USPS headquarters in Washington D.C.

USPS to Enforce New Return Address Policy For Non-U.S. Shippers


USPS has announced that effective immediately (December 14, 2023), shippers may no longer use foreign return addresses when sending items domestically.

This new policy may impact some Canadian sellers who routinely travel across the border to ship U.S. customers to save on postage fees.

It also may impact sellers in low-wage countries that use an agent in the U.S. to ship items, but that agent cannot handle return shipments.

The post office said, “Due to changes in international shipping requirements, the Postal Service will be amending Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) subsection 602.1.5.4, Using Return Addresses, to eliminate an exception that allowed a domestic mail piece to have a foreign return address as a courtesy.

“A foreign address can only be used when shipping an item internationally, along with the appropriate customs form.

“If a domestic item is undeliverable, and includes a foreign return address, USPS will handle the mail in accordance with the current USPS dead mail procedures (DMM section 507.1.9).”

If the item has entered the mail stream, the package could be declared a “Dead Parcel,” and sent to the Mail Recovery Center, where it could be destroyed.

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