USPS International Service Disruptions Alert

USPS Status and Service Disruptions on International Mail Shipments – Updated 6/11/2022

On this page, we list all known international service disruptions for which USPS has issued an alert to shippers and industry partners. In addition to USPS alerts, we also monitor several foreign postal operators for disruptions and include that information here as well.

We believe this is one of the most comprehensive lists of international service disruptions when mailing items internationally from the US since we use more than one source.

As COVID-19 continues to affect some regions around the world, regional government restrictions continue to impact some mail and small parcel deliveries. Moreover, postal operations in some countries may be interrupted by natural disasters, wars, new customs regulations (mostly in the EU), sanctions, and other factors.

Generally, these issues are outside of the direct control of the US Postal Service and can result in delays well beyond the normal estimated delivery times. In this post, we try to highlight the current situation around the globe affecting mail and parcel shipments from the United States.

This information was last updated on 6/11/2022.

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 to and within that country:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Bhutan
  3. Brunei
  4. Chad (more info)
  5. Cuba
  6. Laos
  7. Libya
  8. Mongolia
  9. New Zealand* (Most popular service types no longer under suspension – more info)
  10. Papua New Guinea (more info)
  11. Russia (more info)
  12. Samoa
  13. Solomon Islands (more info)
  14. South Sudan
  15. Syria
  16. Timor-Leste
  17. Turkmenistan
  18. 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)
  • Commercial ePacket (CeP)
  • M-Bag items

* For New Zealand, USPS updated on January 14 and February 23 that the service suspension is limited to International Priority Airmail (IPA) Packets International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) Packets, and Airmail M-bags.

Please see the country-specific links above for more information for additional updates on mail types that may be included.

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.

Ukraine Conflict Advisory (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova)

Ukraine is not on this list as USPS has not suspended accepting mail to the country. The Ukraine Postal operator is running limited operations in the country and has advised mail operators globally to send items to neighboring countries where it will pick up mail.

Commercial airlift availability is virtually non-existent to Russia, Belarus, and Moldova due to air space and operational restrictions imposed by governments and agencies due to the military operations in Ukraine.

Moldova is not part of the conflict but has chosen to close its airspace for security reasons. Land routes are operational as it is friendly with EU and Western countries, but shippers should expect delays.

Belarus is increasingly being lumped in with Russian sanctions as they support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s not entirely clear how mail is reaching the country, considering it’s not on friendly terms with its neighbors.

USPS has issued a suspension notice for Russia that became effective March 11, 2022. Please read this special bulletin about Ukraine, Russia and surrounding countries for more information on shipping to these countries.

Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) Service Suspension and Disruptions (6/10/2022)

USPS has issued mail acceptance suspension notices for the following countries:

  • Belarus
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

USPS Priority Mail Express International Money-Back Guarantee Suspension

The Post Office has temporarily suspended the money-back guarantee for USPS Priority Mail Express International shipments to all countries on October 25, 2021.

Tracking Notes

If a mail item shows on USPS tracking it has left the United States (the 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 errors, 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 has advised 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 a recipient’s 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 additional resources help you navigate through this new VAT rule.

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.

Some countries may experience localized disruptions due to a spike in Covid-19 cases or due to other problems (natural disaster, 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.

Ascension Island & St Helena – 4/27/2022

Air transportation to Ascension Island & St Helena is greatly reduced due to essential runway and airport construction. Currently, it appears flights are about 3 to 4 weeks apart and the situation is likely to be ongoing until airport/runway rebuilding work is complete.

Mail to The Falkland Island is not affected.

Afghanistan – 8/9/2021

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

Australia – 5/16/2022

Mail destined for Australia is experiencing delays due to ongoing airline capacity issues. Shippers should expect some delays.

Belarus – 2/26/2022

Commercial flight and operational restrictions have been imposed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) due to the conflict in Ukraine, effectively forcing the suspension of available air transport to the country from European airports.

While USPS has not issued a general service suspension notice for Belarus, but it’s unclear how mail is transported to the country considering the lack of available air transport. However, USPS GXG service is suspended as noted above.

Please see our special bulletin about Ukraine, Russia, and surrounding countries for more details.

