Royal Mail Shipping to the US: Options and Insights

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Royal Mail Shipping to the US

Shipping internationally between the UK and the US can be complex, with various factors to consider from logistics to customs and delivery times. Royal Mail, as the United Kingdom's national postal service, offers reliable options for sending packages to the United States. This detailed guide provides essential insights into using Royal Mail for shipping to the US, ensuring that your parcels arrive safely and efficiently.

Overview of Royal Mail Services to the US

Royal Mail offers several services tailored to different needs and budgets for shipping internationally to the United States. Understanding these options will help you choose the best service based on the nature of your items, budget, and how quickly you need them to arrive.

1. Royal Mail International Standard

This is the most cost-effective option for sending non-urgent goods to the US. While it does not include a tracking service, it is suitable for sending small gifts and low-value items.

  • Delivery Time: Typically 6-7 business days

  • Weight Limit: Up to 2 kg

  • Tracking: Not available

2. Royal Mail International Tracked & Signed

This service offers full end-to-end tracking, signature on delivery, and online delivery confirmation, making it a secure choice for valuable items.

  • Delivery Time: Usually 5-7 business days

  • Weight Limit: Up to 2 kg

  • Tracking: Full tracking with delivery confirmation

3. Royal Mail International Economy

For sending bulky, less urgent shipments economically, International Economy is suitable, particularly for heavy items not requiring fast delivery.

  • Delivery Time: Approximately 6-12 weeks

  • Weight Limit: Up to 2 kg for letters, up to 5 kg for packages

  • Tracking: Not available

How to Ship with Royal Mail to the US

Preparing Your Shipment

  • Packaging: Use sturdy materials to secure your items. Include adequate padding to protect the contents during transit.

  • Customs Forms: For any goods shipped outside the EU, including to the US, you must complete a customs declaration form. This form is available at your local Post Office or on the Royal Mail website.

  • Addressing: Clearly write the recipient’s full address and return address on the package. It’s advisable to include the US state and ZIP code prominently.

Shipping and Customs Process

Once your package is ready and you have selected the appropriate Royal Mail service, you can drop it off at a Post Office or a Royal Mail Shipping point. Royal Mail will handle the transport to the US, where USPS (United States Postal Service) will take over the delivery process. It’s crucial to note that:

  • Customs Duties and Taxes: Your shipment may be subject to US customs duties and taxes. The recipient might need to pay these fees upon arrival depending on the value and type of items sent.

  • Restricted Items: Be aware of items that are restricted or prohibited from entry into the US, such as certain foods, plants, and animal products.

Tips for a Smooth Royal Mail Shipping Experience to the US

  • Track Your Item: If you choose a tracked service, keep an eye on your shipment using the provided tracking number to ensure it is progressing toward its destination.

  • Insurance: Consider purchasing additional insurance for valuable items to protect against loss or damage.

  • Check for Updates: Keep updated with any changes in postal regulations or customs procedures that might affect the delivery of your package.


Using Royal Mail to ship to the US can be a straightforward and reliable option when you understand the various services offered and prepare your shipments carefully. Whether you are sending personal gifts, business documents, or bulk shipments, Royal Mail provides a range of solutions to meet your international shipping needs effectively.

Royal Mail Shipping to the US (FAQs)

1. How long does it take for Royal Mail to deliver to the US?

  • Delivery times vary by service. International Standard typically takes 6-7 business days, International Tracked & Signed usually arrives within 5-7 business days, and International Economy can take 6-12 weeks.

2. Can I track my Royal Mail package to the US?

  • Yes, if you choose a service like International Tracked & Signed, you can track your package from the UK to the US using the tracking number provided by Royal Mail. This service offers full tracking and a confirmation upon delivery.

3. Are there any items I cannot send to the US with Royal Mail?

  • Yes, there are restrictions on what can be sent to the US. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, aerosols, flammable products, perishable goods, and certain electronics. It's important to check the latest prohibited and restricted items list on the Royal Mail and US Customs websites before shipping.

4. Do I need to fill out customs forms when shipping from the UK to the US with Royal Mail?

  • Yes, all parcels sent from the UK to the US require a customs declaration form. This form details the contents and value of your shipment and can be filled out at your local Post Office or online through the Royal Mail website.

5. What happens if my Royal Mail package is lost or damaged during shipment to the US?

  • If your package is lost or damaged, you may be eligible for compensation, depending on the service used and whether additional insurance was purchased. You should file a claim with Royal Mail providing all necessary documentation regarding the shipment and its value.

6. How can I ensure that my package clears US customs without any issues?

  • Ensure that all items are properly declared on the customs form and that you adhere to all shipping guidelines. Avoid sending prohibited items and provide a detailed, accurate description of the contents. It's also helpful to include your contact information and that of the recipient in case customs needs to get in touch.

7. Does Royal Mail handle the delivery in the US?

  • No, once packages shipped by Royal Mail enter the US, they are typically handed over to the United States Postal Service (USPS) for final delivery.

8. What are the costs associated with shipping to the US with Royal Mail?

  • Costs vary based on the weight of the package, the chosen shipping service, and whether additional options like tracking or insurance are selected. You can use the price calculator on the Royal Mail website to estimate shipping costs.

9. Can I send a package to the US using Royal Mail International Economy?

  • Yes, you can use International Economy for less urgent, heavier shipments to the US. However, keep in mind that this service has longer delivery times of up to 12 weeks.

10. How do I contact Royal Mail if there's a problem with my shipment to the US?

  • You can contact Royal Mail customer service through their website, by phone, or by visiting a local Post Office in the UK. They can provide assistance and information on any issues with your shipment.

Royal Mail Shipping to USA
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