Rules and Regulations for International Shipping

The United States becomes more of a melting pot each year and this means that more U.S. residents are sending and receiving packages from overseas. Every country has rules and regulations for international shipping. To ensure that their packages are delivered quickly and in the most efficient manner possible, shippers should learn and adhere to the requirements.

Safety is Top Priority in International Shipping

Reputable carriers place a top priority on safety when shipping packages internationally. When using the United States Postal Service (USPS), a shipper should not place a package that weighs more than 13 ounce into a USPS collection box, self-service kiosk, lobby drop, or other unattended USPS location. If the package is left in a mailbox, it will not be picked up. If it is dropped into a lobby drop or collection box, it will be returned to the shipper.

Before sending international mail, shippers should verify that the drop-off location will accept it. Any piece of mail without a completed customs declaration form must be presented to a representative at a U.S. Post Office location even if the package has postage stamps on it. This includes mail bound for APO/FPO/DPO addresses for military troops stationed overseas.

International Shipping Rules and Restrictions

Many shippers do not realize that there are rules and regulations for what can and cannot be mailed through the USPS and many major carriers. The USPS will not mail alcoholic beverages so if a shipper uses a box that previously contained alcohol, all labeling must be removed from the container before mailing. Perfume that contains alcohol cannot be shipped internationally and when it is shipped domestically, it cannot be sent via air.

Only an entity registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration can ship prescription medications. For certain over-the-counter medications, similar restrictions apply so shippers should check before mailing. Shipping packages the correct way shortens delivery time and with medication this can mean the difference between life and death.

Though an unloaded shotgun or rifle may be eligible for mailing, it is subject to many shipping regulations. Only a licensed dealer or manufacturer is permitted to mail or receive a handgun. Though it is much less dangerous from an explosive standpoint, perishable matter is subject to rules and restrictions and in most situations a substance fitting this description may not be mailed internationally. Shippers should contact their carrier services to determine whether their international shipments are restricted or prohibited.

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