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Important: USPS making changes to First-Class Mail International Flats

December 26th, 2017

Merchandise No Longer Allowed in First Class Mail International Flats
If you ship merchandise abroad using USPS First Class Mail International Flats, there’s a new rule going into effect soon that you need to know about. Effective Sunday, January 21, 2018, First Class Mail International Large Envelope/Flat service for merchandise will NO LONGER be available from the USPS. First Class Mail International Flats will only be approved for use when sending documents. This change is occurring to comply with Universal Postal Union requirements.

Here are some examples of what USPS considers a document (still OK to ship using First Class Mail International Flats):

  • Audit and business records
  • Personal correspondence
  • Circulars
  • Pamphlets
  • Advertisements
  • Written instruments not intended to be resold
  • Money orders, checks, and similar items that cannot be negotiated or converted into cash without forgery.

Here are examples of items that will NO LONGER be allowed to be shipped as First Class Mail International Flats, effective Jan. 21, 2018:

  • CDs, DVDs, flash drives, video and cassette tapes, and other digital and electronic storage media (regardless of whether they are blank or contain electronic documents or other prerecorded media)
  • Artwork
  • Collector or antique document items
  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Printed music
  • Printed educational or test material
  • Player piano rolls
  • Commercial photographs, blueprints and engineering drawings
  • Film and negatives
  • X-rays
  • Separation negatives

These goods are dutiable and must be must be shipped using First Class Package International Service. Once this change goes into effect, shippers will need to include Customs Forms and the recipient could pay a duty or tax to receive the product.

Cost Savings Using First Class Mail International Flats
Moving from First Class Mail International Flats to First Class Package International Service will have a big impact on shippers. For example, here’s a cost comparison for items going to Canada:

Shipping Rates to Canada (as of Jan 21, 2018)

First Class International Cost Comparison
Flats vs. Packages

Weight (oz.)

First Class Mail International Flats

(goods NOT allowed)

First Class Package International Service
(goods allowed)

Cost Increase to move to First Class Package International Service

1

$2.29 $9.50 +$7.21

2

$2.50 $9.50 +$7.00

3

$2.71 $9.50 +$6.79
4 $2.91 $9.50

+$6.59

5

$3.12 $9.50

+$6.38

6 $3.33 $9.50

+$6.17

7

$3.54 $9.50 +$5.96
8 $3.75 $9.50

+$5.75

12 $4.79 $15.20

+$10.41

16 – 1 lb.

$5.83 $15.20 +$9.37

20

$6.87 $15.20

+$8.33

24 $7.91 $15.20

+$7.29

28

$8.95 $15.20 +$6.25
32 – 2 lbs. $9.99 $15.20

+$5.21

36

$11.03 $23.99

+$12.96

40

$12.08 $23.99

+$11.91

44

$13.12 $23.99

+$10.87

48 – 3 lbs.

$14.16 $23.99

+$9.83

52

$15.20 $35.39

+$20.19

56

$16.24 $35.39

+$19.15

60

$17.28 $35.39

+$18.11

64 – 4 lbs. $18.32 $35.39

+$17.07

 

Stamps.com Introduces Global Advantage Program
Stamps.com has introduced the Global Advantage Program, a new international service  that lets you keep the cost benefits of shipping merchandise with First-Class Mail International Flats.

The Global Advantage Program includes these great benefits:

  • Allows you to ship merchandise using a service similar to First Class International Flats
  • Does not require Customs Forms
  • Plus much more!

To learn more and to have the Global Advantage Program activated to your account, please contact your Stamps.com Account Manager or call 1-855-889-7867 today!

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