The Postal Service Center is a "one-stop shop" where you can access all of the customer service windows; official mail, postal finance (out-going mail) and Package pick-up.
Mailing privileges apply to the sponsor and authorized family member only. You cannot send or receive mail for others not authorized APO privileges. There are also other personnel who have limited mailing privileges; including contract workers, some foreign NATO personnel, and US military retirees. The level of postal support provided to each customer is determined by the Department of Defense, Military Postal Service Agency, and the Army in Europe Regulations. Because the Department of Defense subsidizes the transportation costs for military mail overseas. They determine what level of support they will pay and for whom. You may not use your mailbox to send or receive items for resale, run any kind of business through your mailbox, or act as an intermediary for distribution of humanitarian aid (Eucom Post 10-2-R). At some time during your tour, you may be asked to "do a favor" for someone not authorized full privileges to send or receive mail for them. Doing this is a reportable postal offense which could put your level of postal privileges in jeopardy.
New Customs Form Policy
The U.S. Postal Service has granted an extension to DoD for elimination of handwritten customs declaration forms on packages for stateside, APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. However, the extension did not remove the DoD requirement for military post offices to no longer accept handwritten custom forms for international addresses; therefore customers must use an online customs form for non-DoD overseas addresses starting 13 March 2020. To allow for a smooth transition period, the military postal service will not accept handwritten customs forms after 13 August 2020. However, military postal officials recommend that customers should start using the online version of the forms now at www.cfo.usps.com or www.cns.usps.com, in order to familiarize themselves before the new August 2020 start date.
How Mail Flows to Italy
All letter class and priority mail travels to Army Post Offices from the US though gateways on the east coast and make use of contracted airline carriers. Delays that affect air travel in the US, UK or Italy will also cause delays of mail. The travel time for this mail is usually 7-10 business days from the states but may experience delays up to several weeks due to world events that affect airline movements.
Most mail that travels to our location and has a tracking number that is traceable up to the gateway on the east coast of the USA. This is because the USPS considers an APO location as a New York address since this is the last point at which the mail transits in the US before flights overseas. The USPS then loses tracking capabilities as it is tendered to the air carrier and will no longer be visible in USPS tracking systems until it arrives to our location and is scanned in as arrived. USPS tracking site.
Requesting a Mail Box
Soldiers and civilian employees can request a P.O. Box prior to arriving at the Vicenza PSCs. To request a box, personnel must be within 60 days of reporting to Vicenza. If possible, a newcomer’s sponsor should request the mailbox in person at the Postal Service Center.
If a local sponsor cannot request a mailbox in person, incoming personnel may send a copy of the orders showing assignment to Vicenza using the following links:
A staff member will assist as soon as possible.
Civilian government employees must provide a letter of employment issued by the Civilian Personnel Office. Government contractors must provide a copy of their contract indicating they are authorized logistical support. Some government contractors may not be authorized logistical support and are encouraged to read contract terms for specifics.
Only sponsors are authorized a mail box and must share the box with their Family members.
Your mailing address for receiving personal correspondence at the Vicenza PSC will follow this format:
CMR 427 BOX xxxx (4 digit box number)
APO AE 09630-xxxx (4 digit zip code suffix)
Please DO NOT add "Vicenza" or " Italy" into the address above. APO addresses are considered to be domestic addresses within the U.S. postal system and postal rates are the same as sending items within the United States.
Forwarding Mail and Putting Mail On Hold
Please notify the mail room to forward or hold mail by filling out DD Form 2258 and turning in to the PSC. If you plan on going on leave or will be on an extended absence for more than 30 days, please let us know so that we have a proper disposition for your mail. Upon your return, please first retrieve all package slips before coming to the Customer Service Window. This will ensure faster service to you and reduce wait times.
To forward or put mail on hold, fill out Form 2258, available at the post office. A forward order requires a current address, forwarding address and a start and end date.
Please DO NOT mail things back to your CMR address if you have a forwarding order in place since it may be caught in a forwarding cycle and risk extreme delays. If it becomes necessary to mail something to yourself, please indicate on the package "HOLD UNTIL (DATE MONTH and YEAR) in this format: xx month 20xx. Please spell out the month so your desires are easily understood.
Customers are advised to purchase USPS insurance for high value/dollar items. Sensitive, hard-to-replace high value/dollar items should be sent via registered mail. Due to postal regulations, the USPS will not honor claims for items that are lost or damaged without purchase of the aforementioned services.
