Thursday, November 14, 2013

Christmas Mailing Dates 2013

For the US:
2013 Holiday Mailing Dates

 November 02, 2013
The United States Postal System (USPS) has announced the recommended mailing dates for packages and envelopes going to APO/FPO/DPO addresses.  Unlike years past, there are really only two sets of dates.

For almost all APO/FPO/DPO addresses:

Priority Mail Express Military Service:  December 17th
First Class mail:  December 10th
Priority mail:  December 10th
PAL mail:  December 3rd
SAM mail:  November 26th
Standard Post:  November 12th

For APO/FPO/DPO addresses that begin with 093:

Priority Mail Express Military Service:  not available
First Class mail:  December 3rd
Priority mail:  December 3rd
PAL mail:  December 3rd
SAM mail:  November 26th
Standard Post:  November 12th
Please keep in mind that these are recommendations and not guarantees.  Earlier is always going to be cheaper and more likely to arrive on time.
I can’t believe we’re dealing with Christmas already.

 Armylive has a spiffy graphic chart with all the dates on it.  Check it out.

For Canada:

Instructions for mailing overseas

1. Guidelines for mailing by Canada Post

CHRISTMAS MAILING GUIDELINES: Mail intended for Christmas delivery to Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving overseas and using the Belleville address must arrive at Belleville by 15 November 2013.

Canada Post Free Mail Initiative

From 15 October 2013 until 11 January 2014, family and friends of Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on overseas mission will be able to send parcels for free at any Canada Post retail outlets. Letters up to 500 grams to deployed troops can also be sent free of charge until 31 Dec 2014. The above is applicable to mail being sent to any of the PO BOX STN FORCES, Belleville, Ontario addresses and to any deployed Her Majesty's Canadian Ships.

It is important to note that parcels and letters must be addressed to a specific soldier, and include rank and mission information. Senders can purchase additional options for their parcels such as coverage for loss or damage and signature. To ensure the proper custom declaration forms and addressing information, parcels and letters should be deposited at a Canada Post full-service retail outlet.

Mail deposited in street letter boxes will not be delivered. It is strictly prohibited to use this service to send humanitarian aid or charitable donations considering that neither can be forwarded overseas via the Canadian Armed Forces Postal Service as per existing regulations (CANFORGEN 02/09 SJS 002/09 081418Z JAN 09).

CAF family members and friends sending letters or packages to deployed CAF Members

Sending letters and packages can be a wonderful way to keep in touch with loved ones and friends serving overseas. Here are some guidelines to assist in properly preparing your letter or parcel.
  • Plan in advance for special occasions. Once an item is mailed, it could take up to three weeks for the mail to be delivered to the addressee in theatre. If an individual in theatre is consistently experiencing more than three weeks for mail to arrive, it is recommended that the indivdiual discuss the matter with their serving Canadian Forces postal support personnel in theatre.
  • Parcels must be clearly addressed with rank, initials and name; unit and section. See addresses for overseas operations.
  • Clearly write the sender's address in the top left corner.
  • If mailing by Canada Post, any postal services costing $5 or more is GST exempt.
  • Ensure that the parcel is wrapped properly and securely and use packing tape. Do not use string to bind the parcel.
  • The following are specific guidelines for this service (Note: Oversize and overweight parcels will not be accepted):
    • Weight: Maximum 20 Kg (Approx 44 lb).
    • Size: Two conditions must be met regarding size:
      • maximum length is one meter (Approx 39");
      • the maximum length plus girth is two meters (Approx 79")
        The definition of girth =width + height + width + height.
Diagram of package dimensions
In the following illustration, the parcel has the following dimensions: length = 1.0 m (Approx 39"), width = 0.3 m (Approx 12"), and height = 0.15 m (Approx 6").
To calculate its maximum size simply add the length (1.0 m) + its girth (0.3 m + 0.15 m + 0.3 m + 0.15 m) = 1.9 m (Approx 75").
  • When mailing by Canada Post, a Canada Customs declaration form is required with every parcel addressed to one of our Belleville PO BOX STN Forces addresses or when sending mail to a deployed HMC Ship serviced through either Halifax and or Victoria. The Customs form must be signed by the sender of the parcel. Parcels sent to Canada through a Canadian Forces Post Office must also bear a Customs declaration form. Customs authorities of the destination country may examine all mail and may confiscate any prohibited item. Note that sending illegal and prohibited items may lead to criminal charges being laid against the sender. "
  • Batteries should be sent in the original packaging and not loose or in a device.

