Following deadlines, observing rules key to smooth postal holiday season | Article


Chris Wells, a mail clerk at Ryan Ordinance Barracks, handles holiday mail for customers at the ROB Postal Operations Center on November 18.


Chris Wells, a mail clerk at Ryan Ordinance Barracks, handles holiday mail for customers at the ROB Postal Operations Center on November 18.
(Image source: Shaylee Borcsani)

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Kaiserslautern, Germany – Santa isn’t the only one delivering gifts this holiday season. The United States Army Postal Operations Centers in Rhineland-Palatinate assist Santa sending packages from Germany to regions around the world.

This year’s holiday postal deadlines for packages bound for the United States are fast approaching. Recommended mailing deadlines for packages bound for the United States are:

• November 27 – retail land mail

• December 11 – First Class Letters and Cards / Priority Parcels

• December 18 – Express Mail

The deadline for packages coming from the US to Germany is:

• December 11 – First Class Letters and Cards / Priority Parcels

• December 18 – Express Mail

For a faster trip at the post office, Scott Hamilton, the postal superintendent of the garrison, said being prepared is key before you get to the post office.

“It is important that you come to the post office prepared when your packages are shipped out,” Hamilton said.

“Please fill out your customs paperwork at home online and bring a hard copy with you. Failure to complete this form leads to a backlog of customers trying to ship their packages and will slow you down.”

The Post Office is still looking for seasonal employees in Baumholder, Kleber, Landstuhl and Sembach. Please contact your local post office for more information.

The US Postal Service also has online services for prepaying shipping costs.

“You can use Click-N-Ship or our sanctioned business partners Stamps.com and Pirateship.com to pay for packages,” Hamilton said. “Access to the funding window with prepaid items is a faster and easier process.”

Before packing your items, you must first ensure that they follow all Army Post Office and Customs regulations. Do not send or receive the following items:

• Alcohol, coffee and tobacco products

• Ammunition, Firearms and Fireworks

• imitation items

• Kinder eggs

• Medications (including over-the-counter vitamins and nutritional supplements)

• Vegetable products, such as mushrooms and onions

• Poultry, meat, dairy products and products containing their binary products

• Unconstitutional Publications

“The most common incoming violation we see is packages that contain supplements,” said Jesse Bond, US Army Customs Inspector. This includes protein powders, pre-workout products, nutritional supplements, melatonin, and natural supplements.

Dog and cat food containing poultry, meat or dairy by-products is also a violation of customs regulations.

“We often see people receiving pet food that is sent to our technical staff,” Bond said. “These items, especially cat food, contain dual meat and poultry products. This is the same for items such as beef bacon and soup. Please tell the person sending you parcels that you cannot receive items that contain poultry, meat, milk or their dual products” .

Coffee is a rationed item, but regulation allows you to mail it to the United States under certain conditions.

“Coffee is a rationed item and you can’t get it through an APO in Germany,” Bond said. “You can send back coffee if it wasn’t bought with your rations, so the coffee you buy on economy can be sent in packages to the United States.”

According to customs regulations, items sent to the United States with a value of more than $100 are subject to customs duties and processing fees, which only the recipient can pay.

A popular holiday gift is wooden birthday scenes. Customs regulations state that wooden items that contain moss, bark, wood, and untreated straw are prohibited items that cannot be sent to the United States

“Birthday scenes made of wood, plastic, or painted or cleaned straw can be sent commercially,” Bond said. “Items containing natural wood or moss can contain insects harmful to the American ecosystem.”

“We want people to have a seamless experience when sending and receiving packages,” Hamilton said. “Please make sure your parcel meets all customs regulations and please fill out your customs form before visiting the post office”

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