Holiday 2016 U.S. Postal Service mailing, shipping deadlines


The U.S. Postal Service has 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

  • 15 – USPS Retail GroundGround service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.
  • 20 – First-Class MailService for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.
  • 21 – Priority MailDomestic service in 1, 2 or 3 business days based on where the package is mailed and where it’s being sent, variety of flat-rate options.
  • 23 – Priority Mail ExpressFastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations. Some restrictions and exceptions apply. Please note, Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed between Dec. 22 and Dec. 25.

Complete details on Mailing and Shipping services can be found on 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 mailing to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow necessary customs guidelines. Visit the International Shipping page on for more information.

International Mail Addressed ToGlobal Express Guaranteed (GXG)***Priority Mail Express International (PMEI)Priority Mail International (PMI)First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS)
AfricaDec 20Dec 08Dec 01Dec 01
Asia/Pacific RimDec 20Dec 15Dec 08Dec 08
Australia/New ZealandDec 20Dec 15Dec 08Dec 08
CanadaDec 22Dec 17Dec 10Dec 08
CaribbeanDec 22Dec 15Dec 10Dec 08
Central & South AmericaDec 21Dec 10Dec 01Dec 01
MexicoDec 21Dec 15Dec 08Dec 08
EuropeDec 21Dec 15Dec 10Dec 08
Middle EastDec 19Dec 15Dec 10Dec 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: 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 using their own 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. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee 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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