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Topic: People mailing to APO/Military bases overseas

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Subject: People mailing to APO/Military bases overseas
Date Posted: 6/1/2008 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 3,022
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Does it cost more to mail it to an apo or military address overseas?  We'll be stationed in England in November and I'm wondering if I'll have to stop ordering books here or not.  I hope not.  I love this site but if people don't want to send overseas because of the cost I may have to. 

Date Posted: 6/1/2008 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I've received a book from an APO, but I'm not sure if it cost her more or not.  I'm including a link to her profile below so you could try PMing her for info.  Her bookshelf is on hold right now, so I'm not sure how easy it will be to get ahold of her.  Hope you can find out what you need from her!


Oh, I just found this in the help docs:

postage is determined by package weight.  MediaMail rate does not depend on distance--it will cost the same to send a package to any address served by USPS (including AK, HI, PR, GU, US Virgin Islands and APO/FPO addresses).

  • See the table of Current Postal Rates for Media mail and First Class Parcel rates.
    • Summary from that table: First Class Parcel rate is the best rate for packages not weighing over 7 ounces; Media Mail is recommended for packages weighing over 7 ounces.
  • See USPS table of all current postal rates.
  • See more details about postal rates here.


Last Edited on: 6/1/08 9:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/1/2008 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 1,334
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I sent a book to an APO address - a lady stationed in Germany.  It cost the same amount, but it did take a little more time to get there.   You just have to do a Customs form at the Post Office.   Then, the same member sent a book to me.   No problem.

Date Posted: 6/1/2008 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,610
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Nope, it doesn't cost any more.  APO/FPO addresses are treated as U.S. mail.  Packages are typicaly sent to the east coast for APO addresses and to the west coast for FPO addresses via the post office.  From there, the military mail system takes over, but the rates remain the same as the U.S.P.S. rates. 


Date Posted: 6/1/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,451
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APO/FPO does not cost any more.  If I remember right, it's just the postage from wherever you are to NY or CA, then it goes military from there.  Pat

Date Posted: 6/1/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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Most of the above is right, but a few corrections are in order.  The postage is indeed the same as the domestic, and Media Mail is no problem with the same rates.  You do have to fill out a customs form, which is simple and nearly self-explanatory.  They are available at all post offices.  There are 2 kinds:  the smaller green one is for packages/items under one pound, but anything over a pound requires a larger white form (which makes 6 pressure-sensitive carbons!).  Both of them are very easy and no problem.  I keep one or 2 of each at home to fill out and save time on mailing. 

The APO (Army Post Office?) addresses are for the Army or Air Force and the FPO (Fleet Post Office) are for the Navy.  Look at the Zip codes and the ones that start with "0" go to the east coast before dispatch overseas and the ones that begin with "9" go to the west coast before dispatch.  It is true that there are more FPO's based lut of the west coast and more APO's based from the east one, but that's not universally true.

Transit does indeed take a little longer, but surface mail overseas, at least for these APO/FPO addresses, no longer exists, so transit isn't a lot longer, just a bit.  Everything goes by air now.

Both forms ask for a value, and I always make that minimal and say that the PBS items are a "gift" and that way there's never been any problem.

I've sent about 25-30 items overseas, not all PBS ones, and not all to APO/FPO's, so I'm pretty familiar with the drill.  If anybody has any questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Date Posted: 6/1/2008 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 3,022
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Thanks everyone for the information ( I should have looked in the pbs guidelines, I just didn't think it would be in there.).  That makes me very happy because I love this site and spend WAY too much time on it and would hate to end it. 

Date Posted: 6/2/2008 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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I fill out the customs form online and print out the required number of copies.

In my experience, books usually go "lost" because they take so  long to arrive, but they have always arrived eventually.

Last Edited on: 6/2/08 12:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2007
Posts: 442
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I had a request from someone with an APO address. Under the special requestor conditions she pointed out that it was an APO and that a customs form would need to be filled out. She stated that it could be done online or at the post office. She also suggested that the sender use the PBS DC because sometimes it takes a while for books to reach an APO and this way the sender would receive their credit in a timely manner. It was all very clear and easy because the requestor explained it. I didn't have to figure it out. I would suggest that you add this information to your requestor conditions. The clearer it can be made to the sender how easy it is to send a book to an APO, the less likely it will be that someone denies the request.
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 3,022
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Thanks Karen.  I was thinking about doing that as well. 

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I believe I am correct in stating that the info in the requestor conditions  re: the cutoms forms etc. is automatically included for APO/FPO members.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 1:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 3,205
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Yes, the requestor condition is automatically created by the system when the requestor has an APO/FPO address.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2005
Posts: 1,075
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It is automatically created?   i just had one this week w/no conditions.   I didn't realize it was APO until after I'd purchased the postage label.