USPS International Shipping: Navigating the World of Global Deliveries

USPS Shipping
Back To Blog Posts

USPS International Shipping: A Deep Dive into Global Delivery Options

As global connectivity continues to shrink our world, the ability to send parcels across borders swiftly and efficiently has never been more critical. The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a range of international shipping options to meet various needs, whether you're a small business owner expanding your reach or simply sending a care package to a loved one abroad. In this guide, we'll dive deep into USPS international shipping services, rates, and tips for 2024, ensuring your next overseas shipment is as smooth as sailing the international waters.

Understanding USPS International Shipping

The USPS offers a vast array of international shipping services tailored to fit the diverse needs of businesses and individuals alike. From documents to hefty parcels, USPS has a solution for nearly every shipping requirement.

1. Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)

  • Overview: This is USPS's fastest international service. It guarantees delivery to over 190 countries within 1-3 business days.

  • Key Features: Date-certain delivery with a money-back guarantee, free package pickup, and tracking capabilities.

  • Info Page:

    Global Express Guaranteed details

2. Priority Mail Express International

  • Overview: This service offers reliable international delivery within 3-5 business days to more than 190 countries.

  • Key Features: Includes tracking, money-back guarantee to select destinations, and can accommodate packages up to 70 lbs.

  • Info Page:

    Priority Mail Express International details

3. Priority Mail International

  • Overview: Delivering to over 190 countries, Priority Mail International ensures your package reaches its destination within 6-10 business days.

  • Key Features: Provides tracking, delivery to P.O. Boxes, and military addresses. It's ideal for less time-sensitive shipments.

  • Info Page:

    Priority Mail International details

4. First-Class Mail International

  • Overview: An affordable option for sending postcards, letters, and small packages to more than 190 countries.

  • Key Features: It's a go-to for lightweight items with no critical delivery deadline.

  • Info Page:

    First-Class Mail International details

5. International Surface Air Lift (ISAL)

  • Overview: This bulk mailing service is tailored for businesses, offering dispatch to over 127 countries.

  • Key Features: ISAL includes delivery through foreign postal administrations and is ideal for less time-sensitive materials like catalogs and advertisements.

  • Info Page:

    ISAL details

Why Choose USPS for International Shipping?

  • Trustworthiness: USPS has an age-old legacy of providing dependable mail and package delivery services.

  • Coverage: With services reaching over 190 countries, USPS has a truly global footprint.

  • Affordability: Compared to private couriers, USPS often offers more competitive rates for international shipments.

  • Variety: From express solutions to economical options, USPS offers a range of services catering to various needs.

Tying it All Together

Engaging with USPS for international shipping ensures that you're leveraging a provider with a proven track record. By utilizing their diverse suite of services, both businesses and individuals can enjoy streamlined, hassle-free international shipping experiences. Whether it's a critical business document, a gift for a loved one abroad, or a bulk shipment for your global customer base, USPS has got you covered. Dive deeper into each service by visiting the linked informational pages and make informed choices for all your global shipping needs.

US Stores You Can Shop and Reship Using USPS International Shipping

The United States boasts a myriad of popular retail stores that offer everything from cutting-edge tech gadgets to the latest fashion trends. For international shoppers, getting access to these products is now easier than ever with the help of Reship. Once you shop, you can rely on USPS International Shipping to get your purchases delivered right to your doorstep, no matter where you live. Here are some top US stores to consider:

  1. Amazon.com

    • What they offer: Electronics, books, household items, clothing, and almost everything under the sun.

    • Why it’s popular: Vast selection, competitive prices, and frequent sales.

  2. eBay.com

    • What they offer: New and used items from individual sellers and official storefronts.

    • Why it’s popular: Auction-style listings allow users to snag great deals.

  3. BestBuy.com

    • What they offer: Electronics, appliances, video games, and more.

    • Why it’s popular: Regular sales, exclusive items, and a broad electronics selection.

  4. Macy’s.com

    • What they offer: Clothing, accessories, home goods, and beauty products.

    • Why it’s popular: Renowned for quality, varied brands, and frequent sales.

  5. Nordstrom.com

    • What they offer: High-end clothing, shoes, accessories, and beauty products.

    • Why it’s popular: High-quality brands, great customer service, and seasonal sales.

  6. Walmart.com

    • What they offer: Electronics, clothing, home goods, groceries, and more.

    • Why it’s popular: Everyday low prices and a vast selection of products.

  7. Gap, Banana Republic, & Old Navy

    • What they offer: Clothing and accessories for the entire family.

    • Why it’s popular: Frequent sales, quality clothing, and a range of styles.

  8. B&H Photo Video

    • What they offer: Cameras, electronics, and professional audio/video equipment.

    • Why it’s popular: Expert advice, competitive prices, and a vast selection.

  9. Sephora.com

    • What they offer: Beauty products, cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances.

