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280 Parcel Post

281 Description

281.1 General

Parcel post resembles domestic zone-rated Package Services mail. Merchandise is permitted, but written communications having the nature of current and personal correspondence are not permitted.

281.2 Indemnity

Ordinary parcel post includes indemnity against loss, damage, or rifling up to the amounts shown in Exhibit 281.4. Indemnity is limited to the lesser of the actual value of the contents or the maximum indemnity based on the weight of the article. If the parcel has been delivered to the addressee, payment for damage and missing contents is made to the addressee unless the addressee waives payment, in writing, in favor of the sender.

Note: International insured mail service provides insurance coverage higher than the indemnity limits for ordinary parcel post to many countries. See IMM 320 and individual country listings for availability and limitations of coverage.

Note: Parcel post is the only class of mail that may be insured (see 322).

281.3 Exclusions

Indemnity is not paid for:

a. Parcels containing coins; banknotes; currency notes, including paper money; securities of any kind payable to the bearer; traveler's checks; platinum, gold, and silver; precious stones; jewelry; watches; and other valuable articles.

b. Consequential losses, delay, concealed damage, spoilage of perishable items, articles improperly packaged, articles too fragile to withstand normal handling in the mail, or prohibited articles.

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281.4 Weight and Indemnity Limits

Exhibit 281.4 lists the weight and indemnity limits for ordinary parcel post.

Exhibit 281.4

Ordinary Parcel Post Weight and Indemnity Limits

Weight Not Over (lbs.) Indemnity Weight Not Over (lbs.) Indemnity Weight Not Over (lbs.) Indemnity Weight Not Over (lbs.) Indemnity Weight Not Over (lbs.) Indemnity
1 $62.84 15 $105.26 29 $147.68 43 $190.10 57 $232.52
2 65.87 16 108.29 30 150.71 44 193.13 58 235.55
3 68.90 17 111.32 31 153.74 45 196.16 59 238.58
4 71.93 18 114.35 32 156.77 46 199.19 60 241.61
5 74.96 19 117.38 33 159.80 47 202.22 61 244.64
6 77.99 20 120.41 34 162.83 48 205.25 62 247.67
7 81.02 21 123.44 35 165.86 49 208.28 63 250.70
8 84.05 22 126.47 36 168.89 50 211.31 64 253.73
9 87.08 23 129.50 37 171.92 51 214.34 65 256.76
10 90.11 24 132.53 38 174.95 52 217.37 66 259.79
11 93.14 25 135.56 39 177.98 53 220.40 67 262.82
12 96.17 26 138.59 40 181.01 54 223.43 68 265.85
13 99.20 27 141.62 41 184.04 55 226.46 69 268.88
14 102.23 28 144.65 42 187.07 56 229.49 70 271.91

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282 Postage

282.1 Rates

See Individual Country Listings.

282.2 Mailing Locations

Parcels should be presented for mailing at a Post Office window.

282.3 Pickup Service

Scheduled pickup service is available for an added charge of $13.25 for each pickup stop regardless of the number of pieces picked up. Only one pickup fee will be charged if domestic Express Mail, Global Express Mail, domestic Priority Mail, Global Priority Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, and/or domestic Parcel Post is also picked up at the same time. No pickup fee will be charged when international parcel post is picked up during a delivery stop or during a scheduled stop made to collect other mail not subject to a pickup fee. Pickup service is provided in accordance with the information in DMM 507.5; for more information, also visit the online site at

283 Weight and Size Limits

283.1 Weight Limits

See Individual Country Listings.

283.2 Size Limits

283.21 Rectangular Parcels

a. Minimum length and width: 5-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches.

b. Maximum length: 42 inches.

c. Maximum length and girth combined: 79 inches.

283.22 Circular Parcels

Maximum girth (measured along diameter): 64 inches.

283.23 Exceptional Size Limits

The maximum size limit for rectangular-shaped parcels of 42 inches in maximum length and 79 inches in maximum length and girth combined applies to all countries except as follows:

a. Maximum length and girth combined: 108 inches

Hong Kong

b. Maximum length: 60 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 108 inches

Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Marshall Islands, Republic of the
Micronesia, Federated States of
New Zealand

c. Airmail parcel post:
Maximum length: 60 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 108 inches
Economy parcel post:
Maximum length: 42 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 79 inches

San Marino
Slovak Republic (Slovakia)
Vatican City

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284 Preparation Requirements

284.1 Addressing

See 122. Name and address of sender and addressee should also be recorded on a separate slip enclosed in the parcel.

284.2 Marking

Parcel post packages that are paid for at the airmail rate of postage must be marked "AIRMAIL" or "PAR AVION" or bear one of the two prescribed airmail labels (i.e., either PS Label 19-A or PS Label 19-B). The airmail marking or label should be placed below and to the left of the delivery address.

284.3 Sealing

284.31 Requirements

All international parcels must be sealed.

284.32 Sealing Materials

Senders must seal their own parcels. Wax, gummed-paper tape, nails, screws, wire, metal bands, or other materials may be used to seal parcels. The seal must be sufficient to allow detection of tampering.

284.4 Packaging

284.41 Packaging Requirements

Every parcel must be securely and substantially packed. In packing, the sender must consider the nature of the contents, the climate, the length of the journey, and the numerous handlings involved in the conveyance of international mail.

284.42 Types of Containers

Ordinary paperboard containers are not acceptable. Parcels must be packed in one of the following:

a. Canvas or similar material.

b. Double-faced corrugated or solid (minimum 275-pound test) fiber boxes or cases.

c. Strong wooden boxes made of lumber at least 1/2-inch thick or plywood of at least three plies.

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284.43 Use of Wrapping Paper

Heavy wrapping paper or waterproof paper is permitted only as the outside covering of a carton.

284.44 Boxes With Screwed or Nailed Lids

If otherwise acceptable, boxes with screwed- or nailed-on lids and bags closed by sewing may be used. Heavy objects, such as cans of food, must be surrounded with other contents or packing material in order to prevent their shifting within the parcel. For illustrations or recommended packing procedures, see DMM 601.

284.45 Customs Forms Required

All parcel post packages must bear PS Form 2976-A.

284.46 Nonpostal Documentation

Forms required by nonpostal export regulations are described in chapter 5.

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