Is Shipping to Puerto Rico International? The answer is yes and no, as it depends on which carrier you use.
Let’s take a look.
SUMMARY: Is Shipping to Puerto Rico International
- USPS considers Puerto Rico to be a domestic location.
- Standard domestic USPS mail services are available when shipping to Puerto Rico.
- UPS, FedEx & DHL all consider shipments to Puerto Rico as international.
Shipping to Puerto Rico with USPS
USPS considers a shipment sent to Puerto Rico to be a domestic service. This is because USPS offers domestic shipping between all 50 states and US Territories.
As Puerto Rico is a United States Territory, it qualifies for domestic shipping rather than international.
This also means that you can send mail or a package to Puerto Rico with USPS using their standard domestic services.
- Related Content: Can I Mail a Letter to Canada with Forever Stamps?
USPS Services for Shipping to Puerto Rico
- First-Class USPS Package Services
- Priority Mail
- Priority Mail Express
- Parcel Select Ground/Retail Ground
What USPS Postal Zone is Puerto Rico?
Because Puerto Rico falls under domestic shipping rather than international with USPS, the charges are covered by the postal zoning system.
In the case of Puerto Rico, it is zone 9 – a United States Overseas Territory.
USPS Zones & How They Are Calculated in Terms of Distance from Package Origin
- Zone 1: 1-50 miles
- Zone 2: 51-150 miles
- Zone 3: 151-300 miles
- Zone 4: 301-600 miles
- