USPS Status and Service Disruptions on International Mail Shipments – Updated 9/20/2022

Here is a list of known international shipping disruptions currently impacting USPS mail and package shipments worldwide.

The list was originally started in early 2020 when covid-19 lockdowns and local restrictions affected international shipping and delivery, resulting in months of mail delays.

The postal service even had to ship mail to Europe and South America at one point, while not accepting mail destined for countries to which it had no shipping solution.

For the most part, USPS relies on commercial passenger flights to transport mail to international destinations from where the local postal operator assumes control of domestic transportation to the final address.

In addition, the postal service contracts with FedEx to handle some of its express services and may occasionally use other air cargo carriers as well.

Although COVID lockdowns and restrictions are less disruptive to commercial air travel today, reliable air travel remains a challenge from time to time for some destinations.

Even without covid, international mail delivery could be affected due to local conflicts, international sanctions, natural disasters, or new regulations imposed by destination countries.

These problems are generally outside the direct control of the US Postal Service. uu.

Due to the fact that we use multiple sources (not just USPS service alerts), we believe our list is one of the most comprehensive compilations of international service interruptions and restrictions when shipping items to worldwide with usps .

is more complete than the information USPS provides in its service alerts.

This information was last updated on 9/20/2022.

usps service suspensions

us postal service. uu. does not accept shipments to the following countries due to lack of transportation or suspension of mail service to and within that country:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Belarus (more information)
  3. Bhutan
  4. Brunei
  5. chad (more information)
  6. cuba
  7. laos
  8. libya
  9. mongolia
  10. papua new guinea (more info)
  11. russia (more info)
  12. samoa
  13. solomon islands (more info)
  14. south sudan
  15. syria
  16. timor-leste
  17. turkmenistan
  18. yemen

the following usps international mail services are suspended in all countries:

  • priority mail international (pmei)
  • priority mail international (pmi)
  • first class mail international (fcmi)
  • first-parcel international class service (fcpis)
  • international priority airmail (ipa)
  • international surface air transport (isal)
  • commercial epacket (cep)
  • m-bag items

usps asks customers to refrain from entering items into the usps mailing system going to the countries listed above. mail or packages will be returned to sender if dropped in a drop box or included in daily pickups.

at us post office retail locations. In the US, USPS will not accept mail to these countries.

For any item returned that has a customs form, the postal service, upon request, will refund postage and return mail fees due to service suspension.

for all other items returned without a customs declaration form, the postal service, upon request, will refund postage and mailing fees returned due to service suspension, or may be reshipped by the sender with existing postage once service has been restored. When forwarding with this option, customers should cross out the “mail service suspended: return to sender” marks.

Unless otherwise noted, service suspensions to a particular country listed above do not affect military and diplomatic mail (apo/fpo/dpo) delivery, as well as Global Express Guaranteed Service (gxp) shipments. ).

note: new zealand was removed from the usps service suspension list on july 25th. The country has been on the list since October 2021, and the USPS issued numerous changes to service suspensions by removing and then adding back several international mail services.

There was no formal industry alert announcing New Zealand’s removal from the suspension list, as had been common when service suspensions were previously updated or lifted.

therefore we removed new zealand from our list and updated our country specific post.

how the conflict in ukraine affects usps shipments

usps continues to accept all types of mail except usps global express guaranteed to ukraine. Despite the war, the Ukrainian postal service continues to function whenever and wherever possible.

However, it is not advisable to send mail or packages to the east and south-east of Ukraine, and especially to areas where Russia has taken control, we believe that the mail service works mainly in the western and middle sections of Ukraine.

Please see our post on Ukraine which explains in more detail the challenges and potential limitations of sending mail and packages to the country.

usps global express guaranteed (gxg) suspension and interruptions (6/10/2022)

usps has issued mail acceptance suspension notices for the following countries:

  • belarus
  • russia
  • ukraine

suspension of usps express mail international money back guarantee

The Post Office temporarily suspended the money-back guarantee for international USPS Priority Mail Express shipments to all countries on October 25, 2021.

usps tracking notes

we want to explain a bit about international tracking with usps as it is different from private carriers like ups or fedex.

if usps tracking shows that an item has left the united states (last scan is from an international service center or isc), under normal circumstances, the united states postal service has no more visibility of that item until a transit country is made or the destination country provides updated tracking information to usps.

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It is sometimes possible to get more up-to-date tracking using the destination country’s postal service’s online tracking tools once the item has entered the country. (see this wikipedia list of national postal services to find the corresponding website)

This is especially true if the shipment has delivery or routing errors, delays, or exceptions, as feedback on the country’s postal system may provide more information about the condition of the postal item than the update transmitted to the US Postal Service. . uu.

In addition, tracking scans of individual pieces of mail are typically only performed at local and regional pickup locations, when the package enters a country’s customs facility, and at local or regional destination locations.

In order to track information between these locations, mail pieces are typically tracked in groups packed inside shipping containers.

usps insurance claim update

the us postal service. uu. has advised that it may take up to 60 days to process an insurance claim for lost or damaged international shipments.

