920 Inquiries and Claims

921 Inquiries

921.1 Definition

“Inquiry” is a general term that includes:

  1. Requests concerning the disposition of an item mailed to or from a foreign country.
  2. Complaints or reports concerning the loss, rifling (missing contents), damage, or improper delivery or return of an item mailed to or from a foreign country.

921.2 Initiating an Inquiry

Inquiries can be initiated for Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) items, Express Mail International items, registered items, and insured and ordinary parcels. Inquiries are not accepted for ordinary letters, Priority Mail International flat-rate envelope items, or M-bags. Customers must wait a reasonable amount of time for an international item to be delivered in the foreign country before initiating an inquiry. Customers must initiate inquiries within the time limits in Exhibit 921.2.

Exhibit 921.2 

Time Limits for Inquiries


Product or Extra Service


When to File (from mailing date)

No Sooner Than

No Later Than

Global Express Guaranteed

U.S. Sender Only

3 days

30 days

Express Mail International

U.S. Sender Only

3 days

90 days

Express Mail International with Guarantee

U.S. Sender Only

3 days

30 days

Registered Mail or insured or ordinary parcels

Sender or Addressee

7 days

6 months

Note: Inquires are not accepted on ordinary letters, Priority Mail International flat-rate envelopes, or M-bags.

921.3 How to Initiate

Customers must call the International Inquiry Center at 800-222-1811 within the time limits listed in Exhibit 921.2 to initiate an inquiry. Customers will be asked to provide information regarding the mailing, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Mailing receipt number or barcode number of the article.
  2. Names and addresses of the mailer and addressee.
  3. Date of mailing.
  4. Description of contents.

921.4 Inquiry Process

After the Postal Service customer provides the International Inquiry Center with the relevant mailing information, the International Inquiry Center will correspond with the appropriate foreign post and advise the customer of the results of the inquiry. Customers must allow foreign posts approximately 60 days to research and respond to the International Inquiry Center for inquiries on registered items and insured and ordinary parcels. When there is a determination that an item has been lost, the International Inquiry Center will mail a claim packet to the customer. The packet will include a letter of instruction on how to complete and submit the claim.

921.5 General Procedures

921.51 Nondelivery

The U.S. Postal Service will initiate an inquiry within the time frames specified in 921.2 with the destination postal administration in any case involving a GXG, Express Mail International, registered item, or insured or ordinary parcel that has not been delivered. Inquiries are not accepted for Priority Mail International flat-rate items, ordinary letters, or M-bags.

921.52 Return Receipts Improperly Completed or Not Received

If the sender receives an improperly completed return receipt (see 341 for completion at destination) or if a return receipt is not received, the sender may go to any Post Office and request a refund of the return receipt special service fee. If the sender wants to inquire about the delivery of the article, the sender must call 800-222-1811 to initiate an inquiry (see 921.1).

921.53 Damaged or Rifled Parcels, Registered Mail, and Express Mail International

Customers must go to a Post Office to report instances of damaged or rifled items. Postal personnel should complete PS Form 673, Report of Rifled Parcel, in accordance with POM 169.3 or PS Form 2856, Damage Report of Insured Parcel and Contents, in accordance with POM 146.112 for international and/or domestic articles as applicable.

921.54 Wrapper Found Without Contents
921.541 Parcels of Domestic Origin

When the contents of a parcel of domestic origin become separated from the wrapper, Postal Service personnel should inform the sender in accordance with the instructions on PS Form 3760, Parcel Search Request.

921.542 Parcels of Foreign Origin

If the parcel is of foreign origin, send PS Form 3760, appropriately modified, to the addressee.