Due to space limitations (especially during deployments), deployed service members or civilians should mail packages DIRECTLY to a person who is in the Vicenza area who can claim those packages. Other people will not be allowed to pick up mail addressed to you unless they have proper documentation to include a power of attorney and an ID card with a status authorizing services. For more information or special circumstances however, please come speak with the Postmaster of you designated Postal Service Center in order to best assist you.
Soldiers may and are encouraged to mail packages directly to their unit in order to alleviate backlogs and ease of coordinating with units by using the format below:
Attn: (POC’s name, for example SFC John Doe)
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Unit (example: A-B-C Company, 1st or 2nd /503rd)
Unit 314xx Box xxx
APO AE 09630-14xx
Mail addressed to a specific personal box number may not be released to the unit for storage.
Mail may not be picked up by local national personnel without authorized mail privileges as a dependent, even with a power of attorney. Local national personnel are not authorized to receive mail without the proper military I.D. card.(A base pass does not count as a military I.D.) due to the SOFA agreement. Mail addressed to a local national "In Care Of" someone else will also be returned to sender.
There are many items that cannot be mailed. These include but are not limited to: wine, liquor-filled candies, perfumes, petroleum based products, any flammable item, cigarette lighters (including brand new in packaging) and anything resembling a firearm or weapon, even if only a toy or replica. There are many special requirements for mailing cell phones and other items containing lithium batteries, smartphones, laptops, etc. Additionally the US Department of Agriculture prohibits import into the United States certain items that may carry viruses that do not exist in the United States. The threat to US Agriculture is so great that the Customs & Border Protection fine individuals from $100 to $1,000 for mailing these items to the states. Criminal action for deliberate cases of smuggling (such as mailing items but not declaring them on the customs form) can result in a $5,000 fine and a year in jail. Look for the latest Customs News Releases posted in the Post Office lobby. If you are not sure if an item is mailable, please contact the Post Office to inquire.
Private Business/Self Employment
Due to SOFA agreements and USPS regulations overseas, you may not use your CMR Box to conduct any type of business generating income. This includes eBay. Patrons suspected of utilizing CMR privileges for business purposes risk revocation of those personal mail privileges. Violators may even be subject to loss of privileges up to the time of departure from the installation.
Package Management System
The Vicenza PSC is the first Army PSC to utilize a package management system called Trackpad that affords us the possibility to account for every parcel once it arrives to our facility. This system also affords you as the customer, an opportunity to receive individualized e-mail notification instantly when you have a parcel that is ready for pick-up. To sign up for e-mail notification, simply come in and talk to one of our clerks at the package pick-up window or send us an email using the following links:
Use your CMR box number and e-mail address to which you would like to receive email notification to.
For those tech savvy customers, you can choose to opt out of receiving hard copy notifications delivered to your box as well and only receive e-mail notification. This may streamline your wait time as you will receive instantaneous notification electronically instead of waiting for parcel notifications to be printed out. Customers may also come pick up their parcels by printing out e-mails themselves, or by showing the e-mail to the clerk via electronic means (ipad, smart phone, blackberries, tablets, etc), or by giving the box number, shelf location, and tracking number to the servicing clerk to retrieve your parcels. If you lose any of the notifications, our clerks can check in our systems to retrieve your parcels as well.
Missing or Lost Parcel
For parcels that are missing or lost and were not insured, please complete an online request. However, patrons are advised that the USPS does not honor claims for items that special services were not purchased for and you may risk a loss. The local PSC under the Garrison has no influence in the claims process for the USPS.
How to lower postage rates
- Mail items at the SAM rate (Space Available Mail) is generally the cheapest rate for mailing, and a good option for items that do not need to arrive quickly.
- When mailing to another APO address, the European Command allows items to be sent postage free via the Military Postal System as long as they do not pass into the USPS. One must write "MPS" in the upper right hand corner where the postage would otherwise be placed. However, because "MPS" items are not charged postage, they are not considered "mail" and provide no insurance, tracking, or other services. Therefore, this might not be the best option for mailing valuable items. This service is also not allowed for mailing items in conjunction with PCS moves; except for mailing military uniforms or equipment needed immediately at the next duty station. If insurance or delivery confirmation is desired on parcels destined for other APO addresses, a "local" minimum postage rate must be charged – along with the charge for the special services added.