Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why were changes made to the structure of interna­tional mail?

A. The international mail product line was restructured to better meet customer needs. Over time, custom­ers had expressed the desire for clear and concise product options to choose from. They wanted to have the same quick, easy, and convenient shipping options that are available domestically. Also, cus­tomers had stated a preference for using the same Postal Service–provided packaging for both domes­tic and international shipments, free Carrier Pickup service, and better tracking and package visibility — all at the Postal Service’s competitive prices.

Q. What are some of the major changes that were made to international mail?

A. The changes include a simplification and rebranding of all international products. Eight international prod­ucts with overlapping prices and service standards were combined into four: Global Express Guaranteed (GXG), Express Mail International, Priority Mail Inter­national, and First-Class Mail International.

Q. What international products were eliminated?

A. The product simplification eliminated economy (sur­face) products including economy Parcel Post; econ­omy Letter Post; Publishers’ Periodicals, Books, and Sheet Music; and economy M-bags. In place of these services we now offer comparable air product alter­natives. In addition, Aerogrammes and Recorded Delivery service were eliminated. First-Class Mail International letters and cards are alternatives to Aerogrammes, and Registered Mail is an alternative for Recorded Delivery.

Q. What are some of the benefits that the new interna­tional services offer to customers?

A. Customers have the convenience of using domestic shipping supplies, including “flat-rate” options, as well as increased visibility and more specific delivery times to major destinations. Additionally, online ship­pers qualify for discounts of up to 10 percent when paying postage online through or authorized postage vendors.

Q. Which of the four new international products offer insurance and tracking?

A. GXG and Express Mail International include insur­ance covering up to $100 for loss, damage, rifling, or document reconstruction. Priority Mail International also includes limited insurance coverage. Additional merchandise insurance is available at the mailer’s option. Tracking is included in the price of these products except for Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes.

Q. What are the prices for Express Mail International flat-rate envelopes?

A. The Express Mail International flat-rate envelope is priced at $22 for Canada and Mexico, and $25 for all other countries.

Q. Where can customers find their tracking number?

A. The tracking number is located under the barcode on either the mailing label or customs form.

Q. How can a customer access tracking information?

A. Customers can go to Track and Confirm on; click Track & Confirm for tracking information.

Q. Does the Postal Service provide free packaging for international services, and if so, for which services?

A. Yes. We continue to provide GXG packaging. Cus­tomers using other international products can use the same packaging they use for domestic shipping. Therefore, all Express Mail packaging can be used for Express Mail International, including the flat-rate envelope; all Priority Mail packaging can be used for Priority Mail International, including the flat-rate envelope, the flat-rate boxes and all other Priority Mail packaging supplies and labels. These shipping supplies can be ordered online at or by calling 800-610-8734.

Q. What level of tracking is available with Priority Mail International?

A. The price of Priority Mail International delivery infor­mation for packages is similar to domestic Delivery Confirmation service. Tracking is available to major destinations in Canada, Europe, and Asia for variable-weight packages and flat-rate boxes only. Tracking is not available for the Priority Mail Interna­tional flat-rate envelope at this time.

Q. Is insurance available for Priority Mail International?

A. Priority Mail International packages include limited indemnity coverage against loss, damage, or rifling up to amounts shown in IMM 233.3. When interna­tional insurance is purchased for a Priority Mail Inter­national package, it replaces the limited indemnity coverage. Priority Mail International packages may be insured, but the Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope may not be insured.

Q. What Extra Services are available for the Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope?

A. Registered Mail service is available for the Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope. Registered mail service is not available for Priority Mail International flat-rate boxes or packages. A certificate of mailing, which only provides a receipt showing evidence of having mailed the item, is available for all Priority Mail International shipments.

Q. Is it true that the Priority Mail flat-rate box is now available for international use?

A. Yes. Up to a 20-pound limit, or allowable contents, Priority Mail International flat-rate boxes are $23 to Canada and Mexico, and $37 for all other countries.

Q. Is there a Priority Mail flat-rate envelope for interna­tional mailing at a single price?

A. The Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope price is $9 for Canada and Mexico, and $11 for all other countries. The weight limit for the Priority Mail Inter­national flat-rate envelope is 4 pounds.

