How to Send International Airmail

It is important to correctly prepare your envelopes or packages.
It is important to correctly prepare your envelopes or packages. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

With the prevalence of the Internet and increased international travel in recent years, we have more opportunities to meet people in or from foreign countries. Many businesses are globally expanding their firms, plants and branches. We sometimes need to send international airmails in order to conduct business with them. While email is convenient, letters and packages are considered more personal. People may choose to communicate by airmail depending on the occasion.

Write the address on your envelope or package, ensuring it is accurate and legible. The accuracy of the address listed on your envelope or package affects how the item is handled. Print the address in uppercase and keep it to only five lines -- including only the complete country name in the fifth line.

Choose the international mailing service you would like to use: expedited service such as Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International and Priority Mail International; standard service, which is First-Class Mail International; and business services such as International Priority Airmail, International Surface Airlift, International Business Reply Service and M-Bags. Consider the content of the package when choosing a service. Extra services are available, such as insurance and registered mail, for additional fees.

Prepare your items to ensure they will clear customs. Declare the contents and value of your packages, using applicable customs forms. Fill out the the form online or order the form by mail. Priority Mail International flat-rate envelopes and non-dutiable mail that weighs less than 16 oz. doesn’t require customs forms. Exceptions may apply to non-dutiable mail that weighs more than 16 oz. For other shipping services and details, visit the Postal Service Customs web page.

Check the price on Postal Service website. Calculate postage online or visit your local post office. Prices vary depending on the weight of the item and the price group, which is determined by the distance the item will travel. Flat-rate envelopes and packages are not affected by the weight or price group. After you know how much the postage will be, you can choose different shipping services depending on your budget and urgency. Consult local post office clerks for more information.

Pay for the postage and ship your item.

Tips & Warnings

  • When preparing a package, choose a box that has enough space to include cushioning to protect your items. Place cushioning, such as newspapers, packing peanuts or bubble wrap, all around the items.

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