Ramstein’s Northside Post Office and the Kapaun Air Station Post Office will offer Click-N-Ship kiosks in lieu of handwritten customs declaration forms to customers, beginning Aug. 13.
The change comes as the United States Postal Service will no longer accept handwritten customs declaration forms.
This means pre-printed, hard copy PS Form 2976, PS Form 2976-A, and PS Form 2976-B customs declaration forms are no longer accepted.
This USPS policy change derives from the Global Trade Compliance requirements instituted in 2015 due to increasing international security risks facing the United States. Aggressive and mandatory steps are being taken to provide additional safeguards against these risks.
The Electronic Customs Declaration Information for military outgoing mail items is one such safeguard.
For the United States, changes will give the USPS, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol more visibility into what is arriving into the United States and from where.
“To allow for a smooth transition period, we recommend customers start using the online electronic customs declaration forms in order to familiarize themselves before the Aug. 13 cutoff date,” said Mr. Lionel Rivera, United States Air Forces in Europe Air Postal Squadron postal operations chief. “Customers have several options available to them when completing required customs declarations using the USPS website.”
The first and biggest time-saving option for customers is by selecting the USPS Click-N-Ship feature to establish a free USPS.com account. Customers can complete their customs declaration and pay for postage online.
The second recommended option is to print a customs declaration on the USPS website without establishing an account and then pay at the postal finance window when presenting parcels and packages for mailing.
A third option can be found at the Northside Post Office on Ramstein Air Base and at the post office on Kapaun Air Station, Germany. At either of these two locations, customers can access Click-N-Ship kiosks to complete and print out either the Click-N-Ship method or the customs declaration form. Airmen from the 786th FSS will be readily available to help anyone unfamiliar with the kiosks.
For individuals without access to a printer at home or in their dorms, option three will make the most sense. For individuals with a printer at home, it is recommended to complete either the first or second option to reduce the total amount of wait time at the post office.
The USPS announced that packages found in the mail stream bearing handwritten customs declaration forms after Aug. 13 will be returned to sender. Lastly, most post offices will offer a separate, expedited mail acceptance window as an incentive for customers who arrive at the post office with online, pre-printed USPS customs declarations.
Contact your local installation postmaster for additional information on the changes to customs declaration forms and GTC requirements, and for advice on the best service to use based on your mailing needs.