The US Postal Service’s First Class Mail International is an affordable way to send mail—including letters, bills and postcards—and small packages weighing four pounds or less to international destinations. Using First Class Mail International, deliveries generally take between 7-21 days to arrive, although the USPS does not guarantee delivery dates or times. Mail may travel to its destination by ground, air or a combination of both.
If you are shipping small, inexpensive items such as books, health and beauty products, clothing, or accessories, First Class Mail International is the lowest cost option to ship your packages overseas. As a cost example, sending a 12-ounce package from the United States to London would cost $40.89 by Priority Mail International, whereas it would only cost $14.40 to send by First Class Package International Service (Commercial Base rates).
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First-Class Mail International pricing varies by destination. There are four different price categories:
Letters - depending on their weight and price category - cost between $1.20 and $4.27 to mail. They may not exceed 3.5 ounces. Postcards cost $1.20 to mail and cannot exceed one ounce. Sending large flats can cost anywhere from $2.38 to $36.46, while packages range from $6.39 to $38.43. Flats and packages may not exceed 64 ounces, and packages cannot be more than 24 inches long and 36 inches in combined dimensions.
You do not need special USPS envelopes, packaging, or labels to use First-Class Mail International; simply prepare your letters, flats and packages as you would for domestic mail. This means that your return address–including the country–should go in the upper left corner, with the recipient’s address in the center. If you use Stamps.com, the software will enable you to print address labels from the convenience of your own home or office.
Before sending, you will need to make sure that the contents you are mailing are acceptable to send to the recipient’s country. You may do this by consulting the International Mail Manual online or at your post office. Stamps.com customers will be automatically notified of any restrictions.
You will also need to weigh your mailpiece to ensure that it does not exceed the weight limit for First-Class Mail International deliveries, and to calculate the cost of mailing. Stamps.com software will automatically perform the rate calculation based on package size, weight, and delivery destination.
If you are sending a flat or package that weighs more than one pound, you will need to fill out a customs form, which asks you to describe the contents and value of the package and indicate whether it is a gift or merchandise. You can obtain custom forms from your local post office and fill them out by hand. If you use Stamps.com, the software will automatically fill out your customs forms for you.
With Stamps.com’s software, international shipping is easier than ever! You can: