USPS International Shipping Options

by Christell York ; Updated September 26, 2017

The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers postal delivery in the United States and around the world. There are several shipping options when mailing packages from the United States to international locations. The cost of international service through the USPS will vary based on the destination.

Global Express Guarantee

Global Express Guarantee packages are delivered by FedEx Express in one to three days to over 190 countries and territories around the world. These packages feature a money back guarantee if not delivered before or by the guaranteed date. Track and confirm delivery confirmation is available for these packages. The package is covered by up to $100 of insurance against damage, loss or rifling for free with additional insurance available for up to $2,499 in most countries. These packages must be less than 70 pounds with a length of less than 46 inches, a width less than 35 inches and a height less than 46 inches. The items that can be shipped using this method will vary depending on the destination country.

Express International Mail

Express International Mail offers guaranteed service to China, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, the Republic of South Korea, Northern Ireland, Spain, France (except Monaco and Corsica), Japan, Great Britain and Singapore. Packaging options include your personal package or flat rate shipping boxes. Pickup can be done by your carrier or through pick up on demand if delivery is time sensitive. Guarantee postage insurance is offered separately and has certain limitations including undeliverable packages. The guarantee on postage varies by destination and the day of mailing. Military packages are excluded from the limitations imposed on guarantee service.

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Priority Mail International

Priority Mail International is limited to packages of 70 pounds or under and ships to 190 countries and territories. The service provides online package tracking access except for flat rate envelopes or priority mail international flat rate boxes. Pickup options include free carrier pickup, drop offs at post offices or can be handed to your mail carrier. Insurance is not available for international priority mail in flat rate envelopes and only limited insurance is available for variable rate box deliveries to certain countries.

First-Class International Mail

First-class international mail is limited to packages four pounds and under worldwide. Registered mail is offered for an additional fee but no insurance is available. Return receipt can be added if registered mail is purchased. Additional services including restricted delivery and certificate of mailing are also available for an additional fee if registered mail service is purchased. Prices run as low as 75 cents for an envelope delivered to Canada.

International Priority Airmail

International Priority Airmail provides bulk international airmail for businesses. Packages must be less than 4 pounds per package to qualify for this service. The total weight of to be sent must be at least 50 pounds per mailing in order to use international priority airmail. The delivery address on the mail must be in English or have the English translation listed in the return address field. If the English translation is not known the address must be listed in roman characters for delivery purposes. All mail must list the return address or it will not be delivered.

International Surface Air Lift

International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) delivers bulk mail and offers volume discounts. Mail delivered by ISAL is delivered by air to its destination country without any stops between the locations. The mail is not marked or stamped by the postal service so there are no markings other than those you add to the package. You must ship at least 50 pounds per mailing to take advantage of this service. All undeliverable mail is returned to the return address listed on the package free of charge.

International Business Reply

International Business Reply supplies business owners with postage paid reply cards and envelopes. These card and envelopes are pre-addressed with your business return information and prepaid so customers only have to place the item in the mail. International business replies are returned through airmail so the response item does not have stops between the recipient and you. Postage is only assessed for items that are returned.

Airmail M-Bags

Airmail M-Bags allow you to send printed materials that are not handwritten or typewritten. The postal service defines printed materials as those that feature words, characters, letters, images, figures or any combination of these items printed on paper. There is no weight minimum with Airmail M-Bags but packages 11 pounds or less are required to pay the 11 pound fee. Packages can not weigh more than 66 pounds and the airmail PS Tag 158 must be attached to the neck of all packages prior to pickup.

About the Author

Christell York has been writing professionally since 2008 for various websites and offline for "The Houston Press." She specializes in technical, automotive, travel, personal finance and food articles. York has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and is currently seeking an associate degree in baking and pastries at the Art Institute of Houston.

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