The U.S. Postal Service sets deadlines to mail packages to and from overseas locations, including overseas military locations and Army or Air Force Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Military Post Office addresses.
The holidays are almost here, so you must act quickly if you have friends or family members living overseas on a military installation. Shipping to MPO/APO/FPO/DPO addresses can take a little longer than shipping within the continental U.S., especially when the holiday season rolls around.
The following tables list the USPS holiday cutoff dates for domestic, MPO/APO/FPO/DPO and other overseas locations. Pay attention to the shipping cutoff dates in order to ensure your Christmas gifts and care packages arrive on time for the holidays. You should try to beat the cutoff dates if possible, since some shipments may require customs checks or may experience other delays.
2022 Domestic Mail Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates
The following chart lists the cut-off dates for domestic mail packages to reach their destination by the Christmas holiday. When in doubt, try to get your package out earlier than the cut-off date if possible. Dates below exclude Alaska and Hawaii.
|Domestic Mail Class/Product||Cut-Off Date|
|USPS Retail Ground||Dec. 17|
|First-Class Mail®||Dec. 17|
|Priority Mail||Dec. 19|
|Express Mail*||Dec. 23|
2022 Military Mail Christmas Holiday Cut Off Dates
Military members can receive standard packages at Military Post Offices, Army or Air Force Post Offices and Fleet Post Offices (FPO) addresses. The price of military mail postage is the same as domestic postage, and a First-Class mail stamp will deliver a letter to a U.S. military service member located anywhere in the world. These packages are first sent to the East or West Coast of the U.S. and then shipped to military installations worldwide. Keep in mind that there can be delays, so it’s best to ship your package early if possible.
|Military Mail Addressed To||Express Mail® Military Service (PMEMS)1/||First-Class Mail® Letters and Cards||Priority Mail®||USPS Retail Ground|
|APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092||Dec. 16||Dec. 9||Dec. 9||Nov. 5|
|APO/FPO AE ZIP 093||N/A||Dec. 9||Dec. 9||Nov. 5|
|APO/FPO AE ZIPs 094-098||Dec. 16||Dec. 9||Dec. 9||Nov. 5|
|APO/FPO AA ZIP 340||Dec. 16||Dec. 9||Dec. 9||Nov. 5|
|APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966||Dec. 16||Dec. 9||Dec. 9||Nov. 5|
2022 International Mail Christmas Holiday Cut Off Dates
|International Mail Addressed To||Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)*||Priority Mail Express International® (EMS)||Priority Mail® International (PMI)||First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS)|
|Africa||Dec. 20||Dec. 6||Nov. 29||Nov. 29|
|Asia/Pacific Rim||Dec. 20||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
|Australia/New Zealand||Dec. 20||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
|Canada||Dec. 22||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
|Caribbean||Dec. 21||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
|Central & South America||Dec. 20||Dec. 6||Nov. 29||Nov. 29|
|Mexico||Dec. 21||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
|Europe||Dec. 22||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
|Middle East||Dec. 20||Dec. 13||Dec. 6||Dec. 6|
Tips for Sending Military Members Mail Overseas
There are a few restrictions for sending mail to military members in overseas locations. In general, ensure that anything you send to military members overseas is legal in the country in which they are located. Also avoid sending hazardous items, illegal substances and anything else that may be restricted.
- Use sturdy packaging. Use a strong box with appropriate tape (no string or twine).
- Use adequate cushioning. Bubble Wrap, air cushions, and Styrofoam peanuts are great for securely packing items.
- Labels and customs forms. Clearly label the contents, especially if you need a customs form.
- Batteries. Remove batteries from objects and wrap them separately.
- Be aware of heat or other extremes. Many military members are stationed in extreme temperatures, and some contents may not do well in hot weather. (For example, it’s not a good idea to send chocolate bars to a desert location in the summer).
- Don’t send packages addressed to “Any Service Member or Any Wounded Warrior.” This practice has been discontinued following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Only send packages to troops you know, or make a donation to a service organization that supplies troops with care packages.
Customs Forms May Be Required When Sending to/from APO, FPO and MPO ZIP Codes
Effective Aug. 13, 2020, if you are sending a package from an APO, FPO or MPO ZIP code, you must create a customs form online, or bring a completed PS Form 2976-R to a retail counter for the clerk to create the label.
Use the Military Care Package Kit to Send Presents and Care Packages
You can order a free military care kit, created by the Postal Service and containing the following items, which military families most frequently requests:
- Two Priority Mail APO/FPO/DPO flat-rate boxes
- Four Priority Mail medium flat-rate boxes (two top-loading and two side-loading)
- One roll of Priority Mail tape
- Six Priority Mail address labels
- Six customs-form envelopes
Call the U.S. Postal Service at 800-610-8734 to order a kit, and visit their website for guidelines for packing and shipping packages to service members. To order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports YOU” logo, go to usps.com/freeboxes.
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Rick Smith says
I mailed a package to my son in germany on 12/10/2010 parcel post. was told should arrive by Christmas. it is now January 15 and they still have not received it. when i enter the customs tracking number, it only shows the date mailed from our post office and no updated information. would like to know if you could help track my box. please email me. thank you in advance. customs #cp588302452us.
Ryan Guina says
Hi Rick – you will need to contact the USPS for more information about your package. Best of luck!
Hate UPS says
USPS will not help you once it is out of their hands. I’ve been looking for four packages for Germany for days! All they could tell me was it was out of their system by 12/24/2011. Customs numbers or not-they are done once it reaches the militray. I’m waiting to hear from [email protected] to see if they can help. Once again-once it is in the hands of the militray the USPS is done and are not much help. Good luck!
Nancy Sadowsky says
Mailed a box priority on 11/02/2010 to APO address from Bottineau, ND 58318. Customs Tracking #CP63 9434 582U S. Box has not been recieved to date 12/02/2010 by military family. I thought I mailed early enough. I just want someone to help track this box so I have some idea what’s going on or what I need to do. When I enter customs tracking # in, it shows me package was delivered in 2009!! It’s very frustrating. Thank You.