With more lost parcels and delayed deliveries, shipping internationally can be a real hassle sometimes. That’s why it always benefits shippers to purchase additional shipping insurance, or pay for a service like Priority Mail Express International with Money-Back Guaranteed. If you sent an item Priority Mail Express International with USPS, you may be eligible to receive a refund if delivery doesn’t occur by the scheduled delivery date. However, there are quite a few conditions you need to be aware of, which we get into here.
PMEI and PMEI With Money-Back Guaranteed Service Aren’t the Same
First and foremost, it’s important to distinguish the difference between Priority Mail Express International (PMEI), and Priority Mail Express International with Money-Back Guaranteed Service. Believe it or not, these are two different services!
USPS won’t actually issue refunds for regular PMEI packages that arrive after the estimated delivery date. However, USPS does issue refunds in these cases for packages sent PMEI with Money Back Guaranteed Service. That said, most shippers typically decide to just ship regular PMEI, since the Money-Back Guaranteed service is much more limited in terms of its scope.
How to Get a Refund for a Regular PMEI Shipment
According to the USPS website, USPS will refund postage of regular Priority Mail Express International packages only when:
- The inquiry process has confirmed that total loss, damage, or missing contents of a Priority Mail Express International item has occurred
- The customer has initiated an inquiry within the requisite 90-day filing period
- The postmaster has received verification from the Product Tracking System (PTS) or the International Research Group that loss, damage, or missing contents has occurred
- The customer has received PS Form 3533: Application and Voucher for Refund of Postage, Fees, and Services.
So, basically, USPS only issues PMEI refunds for lost or damaged packages…not if they arrive late.
Keep in mind that only the sender can request a PMEI refund, and the request needs to be made between 3 to 90 days after the shipment date. One way to get the refund process started is to call 800-222-1811. Senders can also apply for a claim on USPS’ website, which is what we suggest.
Priority Mail Express International Money-Back Guaranteed Service Is Only Available for Certain Countries
The USPS website states that they will refund postage of Priority Mail Express International with Money-Back Guarantee service packages only when:
- The customer has initiated a request for postage refund within the requisite 30-day filing period.
- The International Research Group received confirmation from the foreign postal administration that the item did not meet the specified delivery standard.
- The customer has received PS Form 3533-GE, Application for Refund of Postage for Priority Mail Express International With Guarantee Service.
Keep in mind that the filing period here is 30 days, and not 90 like it is with regular PMEI. Also, you should note that USPS only offers this specific money-back guaranteed service for a small group of countries. Those countries are as follows:
- France (does not include Corsica and Monaco)
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea (South Korea)
- Spain (does not include Canary Islands)
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Pro Tip: Priority Mail Express International Money-Back Guaranteed Service is only available for the specific countries above. So, if you’re shipping to a country that isn’t in the above list, you won’t be able to purchase PMEI Money-Back Guaranteed Service in the first place.
Be Aware of All the Restrictions
Whether you ship regular PMEI or PMEI with the Money-Back Guarantee, USPS imposes quite a few restrictions when it comes to issuing refunds. In some cases, USPS might not offer shippers their full money back, even if they purchased the Money-Back Guaranteed service. For instance, USPS won’t provide the full money back if delivery was attempted but couldn’t be made. USPS also won’t issue a full refund if the delivery address or postal code was incomplete or inaccurate.
If you want to read more about these specific exclusions, visit USPS’ page on refunds for Priority Mail Express International.