How to Ship Packages
Be sure to ask your Books as Bridges contact their address exactly as it should appear on an envelope. This will better ensure their mail will be delivered properly.
Understanding the Conditions in Your Partner Country
Inclement weather, political strife, or a number of other circumstances may prohibit mail delivery in your partner country’s culture. To stay updated on these conditions, keep in touch with your contact, or visit the US Postal Service (USPS) International Service Updates webpage. If your country is listed, click on it to find the information that has been given to the USPS regarding mail delivery.
General Mailing Information
The USPS recommends that senders use strong envelopes or durable packaging material to prevent deterioration or degradation, and that they consider the nature of the articles being mailed and the distance they must travel to reach their destination. Books as Bridges recommends that classrooms do not exchange food items unless they are pre-packaged and well preserved.
Your local post office will likely have the most helpful information for sending letters to your pen-pals. However, for price estimates or to see what you will need to know before going to the post office, please refer to the information below.
- The postage price for sending First Class Mail in a large envelope can be found on the USPS website. Follow the link to “view price groups by country.” Once you have your country’s price group, you can apply it to the “Large Envelopes” chart to find the correct postage weight. For example, an 8 ounce large envelope being mailed to Afghanistan (price group 6, the highest) would cost $6.77.
- For the above rates, envelope size restrictions are no more than 12 inches high by 15 inches long by .75 inches thick.
- First Class Mail envelopes of letters (non-dutiable items) weighing less than 16 ounces do not require a customs form.
- If your envelope weighs more than 16 ounces and is valued at less than $400, you will need to fill out and affix Customs Form PS 2976 to the outside of your envelope.
Addressing Your Package/Envelope
Address envelopes as follows:
LINE 1: NAME OF ADDRESSEE
LINE 2: STREET ADDRESS OR POST OFFICE BOX NUMBER
LINE 3: CITY OR TOWN NAME, OTHER PRINCIPAL SUBDIVISION (such as PROVINCE, STATE, or COUNTY) AND POSTAL CODE (IF KNOWN) (Note: in some countries, the postal code may precede the city or town name.)
LINE 4: COUNTRY NAME (UPPERCASE LETTERS IN ENGLISH)
Please view the USPS Guidelines for Addressing International Mail for more detailed instructions.