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.

Chad – 10/14/2021

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

China – 4/22/2022

China Post advises that to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 the processing of inbound mail is temporarily affected at Shanghai, Changchun and Yanji mail processing centers until further notice.

Inbound mail received by these offices of exchange cannot be processed or transported to sorting centers/delivery offices.

This delays processing, transiting and delivery of inbound mail, as well as updating of electronic messages and responses to online customer inquiries.

Cuba – 4/10/2020

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

Ecuador – 3/12/2022

USPS received notification through the Universal Postal Union (UPU) of a recent change in the designated postal operator in Ecuador. This has resulted in significant delays on all items received in Ecuador as of October 2021. The new postal operator is managing the items in the order received and processing them as quickly as possible.

France – 4/19/2022

Due to a technical issue, IOSS items currently sent to France may be charged tax/duties. Customers can receive a refund by contacting 0 810 821 821. The French Post (La Poste) is currently working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Germany – 5/17/2022

Deutsche Post, Germany’s postal operator advises that conditions have improved but significant incidents of staff infections continue to affect mail processing. As a result, delays should be expected for items destined to Germany.

Greece – 5/27/2022

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.

The Hellenic Post says that due to IT issues at Greek customs, Hellenic Post customs clearance delays continue to impact shipments from outside the EU.

Honduras – 12/16/2021

Honduras continues to be subject to restrictions and to a curfew between 9 pm and 5 am until further notice. In order to minimize human contact and protect its workers, Honducor has reduced its workforce across the logistics chain (from labeling to delivery) to 50%.

This will have a significant impact on the quality of sorting and delivery of inbound items, and delays are to be expected in the processing of international accounts and inquiries as well as in the customs clearance of inbound and outbound items, hence will not meet quality standards with Force Majeure remaining in place.

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.

Indonesia – 4/27/2022

Indonesian Post advises that Covid-related restrictions are still in place and the Post is still not able to meet delivery standards on processing and delivery of mail.

Ireland – 5/17/2022

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.

Delivery duties must be paid before items are released for delivery. Recipients will receive instructions on how to pay and will have 16 working days to make the payment before the item is returned. The pay-by date is included in the customer notification.

All items are held in the Dublin Mail Centre Campus before being released, once payment is received. If payment is not received by the payment due date or the customer rejects the item then it is returned to the sender.

Israel – 4/7/2022

Israel Post confirms that health situation restrictions are still in place and will continue to affect the processing and delivery of all mail services until further notice.

Italy – 12/16/2021

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 – 5/13/2022

Jamaica Post is experiencing IT issues affecting connectivity and customs-related procedures, since April 25, 2022, which has prevented the processing of International Mail. Delays should be expected to items destined for Jamaica.

Kiribati – 12/15/2021

Expect slow delivery (2+ months) due to infrequent flights.

Laos – 4/1/2020

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.

Malaysia – 4/6/2022

Post Malaysiaadvises that Covid-19 prevention measures are still being enforced. Selected Malaysia Post office outlets are temporarily closed owing to Covid-19 control and preventative measures, while others are open as usual. The post is unable to guarantee compliance with the agreed delivery standards.

Malta – 4/5/2022

Malta Post advises that an increase in the COVID-19 infection rate is causing significant staff shortages at key processing and delivery locations. As a result of the staff shortages, it is unable to guarantee normal operations or compliance with standard delivery times.

Moldova – 3/12/2022

Due to the situation in neighboring Ukraine, the Moldovan airspace is closed. Shippers should expect delivery delays. The post is working with its postal partners on alternative surface transportation routes. It is continuing to receive, process and deliver inbound and outbound postal items, and all post offices are fully operational.

Please see our special bulletin on Ukraine, Russia, and surrounding countries for more details.

Mongolia – 4/1/2020

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

Nauru – 11/4/2021

Several Postal Operators are warning of a lack of transport availability to Nauru (a tiny island country in Micronesia) and have suspended service to the island nation.

USPS has not issued such an alert, but US shippers should be aware that significant transportation issues appear to exist and could delay mail and parcel shipments.

