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Old 10-03-2007, 04:20 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
First-Class Mail International, USA to England

What the U.S. Postal Service used to call "Air Mail" to foreign countries is now "First-Class Mail International".

While the USPS does give estimated delivery times for "Global Express Guaranteed" (1-3 days), "Express Mail International" (5 days), and "Priority Mail International" (6-10 days), for First-Class Mail International the USPS website says only "Varies".

Hmmph. Well, folks, in your experience how long will it take to send a package from the Midwestern U.S. to England, via the USPS "First-Class Mail International"?
Old 10-03-2007, 04:24 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,793
You didn't ask about the south, but I'll answer anyway. I have received letters from France and the UK in less than a week.

But you're asking about a package. That will have to go thru Customs. In my experience, expect 3-4 weeks.
Old 10-03-2007, 05:34 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Location: Home of the haggis
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I've received packages from America. It usually takes between one and two weeks. It's very important that you mark the package properly, in particular declaring the value. And if you're exporting something, you should consider the import duty. IIRC, import duty starts to be payable if the value of the item is greater than UKŁ15 (US$30). It may depend upon the item - I'm not a customs officer. Otherwise what happens is the package sits at a U.K. postal depot and the intended recipient gets a notice through the letterbox saying that the package is held at the depot pending payment of the import duty. If you're sending something as a present or promotional goods and it's not too expensive, clearly mark it so and it should escape import duty.
Old 10-03-2007, 05:46 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Portman Road
Posts: 17,369
Exactly what Quartz says. Postcards have arrived in under 48 hours. Packages which are at the whim of customs can take any time. For clearly-labelled and packaged eBay purchases (probably the best measure) from American civilisation (you decide if the mid-west counts ), I've not encountered anything beyond a couple of weeks.
Old 10-03-2007, 06:26 PM
missbunny missbunny is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Grits Country
Posts: 3,842
I have just sent a bunch of packages FCMI to the UK and France and all arrived in five days.

These were bulky lumpy envelopes, not boxes.

EDIT: these were envelopes with an object(s) inside, but not anything that I declared or marked special. Nobody has mentioned having any issues with Customs.

Last edited by missbunny; 10-03-2007 at 06:28 PM.
Old 10-03-2007, 06:34 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
Thanks, all. The package I am sending is a gift, the value of is under UKŁ15 (US$30), and it will be in a large, lumpy padded envelope.
Old 10-03-2007, 07:02 PM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 9,193
Originally Posted by Walloon
Thanks, all. The package I am sending is a gift, the value of is under UKŁ15 (US$30), and it will be in a large, lumpy padded envelope.
Good. Padded envelopes are standard, and Standard = Good as far as the customs goons are concerned. And if you can use a printed label for the address, all the better. The guy who sends something in brown paper and string, with a scrawled address in ballpoint pen is more likely to find his package delayed.

And make sure the customs slip is very detailed:
1. "Gift" (bad)
2. "CD" (better)
3. "Compact Disc containing family photos" (best)

Last edited by TheLoadedDog; 10-03-2007 at 07:04 PM.
Old 10-03-2007, 07:15 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
I got a package from the UK 5 days after it was mailed, and that was over a weekend.
Old 10-04-2007, 01:37 AM
Rayne Man Rayne Man is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Newark-On-Trent UK
Posts: 3,743
Just to warn you about two 48-hour strikes by UK postal-workers starting today. It's expected that deliveries won't get back to normal till the middle of next week. That will inevitably delay your package if you send it in the next day or so.

Last edited by Rayne Man; 10-04-2007 at 01:41 AM.


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