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USPS Status and Service Disruptions on International Mail Shipments – Updated 10/25/2021

On this page, we highlight all known international service disruptions for which USPS has issued an alert to shippers and industry partners.

With the coronavirus COVID-19 emergency continuing to be a problem around the globe, mail and small parcel operations are impacted worldwide. In addition, postal services in some countries may be interrupted for natural disasters, civil wars, or other reasons.

Between a shortage of commercial airlines to carry the mail and local authorities and transit/destination postal services shutting down or restricting services, sending international packages with the US Postal Service is resulting in longer transit times on many shipments, including to countries not listed here.

This information was last updated on 10/25/2021.

Also, the bottom of the post (Additional Resources) has links relevant to USPS shipping during the coronavirus emergency.

Service Suspensions

The US Postal Service does not accept shipments to the following countries because of either lack of transportation or suspension of mail service in that country:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Australia* (more info)
  3. Bhutan
  4. Brunei
  5. Central African Republic (more info)
  6. Chad (more info)
  7. Cuba
  8. French Guiana
  9. Guadeloupe
  10. Laos
  11. Liberia (more info)
  12. Libya
  13. Martinique
  14. Mayotte
  15. Mongolia
  16. New Zealand* (more info)
  17. Papua New Guinea (more info)
  18. Reunion (Bourbon)
  19. Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Miquelon)
  20. Samoa
  21. Sierra Leone (more info)
  22. South Sudan
  23. Sudan (more info)
  24. Syria
  25. Tajikistan
  26. Timor-Leste
  27. Turkmenistan
  28. Yemen

These service suspensions affect the following USPS mail services:

  • Priority Mail Express International (PMEI)
  • Priority Mail International (PMI)
  • First-Class Mail International (FCMI)
  • First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS)
  • International Priority Airmail (IPA)
  • International Surface Air Lift (ISAL)
  • M-Bag items

* For Australia and New Zealand, the service suspension does not include Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) and First Class Mail International (FCMI) letters. However, it does include Commercial ePacket (CeP). Please see the country-specific links above for more information.

Customers are asked to refrain from entering items into the USPS mail system going to the countries listed above. Mail or packages will be returned to the shipper.

For any returned item bearing a customs form, the Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service.

For all other returned items not bearing a customs declarations form, the Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may remail them with the existing postage once service has been restored. When remailing under this option, customers must cross out the markings “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender.”

Unless otherwise noted below, service suspensions to a particular country above do not affect the delivery of military and diplomatic (APO/FPO/DPO) mail as well as Global Express Guaranteed (GXP) Service shipments.

Global Express Guaranteed Service Suspension and Disruptions

The Postal Service has temporarily suspended international mail acceptance of Global Express Guarantee (GXG) to the following destinations:

  • Brunei
  • China
  • East Timor
  • Norfolk Island
  • Vietnam

Note: According to the US Postal Service, FedEx transports GXG shipments for them. FedEx has indicated that it suspended all services to the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone as well as some other countries.

However, USPS did not include GXG service suspension in its notices for these two countries or any other country FedEx lists on its suspension list. We urge shippers to consult with US Post Office retail location before sending GXG shipments to any country on the FedEx suspension list.

USPS Shifted Mail from Air Cargo to Sea Transport During Summer of 2020

Last year, the US Postal Service shifted a large backlog of shipments from air to sea transport due to a lack of air cargo capacity.

There have been no known sea transports of Priority Mail items since the last shipment in June of 2020 and all shipments that arrived in the destination countries should be delivered by now.

Please see tracking and insurance information below if items have not been delivered that were sent in late Spring and Summer of 2020.

Tracking Notes

If a mail item shows on USPS tracking it has left the United States (last scan is from an International Service Center or ISC), under normal circumstances, the US Postal Service has no further visibility on that item until a transit country or the destination country provides updated tracking information to its system.

Sometimes, it is possible to get more updated tracking by using the destination country’s postal service online tracking tools if the item has entered the country. (See This List from Wikipedia of National Postal Services)

This is especially true if the shipment has delivery or routing error, delays, or exceptions as the comments on the country’s postal system may provide more information on the status of the mail items than the update transmitted back to the USPS.

Furthermore, tracking scans of individual mail pieces typically only occur at the local and regional pickup locations, when the parcel enters a country’s customs facility, and at the local or regional destination locations.

For tracking information in between these locations, mail pieces are typically tracked in groupings packed inside cargo containers.

Insurance Claim Update

The US Postal Service advises it may take up to 60 days to process an insurance claim for lost or damaged international shipments.

