Clarification of New International Mail Rules

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

There’s been a lot of concern about the new international mail rules and shipping international packages from home so I double checked with USPS on the phone and they confirmed that:

If your package is under 13 oz and has a computer-generated label where the customs data was electronically submitted, you can place your package in your mail box for pick up or drop it off in a blue mail box even if you are only using postage stamps to cover the cost of mailing.

To help with where the May 17th bulletin that announced that it is acceptable describes that aspect:

Under “Overview of Work Changes” there’s a statement that excludes packages with electronically submitted info from being required to be presented to a postal clerk if they are less than 13 oz:

…international mailpieces bearing a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72, or PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 — Sender’s Declaration, that was not completed and submitted online (e.g., using Click-N-Ship service, Click-N-Ship® for Business service, an authorized PC Postage® vendor, or the USPS Web Tools® system) will only be accepted at a retail service counter at a Post Office™ location…

I don’t know why they used a ‘negative statement’ to make that point, but I think it’s what has really got folks confuted.

The Click-N-Ship® for Business service (formerly the Shipping Assistant) and the USPS Web Tools® system (the online version of Click-N-Ship® for Business which can be used by Mac owners) both submit the customs form online, so packages using these labels can still be dropped in any mail box to be mailed with postage stamps, so long as they are under 13 oz.

I asked a half dozen different ways to be sure the person I spoke with fully understood I was using either “Click-N-Ship for Business service” and/or the “USPS Web Tools system” to create the label & customs form and using peel & stick and postage stamps with those labels (not paying for the postage online or with a meter). She found two different locations in her supporting paperwork that described that it is still ok, but said unfortunately it was not something she could show me on the USPS website.

Q: If I use Click-N-Ship® for Business to create the label, and it submits the customs form, do I have to bring an under 13 oz package to the PO to mail or can I add postage stamps and leave in any mailbox?

A: If the package is under 13 oz (and the customs information has been submitted electronically as this program does), you can ship from home or drop your package in any mail box.

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.



  • . Strum and Sparkle | June 17, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for clarifying this. Yay!

  • . Maggie | June 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Silly question. Does the custom form I print and stick on count as an address label or do I still need to write the address and return address seperately on the package?

  • . GoTo | June 24, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    When we use the “Click N Ship for Business” downloadable program it prints out the label with the customs form on 1/2 sheet of paper–no need to add a separate name and address.

    That label with the customs form looks just like the bottom half of the page from the USPS Web Tools® system (online customs form generator) but the online one doesn’t say what class of mail you are sending nor the postage required on it, so I think that as long as you adhere the whole bottom half of the page you’d be fine–I suggest calling the 1-800-ASK-USPS number to confirm though, since I haven’t asked them about that. Be sure to save the customs form info/number for your own records in case you need to try and use it to track down your package/need to prove it was mailed. (Save the PDF so you can print it again, take a photo of it, make a scan of it…)