Military Postal Service issues policy updates on customs forms and Lithium batteries

Lithium batteries which are in pre-owned, damaged, or defective devices or states are prohibited from being shipped by from Army Post Offices. Photo by USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
Postal authorities have updated guidance on mailing lithium batteries to/from/between military post offices, as well as how to fill out customs forms.

Lithium-ion batteries

Effective June 15, 2022: Due to the rise in incidents involving the shipment of Lithium batteries, the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) has ruled that all parcels containing pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices with Lithium batteries are now prohibited in inbound and outbound international mail; mail to, from, and between overseas military and diplomatic addresses.
Items containing lithium that are shipped from retailers, are in the original packaging, and free of damage or defects may be allowed to ship to, from, and between Military Post Offices.

Customs Forms

To alleviate large amounts of customs-related holds and Return to Sender (RTS) packages, please ensure that customs forms are sufficiently descriptive. Mailings with overly vague descriptions and prohibited/non-mailable items listed on the customs form will trigger holds or packages being returned to sender.

Examples of overly vague descriptions include:

  • Electronics
  • Gifts
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Snacks/food

Instead, use detailed descriptions such as:

  • TV, XBOX, computer monitor instead of electronics
  • Souvenir magnet, poster instead of gifts
  • Shirts, jacket, pants, socks instead of clothing
  • Toy car, action figure instead of toys
  • Potato chips, käsespätzle mix instead of snacks/food

This will help ensure your packages are processed in the most efficient way possible.