USPS is suspending international airmail services to four countries in Africa due to Covid-19 transportation cancellations and restrictions until further notice, effective October 15, 2021.
- Central African Republic
- Sierra Leone
With the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus continuing to spread globally, some countries are experiencing a new wave of infections causing governments to reimpose restrictions that are impacting package, mail, and postal operations.
In addition, the testing and reporting in many parts of Africa are poor, and the World Health Organization is estimating that actual cases are seven times higher than reports show. It’s possible, USPS may end up adding more African countries to the suspension list soon as governments could bring back more Covid-19 restrictions to fight the spread of the virus a.
The US Postal Service constantly monitors mail services globally and evaluates parcel volume as well as transport capacity to adjust its service standards and availability.
USPS suspended the following mail services to the Central African Republic, Chad, Liberia, and Sierra Leone:
- Priority Mail International (PMI)
- First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS)
- First-Class Mail International (FCMI)
- Commercial ePacket (CeP)
- International Priority Airmail (IPA) Packets
- International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) Packets
- Airmail M-bags
- International Priority Airmail (IPA) M-bags
- International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) M-bags
The Postal Service advises that items deposited and processed through the International Service Center (ISC) by October 15 will be transported, but shippers should expect delays.
After October 15, USPS will return packages to shippers, and they will be marked as “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender.” Shippers are entitled to a full refund when service to the country is suspended.
After October 15, US Postal Service retail locations will not accept affected mail services. However, if shippers deposit packages in a mailbox; drop off packages at retail locations that have collection areas for parcels, or if they are picked up by a postal carrier, USPS will return the item to the shipper.
Returns may take a few days and tracking may become erratic when this happens.
The Postal Service will continue to accept and transport USPS Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) shipments and military/diplomatic mail (APO/FPO/DPO). The transportation of these items is not affected by the service suspension to these four countries.
Please check our USPS status of international services page for more Postal Service interruptions worldwide. We will update this post as new information becomes available.
USPS Industry Alert for Central African Republic, Chad, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
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