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U.S. Postal Holiday Shipping Dates





WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service today announced the 2016 holiday mailing and shipping deadlines for domestic and international destinations as customers begin to prepare for the busy shopping and shipping season. Customers are encouraged to ship early.

To ensure timely delivery of cards, letters and packages within the United States by Dec. 25, the Postal Service recommends that customers ship their items by the following dates:

Mail-by Dates — Domestic Services
· Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground
Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.
· Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail
Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.
· Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Domestic service in 1, 2 or 3 business days based on where the customer initiates the package and where it goes, a variety of flat-rate options.
· Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Fastest domestic service guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations. Some restrictions and exceptions apply. Please note, the Postal Service adjusts Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility for shipments mailed between Dec. 22 and Dec. 25.

Complete details on Mailing and Shipping services are on

Mail-by Dates — International Services

Customers mailing internationally during the holidays are advised to review the chart below for specific deadlines based on the locations they are sending to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow basic customs guidelines. Visit the International Shipping page on for more information.

International Mail Addressed To Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)*** Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) Priority Mail International (PMI) First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS)
Africa Dec 20 Dec 08 Dec 01 Dec 01
Asia/Pacific Rim Dec 20 Dec 15 Dec 08 Dec 08
Australia/New Zealand Dec 20 Dec 15 Dec 08 Dec 08
Canada Dec 22 Dec 17 Dec 10 Dec 08
Caribbean Dec 22 Dec 15 Dec 10 Dec 08
Central & South America Dec 21 Dec 10 Dec 01 Dec 01
Mexico Dec 21 Dec 15 Dec 08 Dec 08
Europe Dec 21 Dec 15 Dec 10 Dec 08
Middle East Dec 19 Dec 15 Dec 10 Dec 08

***GXG Notes: 1) Cutoff date does not take into account time needed for customs clearance. 2) Should allocate extra transit day(s) for delivery outside major cities.
Mail-by Dates (Military)

The Postal Service is committed to ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages, and cards in time for the holidays. Complete military mailing deadlines to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, and Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide, as well as tips and guidelines, can be found at

Shipping Supplies

As an added convenience, the Postal Service offers a wide variety of shipping supplies in multiple sizes at local Post Offices and online at Some supplies, such as Priority Mail products, can also be delivered to the sender free of charge by going to

Customers may also ship a package using their materials. As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. A Postal Service employee must receive the packages at a retail window counter.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.
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