USPS Is Getting Rid of This Service, Effective Immediately
The postal agency has just suspended this service.
According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), more than 128 billion pieces of mail were sent through the agency's mailing system in 2021 alone, with the agency serving more than 163 million addresses in the U.S. But the USPS also has some authority over which services it provides and who has access to them—and it sometimes makes changes with wide-reaching effects. In fact, the Postal Service recently confirmed that it has suspended one of its major services, effective immediately. Read on to find out what the agency is getting rid of now.
The USPS just suspended its service to Russia.
The USPS halted its international mail services to Russia on March 11, Linn's Stamp News reported. According to the news outlet, the agency said it had suspended certain services "due to unavailable transportation as a result of widespread cancellations and restrictions" within Russia. The services no longer provided include Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International, First-Class Mail International, First-Class Package International Service, International Priority Airmail, International Surface Air Lift, M-bags, and Global Express Guaranteed Service, the Postal Service said.
Your mail will be returned if it has been sent to Russia.
On its website, the Postal Service asks that customers "please refrain" from trying to send any mail addressed to Russia in the USPS system. Employees are unable to accept items destined for countries with suspended international mail service. The only exception is the delivery of military and diplomatic mail.
According to the USPS, already deposited mail will be marked as "Mail Service—Return to Sender" and then be mailed back to you. But it could cost you. "The Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service," the USPS states on its website.
The agency says it will continue to monitor the situation.
The USPS can choose to lift its ban on mailing to Russia, but the agency has not yet given a timeline for its suspension. "The Postal Service is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to update customers until the situation returns to normal," the agency said in a statement to Linn's Stamp News.
When the service is restored, you may be able to re-send your item as is. "The sender may re-mail them with the existing postage once service has been restored. When re-mailing under this option, customers must cross out the markings 'Mail Service Suspended—Return to Sender,'" the USPS explains on its website.
UPS and FedEx have also suspended services in Russia.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not only affecting mail and packages being sent by the USPS. UPS recently issued a service alert that said it has temporarily suspended operations in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. And on March 14, FedEx announced that it was temporarily suspending all of its Russian and Belarusian service until further notice, as well as temporarily suspending its inbound and outbound services to Ukraine and closing its locations there.
"We are deeply disturbed by what is happening in Ukraine, and our thoughts and solidarity are with the people affected by this ongoing violence," FedEx said in a statement. "Our top priority is the safety of our team members and their families, and we are providing direct financial assistance to them and the affected communities."