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Shipping Package to India from US

Recently I sent a package(parcel) to India via USPS. I had previously sent documents through USPS Priority Mail (International) but this was the first time I sent a parcel with contents other than documents.

I would like to share my experience here.

Contents of the Package

  • Infant items: T-shirts, pants, bibs and pacifiers
  • Toys: Baby Einstein Take along tunes(AA batteries), Toy for crib handler(button cells), Baby Cry Audio Monitor(with adapters but no batteries)
  • Adult Clothes: T-Shirts, sweater, pajamas
  • Body Lotion: 3 body lotions (got from beauty section in Wal-Mart)

USPS Priority Mail International

I selected USPS to ship the package. I chose Priority Mail International  Flat rate (Large box 12 1/4" x 12 1/4" x 6").

It costs about 80$(as of 01/01/2015) and maximum allowed weight is 20lbs.

The flat rate box is little costly if your package is going to weight less than 10-12 lbs. I would suggest you use your own package. I realized it after I already shipped the package.

Customs forms

I had to fill out Customs Declaration form 2976-A.

In got it from the local USPS office. You can create it online as well. I won’t discuss entire form but just one section that mostly is confusing.

Detailed Description of Contents

In the Detailed Description of Contents I used the the four lines and mentioned the items like I mentioned earlier but mentioning Toys and Audio Monitor.

I left the Qty and Lbs/Oz. section empty and mentioned Value for each individual line I have above.

I marked it as Gift.

Left the Total Gross wt. empty( I didn’t have exact number) . The person at the post office will enter it when you go to mail it. For me it came out only 7.5 lbs

Then I filled the Total Value. For me it was $130

At the Post Office

The customer service lady weighed the package and entered the value. She asked me if the Audio Monitor has Lithium batteries. In the payment screen, you have to confirm that the box doesn’t have lithium batteries.

She said $85 insurance was included with the price but if I wanted to cover full $130, I need to pay about $5 extra. I didn’t opt for that.

I paid and she gave me receipt.

Tracking International Packages

I didn’t see the receipt thinking the priority flat rate has tracking included. Mostly when tracking is not included in shipping cost, the agent would ask you.

When I came home and looked at the receipt there was no tracking number listed on it. I tried using the Transaction# but that didn’t work.

I called the USPS customer service, and that experience was little painful at first due to their automated menu options. They wanted me to select something before they can transfer me to customer care agent. And I can’t say “Tracking” as their machine will keep asking me for tracking number which I didn’t have. When I said I don’t have one, it said it can’t help any further and hanged up on me. So I selected “Change of address” option. After 20 minutes of wait finally got hold of an agent who said she can help me with anything but International and transferred me to international department. Accidentally, I pressed button on my hands-free and the call got disconnected.

I called again and this time I decided to say “International” to the automated menu selection. It recognized it and after another 20 minutes I was transferred to an agent. She asked for a label number and I said there isn’t one on the receipt. She said if there was a Customs Form number. I gave it to here and indeed that was the Tracking#.

I discovered something new: Customs Forms#= Tracking number#

I had a good laugh at myself.

How long it took to reach the package?

Total 19 days including weekends or 14 business days. Check my next post for complete tracking details.

Was there any Customs Charge in India?

No, they didn’t charge anything. I read some where on USPS or India post website that non-commercial shipment (usually regular households/clothing/etc.) as gift upto Rs. 10000, they don’t charge anything.

The box was opened from the bottom and re-sealed when it reached to its destination.

Share your thoughts

If you have any questions or want to share your experience sending package to India, please use the comment section below

Hope this helps. Thanks for reading.

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  1. M. R.
    December 5, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I ordered a package from Kylie Cosmetics on the 21st of November and gave the address as Mumbai, India. I have been tracking my order on USPS and the last activity shown is ‘Departed from facility – Los Angeles on the 25th of November’.
    I am starting to get a little worried regarding my package.

    Do you have any clue how long max it takes for a package to reach India? Also, since I chose Mumbai, will it go to a post office and I’ll have to pick it up or will it be delivered straight to my doorstep? If I have to pick it up from a post office, what do I need to have with me when I pick it up, any documents or so?

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