We have an extensive article on this topic that updates just like this post as additional information becomes available.

Please see this link for more information on how filing international insurance claims with USPS has changed and how it may even affect third-party insurance services.

USPS Refund Policy

According to DMM 604.9.2.3, customers are entitled to a full refund of their postage costs when service to the country of destination is suspended.

The detailed procedures to obtain refunds for Retail Postage, eVS, PC Postage, and BMEU entered mail can be found in this PDF document.

New European Union VAT / Import Rules

On July 1, 2021, a new VAT rule went into effect when sending items to European Union (EU) member countries. The rule is causing problems for some postal operators as they are receiving shipments with incomplete or inaccurate customs forms/information or incorrect recipient contact information.

Shipments that arrive with incomplete data may be held by customs officials for a long time or are returned to the sender. Therefore, it is imperative shippers provide accurate information about the contents and recipient (phone number) to avoid delays or a return to the sender of the shipment.

International returns can take significant time as they will not be necessarily transported at the same speed as the original mail service selected.

Here are some resources for shippers to review to help them navigate through this new VAT rule.

New rules, along with Covid-19 restrictions, are causing customs clearance backlogs in some countries. Frankly, the US Postal Service has not been very good at providing country-specific updates on this situation.

However, we are seeing regular updates from other postal operators regarding significant delays in some EU countries and are including that information below.

Warning about Russia and Eastern Europe

Reuters reported on Sunday that Covid-19 cases are surging in Russia and several Eastern European countries, and this is the worst outbreak since the pandemic started.

Russia is accounting for nearly 40 percent of the region’s cases, and Moscow will re-introduce lockdowns from Thursday, October 28. Other countries have loosened restrictions recently despite lagging vaccination rates, resulting in significant rises in Covid-19 cases.

Last week, Latvia ended up on our list of countries with service disruptions as the Latvian Post expects a service impact on postal operations due to the new restrictions.

While we are not yet aware of other such service alerts, we suspect some may be coming soon.

Therefore, we believe shippers should expect delays when sending items to Russia and other Eastern European countries. We will provide more concrete updates when they become available.

International Service Disruptions by Country

Most countries have resumed normal mail operations that were impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns. Still, shippers should expect continued delays from lack of air cargo capacity that may add 5 to 10 days of extra transport time between the United States and the destination country.

However, some countries may be experiencing disruptions domestically due to a spike in Covid-19 cases or due to other problems (natural disaster, civil war, etc.) impacting the delivery of mail.

This list only includes countries for which there are known service disruptions domestically. If the country is not listed, the postal operator is not reporting significant service disruptions or restrictions on the services they are able to offer.

The information here may include information obtained from USPS Public Service Alerts, USPS Industry Alerts, or alerts from foreign mail operators.

The date shown after the country is the last known significant alert issued for that country.

Afghanistan – 8/9/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Australia – 10/1/2021

USPS has suspended most mail services to Australia. Please see this country-specific post for more information about which mail services are impacted by the USPS suspension of service to Australia.

Australia is experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections which are significantly impacting Australia Post’s ability to deliver mail on time.

Inbound and outbound international deliveries in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia may be delayed due to recent COVID-19 disruption at Australia Post’s Melbourne Gateway facility.

Austria – 10/14/2021

Austrian Post has updated that the COVID pandemic continues to affect its mail operations. Therefore, the post is still not able to guarantee to meet its normal delivery standards.

Barbados – 9/30/2021

Barbados’ post advises that the government has instituted a nightly curfew from September 26 to October 8. Service delivery standards cannot be guaranteed, and a case of force majeure has been declared until the situation returns to normal.

In addition, the postal express service (EMS) will not be operating from September 27 to October 3.

Belgium – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Belgium are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Belgium Post advises that postal services have largely returned to normal following the flooding caused by heavy rain in July.

Delays may still occur due to detours to avoid damaged roads and bridges, but the impact on delivery performance is limited.

The most severely affected postcode areas are as follows: 4020, 4030, 4031, 4032, 4050, 4051, 4130, 4140, 4170, 4180, 4190, 4520, 4700, 4780, 4790, 4800, 4801, 4820, 4821, 4830, 4831, 4834, 4837, 4845, 4860, 4861, 4870, 4877, 4910, 4970, 4980, 5580, 5640, 5650, 5670, 6900, 6940, 6980, 6987 and 6990.

Six post offices remain closed for security reasons. However, all other affected post offices have now reopened, albeit with temporary solutions in certain cases.

Brazil – 6/8/2021

Brazil Post advises that a number of COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among operational staff at the Curitiba international mail processing center.