Mail Regulations

No article may be sent by mail if their nature or packaging may expose postal employees to hazards, or damage other items of mail. Mailing the following items is strictly prohibited:
  • alcohol, beer and wine
  • tobacco products, cigarette and cigar
  • weapons, including replicas
  • Knives
  • explosives, radioactive materials or ammunition
  • matches
  • flammable liquids or solids
  • compressed gas
  • propane cigarette lighters
  • corrosive fluids
  • obscene magazines or pictures
  • drugs
  • perishable items

Canadians sending letters for “Any Canadian Armed Forces member” 

  • Canadian Forces members serving overseas appreciate receiving correspondence from Canadians as well as groups, schools and organizations from across Canada.
  • Post cards, greeting cards and letters may be sent as per the addressing instructions below.
  • The Canada Post free letter mail program is not extended to letters/cards addressed to “Any Canadian Forces Member” and all such items will require postage.
  • Only parcels as described in the “Bulk Mail” section below are acceptable. Parcels addressed to “Any Canadian Forces member” containing any items other than correspondence will be returned to sender and the sender’s expense. For those wishing to send care packages or donations please refer to this link: Donations.

Bulk mail

Schools, groups, businesses and associations may send cards and letters bulked in a parcel.  The parcel is not to contain any other item other than correspondence.  Parcels found to contain items other than correspondence will be returned to the sender at the sender’s expense.


All letters and parcels containing letters/cards are to be addressed to "Any Canadian Forces member". Please refer to our "Operational Addresses" to obtain the address information. Note that the lines "Rank/Initials/Name" and "Unit/Section" of the operational address are to be replaced with "Any Canadian Forces member".

For example, if writing to Afghanistan, the address should be:
Any Canadian Forces Member
Op Attention
PO Box 5140 Stn Forces
Belleville ON K8N 5W6

 There is lots of other important information on mail for Canadian Troops (including different addresses for the various bases...... Check HERE for details.

For British Troops, comes this from the MoD:

Public urged to show Christmas support through charities

5 November 2013 

kind-hearted members of the public are reminded to show their support through service charities this Christmas.

In previous years, the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has received a high volume of gifts and parcels intended for personnel on operations in Afghanistan and around the world, including Royal Navy ships.

As this mail can cause delays to personnel getting post from loved ones, members of the public are being urged to donate to existing service charities instead.

Soldiers sort mail bags
Soldiers from the Royal Logistic Corps working through the early hours of Christmas Day to sort mail bags (library image) [Picture: Corporal Jamie Peters, Crown copyright]
Head of the BFPO, Colonel Stephen Heron, said:

As we get closer to Christmas it’s important to remind people that, though their generosity is appreciated, the most important thing for our men and women on operations is to receive mail from their loved ones.

With this in mind we are urging the public to donate to recognised service charities, which can use their experience to focus their efforts directly on what will be of most benefit to deployed service personnel.

The public is also reminded that, due to the ongoing redeployment of UK personnel and equipment as responsibility for security is handed over to the Afghans, there will be significantly fewer UK troops in Afghanistan this Christmas compared to previous years.

How to show your support

British soldiers with their uk4u Thanks! Christmas boxes
British soldiers serving at a forward operating base in Helmand, southern Afghanistan, with their uk4u Thanks! Christmas boxes (library image) [Picture: Corporal Dek Traylor, Crown copyright]
The best way to support personnel on operations abroad is to make donations to approved charities such as uk4u Thanks! which works with BFPO to make use of any spare space in the existing supply chain. 

The uk4u Thanks! Christmas Box appeal, which has sent festive boxes to personnel for 7 years, ensures a present ‘on behalf of the nation’ is sent at Christmas to every serviceman and servicewoman working overseas.

People can donate to this and other charities now to show their support and appreciation, and are encouraged to do so rather than sending their own gifts by post.
Sally Little, uk4u Thanks! director and trustee, said:

Christmas is a difficult time for servicemen and servicewomen who are serving away from their families on operations. uk4u sends them all a Christmas box filled with useful and fun items.

This year over 18,000 boxes will be sent all over the world using spare space in military transport; therefore we do not put additional strain on BFPO at Christmas. We know from feedback received that this helps to raise the morale of our troops at Christmas.
uk4u would like to thank all our sponsors and members of the public who donate, without whose support we would not be able to send the boxes.

Service personnel unload aircraft
Military personnel work through the night to ensure service personnel get their presents on Christmas morning (library image) [Picture: Corporal Jamie Peters, Crown copyright]


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you!! hadn't gotten around to checking yet this year, you have it all in one spot :)