tape, and padding for protection

You Should Know

There are some details you should note when sending or shipping packages to countries outside the United States. 

  • You should know the laws, regulations, and policies in the destination country, the delivery service, and the United States.
  • You should know that tracking services may differ from those used for U.S. packages.
  • You cannot send certain items in international packages because of laws in the destination country. 
  • A customs form is needed when you send anything that is not a nonnegotiable document or correspondence to other countries. 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) gathers customs form data electronically. You can visit your nearest USPS retail associate or location to accomplish this form. 

  • There are consequences to making mistakes in the sending process. These errors can lead to shipping delays, extra fees, rejection, confiscation, disposal, or even destruction by the authorities in the destination country. 

Where, What, and How Much Can You Send?

When you send a package abroad, you should know the following things to ensure that your package is completed on time.

  • You should know what item is allowed and not allowed entry in your destination country.  
  • You should know the USPS service that you can use.
  • You should know if USPS ships to your destination country.

Choose an International Shipping Service

USPS provides six types of shipping services for international destinations. These are the following:

  1. Global Express Guaranteed
  1. Priority Mail Express International
  1. Priority Mail International
  1. First-Class Package International Service
  1. First-Class Mail International
  1. Airmail M-Bags

Affordable Options: Priority Mail International

One of the affordable options you can use when sending mail or packages overseas is USPS Priority Mail International. This mail service has the following features:

  • Send up to 4lbs in its flat-rate envelope option
  • Send up to 20 lbs through its medium and large flat-rate boxes. 
  • Delivery may take 6 to 10 days
  • Postage price starts at $29.60

Prepare Your Box

When you use a box for your package, make sure you have done everything on this checklist to avoid problems during delivery. 

  • Use a sturdy box with cushioning and adequate room to protect your items during delivery
  • When recycling or reusing a box, ensure that all markings, shipping labels, and addresses are removed or blackened out
  • Remember to fill out the customs form
  • You need to list each item included in the box and its value for the customs form
  • Use 2-inch wide packing tape to seal all sides of the box

Write the Address

  • Write the address parallel to the package’s long side. Make sure the postage and the address fit on the same side. 
  • Ensure that you indicate the correct address. The international address format differs for each destination country. 
  • Write the address in English. If another language is used, add its English translation after each line.
  • Print your return and delivery address on the same side of the package. It should be on the same side as the postage.
  • Write your return U.S. address in the box’s top left corner.
  • Write the delivery address on the package to the right of your return address.

International address formatting tips are specific. Here are the things you need to remember when writing the address on your package: 

  • Print addresses in capital letters
  • Do not use any commas or periods
  • Write the sender’s address
  • Use a permanent marker or a pen

For more information about the correct address formatting, you can head to the USPS website, your local post office, or the Universal Postal Union site and search for Postal Addressing Systems.

Calculate and Apply Postage

You can use an international postage calculator to know how much you have to pay or head straight to your local post office.

You can also use the Click-N-Ship service to pay and print international postage. 

Payments are also based on weight, so if you cannot weigh your package accurately at home, you can have it weighed at your post office. 

Aside from the weight, you should also keep in mind the dimensions of your item.

Create Your Customs Forms and Labels

Printing your customs forms and labels at home is much more convenient. You can do this by using the Click-N-Ship service. After printing your form and label, you can pay the postage at your post office. 

If you cannot print your forms and labels at home, you can do it at the post office. You must fill out the PS 2976-R form and give it to the USPS retail associate.

Send Your International Shipment

Once everything is done, you can now send your international shipment. You can place the package in the blue collection box at your post office. 

You can drop it into this box if the following criteria are met:

  • Your package has a customs form.
  • You have paid for postage online.
  • Your package weighs less than 10 ounces (oz) and is less than 0.5 inches thick. 

If your package meets these requirements, you can head to your post office employee and have them assist you in sending your package. 

Schedule a Package Pickup

You can schedule a package pickup when you have chosen to complete all your package’s shipping requirements online. 

International mailing services that have a scheduled free package pickup are:

  • Global Express Guaranteed
  • Priority Mail Express International
  • Priority Mail International
  • First-Class Package International service

How Long Does It Take for Priority Mail to Arrive Internationally?

Many factors determine how long international shipping takes. But for most cases, especially with USPS, shipping abroad may take 6 to 10 days.

6 to 10 Business Days

The USPS Priority Mail International service gives a window of 6 to 10 days to complete international shipping. 

This mail service can ship packages to 180 countries. Despite the guaranteed timeframe, there may be delays due to many factors, including missing or broken labels. 

Will My Package Be Tracked?