New Caledonia – 6/9/2022

New Caledonia Post advises they are currently experiencing airline capacity issues which as a result is increasing transportation times. Therefore, delays should be expected for items destined to New Caledonia.

New Zealand – 5/19/2022

USPS suspended several mail services to New Zealand last year, but the most popular ones, including Priority Mail International, are now available again. Please see this country-specific post for more information about which mail services are impacted by the USPS suspension of service to New Zealand.

Most restrictions relating to Covid-19 have now been lifted. Nevertheless, NZ Post still faces significant absence rates across its workforce, as the virus continues its progression through New Zealand’s three main islands, so some delays may still be observed.

The post further advises they are experiencing delays of up to 3 days for mail items, due to precautionary maintenance on their electric mail buggy fleet and are experiencing delays of up to 2 days for parcel delivery in Palmerston North and in the South Island for unspecified reasons.

Papua New Guinea – 10/8/2021

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

Peru – 4/6/2022

Peru Post advises that freight carriers began a national strike on April 4 and the government declared a state of social immobilization on April 5, which will result in delays in processing of mail items.

Portugal – 4/29/2022

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.

Russia – 3/12/2022

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

Please see our special bulletin about Ukraine, Russia, and surrounding countries for more details.

Samoa – 8/27/2021

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

Singapore – 3/3/2022

Singapore Post says its delivery standards are back to normal. However, restrictions previously introduced against COVID infection remain in place to limit the spread of COVID. Signatures are not collected at delivery. Therefore, items that can fit into a mailbox will be deposited in the customer’s mailbox. Larger items will be delivered to parcel locker stations (POP stations), post offices or collection points for collection by the addressee.

Solomon Islands – 12/8/202

USPS Service Suspension (effective Dec 10) – 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.

Spain – 1/14/2021

EU VAT Customs Delays: Shipments arriving in Spain 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.

The Spanish Post (Correos) reports that a transport strike has affected logistics since Monday, March 14, 2022. Correos is also affected by this industrial action. Consequently, there may be some delays on mainland road routes within Spain and routes to the Canary and Balearic Islands

Sri Lanka – 4/21/201

Sri Lankan Post advises that the restrictions previously declared in October 2021 remain applicable. Also, fuel and power shortages are affecting mail transportation as well as power supply interruptions.

Therefore, the Post is still unable to guarantee compliance with delivery standards for all mail types.

Syria – 4/1/2020

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

Timor-Leste – 4/2/2020

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

Thailand – 4/4/2022

Thailand Post advises that the government has extended by two months a nationwide state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective through May 31.

This may have impacts on mail processing for international inbound and outbound items and on agreed service delivery standards. The post is therefore unable to guarantee compliance with agreed standards.

Turkmenistan – 1/26/2021

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

Tuvalu – 12/15/2021

Expect slow delivery (2+ months) due to infrequent flights.

Ukraine – 4/18/2022

Ukraine Post advises that some post offices across various regions will continue to be open on a limited basis so customers can receive mail and parcels. The post also advises countries to send their international postal items to Ukraine via Poland, Slovakia or Latvia. The post will be collecting the consignments from those countries.

The Ukrainian postal service has provided an update that road access for postal exchanges with Ukrposhta’s center in Kyiv are severely limited, some international mail processing operations have been moved to Lviv.

Longer transit times are to be expected because of queues at the border and difficult road connections inside Ukraine. Ukrposhta remains committed to maintaining its postal operations, but will not be able to guarantee compliance with the agreed standards

USPS has temporarily suspended international mail acceptance of Global Express Guarantee (GXG) service to Ukraine.

Also, Donets 83-87, Luhansk 91-94 Crimea 95-98 and Sevestapol 99 have been effectively under Russian control since 2014. These areas are unlikely to be served now, especially with the service suspension to Russia that is not in effect.

Please see our special bulletin on Ukraine, Russia, and surrounding countries for more details on sending items to Ukraine.

Vietnam – 2/28/2022

Vietnam Post advises that its operations are currently disrupted by a large number of employees having contracted COVID-19.

Until further notice, the processing and delivery of all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) will be impacted and the post is unable to guarantee compliance with the published standards.

Yemen – 4/1/2020

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

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