Stamps.com Blog

Coronavirus Delivery Service Alerts: Get the latest info on possible mailing and shipping delivery delays.

Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

International Mail Updates: Lebanon Resumes Mail Service

August 10th, 2020 Comments off

The USPS as received communications from five international carriers announcing extensions of existing service alterations. Be advised that USPS packages sent to these locations may be affected. For a full list of all international service disruptions visit the Stamps.com Coronvirus Updates Page.

Brazil
Correios Brazil has extended measures aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 will continue until further notice. Customers should expect delays.

Colombia
Servicios Postales Nacionales has advised that the Colombian Government has extended the mandatory isolation until September 1, 2020. The postal service will continue to provide mail services, however, customers should expect significant delays.

Honduras
Empresa de Correos de Honduras (Honducor) has advised that Honduras will remain in lockdown ‎until August 9, 2020 or a later date to be communicated in due course.

Lebanon
LibanPost will begin resuming postal services today, August 10, 2020.

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation has advised that due to border closures, inbound and outbound services and service delivery standards cannot be guaranteed until further notice.

Can I Mail Prescription Drugs with USPS?

July 23rd, 2020 Comments off

If you need to mail prescription drugs, you’ll want to get to know federal and state laws about shipping these items before trying to ship them with the USPS. Here are the basics of mailing drugs via the USPS. You will need to be familiar with what is permitted, and what isn’t, to avoid any legal issues.

Prescription Drugs

As the name implies, prescription drugs are not available except with a written order from a licensed medical provider. You are only permitted to mail prescription drugs via the USPS if you are a pharmacist or medical provider mailing such drugs to the patient they have been prescribed to. This means that without proper medical licensing you can receive prescription drugs, but you cannot, under any circumstance, mail them.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Prescription drugs are only permitted to be sent via USPS under specific circumstances—but what about over-the-counter drugs?

Any drug that is available for retail without a prescription is considered an over-the-counter drug. Common examples of such drugs are mild pain-relief medicines and skin creams. Anyone can mail such drugs with the USPS as long as they comply with federal and state laws such as the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 and the Consumer Protection Safety Commission Requirements.

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are drugs in which the federal government tightly controls. These substances are placed into five categories, or schedules, each with varying regulations and mailability. Some controlled substances are treated as prescription drugs—they can be mailed by medical professionals with the proper documentation. Other controlled substances are not mailable under any circumstances. The USPS takes the shipment of narcotics very seriously, and the Postal Inspection Service Prohibited Mail Narcotics program investigates shipments of illegal drugs through the mail and works closely with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies to combat this illicit trade.

You cannot mail a controlled substance unless:

  • You and the person you are mailing the drugs to are registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency or are exempt from the registration requirement. (Law enforcement, civil defense workers, and members of the military do not need to register with the DEA).
  • You are participating in a federal mail-back program to dispose of such drugs and follow the mailing regulations for participation in the program.
  • You are a drug manufacturer or pharmacy owner who is filling a prescription containing narcotics.
  • You should be aware that anything used to take narcotics, such as pipes or syringes, cannot be mailed under current federal guidelines.

Rules for Packaging Drugs

Controlled substances must have inner packaging that is marked and sealed in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act in addition to providing information on the inner packaging about the prescription, such as the prescription number and the name and address of the pharmacy dispensing the drug. The outer wrapping of such packages must be plain and cannot contain any information identifying the package’s contents.

Other drugs must be placed inside a plain wrapper or package.

Promotional samples of non-prescription drugs may have a brief description of the product on the outside of the package along with the words SAMPLES ENCLOSED.

It is important to follow all of these rules because mailing drugs in a non-allowed manner is considered a breach of federal law and can result in serious legal consequences. If a USPS inspector finds non-mailable drugs in a package presented for delivery, that worker is required to report it as well as reject the item for delivery.

Categories: Shipping Tags:

USMCA Starts July 1, 2020

July 1st, 2020 Comments off

Starting on July 1, 2020, the U.S., Canada and Mexico will start a new trade agreement called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which will be replacing what was formerly known as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  The purpose of the agreement is to encourage trade between the three countries, ensure fair labor practices are followed and provide incentives for manufacturing in North America.

For online retailers, one of the key changes within this new agreement is the de minimis threshold values for express shipments (and via customs brokers) into Canada and Mexico from the U.S.