You can track your package through the USPS tracking system. You can always check the status of your package as it goes through the entire delivery process. 

International Shipping Services: The Following Options Are Available to Mail Items Using Priority Mail International

USPS provides many mailing and shipping services when you need to send packages to international destinations. The following are some options you can use when you need to send items outside of the country:

Priority Mail International Flat Rate Products and Parcels

USPS has provided many flat-rate products for their international mailing service. You can use these products to send various items like: 

  • Flat Rate Envelope: Passports and passport applications, documents, and manuscripts
  • Window Flat Rate Envelope: Pre-addressed envelopes
  • Small Flat Rate Envelope: Small documents, oversized greeting cards, and gift cards
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope: Clothing, books, and boxed jewelry
  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope: Legal documents

Priority Mail International Regional Rate Boxes

  • Small Flat Rate Box: Brochures, small electronics, and accessories,
  • DVD Box: DVDs, CDs
  • Large Video Box: VHS tapes and small books
  • Medium Flat Rate Box — 1 (top-loading): Office supplies, shoes, and small electronics
  • Medium Flat Rate Box — 2 (side-loading): AV equipment and clothes
  • Large Flat Rate Box: Laptops and other multiple items
  • Large Flat Rate Board Game Box: Board games

Extra Services Available

Aside from the different mailing and packaging services and flat-rate products, here are some extra services customers can use when doing transactions with USPS. 

Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International

USPS allows people to monitor their packages while in transit. One of these services is the Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International. 

But this service is no longer available for all Priority Mail International items. 

However, scan information may sometimes appear when using the label ID of your mailpiece or the number provided by USPS tracking. 


For Priority Mail International, merchandise packages are insured up to $200. For nonnegotiable documents, insurance is up to $100. 

You can also get additional insurance for merchandise items with a maximum amount of $5,000. 

Returns and Refunds

There are cases where the destination country experiences problems, like during the pandemic. During this event, borders closed, and areas were locked down. Thus, shipments and deliveries were halted. 

In situations like this, shipments might be returned. You can visit the USPS website for more information about refunds and returns. 

Return Receipt

All Priority Mail international items have a return receipt service and evidence of delivery for the sender.

As the sender, you can buy a pink card when you mail your item and attach it to the mailpiece. When the shipment reaches the destination, the recipient will sign the return receipt and return it to the sender. 

You should note that a return receipt alone does not provide insurance or indemnity.  

Destination countries handle return receipts according to their regulations, which you can find when you read the international mail manual provided by the USPS website. For more information, you can visit the nearest post office in your area. 

Additional Information

Here are other essential services you might need when using USPS for your shipping and mailing needs. 

Mailing Restrictions and Prohibitions

Not every item can be mailed. There are prohibited, restricted, and hazardous materials that cannot be sent through the mail, like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. 

Here are several items that are restricted internationally:

  • Aerosols
  • Airbags
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry ice
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline
  • Hemp-based products (including cannabidiol)
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
  • Nail Polish
  • Perfumes (containing alcohol)
  • Poisons

Shipping to a Military Post Office (APO, FPO, or DPO)

When you ship packages to a military post office, it is best to remember that these destinations have specific restrictions that you must follow. 

  • When shipping to any military post office, it should indicate the recipient’s name, unit, and rank. 
  • The mail should also include the 9-digit zip code of the military office. 
  • The letter should have a return address.
  • Addressing a shipment to “any service member” is no longer allowed.
  • When mailing to APO, FPO, or DPO addresses, do not include city or country names.

For Businesses

Many businesses today, especially those doing their transactions online, need a cost-effective way to deliver orders to people anywhere in the world. 

USPS provides that kind of service at a fraction of the cost. 

The company works with businesses to help them expand their business and help them compete in the global market. 

USPS Priority International Alternatives

USPS is one of the major mailing and shipping companies in the United States. 

There are many alternatives that you can choose from on the internet, but the advantage of USPS is its experience in business and the support of the U.S. government in keeping this institution functioning all those years. 


  1. What is the difference between Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express International?

Both mail services cater to international delivery services, but the main difference is delivery lead times.

Priority Mail Express International usually takes 3 to 5 days for deliveries to get to their recipients compared to Priority Mail International, which takes 6 to 10 days. 

  1. Can I purchase a protection cover?

Yes, you can purchase a protection cover or insurance for your package. You can go to your local post office and get your insurance covered there. 

  1. What is USPS Priority Mail International Flat rate?

A flat rate is an item the USPS offers where payment is not based on weight but has a fixed price. 

The only requirement is that the package must fit the flat rate envelope or box provided by the USPS office.