Domestic or International: Shipping to a US Territory

by
September 20, 2018

 

If you’ve ever shipped to a US territory, you know how difficult the process can be. You think, why is it so much harder to ship to a territory? It can’t be because they’re islands. After all, shipping to Hawaii is treated the same as shipping to any other state. Furthermore, Puerto Rico, is much closer to the mainland than Hawaii.

Some carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, even require you to use the territory’s name in place of the country name. Furthermore, carriers may even require you to fill out customs forms (Commercial Invoice). Despite this caveat, these shipments are still treated as domestic shipments. Even though these shipments may never go through customs,  they frequently in this weird grey area where they still need to have the same documentation as an international shipment. So let’s go over what’s needed when shipping to a territory.

US Territories: What’s Needed


USPS

State

Country

Add­­­itional Notes

Puerto Rico

PR

United States

Choose a domestic service

No customs required with USPS to Caribbean territories

US Virgin Islands

VI

United States

American Samoa

AS

United States

Choose a domestic
service

Customs required with
USPS to Pacific
territories

Guam

GU

United States

Northern Mariana Islands

MP

United States

 

FedEx/UPS

State

Country

Additional Notes

Puerto Rico

PR

Puerto Rico

Choose an international
service

Customs Required with UPS and FedEx to all territories

US Virgin Islands

VI

US Virgin Islands

American Samoa

AS

American Samoa

Guam

GU

Guam

Northern Mariana Islands

MP

Northern Mariana Islands

 


Additional Information


  • Shipments to the Federated States of Micronesia need to to use the state code FM.
  • Shipments going to The Marshall Islands need to use the state code MH.
  • Shipping to another territory? Use the state code UM if shipping to one of the following U.S. Minor Outlying Islands:
    • Baker Island
    • Howland Island
    • Jarvis Island
    • Johnston Atoll
    • Kingman Reef
    • Midway Islands
    • Palmyra Atoll
    • Navassa Island
    • Wake Island
  • For more information on shipping to a US territory with more carriers, check out this knowledge base article.
  • ShipStation offers a fantastic address verification system that verifies and corrects both domestic and international addresses.
  • As a ShipStation user, you receive access to our fantastic support team. We’ve seen just about every address issue you can think of,
    and can help make sure everything is in ship shape before you send your packages out.
  • Sign up for a free trial for ShipStation today to save time and money when shipping.

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