WIESBADEN, Germany -- Originally scheduled to have taken place earlier this year, a significant change to how overseas military postal customers mail packages is about to take effect. Beginning Aug. 13, the United States Postal Service will no longer accept handwritten customs declaration forms, 2976, 2976-A or 2976-B.
Military postal officials recommend customers begin preparing computerized customs forms ahead of the change.
“There will still be an option to fill out a customs information worksheet, which will then be typed into the retail system software by the postal clerk,” said Bill Hilsher, chief of postal plans and policy at U.S. Army Europe.
However, this option of bringing handwritten forms to the retail window is likely to cause longer wait times at the retail windows, Hilsher said.
In the meantime and to familiarize themselves with the new requirement, customers can go online to fill out and print the correct form at home or fill it out at computer-equipped kiosks that will be available at the military post offices.
“We ask for customers’ patience and understanding if the policy change causes longer wait times at the counters. We will continue to do everything we can to support their needs as we implement this new policy,” said Mike Kinstle, program manager for the postal operations branch at IMCOM-Europe.
According to USPS, packages found with handwritten customs declaration forms after Aug. 13, will be returned to the sender. Customers should address questions to their local military post office.