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Topic: No customs form for APO?

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Subject: No customs form for APO?
Date Posted: 8/2/2021 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
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I'm mailing a book to an APO.  It's been a long time since I've done that.  I went to print a form on-line and it says "A Customs Form is not required for the selected service."  Has the mailing practice changed? 

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Date Posted: 8/2/2021 7:01 AM ET
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I've mailed several books APO with no problems. It's treated just like mailing in the US. Which makes sense since it is a US Army or Air Force base. You can also see FPO (Fleet Post Post Office for the Navy) and DPO (Diplomatic Post Office). Domestic rates apply for these addresses.

 

 

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Date Posted: 8/2/2021 7:21 AM ET
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Jonathan, right, but I've always had to use a customs form to mail even media mail.  A big notification even comes up on PBS about using a customs form when mailing, but when I go to the USPS site to print a form, it's telling me I don't need one.  Now I'm confused.  Just trying to determine whether I do or don't need a customs form. 

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Date Posted: 8/2/2021 9:22 AM ET
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USPS is correct. You do not need a customs form.

I am not sure why PBS is posting a notification. I didn't see that when I mailed to APO's before. That must be something new that got added that shouldn't have been. There are some very rare instances where you cannot ship Media Mail to some APO's, but as far as shipping, the packages are handed off from USPS to the military who finally delivers them. They aren't supposed to go through a port of entry.

Jonathan

 

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Pat O. (PatinCO) - ,
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Date Posted: 8/3/2021 10:36 PM ET
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I've always had to use a customs form when I mailed to an APO/FPO or DPO, even as soon as this past December, so this must be something new.

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Date Posted: 8/10/2021 2:12 PM ET
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"Starting on March 13, 2020, anyone sending a package to an international address, that has an APO, FPO, or MPO Zip Code in the return address, will need to create a customs form online, or fill out PS Form 2976-R before visiting a retail counter for the clerk to create the label.

Starting August 13, 2020 anyone sending a package with an APO, FPO, or MPO Zip Code in the return address will need to create a customs form online, or fill out PS Form 2976-R before visiting a retail counter for the clerk to create the label."

That's from the USPS site. In the past, I never had to fill one out to or from my address (which was an FPO in Japan) nor did anyone need to fill one out unless it was coming from a company or individual outside of the United States. Early last year, they changed the regulations, so that even those of us shipping from a base PO had to fill out customs forms for other military addresses. In the past, this was not necessary unless you lived at very specific locations or were mailing to destinations outside of the USPS postal system.

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Subject: Customs forms ARE required for APO/FPO/DPO
Date Posted: 5/18/2023 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
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I've been living in Germany since 2016 with an APO address. All packages coming to or from an APO/FPO/DPO MUST have a customs form. They are likely to be a) returned to sender, or b) held up in customs for weeks, if they don't.

I don't know about printing labels from PBS, as customs forms weren't possible when I tried back then.

My go-to for label printing is pirateship.com. The site is super simple, just check the customs form box and fill it out. It will print right on the label. As a bonus, the rates there are discounted, so cheaper than mailing from the PO or usps.com (this site is recommended by the PO employees on our base).



Last Edited on: 5/18/23 5:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
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Date Posted: 5/21/2023 9:59 PM ET
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On the pirateship.com site it does list the max percentage of savings for many USPS and UPS packaging. However, for Media Mail it states it offers 0 % savings.

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Pat O. (PatinCO) - ,
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Date Posted: 5/22/2023 8:28 PM ET
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I checked with my Post Office today (5.22.23) and a customs form is REQUIRED for any packages going to an APO. Pat

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Date Posted: 6/2/2023 10:45 AM ET
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I just mailed out books on Tuesday and the main PO now has a big sign at front of counter that says custom FORM IS REQUIRED for ALL packages going to an international address 

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Date Posted: 6/6/2023 5:27 PM ET
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One of the advantages of using a site like PirateShip is that even though you won't get a discount on media mail, it will make sure things like customs forms are taken care of, if needed. 

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Subject: No customs form for APO?
Date Posted: 6/7/2023 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
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@BookwormKath - had to use a customs form in January 2023 when mailing to APO.  It would not print from USPS site at home.

They helped me at the Post Office counter - although it took 2 postal clerks to fill in all their screen information as they could not find the city to put in the blank so they just put "APO."

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Date Posted: 6/29/2023 11:30 AM ET
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Yes, APO, FPO, or DPO are 'the city' when mailiing to military or diplomats ( all embassy staff) overseas.