See this link for more information on how filing international insurance claims with USPS has changed and how it may even affect third-party insurance services.

usps refund policy

per dmm 604.9.2.3, customers are entitled to a full refund of their shipping costs when service to the destination country is suspended.

Detailed procedures for obtaining refunds for retail postage, evs, computer postage and bmeu entered mail can be found in this pdf document.

impact of new european union vat/import rules on usps shipments

On July 1, 2021, a new VAT rule came into effect when shipping items to member countries of the European Union (EU). The rule is causing problems for some postal operators, receiving shipments with incomplete or inaccurate customs forms/information or incorrect recipient contact information.

Shipments that arrive with incomplete data may be held by customs officials for a long time or returned to the sender. therefore, it is imperative that shippers provide accurate content information and the recipient’s phone number to avoid delays or a return to sender of the shipment.

International returns can take a long time, as they will not necessarily be transported at the same speed as the original mail service selected. here are additional resources to help you navigate through this new vat rule.

  • ebay: new vat rules for buyers in europe
  • etsy: customs fees and physical vat collection
  • usps: customs forms
  • stamps. com: shipping to the eu? new VAT rules from July 1, 2021

USPS International Service Outages by Country

This list only includes countries with known nationwide service outages. if the country is not on the list, the postal operator is not reporting significant service interruptions or restrictions affecting transportation or delivery.

the date shown after the country is the last known major alert issued for that country.

ascension island & Saint Helena – 04/27/2022

transportation delays – air transport to ascension island & st helena is greatly reduced due to the essential construction of runways and airports. currently it appears that flights are 3-4 weeks apart and the situation is likely to continue until the airport/runway reconstruction work is completed.

mail to the Falkland Islands is not affected.

afghanistan – 8/9/2021

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

australia – 9/20/2022

on thursday 22 september australia will observe the day as a national public holiday to commemorate the life of her majesty queen elizabeth ii. Delivery delays should be expected for items destined for Australia during this time.

belarus – 7/22/2022

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this publication.

see our special bulletin on ukraine, russia and neighboring countries for more details.

bhutan – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

brunei – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

bulgaria – 5/7/2022

eu vat customs delays: shipments arriving in bulgaria are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes in eu vat rules for items from non-bulgaria countries. belonging to the eu. Please see note above about new EU VAT rules and how they may affect shipments to EU countries.

canada – 09/15/2022

Due to the Queen’s Funeral on Monday 19th September 2022, as a Federal Crown Corporation, Canada Post will not be collecting or delivering mail and Post Offices will be closed.

chad – 10/14/2021

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

chinese – 9/8/2022

Covid-19 related delays: Mail and parcels to China are still experiencing delays due to ongoing operational delays within the country. china post cannot guarantee compliance with agreed delivery standards and delays should be expected.

cook island – 9/20/2022

on friday 30 september cook island will observe the day as a national public holiday to commemorate the life of her majesty queen elizabeth ii. delays in delivery of items destined for cook island should be expected during this time.

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cuba – 10/4/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

ireland – 05/17/2022

eu vat customs delays: Shipments arriving in ireland are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes in eu vat rules for items from non-EU countries. belonging to the eu.

Shipping duties must be paid before items are released for delivery. recipients will receive instructions on how to pay and have 16 business days to make payment before the item is returned. the payment date is included in the customer notification.

All items are stored at the Dublin Post Center Campus prior to delivery, once payment is received. if payment is not received by the payment due date or if the customer rejects the item, it is returned to the sender.

israel – 7/4/2022

delays related to covid-19: israel post confirms that the restrictions of the health situation are still in force and will continue to affect the processing and delivery of all mail services until further notice.

italy – 9/8/2022

eu vat customs delays : shipments arriving in italy are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes in eu vat rules EU for items from non-EU countries. See note above about new EU VAT rules and how they affect shipping to EU countries.

jamaica – 05/13/2022

customs delays: Jamaica Post is experiencing issues affecting connectivity and customs-related procedures since April 25, 2022, which has affected international mail processing . Delays should be expected on items destined for Jamaica.

kiribati – 12/15/2021

transportation delays: expect slow delivery (over 2 months) due to infrequent flights.

As of July 9, 2022, this alert was still active. we are seeking additional information as it has been more than six months since this alert was issued.

laos – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

libya – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

macau – 2/8/2022

Covid-19 related delays: Macao Post reports that all postal services have resumed after previous government office closures. however, macao post needs to remove the backlog of articles. delays should still be expected for items destined for macau.

malaysia – 6/4/2022

delays related to covid-19 – post malaysia reports that covid-19 prevention measures are still being implemented. Selected Malaysia Post Office outlets are temporarily closed due to Covid-19 preventative and control measures, while others are open as usual. the courier cannot guarantee compliance with the agreed delivery standards.

malta – 7/18/2022

eu vat customs delays : shipments arriving in malta are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes in eu vat rules EU for items from non-EU countries. See note above about new EU VAT rules and how they affect shipping to EU countries.

moldovia – 3/12/2022

conflict-related delays: Due to the situation in neighboring Ukraine, Moldovan airspace is closed to commercial aircraft. shippers should expect delivery delays.

