All mail originating outside the territory of the U.S. is subject to customs examination. Mailers are responsible for legibly and accurately completing U.S. Postal Service customs forms, PS Form 2976, Custom Declaration CN-22 or PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note, when mailing parcels or packages containing merchandise to the states.
“Mailers are also required to sign these forms to certify the information provided is correct and the items do not contain any dangerous article, or articles prohibited by legislation or by postal or customs regulations,” said Lionel Rivera, U.S. Air Forces in Europe Postal Public Affairs representative.
The sender’s failure to complete the form properly could delay delivery of the item. Moreover, a false, misleading or incomplete declaration may result in the seizure or return of the item and/or imposed UCMJ action for military members. Civilian personnel could face possible administrative action or revocation of privileges (e.g., personal use of the military postal system).
“Civil fines could also be levied against customers for violating statutes of federal law,” Rivera said.
Living overseas brings added mailing restrictions since host nation customs prohibit the importation of additional items and materials. If customers are not sure what can and cannot be mailed through the military and USPS mail systems, they should contact their local post office personnel for additional information.
Additionally, USPS Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail and the USPS Domestic Mail Manual contain a lot of information on what can and cannot be mailed. Both publications can be easily accessed on the USPS website at http://pe.usps.com.
“Remember, the items you mail may be subject to restriction and it is your responsibility to inquire about and to abide by any import or export regulations and restrictions,” Rivera said.
(Courtesy of USAFE Postal Public Affairs)