Quarantine and other public health measures have been implemented, resulting in a reduction in the workforce. Expect delays in processing, customs clearance and delivery of all inbound letter-post items.

Bhutan – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Brunei – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Central African Republic – 10/14/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Chad – 10/14/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

China – 10/13/2021

USPS has suspended acceptance of Global Express Guarantee (GXG) shipments to China. China Post has notified of significant delays in processing (believed to be in excess of 14 days) at their major airports (Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou).

Every item arriving in China must go through a disinfection process for at least 48 hours. In addition, staff working at warehouses are subject to quarantine procedures. Many airlines have cancelled flights to Shanghai airport and air transport is limited to that area, resulting in rerouting of air mail.

Cuba – 4/10/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Fiji – 5/25/2021

Fiji’s post advises that it is experiencing significant disruption in daily operations because of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes collection and deliveries for all international mail categories and services.

Current cargo flights are once a week from New Zealand or Australia and delivery to other islands are by sea only with not scheduled flights to them.

France – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in France are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

French Guiana – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Germany – 9/24/2021

German Post advises that postal services have mostly returned to normal following the flooding caused by heavy rain. Delays may still occur due to detours to avoid damaged roads and bridges, but the impact on delivery performance is minimal.

Postal codes that were originally affected by the heavy floods include: 42XXX, 44XXX, 45XXX, 50XXX, 52XXX, 53XXX, 54XXX, 56XXX, 58XXX and 95XXX.

Greece – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Greece are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Guadeloupe – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Honduras – 4/9/2021

Honduras’ post advises that while government restrictions to minimize spread of COVID-19 continue, the processing and delivery of international mail has resumed. The post will continue to operate with reduced staff, which will impact the quality of sorting and delivery of ‎inbound items.

Expect delays in processing as well as in customs clearance of inbound and outbound items. A force majeure remains in force.

Hong Kong – 10/15/2021

Hong Kong Post has updated that its mail processing and the delivery of mail was further interrupted by Typhoon Kompasu as of 12 October 2021. Quality of service is impacted for all mail types and it is expected the impact will last for several days before the backlog can be cleared.

India – 10/4/21

India Post advises that certain restrictions have been reintroduced in the country because of COVID-19. The post continues to accept inbound international mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items); however, due to the limited domestic transport capacity, service delivery standards (including delivery times and other quality parameters) cannot be guaranteed.

Ireland – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Ireland are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Israel – 10/5/2021

Israel’s post advises that interruptions and delays in the distribution and collection of mail (letter-post, parcels and EMS items) may be experienced because of the security situation in the south and center of the country.

In addition, the health situation restrictions are still in place and will continue to affect the processing and delivery of all mail types until further notice.

Italy – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Italy are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Jamaica – 9/28/2021

Jamaica Post advises that the government has extended the national curfew until October 28.

Revised working shifts/hours will continue to apply across the entire postal network, affecting sorting operations, mail delivery and the dispatch of mail vans, as well as the timely provision of EDI messaging updates and responses to online customer inquiries.

The force majeure situation continues to apply, with an impact on quality of service for all types of mail, including inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items.

Laos – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Latvia – 10/21/2021

The Latvian Government has declared a full national lockdown due to COVID-19 effective from 21 October to 14th November 2021 and may subsequently be extended. As a result, the processing and delivery by Latvian Post of all mail types will likely be affected with impact to the quality of service.

Liberia – 10/14/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Libya – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Luxembourg – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Luxembourg are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Macau – 10/21/2021

Macau Post has updated that the prevention against COVID ended on October 20. The delivery of all mail services has returned to normal.

Malaysia – 6/3/2021

Malaysia Post advises that due to a substantial number of new infections detected in the country, the government has both extended and reinforced its measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 effective May 28.

During this period, Malaysia Post will continue to provide postal services, but will be operating with a reduced workforce and in line with the new restrictions and safety guidelines.

The processing and delivery of all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) will continue to be affected, and Malaysia Post is unable to guarantee compliance with the agreed standards.

Therefore, the situation of force majeure previously declared continues to apply, until further notice.

Martinique – 1/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Mauritius – 7/1/2021

Beginning July 15, Mauritius will gradually open its international borders. However, COVID-19 continues to have a direct impact on international inbound and outbound mail to and from Mauritius.

Therefore, the situation of force majeure previously declared for all inbound and outbound international letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items continue to apply and may continue to impact mail services.

Mayotte – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

New Caledonia – 9/8/2021

New Caledonia’s post advises that the government has imposed lockdown measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The movement will be restricted, and transport services will be limited.