    • Why it’s popular: High-quality brands, beauty rewards program, and exclusive items.

  10. Newegg:

  • What they offer: Computer hardware, software, electronics, and tech gear.

  • Why it’s popular: Regular tech deals, detailed product specifications, and user reviews.

Using a Reshipping Service with USPS International Shipping

Once you've made your purchases from these US stores, the next step is to get them delivered internationally. This is where reshipping services come into play. Here's a simplified breakdown:

  1. Sign Up with Reship: Register with a reputable reshipping service. Reship will provide you with a No Sales Tax US-based address, United Kingdom & Canada Address.

  2. Shop & Ship: Make your purchases from the US stores mentioned above (or any others of your preference) and use the provided US address for shipping.

  3. International Shipping with USPS: Once your packages arrive at the reshipping facility, choose USPS International Shipping as your preferred delivery method. Reship will handle the rest, ensuring your items are packaged securely and sent to your international address.

Utilizing USPS International Shipping through a reshipping service allows international shoppers to access US-based stores without the usual shipping restrictions.

Shipping internationally using USPS means complying with regulations and restrictions that may vary depending on the destination country. However, some general restrictions apply to all USPS international shipments.

Common Restricted Items with USPS International Shipping:

  1. Aerosols: Items under pressure that may explode when subjected to high temperatures or altitudes.

  2. Airbags: Used for safety in vehicles but can explode under certain conditions.

  3. Alcohol: The shipment of alcoholic beverages is highly restricted and might require a special license.

  4. Ammunition: Sending live ammunition is prohibited.

  5. Cigarettes & Smokeless Tobacco: Shipping these can be subject to both U.S. and foreign regulations.

  6. Dry Ice: Used for freezing purposes, but it's a hazardous material.

  7. Explosives: This includes fireworks, blasting caps, and dynamite.

  8. Fresh Fruits & Vegetables: Might introduce pests to the destination country.

  9. Gasoline: Highly flammable.

  10. Hazardous Materials: This covers a wide range of substances. Check the USPS hazardous materials guide for specifics.

  11. Medications & Drugs: Prescription and recreational. Some countries have stringent laws about receiving foreign medications.

  12. Perfumes: Many perfumes contain alcohol, making them flammable.

  13. Poison: Self-explanatory.

  14. Seeds: Like fruits & vegetables, seeds can introduce non-native species to an environment.

If you're unsure whether your item is allowed, always check with the USPS guidelines and the specific regulations of the country you're shipping to.

Link to Informational Pages:

  1. USPS International Mail Manual (IMM):

    This is a comprehensive guide on international shipping with USPS. The IMM contains information on service options, pricing, country-specific regulations, and prohibited items.

    IMM link here

  2. USPS Prohibited & Restricted Items:

    This page provides detailed information on items you can't ship internationally and any restrictions.

    Prohibited & Restricted items link here

  3. Country-Specific Lists: Each destination country may have its own set of prohibitions and restrictions. Always consult the individual country listings in the USPS IMM or the country's own postal website.

Shipping costs for international shipping with USPS can vary widely depending on several factors:

  1. Package Weight: Heavier packages generally cost more to ship.

  2. Package Dimensions: Larger packages may be subject to dimensional weight pricing.

  3. Destination Country: Shipping to different countries or regions can result in different prices.

  4. Service Chosen: USPS offers a variety of international shipping services with different price points and delivery timelines.

  5. Value of Contents: Insurance, if chosen, can add to the cost.

  6. Additional Services: Services like registered mail, return receipt, or certificate of mailing come at extra costs.

Here are some average costs for different USPS international shipping services, based on shipping a small package weighing 1 lb. (These are approximate values as of my last update in 2023. For current rates, you should check the official USPS website or use their online postage price calculator):

  1. Global Express Guaranteed (1-3 business days):

    Starting at around $67.80.

  2. Priority Mail Express International (3-5 business days):

    Starting at around $42.85.

  3. Priority Mail International (6-10 business days):

    Starting at around $28.50.

  4. First-Class Mail International:

    Price varies by destination and weight, but a 1 lb. package could be in the range of $15 to $25 for many destinations.

  5. First-Class Package International Service:

    Similar to First-Class Mail, the price varies, starting at around $14.

Please note:

  • These are approximate costs and can change. The prices can vary based on exact weight, dimensions, destination, and any additional services selected.

  • The further away (or more remote) the destination country is, the higher the price tends to be.

  • The package's dimensions can push it into a different pricing bracket if it's particularly large or oddly shaped.

  • For the most accurate and up-to-date pricing, it's always best to check the USPS website.


(FAQs) USPS International Shipping

What services does USPS offer for international shipping?

Answer: USPS offers several international shipping services, including Global Express Guaranteed®, Priority Mail Express International®, Priority Mail International®, First-Class Package International Service®, and First-Class Mail International®. Each service varies in delivery time, cost, and package size and weight limits.