The Post is working with its postal partners on alternative ground transportation routes. continues to receive, process and deliver incoming and outgoing postal items, and all post offices are fully operational.

see our special bulletin on ukraine, russia and neighboring countries for more details.

mongolia – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

nauru – 11/4/2021

Transport delays: Several postal operators are warning of unavailability of transport to Nauru (a small island country in Micronesia) and have suspended service to the island nation.

USPS has not issued such an alert, but we shippers should be aware that there appear to be significant transportation issues that could delay mail and package shipments.

new zealand – 9/20/2022

covid-19 related delays: new zealand publishes reports of flight interruptions and cancellations, as well as local government restrictions due to the covid pandemic that affect mail delivery to nz.

the post reports that you are experiencing delays of up to 7-10 business days from all destinations. international courier service will take priority over airmail services at this time.

also, on monday september 26, new zealand will observe the day as a national public holiday to commemorate the life of her majesty queen elizabeth ii. Delivery delays should be expected for items destined for New Zealand during this time.

pakistan – 9/5/2022

Delays Due to Natural Disasters: Due to major floods affecting parts of Pakistan, Pakistan Post reports that there are many operational disruptions causing delays in timely deliveries of mail and parcels.

panama – 04/28/2022

delays related to covid-19: panama post reports that all of its processing facilities are operating during normal business hours, but are subject to special measures established by the panama ministry of health. as a result, we cannot guarantee delivery standards until further notice.

papua new guinea – 10/8/2021

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

portugal – 04/29/2022

eu vat customs delays: shipments arriving in portugal are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes in eu vat rules for items from non-EU countries. belonging to the eu. See note above about new EU VAT rules and how they affect shipping to EU countries.

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russia – 3/12/2022

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

see our special bulletin on ukraine, russia and neighboring countries for more details.

samoa – 8/27/2021

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

singapore – 3/3/2022

Covid-19 related delays: Singapore Post reports that its delivery standards are back to normal. however, previously introduced restrictions against covid infection are still in place to limit the spread of covid. signatures are not collected at the time of delivery.

therefore, items that can fit in a mailbox will be deposited in the customer’s mailbox. larger items will be delivered to package locker stations (pop stations), post offices, or collection points for the recipient to pick up.

solomon islands – 12/8/202

USPS Service Suspension (Effective December 10): See information on “Service Suspensions” at the top of this post.

south sudan – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

spain – 6/17/2021

EU VAT customs delays: Shipments arriving in Spain are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes in EU VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. belonging to the eu. Please see the note above about the new EU VAT rules and how they affect all shipments to EU countries.

syria – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

thailand – 09/13/2022

delays related to covid-19: the thai publication reports that the state of emergency in the country has been extended until at least September 30, 2022. the publication must still comply with restrictions and security guidelines that may affect the processing and delivery of international items. As a result, Thailand Post is unable to meet the agreed standards until further notice.

Furthermore, the thai post reports that due to heavy rain, there have been flash floods in many areas of thailand. this is also causing delays in transportation and delivery of items.

east timor – 2/4/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

turkmenistan – 01/26/2021

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

tuvalu – 12/15/2021

transportation delays: expect slow delivery (over 2 months) due to infrequent flights.

ukraine – 6/15/2022

conflict-related delays: Ukrainian Post reports that post offices in several regions will remain open on a limited basis so that customers can receive mail and packages. The Post also advises countries to send their international postal items to Ukraine via Poland, Slovakia or Latvia. shipments from those countries will be picked up by the post.

the ukrainian postal service also reports that road access for postal exchanges with the ukrposhta hub in kyiv is severely limited, and some international mail processing operations have been moved to lviv.

Longer transit times are expected due to border queues and difficult road connections within Ukraine. ukrposhta remains committed to maintaining its postal operations, but cannot guarantee compliance with the agreed standards.

USPS has temporarily suspended acceptance of Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) service international mail to Ukraine.

in addition, donets 83-87, luhansk 91-94 crimea 95-98, and sevestapol 99 have been effectively under russian control since 2014. these areas are unlikely to be serviced now, especially with the suspension of service to russia being current .

see our special newsletter on ukraine, russia and neighboring countries for more details on shipping items to ukraine.

united kingdom – 9/20/2022

the union representing 115,000 royal mail postal workers has called a strike which will now most likely affect mail and parcels to the uk. the two parties are too far apart to solve the problem. more strike days have been announced and more strike days have already been announced.

Please see our specific post on this situation here which we regularly update with the latest information.

vietnam – 2/8/2022

covid-19 related notice – vietnam post reports that the covid-19 situation in vietnam has now improved enough for vietnam post operations to resume to normal. As a result, normal service can be expected for items destined for Vietnam.

yemen – 4/1/2020

usps service suspension: See information on “service suspensions” at the top of this post.

additional resources

  • usps domestic shipping update
  • usps international insurance claims process update
  • why does it take up to 60 days or longer for usps shipments to arrive to foreign countries
  • usps changed some international shipments from air freight to ocean freight

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