If you’re looking to ship packages internationally, USPS is well-known for being one of the fastest and least expensive options around.
However, USPS is also known for having restrictions as a federal organization. So, you might be asking, can USPS ship to China? And what do you need to know about how to do it?
I’ve researched the matter thoroughly, and here’s what I discovered!
Does USPS Ship To China In 2024?
USPS ships to China as of 2024. USPS offers three shipping services to China: Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International. Each of these services comes at a different cost and delivery windows. There are some strict limitations on what you cannot ship to China from the US, such as currency and precious stones or metals.
If you’re interested in using USPS to ship a package to China, be sure to keep reading to see a side-by-side comparison of costs, delivery windows, and what you can and can’t send!
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A USPS Package To China?
Because USPS is a federally owned and operated organization, its shipping cost varies from service to service.
That said, the USPS typically calculates the shipping cost by looking at the weight, dimensions, and distance a given package will travel.
Therefore, assume the package you’re trying to ship weighs approximately five pounds, with 10″ x 6″ dimensions for the following examples.
So, the most expensive shipping service available is Global Express Guaranteed.
With that, this is because Global Express Guaranteed is a hybrid shipping solution offered by both FedEx and USPS that combines resources to provide the best possible experience for consumers in terms of safety, price, and delivery windows.
For example, a five-pound package shipped to China with the dimensions listed above using USPS Global Express Guaranteed would cost about $150.
However, if you use Priority Mail Express International to ship the same package, it would cost about $94.
Finally, if you’re shipping a five-pound package to China with Priority Mail International, you can expect to spend just under $75 for shipping costs.
However, it’s important to note that these estimated price points are based on arbitrary dimensions.
So, depending on the dimensions, weight, and value of the package you’re trying to ship to China, your shipping costs may look different!
Suppose you want to get a more tailored, accurate assessment of the price for each shipping service.
In that case, you can visit the price calculator on the USPS website, select China as the destination country, and fill in the given information.
How Long Does It Take For A USPS Package To Get To China?
For every shipping service USPS provides, each comes with a different delivery window, which is often connected to delivery price.
Global Express Guaranteed, the hybrid shipping service that USPS offers partnered with FedEx, is the most expensive shipping service.
That said, it offers a delivery window of one to three business days to most major markets, which makes it the fastest option available.
Then, the next fastest option available is USPS Priority Mail Express International, which has a delivery window of three to five business days to most major markets.
However, suppose your package is non-urgent, and you’re looking to save a bit of money.
In that case, the best option is USPS Priority Mail International, which has a delivery window of six to ten business days to most major markets.
When considering delivery times, there are a few essential things to keep in mind, such as:
Size Of China
China is a huge country with plenty of urban hubs and far-reaching rural communities, so delivery times can vary wildly depending on where you’re shipping.
For example, you can expect the listed delivery time to be relatively accurate if you’re shipping to Hong Kong.
However, if you’re shipping to the rural village of Shengyou, delivery times may be longer than what’s listed.
The second thing to keep in mind is that your package will need to go through customs, just as with shipping to any other country.
Typically, this process does not take long, one to two days at most. However, in some instances, it can take a week or more.
But, the best way to avoid a long hold-up at customs is to be sure that you’re not sending any prohibited items and that you label your package with all of the appropriate tags and tax information.
Different Postal Services
Finally, it’s important to remember that when USPS ships to other countries, it only gets the package to customs.
After that point, the rest of the delivery is taken over by China Post, the courier service offered by the Chinese government.
Once your package changes hands from USPS to China Post, your tracking information will no longer populate on the USPS website.
Also, delivery times can vary depending on the distance the package will travel and how busy China Post is.
If you’re interested in tracking your package beyond customs, you can use this page on the ParcelsApp website, which helps track your package even when it’s out of USPS’ hands.
What Can’t You Ship To China With USPS?
Every country has a somewhat different list of items that cannot be shipped under any circumstances.
China is no different; however, there are some more unexpected items that China does not allow to be shipped.
For example, the more standard items prohibited by the Chinese government include:
- Radioactive materials
- Perishable infectious biological substances
Also, China prohibits the shipment of some high-value goods such as:
- Securities payable to bearers
- Traveler’s checks
- Precious metals
- Precious stones and gems
Additionally, some of the stranger items China prohibits are as follows:
- Printed matter
- Photographic negatives
- Gramophone records
- Magnetic tapes
- Anything that could do political, economic, cultural, or moral harm to the People’s Republic of China
- Radio receivers
- Transmitters or receivers of all kinds
- Television sets
- Radio sets
- Tape records
- Sewing machines
- Used clothing and bedding
- Meat and meat products
If you’re interested in seeing a complete list of prohibited and restricted items that USPS can’t ship to China, you can check out this page of the USPS International Mail Manual.
Fortunately, USPS does ship to China and offers three services for doing so.
That said, these shipping services are Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International.
Although Global Express Guaranteed is the most expensive option, it’s also the fastest.
In comparison, Priority Mail Express International is the best all-around option and the least expensive but takes the longest to deliver.
Also, China has some pretty strict regulations on what can and can’t be shipped, so be sure to double-check your package.