Q. How does a Priority Mail International parcel that uses a label generated and paid for online through Click-N-Ship service or an authorized PC Postage vendor get a round date stamp?

A. Priority Mail International labels that are prepared on­line will display a preprinted round date stamp on them.

Q. When do Priority Mail International labels generated and paid for online receive scans?

A. In most cases, Priority Mail International packages receive a scan at the International Service Center (ISC) upon leaving the country and then a delivery scan in major destinations in Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Q. Is there a balloon-rate or dimensional-weight pricing for Priority Mail International packages?

A. No. However, dimensional-weight pricing is applica­ble for Global Express Guaranteed shipments.

Q. Is it OK for a customer not to declare the specific contents and value on the customs form?

A. No. The package contents description is required on the customs form because shipments going to for­eign countries are subject to the restrictions and prohibitions of that country. If the item is not properly described, it might be rejected by customs before entering the country and is at risk of not being handled properly.

Q. Is the sender required to state the value of a gift on an international shipment?

A. Yes. Shipments going to a foreign country may be subject to duties and taxes based on contents and their value. Because each country has regulations about what it will allow into the country, everything that enters that country and its value must be identified.

Q. Is the pricing for First-Class Mail International items based on shape like it is for domestic mail?

A. No.

Q. What mailing options are there for books, sheet music, and publishers’ periodicals that used to be sent as surface mail?

A. The mailing options for Books and Sheet Music and Publishers’ Periodicals include International Priority Airmail™ (IPA®), M-bag, and International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®) service. “Single-piece” mailing options are First-Class Mail International and Priority Mail International service.

Q. Which international products can be sent with regis­tered mail service?

A. Registered mail service (without insurance) is avail­able for purchase for all First-Class Mail International items and for the Priority Mail International flat-rate envelopes. See the IMM for country restrictions.

Q. Other than new pricing, were there any more changes to IPA and ISAL service?

A. Yes, a separate rate group was established for Australia, and an IPA M-bag option is now available.

Q. Were there any significant changes to Extra Services?

A. The structure of Extra Services, formerly known as Special Services, remains unchanged except for the elimination of Recorded Delivery service. The IMM Country Listings should be referenced for country-specific availability of extra services.

Q. How is an insurance inquiry initiated for the interna­tional mail items?

A. For international mail, an inquiry must be initiated before a claim can be submitted. For GXG, Express Mail International, and Priority Mail International, customers should call 800-222-1811 to initiate an inquiry. Upon determination that a claim can be filed, we will provide the customer with a claim packet containing detailed instructions. If a customer receives an article from a foreign country in damaged condition, or with some or all contents missing, he/she needs to take the mailing container, wrapping, packaging, and any other contents to any Post Office for inspection. The postmaster will verify damage and give the customer a PS Form 2855, Claim for Indemnity International Registered Mail, Insured, Ordinary Parcel and Express Mail, to complete.

Note that for registered mail service, regardless of the declared value of a registered item, the maximum amount of indemnity payable for loss, damage, or rifling is $44.86.

Q. Can domestic stamped envelopes be used for inter­national mail?

A. Yes, but since international postage rates are always higher than the domestic postage value, additional postage would need to be affixed.

Q. Are prices for international postcards still available?

A. Yes, postcards are part of First-Class Mail Interna­tional service. The price for eligible cards is $0.69 to Canada and Mexico and $0.90 to all other countries. Remember, for postcard rates, cards can be no larg­er than 4-1/4 by 6 inches.

Q. Are International Reply Coupons (IRCs) still available?

A. Yes, the selling price is $2.00 each. IRCs are exchangeable in any other Universal Postal Union (UPU) member country for a stamp(s) representing the minimum postage for an unregistered air letter.

Q. Is there still a nonmachinable surcharge for letters?

A. Yes, the nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail International letters weighing 1 ounce or less is $0.17. As always, 1-ounce letters that do not meet aspect ratio or that have any nonmachinable charac­teristics are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

Q. I understand that Aerogrammes are no longer avail­able for purchase, but can they still be mailed if a cus­tomer has some stock left over?

A. Aerogrammes can be mailed as First-Class Mail International items; however, since the First-Class Mail International price is higher, additional postage needs to be affixed.

[Please read this stand-up talk to all operations and delivery unit employees and then post copies on employee bulletin boards.]