All Military Post Offices (MPOs) have restrictions on items that can be sent using the APO/FPO
system. While there are several "rules of thumb" that can be referred to, individual APO/FPO zip codes have restrictions that
are specific to the overseas location they serve. For the first time ever, these zip codes are now available in an online database
that can be searched quickly and easily to verify any and all restrictions to overseas military bases, posts and camps.
Oconus.com APO/FPO Zip Code Restriction Database
What are the restrictions for your APO/FPO Zipcode? Type your five digit zip code in the box below and then click "check it"
Generic APO/FPO Restrictions
Most APO/FPO addresses have the following general restrictions:
Packages may not exceed 70 lbs. (Some zip codes have lower limits)
Packages may not exceed 130 inches in combined length and girth. (This means if you have a package that is 100"
in length and 40" when you measure around it, you cannot send the item)
All packages must be sent via the U.S. Postal System. The post office also requires companies or individuals to
hand deliver packages being sent to APO/FPO addresses. (This is one reason why many merchants won't ship to APO/FPO
Firearms, alcohol, perishable foodstuffs and certain hazardous items also are restricted. Each zip code has a more
detailed list of the restrictions for certain types of products.
For a complete description of the restrictions at your APO/FPO address, enter your zipcode in the box on the left. This
database is kept current with the twice-monthly Postal Bulletin Publication, which outlines all APO FPO zip code changes. Please note
that the customs forms mentioned in the restrictions apply to packages and not to typical letters that just weight a few ounces.
Other Considerations for Overseas Military Shoppers
There are several facts you should take into consideration when ordering items from an APO/FPO address:
For packages, Priority Mail is only way to go. If a merchant ships a package to your APO/FPO address using standard or "surface" mail, it
will likely be a while before you see it. This is because all Priority Mail eventually makes its way onto an airplane. Surface mail does not.
Sending a package via surface mail may take up to 8 weeks because it will be placed on a ship instead of a plane.
Some items just can't be shipped to APO/FPO. Just because a merchant won't ship an item to you does not mean that they don't ship
to APO/FPO addresses. If you are planning on ordering a new range for the kitchen, you aren't going to find anyone who will (or can) ship it to you. We
take great care at Oconus.com to ensure that our merchants will
ship to APO/FPO addresses within the limits imposed on them by the MPO and the law.
"AE", "AA" and "AP" The APO/FPO "states" of "AE", "AA", and "AP" are the only legitimate states to use for an APO/FPO addresses. It is
common knowledge that you can use "NY" for "AE", "CA" for "AP", and "FL" for "AA", but you run the risk of having your credit card rejected because
the billing address they have on file (with AA, AE or AP for the state) does not match what you submitted online. For this reason we are very hesitant to put merchants
on Oconus.com who do not have the APO/FPO "states" available in their
drop-down boxes. We review all sites for this feature prior to listing them and have helped dozens of merchants improve the APO/FPO capabilities of their site.
Finally, we exist to help overseas military servicemembers, DOD employees, government contractors and expatriates improve the quality of their lives by providing a vast selection of merchants who ship to APO/FPO
addresses. Should you have additional questions or comments that are not currently addressed on our website, please don't hesitate to send us an email message from this page. We would love to
hear from you and help you with any of your APO/FPO shipping problems (this includes merchants, too.)
Thanks for your overseas service!
The Oconus.com Team
For Merchants Researching APO FPO Shipping
How do I ship to an APO or FPO address? This is a common question that we get from merchants who are exploring the possibilities
of serving overseas military shoppers through their websites. For starters you must use the United States Post Office (USPS) to send the items (see above).
While there has been some recent discussion and negotiation to allow Federal Express and UPS to send packages to these addresses, the only way to
send an item to an APO or FPO address as of right now is to use the USPS. Shipments to APO FPO addresses also require some additional
customs paperwork to be filled out by the shipper. For a complete list of requirements and restrictions for a particular APO or FPO zip code,
please enter the zip code into our online validator (located in the middle of the left hand margin on every page on Oconus.com). If your product is small enough
(a patch or sticker, for example), you can probably use a regular letter envelope and avoid filling out the required customs forms.
What is an APO address or an FPO address? APO stands for "Army Post Office," and is associated with Army or Air Force installations. FPO stands for "Fleet Post Office," and is
associated with Navy installations and ships.
The official definition of APO/FPO mail is (according to the Military Postal Service Agency):
APO/FPO Mail - domestic mail and international mail that bears a U.S. military delivery address or return address and
that, in some stage of its transmission, is in the possession of the DOD. This is mail that is being sent to or received from military installations located outside the Continental
United States (CONUS). This mail may be official or personal in nature. This mail is centralized at certain locations such as San Francisco and New York for transport overseas. When
mail is received in the CONUS from these facilities, letter mail is normally received in sleeved half trays, flats are received in sleeved plastic flat tubs, and parcels are received
in #1 sacks.
How do I make my site APO/FPO friendly? Over 70% of our APO/FPO shoppers indicated in a recent survey that they have abandoned their shopping carts when they could not
find their APO or FPO "state" in the state dropdown box. The only legitimate APO or FPO states are "AA," "AE," and "AP." The should appear in a dropdown box like this:
You don't need to provide anything except for a standard text box for the city portion of an APO or FPO address. The city will always be either "APO" or "FPO" in a properly formatted
APO FPO address. Here's an example:
PFC Gomer Pyle
CMR 345, Box 12334
APO AE 09250
A note about fraud: There has been an increase in the fraudulent use of APO/FPO addresses over the past few years. Usually the crooks use a legitimate U.S. zip code with a bogus
APO or FPO address. Since many credit card verification systems don't deal very well with APO or FPO addresses, the address may not be rigorously verified. Since the zip code is valid,
the Post Office will ship the item to the proper destination, which is usually a P.O. Box that is rented for a short period of time. The crook will use the P.O. Box until someone becomes
suspicious and then find another P.O. Box to use. For this reason we recommend the use of our APO FPO zip code validator if you have any questions about an address. If the zip code that
you put into our validator comes back as "not found," it is not legitimate and further investigation should be undertaken prior to shipping the product.
Official Information Sources:
Military Postal Service Agency APO/FPO Questions
* Please note that the MPSA also has an APO/FPO zip code database that is not current with the twice-monthly Postal Bulletin Publication. They are in the process of implementing an automated system that will keep
their database current.
Should you have additional questions or comments that are not currently addressed in this section, please don't hesitate to send us an email message from this page.
Thanks for your interest in our overseas service members and their families. They truly appreciate it and will reward your business as loyal shoppers...