International How-To Guide

 

International Shipping Online:  It's Unmistakably Easy
Click-N-Ship®, the USPS® shipping tool, is packed with tips and FAQs to help you through every step of international shipping. When you ship online, the system guides you through the transaction.

 

Sending Military Mail?
Even though most mail to APO/FPO/DPO addresses requires a customs form, it ships using domestic mail class services at domestic prices.
Learn more about Military Mail ›

Step 1: Make Sure You Can Ship It
Some items can be mailed internationally, but have specific restrictions…

Other items, including some common household items, can’t be mailed at all…

  • Aerosols
  • Air bags
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry Ice
  • Explosives
  • Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
  • Gasoline
  • Nail Polish
  • Perfumes containing alcohol
  • Poison
  • Pool Chemicals

It’s also important to check policies for your destination. Every country has its own rules; some may surprise you.
Check shipping restrictions by country ›

Step 2: Pack It Up
Choose a box with room for cushioning your contents. If you need one, pick up a free, flat rate box at any Post Office™ or order them online.
Order free, flat rate boxes ›

Cushion your items with bubble wrap, foam, newspaper, or even shredded paper. To check your packing job, just jostle the box a little and see if things slide around.

Finally, tape your box shut and reinforce the seams with 2" wide packing or paper tape. Don’t use string; it gets caught in sorting machines.

Step 3: Address It Accurately
A complete and correct address speeds delivery. In fact, you’ll need an accurate address, including the postal code, to claim the money-back guarantee on some USPS services.

We recommend you print the complete address in all caps on your package. Note that in some countries, the postal code goes before the city or town.

The full country name should be written in numbers and Roman letters on the last line of the mailing address.

Step 4: Weigh & Measure the Package
The Postal Service™ can't accept any packages, domestic or international, that weigh more than 70 lbs. However, the destination country may have lower weight limits.

To check the size, measure the longest side of the box. Then, measure the distance around, or girth, and add the two measurements. Finally, check your total against the size limits for the destination country.

See weight limits by country & service ›

A cardboard box demonstrating the maximum size of a package.  The word 'length' is drawn from the front-left corner to the back-left corner. The word 'width' is drawn from the front-left corner to the front-right corner. The word 'height' is drawn from the bottom to the top. The word 'girth' is wrapped around the package.

 

Because different services have different size limits, you’ll want to measure your shipping box before you start shipping online. You’ll then enter the measurements in Click-N-Ship to see available services.

Of course, you can always ship using a Flat Rate Box and skip this step entirely. No weighing. No measuring.1
Order free, flat rate boxes ›

Step 5: Complete a Customs Form
Print your international postage with Click-N-Ship and our tool creates the customs forms for you.
Print a label with a customs form now ›

Or complete and print just the customs forms online.
Complete customs forms online ›

Which form do you need to complete?

  • Fill out the GXG® International Air Waybill and the commercial invoice PS Form 6182 for Global Express Guaranteed® packages2.
  • Use a PS Form 2976-B for Priority Mail Express International™ items.
  • Use a PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A customs form for all other USPS international services, including APO/FPO/DPO mail.

When you fill out the customs form, list the contents of your shipment completely and accurately. Otherwise, your package could be delayed or returned. When you’re done, please insert your GXG International Air Waybill2 or your PS Form 2976-A or 2976-B in a plastic envelope (PS Form 2976-E) on the package where USPS employees can easily see it.

1. The weight limit for Priority Mail Express International flat rate boxes is 20 lbs. The weight limit for both the Priority Mail International medium and large flat rate boxes is 20 lbs. The weight limit for Priority Mail International small flat rate boxes is 4 lbs.
2. PS Form 6182 is only required when shipping to select destination countries. Check Publication 141: Global Express Guaranteed Service Guide for individual country requirements. Insert all documents in PS Form 2976-E (plastic envelope) when complete.