This will affect the processing and delivery of inbound and outbound postal items. For all items requiring a signature on delivery, the addressee’s signature will be replaced by that of a postal carrier or agent.

Mongolia – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

New Zealand – 10/12/2021

USPS has suspended most mail services to New Zealand. Please see this country-specific post for more information about which mail services are impacted by the USPS suspension of service to New Zealand.

New Zealand Post advises Auckland, where the main postal hub is located, remains in Alert Level 3 of the Covid-19 pandemic plan which is almost a full lockdown for postal operations. The rest of New Zealand is in Alert Level 2

The post is classified as an essential business and will remain in operation. However, the implementation of alert levels affects operational performance. Measures are taken to ensure a safe working environment will significantly affect processing and delivery capacity and service performance at higher alert levels.

Norfolk Island – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension of Global Express Guarantee (GXG) – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Panama – 7/1/2021

Panama’s post advises that post offices, mail processing centers (domestic and international) and the air trans-shipment office at Tocúmen International Airport are operating under normal working hours and the biosafety measures established by the Ministry of Health of Panama.

Panama’s post is able to continue to receive inbound mail destined for Panama, but the post is unable to guarantee service standards for inbound and outbound mail, and the situation of force majeure for all categories of mail items will continue to apply.

Papua New Guinea – 10/8/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Philippines – 9/20/2021

The Philippines’ post advises that the government has imposed targeted lockdown measures in certain areas of the country. As a result, potential delays should be expected in the processing, transport and/or delivery of inbound postal items throughout the Philippines.

Portugal – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Portugal are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Reunion (Bourbon) – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Miquelon) – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Samoa – 8/27/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Samoa Post has updated that the Government of Samoa has extended the state of emergency until September 26.

However, there is still only one cargo flight per week to and from New Zealand on which Samoa Post can send outbound mail and receive inbound mail.

Furthermore, all inbound mail is subject to a three-day quarantine before being processed and delivered. As result, Samoa Post has advised that delays are to be expected.

Sierra Leone – 10/14/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

South Sudan – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Sri Lanka – 10/12/201

Sri Lankan Post has updated that its national lockdown was temporarily lifted on October 1, 2021.

But since restrictions on travel between provinces remain in place, postal items will be processed and delivered in compliance with the government-imposed restrictions and safety guidelines.

Many mail processing centers are also operating with a reduced workforce and international airports are only open for limited flights. Therefore, the post is currently unable to guarantee delivery standards.

Sweden – 10/20/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Sweden are experiencing customs delays as a result of changes to the EU’s VAT rules for items from non-EU countries. See earlier note about new EU VAT rules and how they impact all shipments to EU countries.

Syria – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Tajikistan – 5/21/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Thailand – 10/21/2021

Thailand Post advises that because of Tropical Depression Dianmu, there have been flash floods in many areas of the northern, north-eastern and central parts of Thailand.

Thailand Post has updated that the floodwaters in the following postcode areas have subsided with mail operations and delivery of postal items back to normal for: 15xxx, 21xxx, 24xxx, 32xxx, 33xxx, 34xxx, 35xxx, 37xxx, 42xxx, 62xxx, 63xxx, 64xxx, 67xxx.

However, the following postcode areas are still affected by the flooding, which may cause delays in mail operations and delivery of postal items: 10130, 11xxx, 12xxx, 13xxx, 14xxx, 16xxx, 18xxx, 23xxx, 25xxx, 30xxx, 36xxx, 40xxx, 44xxx, 60xxx, 61xxx, 65xxx, 66xxx, 72xxx and 73xxx.

Timor-Leste – 4/2/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Turkmenistan – 1/26/2021

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

Vanuatu – 8/21/2021

Vanuatu Post advises that the government has extended until December 31 a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

International borders remain closed, but the post is able to accept international inbound mail and can export outbound mail via a weekly cargo flight operating in and out of Port Vila.

However, service delivery standards cannot be guaranteed until further notice.

Vietnam – 9/17/2021

Vietnam’s post advises that due to a significant number of new COVID-19 infections detected in Vietnam as of April 15, the government has both extended and reinforced measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Vietnam’s post will continue to provide postal services but will be operating with a reduced workforce and in line with the new restrictions and safety guidelines.

The processing and delivery of all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) will continue to be affected, and the post is unable to guarantee compliance with the agreed standards.

Therefore, the situation of force majeure previously declared continues to apply until further notice.

Yemen – 4/1/2020

USPS Service Suspension – Please see “Service Suspensions” information at the top of this post.

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