Contents Index


E000 Special Eligibility Standards

E010 Overseas Military Mail


E010 describes the standards and general restrictions for mailing military mail overseas.

1.0 Basic Standards

1.1First-Class Mail

First-Class letter mail, including postal cards and postcards, and sound-recorded communications that have the character of personal correspondence are given airlift service on a space available basis between overseas military post offices outside the 48 contiguous states, and between those military post offices and the point of embarkation or debarkation of this mail within the 50 states. Unless sent free under E030, sound recordings must be marked “Sound Recorded Personal Correspondence” by the mailer on the address side.

1.2SAM Parcels

Parcels of any class, paid at surface postage rates, are airlifted to, from, or between overseas military post offices outside the 48 contiguous states. These parcels must be marked “SAM” (space available mail) on the address side, preferably below the postage and above the addressee’s name. These maximum weight and size limits apply when mailed from:

a. The 48 contiguous states: 15 pounds, 60 inches in length and girth combined.

b. An APO or FPO outside the 48 contiguous states: Package Services weight and size limits (C700).

1.3Periodicals Publications

Periodicals publications featuring current news of general interest and published weekly or more frequently, mailed at or addressed to any military post office outside the 48 contiguous states, are given airlift service under 1.2. Airlift service in 1.2 and 1.3 is not provided for mailings of publications sent in bulk to exchanges or news agents for later resale or distribution.


Items sent by air or surface mail are subject to the size and weight standards in C100 or C700 unless limited further by this standard. Mail must be addressed under A010. Postage at the applicable Priority Mail or Package Services rates is charged for parcels sent by air or surface transportation.

1.5Privacy of Mail

The Department of Defense (DOD) can provide information on mail security and mail cover regulations for mail in the military postal system overseas.


Regardless of postage payment method, single-piece rate Priority Mail and single-piece rate Package Services weighing 16 ounces or more must be presented at a post office retail counter. The sender may be required to provide identification before the mail is accepted by the USPS. Such mail may be presented by a sender known to the postal carrier at the sender’s residence or place of business. Mail not complying with the requirements of this section and requiring air transportation is returned to the sender for proper deposit.

2.0 General Restrictions

2.1Mailability Conditions

Hazardous, restricted, or perishable materials mailed to, from, and between overseas military post offices are subject to the conditions of International Mail Manual 130, the standards in C010, C020, and C030, and conditions prescribed by the Department of Defense (DOD), as listed in Conditions Applied to Mail Addressed to Military Post Offices Overseas in the Postal Bulletin.


Firearms are subject to C024. To export firearms not specifically prohibited by the Conditions Applied to Mail Addressed to Military Post Offices Overseas, periodically printed in the Postal Bulletin, a mailer exporting permissible firearms must present an export license from the Office of Munitions Control, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-0001. Importing firearms by military personnel by mail from overseas military post offices is subject to 27 CFR 178.114(b), Revenue Ruling 69-309 of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), preparation of ATF Form 6, Department of Defense regulation 5030.49-R, and other appropriate military directives and standards of the U.S. Customs Service.

2.3Animals and Plants

[4-3-03] Information on mailing animal and plant products is in C022 and Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.

2.4Military Retirees

Except for eligible mail marked “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped,” any mailpiece addressed to a retiree at a military post office overseas must weigh less than 1 pound when the designation “Box R” is part of the address.


Packages addressed from, to, or between overseas military post offices must meet the standards in C010 and C020. All containers of liquids and substances that easily liquefy must be packed, with enough absorbent material to take up all leakage in case of breakage, inside a second sealed waterproof container.

2.6Customs Declarations

Any mailpiece weighing 16 ounces or more that is addressed to an APO or FPO ZIP Code must bear Form 2976 and must be presented to an employee at a post office or as designated by the postmaster. Certain destination APO and FPO addresses require Form 2976-A, as shown in the chart Conditions Applied to Mail Addressed to Military Post Offices Overseas, published in the Postal Bulletin. Unless the destination ZIP Code has a customs declaration form requirement in the chart, any known mailer (see International Mail Manual (IMM) 123.62) presenting bulk mailings that are declared on a postage statement is not required to use customs forms. IMM 123 contains procedures for completing the forms. Regardless of method of postage payment, mail from government agencies and their contractors going to, from, or between APO or FPO ZIP Codes is exempt from the requirements of this section unless customs declarations are necessary for customs treatment as indicated in the chart.

3.0 Military Ordinary Mail (MOM)

Military ordinary mail (MOM) is DOD official mail sent at Periodicals, Standard Mail, or Package Services postage rates that requires faster service than sealift transportation to, from, and between military post offices. USPS transportation of MOM is by surface means. Expedited service is determined and provided by and at the expense of the DOD. MOM is limited to mail originated by the DOD or DOD-authorized contractors and each piece must:

a. Be conspicuously marked “MOM” on the address side, below the postage or penalty mail indicia, and above the addressee’s name.

b. Conform to the maximum size and weight limits for the postage rate claimed (i.e., Periodicals, Standard Mail, or Package Services).

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)