I had a serviceman make a purchase. I am happy to sell my wares to them. I understand that the US Militrary has certain requirements of us merchants shipping things into there territory.
I printed my shipping labeled, but was puzzled to find the form I needed to attach to the package missing. I double checked with USPS to make sure I understood APO shipping. Here's what I found:
Regardless of mail class, a customs declaration form is required for all items weighing 16 ounces or more, or any item (regardless of weight) containing potentially dutiable mail contents (e.g., merchandise) addressed to an APO, FPO, or DPO ZIP Code. PS Form 2976 is required for items weighing less than 16 ounces, and PS Form 2976-A is required for items weighing 16 ounces or more. No customs form is required for items weighing less than 16 ounces when the contents are not potentially dutiable (e.g., documents).
Sounds to me like my merchandise would be considered merchandise and is potentially taxable, something the APO determines on its own.
Am I wrong? I would rather not hand over my item to Uncle Sam and loss money nor do I want to disappoint my buyer.
Dear Amanda please be careful with your responses on shipping?
A custom form will NOT print out with the postage when shipping to Military addresses. They do not print out on Paypal site or USPS site. ALL MILITARY must be taken to the Post office even a post man can not pick them up like they do all the other shipments including international. You can buy the postage but can not get a completed Customs Form with the round stamp online ANYWHERE.
This is for security purposes, even all the fillable custom forms you can get on the USPS site online come WITHOUT the official ROUND STAMP. This round stamp has to be obtain from the USPS counter only.
The round stamp does appear on other International shipments printed online but the Military shipments NEVER does and they may not process your shipment and it MAY GET sent back without this stamp.
I know as I ship thousands of packages to military addresses and have tried everything to get around this and TRUST ME THERE IS NO SUCH THING. They have to be taken to the Post Office to have the custom form round stamped.
I came across this post while looking for something else, but I wanted to weigh in on the information given here.
I have been mailing to APO/FPO's on and off for the past 20 years and for the past 3 years have sent at least one package a month, sometimes more, to APO/FPO's. All these mailings are done through my volunteer work.
Like Dryfur said, you can print the custom forms at the USPS site, but you will still need to take them to the post office to get them processed and stamped. On the rare occassion that I have mailed items from an eBay sale to APO/FPO's I have done the postage through PayPal and then printed the customs form at the USPS site.
Also for APO/FPO's you will need a customs form for "all mail going to an APO/FPO that contains merchandise" regardless of the weight. The quote is directly from the USPS site in reference to custom forms.
I have also found that if your post office is not near a militiary installation, most postal clerks on not clear on the mailing regs to APO/FPO's. It is always much better to check out the regs at the USPS site or at the MPSA (Military Postal Service Agency) site.
I agree that I wish Paypal would add customs forms to APO's .. That being said, you CAN give them to your mailman, regardless of weight. I do it all the time - both APO shipping and international shipping. They stamp it when they receive it at the post office. The only regulation is that you physically have to HAND it to your postman - personally my postman doesn't require that as I do a lot of pickups, almost daily, but that is the rule.
So go ahead and try, or ask, your mailman about it .. I've never had any problems giving both APO shipments and international shipments, with all customs forms filled out online, to my postman for a pickup.
I'll be completely honest. This thread has been very informative for me. I haven't yet had cause to ship to an APO/FPO. Now I know how to go about it. Thanks for bringing this information here!