Follow these precautions to ensure your package makes it to its final destination:
- Place an additional mailing label inside the parcel in case something happens to the original shipping label on the outside of the parcel.
- Use a box that is strong enough to protect the contents you are sending.
- Distribute the weight of the items in the box as evenly as possible.
- If any portion of the box sags or is easily indented, add packing material on the inside to maintain the integrity of the outer box.
- Packaging tape is recommended on the outside of the box. Do not wrap with string.
- Excess markings, previous addresses or print should be crossed out or covered to prevent your box from being mishandled. NEVER use liquor or bleach boxes to ship items. These markings signal hazardous materials to the shipping industry and will be returned to sender.
- If you are sending personal hygiene items such as deodorant, lotion or shampoo enclose them in a leak proof, sealable bag inside the box.
- When you are sending cookies, chips, and other perishable items, place them in a plastic container.
- Avoid sending sodas or other carbonated drinks of any kind in your package. Carbonated drinks can explode during transit.
For more detailed information about USPSR packaging requirements, you may find the following USPSR article helpful (Refer specifically to Section 601.3.0 601.3.13:
USPSR Mailability Guidelines
- Mail addressed to Army personnel must show full name, including first name and middle name or initial, and unit number.
- Mail addressed to Air Force personnel must show full name, including first name and middle name or initial, and PSC or unit number.
- Mail addressed to Navy and Marine Corps personnel must show full name, including first name and middle name or initial, and PSC number for shore-based units, or ship name.
- All Navy ships and Marine mobile units must have a 9-digit ZIP Code
- Mail sent to dependents residing in overseas areas must be addressed in care of the sponsor.
Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned). For example:
CPT JOHN DOE
UNIT 2050 BOX 4190
APO AP 96278-2050
SGT ROBERT SMITH
PSC 802 BOX 74
APO AE 09499-0074
SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
FPO AP 96667-3931
MSG JANE DOE
APO AA 09045-1000
Be sure to INCLUDE A RETURN ADDRESS!
It highly recommended to place an identical shipping label inside the parcel in case something happens to the original shipping label on the outside of the parcel.
All Navy ships and Marine mobile units must have a 9-digit ZIP Code.
Never include the country name on the last line of the address label or the customs declaration form. For example:
UNIT 2340, BOX 132
APO AE 09350
UNIT 2340, BOX 132
APO AE 09350
All parcels must be addressed to someone specific; addressing mail to gAny Service Member is no longer permitted.
Military ZIP Codes correspond to specific geographic locations:
|090 - 092||Germany|
|093||East Coast Contingency|
|095||All Navy ships and Marine mobile units assigned to the Atlantic Theater|
|096||Italy & Spain|
|097 – 098||All other Europe, Mid East and Africa locations|
|340||Central and South America|
|964||West Coast Contingency|
|965||All other Asia, Australia etc. countries|
|966||All ships and Marine mobile units assigned to the Pacific|
For further information, you may find the following links helpful:
USPSR APO/FPO/DPO Guidelines
MPSA Military Mail FAQ
Know the Restrictions for APO/FPO/DPO Shipments
All APO/FPO/DPO destinations have restrictions on package contents. By knowing these ahead of time, you can help your packages to be delivered successfully. To find out the specific restrictions for your package, the USPSR has a searchable database:
General restrictions may include:
- Certain types of food or beverages
- Religious materials, other than for personal use
- Entertainment products
- Size and weight restrictions
- Addressing mail to “Any Service Member” is not allowed. You must address packages to a specific person.
Extreme seasonal temperatures and bad weather may occur at the package destination. Be sure to consider this to help ensure that package contents arrive as intended.
Check the weather:
CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORMS
When shipping to an APO/FPO/DPO address, you will be required to fill out a customs form. Customs forms are available at any post office or online at:
Parcels addressed to an APO/FPO/DPO must bear a properly completed PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22; or if the customer prefers, a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72, if:
- The parcel weighs 16 ounces or more (regardless of its contents, value, shape, or mail class)
- The parcel contains goods (regardless of weight, shape, or mail class)
CUSTOMS DECLARATIONS EXCEPTIONS
The following are exceptions to the customs declaration requirement for APO/FPO/DPO parcels:
- Known mailers are exempt from providing customs documentation on non-dutiable letters, and printed matter weighing 16 ounces or more. A known mailer is a business mailer who enters volume mailings through a business mail entry unit (BMEU) or other bulk mail acceptance location, pays postage through an advance deposit account, uses a permit imprint for postage payment, and submits a completed postage statement at the time of entry that certifies the parcels contain no dangerous materials that are prohibited by postal regulations.
- All federal, state, and local government agencies whose mailings are regarded as “Official Mail” are exempt from providing customs documentation on mail addressed to an APO/FPO/DPO except for those APO/FPO/DPOs to which restriction “B2” applies as required in the Restriction Legend of the “Overseas Military/Diplomatic Mail” section of the (http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/welcome.htm)
- Prepaid mail from military contractors is exempt, providing the parcel is endorsed “Contents for Official Use Exempt from Customs Requirements.”
For more information regarding Customs form requirements for military mail you may find the following link helpful (Refer to section 703.2.3.6 and 2.3.7): (http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/703.htm#1113810)