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Always seal and separate international and domestic (U.S. Mail) from campus mail. The following descriptions highlight key services for each international service class:
Speed, cost, quantity and content are criteria used to determine the best method to send international mail. Delivery standards, weights and regulations vary by country; consult the United States Postal Service web page for detailed information. International mail weighting 16 ounces or more requires a customs form. Choosing the proper service class can save money while meeting service objectives.
Air Letter/Flat is the basic United States Postal Service mail class for international business mail. Shipping weights determine postage prices. The maximum weight is 4 pounds. Delivery times average three to eight days, depending on the delivery area.
Air Printer Matter/Book Rate is a special discounted class of air parcel post mail. Book and printed matter may be sent at this reduced rate if the Customs Form is marked as educational materials with no commercial value. If dutiable items are sent, the recipient may have to pay a customs fee and delivery may be delayed. The maximum weight varies from 4 to 11 pounds. Delivery times range from 5 to 14 days with the cost varying by country and/or package weight. Label these packages "Air Printed Matter/Book Rate."
Surface Parcel Post is the most economical method of sending merchandise and dutiable items to a foreign country. Delivery times vary from 4 to 6 weeks and a Customs Form is required. The maximum weight varies depending on the country with the cost based on actual package weight. Label these packages "Surface Parcel Post."
Surface Printed Matter/Books is a parcel post, reduced rate for books and printed matter. Customs Forms should be marked as educational materials with no commercial value. Delivery times range from 4 to 6 weeks, and the maximum weight varies from 4 to 11 pounds. Label these packages "Surface Printed Matter/Books."
Customs forms are required to send dutiable letters, packages, small packets, printed matter and parcels to international destinations. There are two classes of custom forms:
The specific customs form is governed by the type of mail, the weight of the item and the regulations of the destination country.
For items not being sold or sent for resale, they should be described as "educational material-no commercial value" to avoid customs fees on the receiver's end. Do not detach the white "post office copy" of the 2976 short form.
Reminder: Customs forms do not replace properly affixed address labels.
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