How long does it take for USPS to ship internationally?

Answer: Delivery times vary based on the service chosen. Global Express Guaranteed® typically delivers within 1-3 business days, Priority Mail Express International® within 3-5 business days, and Priority Mail International® typically within 6-10 business days. First-Class international services have more variable delivery times.

Can I track my USPS international shipment?

Answer: Yes, USPS provides tracking for most of its international shipping services. Tracking is available for Global Express Guaranteed®, Priority Mail Express International®, and Priority Mail International®. First-Class international services may offer limited tracking.

Are there size and weight restrictions for USPS international shipments?

Answer: Yes, each international shipping service has its own size and weight restrictions. For example, Global Express Guaranteed® allows packages up to 70 lbs and 108 inches in length and girth combined, while Priority Mail International® has a maximum weight limit of 70 lbs and a combined length and girth of 108 inches.

How do I calculate the cost of USPS international shipping?

Answer: The cost depends on the destination, weight, size of the package, and the shipping service used. USPS offers a Postage Price Calculator on their website where you can estimate shipping costs by entering the necessary details.

Can I insure my international shipment with USPS?

Answer: Yes, USPS offers insurance options for international shipments. The availability and coverage limits depend on the service used and the destination country.

What items are prohibited from USPS international shipping?

Answer: Prohibited items vary by destination country. Generally, USPS prohibits shipping items like aerosols, airbags, alcoholic beverages, ammunition, cigarettes, dry ice, explosives, fresh fruits and vegetables, gasoline, marijuana, nail polish, perfumes containing alcohol, and poison. Check the specific restrictions for the destination country on the USPS website.

How do I prepare customs forms for USPS international shipping?

Answer: Customs forms are required for most international mailings. You can complete these forms online through the USPS website or at a USPS office. The forms you need depend on the service and the value and nature of the items being shipped.

What should I do if my USPS international shipment is delayed or lost?

Answer: If your shipment is delayed or lost, you can file a search request with USPS. If you purchased insurance, you could also file an insurance claim. It's recommended to wait a few days beyond the expected delivery date before taking these steps as international shipments can occasionally experience delays.

Does USPS deliver to every country?

Answer: USPS delivers to most countries worldwide. However, service availability may vary depending on the political and logistical situation in the destination country. It's best to check the USPS International Mail Manual or the USPS website for specific country restrictions.

How do I know if my items are prohibited from shipping to a certain country?

A: Check the USPS International Mail Manual (IMM) or the destination country's postal website for specific restrictions and prohibitions.

What is the cheapest way to ship internationally with USPS?

A: The First-Class Package International Service is usually the most cost-effective option for packages weighing up to 4 lbs.

Can I ship electronics or batteries internationally with USPS?

Yes, you can ship electronics or batteries internationally with USPS, but there are specific regulations and restrictions you need to be aware of. The ability to ship these items depends on the type of battery, the specific electronic device, and the destination country's regulations.

Lithium Batteries and Electronics

Lithium batteries, which are commonly used in electronic devices, are subject to strict shipping regulations due to their potential hazard during transportation. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Installed Batteries: Devices with lithium batteries installed (such as smartphones, laptops, or cameras) can be shipped internationally, provided the batteries are securely installed in the device.

  • Spare Batteries: Shipping spare lithium batteries (not installed in a device) internationally is more restricted. They often must be carried in carry-on baggage only if you're traveling. For shipping, strict packaging requirements exist, such as protective caps on the terminals and strong, rigid packaging to prevent movement and short circuits.

General Guidelines for Shipping Electronics with Batteries

  1. Check Destination Country Restrictions: Before shipping, verify the destination country's specific restrictions on electronics and lithium batteries. Some countries have stricter rules or may not allow them at all.

  2. Proper Packaging: Ensure electronic devices are turned off, the activation cannot occur during transport, and are packaged to prevent accidental activation or damage. Batteries should be insulated to prevent short circuits.

  3. Labeling: Packages containing lithium batteries require specific labels indicating the presence of batteries. These labels inform handlers of the potential risk and the need for careful handling.

  4. Documentation: You may need to include a declaration stating that your shipment contains lithium batteries in compliance with applicable regulations. This is often required for international flights and shipping.

  5. Size and Quantity Limits: There may be limits on the number of batteries and the total lithium content you can ship in a single package, depending on the service and destination.

  6. Service Restrictions: Some USPS international shipping services may not accept lithium batteries or electronics, so it's important to choose an appropriate service that allows for their transport.

Before shipping electronics or batteries internationally, it's essential to consult the USPS website or contact USPS directly for the most current information and guidance. Compliance with all regulations ensures the safety of your shipment and helps prevent delays or confiscation by customs authorities.

USPS International Shipping
Back To Blog Posts