De minimis is a price threshold which countries use to determine if duties and taxes will be applied on shipments.  The de minimis threshold is different for each country, and is determined by the total value of your shipped goods, including shipping fees.  Online retailers like high de minimis thresholds for each country, since a higher threshold keeps duties and taxes from being added to the product cost for a buyer.  As an example, if the de minimis for Australia is $1000 USD, then we can ship items up to $1000 (including shipping cost) without incurring additional duties and taxes.  If the product cost plus shipping is over $1000 USD, then the buyer is going to have to pay additional costs (duties and taxes) to receive the product.

IMPORTANT!  Changes for de minimis starting on July 1, 2020 only applies to express shippers and custom brokers.  Shipments handled by the Postal Service are not changing!

Shipments Entering Canada

Postal Shipments de minimis (USPS delivery to Canada Post)

•  Goods valued over $20 CAD will have tax applicable (Unchanged)

Express Shipments/Custom Brokers de minimis

•   Goods valued over $40 CAD will have tax applicable (New with USMCA)

•   Goods valued over $150 CAD will have both duty and tax applicable (New with USMCA)

Shipments Entering Mexico

Postal Shipments de minimis (USPS delivery to Correos de México)

•   Goods valued over $300 USD will have tax applicable (Unchanged)

Express Shipments/Custom Brokers de minimis

• Goods valued over $50 USD will have tax applicable (Unchanged)

•  Goods valued over $117 USD will have both duty and tax applicable (New with USMCA)

Interested in lowering your international parcel shipments?  Contact GlobalPost and take advantage of free coverage, an easy claims process, no hassle of printing customs forms and more.

Categories: Shipping Tags:

July 1, 2020 Rate Increase: Important News for International Shippers Using Consolidators

June 19th, 2020 Comments off

For large international shippers getting discounted USPS shipping through a consolidator, you may see a significant rate increase starting July 1, 2020 due to the USPS International price change.  (Customers who use Stamps.com for single package international shipping labels will not see a rate increase on July 1 – most Stamps.com customers fall into this category.)

The rate increase is due to the U.S. agreement with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that was signed in September 2019. The United States had threatened to leave the UPU if they could not self-declare terminal dues (i.e. shipping rates) for countries that had inbound letter and small parcel volumes in excess of 75,000 metric tons.  The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is the governing body that helps postal services around the globe facilitate the delivery of mail and packages amongst each other.

Terminal dues are the fees that a national postal service is charged to have packages delivered in another country. Under the new UPU agreement, the USPS has increased its terminal dues to about 70% of the U.S. domestic rate, which experts believe will result in significantly increased postage rates from other countries, especially China where manufacturers were able to deliver a package from China to the U.S. cheaper than a domestic U.S. delivery.

According to Supply Chain Dive magazine, 31 countries will be reciprocating the U.S.’s self-declared rates for outbound shipments on parcels weighing 4.4 lbs. or less. The U.S. is negotiating new agreements with many additional countries, so other country shipping rates may change soon after July 1, 2020.

Stamps.com customers who are using international delivery through a consolidator will be contacted by a GlobalPost sales rep to discuss additional shipping options, including GlobalPost Economy (country to country tracking) and GlobalPost Standard (door-to-door tracking) where we offer the same shipping experience at rates that are protected from the USPS international rate increase starting on July 1, 2020.

About GlobalPost

The GlobalPost delivery network leverages partnerships with international postal operators as well as commercial carriers to offer worldwide delivery. GlobalPost services reach over 200 countries and territories and includes features not found in traditional international postal services, including:

Global Address Verification: Improve deliverability with real-time address verification
No Customs Forms: Send Customs electronically – no forms to print
Ship Merchandise in Flats: Save money with international flats/large envelopes
Instant Refunds: No more tracking refund requests that can take up to 2 weeks
Free Pick-Up Service: Schedule pick-ups when it’s convenient for you (select markets only)
Parcel Coverage: $100 Included

Call 888-899-1255 to contact GlobalPost today

Categories: USPS News Tags:

USPS Restores International Service to Four Destinations

June 15th, 2020 Comments off

The USPS has resumed service to four international destinations: Colombia, Ivory Coast, Kosovo, and Myanmar. Service to these destinations was initially suspended on April 24, 2020 due to lack of transportation as a result of coronavirus.

With these updates, the list of USPS suspended international destinations now stands at 106:

AzerbaijanLebanonSolomon Islands
BoliviaLiberiaSouth Sudan
BruneiLibyaSyria
CambodiaMadagascarTajikistan
ChadMauritiusTimor-Leste
CubaMongoliaTurkmenistan
EcuadorMyanmarTurks & Caicos
HondurasNigerUzbekistan
IraqPanamaVanuatu
JordanPapua New GuineaVenezuela
KiribatiRepublic of CongoYemen
KyrgyzstanSeychelles
LaosSierra Leone

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