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How to Ship Packages to U.S. Territories

September 23rd, 2015

How To Ship Packages To U.S. TerritoriesWhether you’re sending a package to Puerto Rico or a flat to Guam, Stamps.com makes it easy for you to send your mail to all U.S. Territories!

The first thing to remember is that U.S. Territories are considered domestic mail, so you would use the Stamps.com domestic sections for sending mail to these locations.  Due to USPS requirements regarding tracking barcodes, we recommend using the “Packages” option within the Stamps.com software if the thickness of your mail piece is over 3/4″.

Like U.S. states, territories and possessions have two-letter codes and each address will be matched and cleansed according to USPS mailing standards.  The codes are:

AS – American Samoa
GU – Guam
MP – Northern Mariana Islands
PR – Puerto Rico
VI – Virgin Islands
UM – U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

Do I need customs forms? 
This will vary according to the location.  You do not generally need a customs form for mail headed to Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.  See below for all other U.S. Territories.

Preparing your Customs Forms and Shipping Labels
You will always need a customs form for all the other U.S. territories.  Stamps.com takes the guesswork out of this process.  When printing a shipping label, the Stamps.com software will automatically alert you or convert the label into the appropriate Shipping Label/Customs Form when you enter a territorial address!

Alternatively, you can manually select Stamps.com’s Online Customs Form (2976-A).  This form for Priority Mail combines postage and customs forms into one convenient label and you can print this on plain paper!  You can fill out the required customs form information electronically on our software.  How?  Follow the simple steps below:

– Select your content type.
– Enter your itemized package content details and click on “Add Item” for each separate type of product/article you are shipping.
– Enter an ITN number if your package’s total value exceeds $2,500 or if your particular goods require an export license.

Stamps.com’s Online Customs Form (2976-A) option can be found under the software’s Packages and Batch sections.  Once you enter an address for a U.S. territory, you’ll see “Plain Paper 2976-A 3 sheets per label” appear on the drop-down Printing On menu.    

Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands   
Wait, aren’t the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands independent countries?  Yes, but they have a special arrangement with the United States known as the Compact of Free Association, and use USPS domestic mail service.  They also use 2-letter state codes:

FM – Federated States of Micronesia
MH – Marshall Islands
PW – Palau

To send mail to these countries, you may use the Domestic options within the Stamps.com software.

Shipping your packages to U.S. Territories with Stamps.com    
So you have your label and package ready to ship.  What’s next?  In the Stamps.com software, you can schedule a pickup for these mailpieces if your request includes at least one or more Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express mailpieces.

After sending out your packages, just keep in mind that shipment times to destinations outside of the contiguous United States may be longer than normal.  While delivery time is never guaranteed, your Priority Mail package to Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands may take up to 3 days to reach its destination, whereas it would have taken only 2 days to reach a destination within the contiguous states.

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