When it comes to international shipping, it’s important to understand the postal rules of each destination country, since they can vary. One rule that’s different from country to country is tracking.
For example, when you ship domestically via USPS Priority Mail®, you’ll automatically receive USPS Priority Mail Tracking™. However, USPS Priority Mail International® offers tracking on most (but not all) products. That’s because once you expand to international markets and your orders are accepted outside U.S. borders, the packages might not always be eligible for tracking.
Why does this happen?
When you ship your package with USPS Priority Mail International to countries outside the U.S., it enters other postal networks around the world for delivery. Each post has different scanning capabilities and agreements. So, the tracking can sometimes differ from country to country.
To help make it easy for you, we’ve provided a list of which Priority Mail International Flat Rate products are not generally tracked to all countries (see country list below countries that offer tracking for this service).
- Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes
- Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box
All other Priority Mail International services will offer tracking across all countries.
A good way to tell if your shipment might not be generally tracked is by the barcode number. Barcode numbers that begin with an “E” or “C” are always tracked, whereas, barcodes that begin with an “L” are only tracked to the countries listed below.
The following countries are currently eligible for tracking for Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes and Small Flat Rate Boxes.
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- New Zealand
If you need to track your product throughout its entire journey, you may want to consider the following options, in addition to other Priority Mail International service types.
- Global Express Guaranteed (tracking to all destinations)
- Priority Mail Express International (tracking limitations may apply for certain destinations)
By taking a look at these lists and determining whether you need tracking or delivery confirmation, monitoring your shipments internationally should be easy.
For more insight on USPS international shipping, check out our International Shipping page.