There are four principal categories of international mail that are primarily differentiated from one another by speed of service. They are Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG®) service, Express Mail International® service, Priority Mail International service, and First-Class Mail International service.
Global Express Guaranteed is the U.S. Postal Service’s premium international mail service. Global Express Guaranteed is an expedited delivery service that is the product of a business alliance between the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx Corporation. It provides reliable, high–speed, time–definite service from designated U.S. ZIP Code™ areas to locations in most destination countries. Global Express Guaranteed is assured to meet destination–specific delivery standards or the postage will be refunded. If a shipment is lost or damaged, liability for lost or damaged merchandise or for document reconstruction is limited to a maximum of $100 or the amount of additional optional insurance purchased. The maximum weight limit for this service is 70 pounds, but some countries have a lower maximum weight limit. Countries with reduced weight limits are specified in the Individual Country Listings and in Publication 141, Global Express Guaranteed Service Guide.
The next level of service, in terms of speed and value-added features, is Express Mail International. Express Mail International is an expedited mail service that can be used to send documents and merchandise to most of the country locations that are individually listed in this publication. Express Mail International insurance coverage against loss, damage, or rifling, up to a maximum of $100, is provided at no additional charge. Additional merchandise insurance coverage up to $5,000 may be purchased at the sender’s option to many countries. Document reconstruction insurance coverage is limited to a maximum of $100 per shipment. Return receipt service is available upon request, at no additional charge, for Express Mail International shipments that are sent to a limited number of countries. See 221.4. Country-specific maximum weight limits range from 22 pounds to 70 pounds. See the Individual Country Listings. Express Mail International shipments offer a date-certain, postage-refund guarantee to select destinations: see 221.1 and the Individual Country Listings to determine the availability of such service. For all other destinations, Express Mail International shipments are not subject to a postage refund guarantee if a delivery delay occurs.
- With the exception of the flat-rate envelope, Priority Mail International is governed by the parcels provisions of the Universal Postal Convention. That classification is primarily designed to accommodate larger and heavier shipments, whose size and/or weight transcend the established limitations for First-Class Mail International. At the sender’s option, extra services, such as insurance coverage and return receipt service, may be added on a country-specific basis.
- Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope is an accelerated airmail service that provides customers with a reliable and economical means of sending correspondence, documents, printed matter, and light-weight merchandise items to foreign destinations. The maximum weight limit is 4 pounds. Registered Mail service is available for the Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope. Insurance is not available in combination with Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope service.
First-Class Mail International is a generic term for mailpieces that have different shapes, sizes, and contents, that weigh 4 pounds or less, and that are subject to the provisions of the Universal Postal Union Letter-post Convention. First-Class Mail International items may contain any mailable matter that is not hazardous or prohibited by the destination country. Aerogrammes are not available for purchase. Previously purchased aerogrammes are mailable at the applicable First-Class Mail International price. At the sender’s option, extra services, such as registry and return receipt, may be added on a country-specific basis.
Note: The term First-Class Mail International encompasses all of the classes of international letter-post mail (i.e., letter and letter packages, postcards, printed matter, and small packets) that were formerly categorized as LC (letters and cards) and AO (other articles) respectively.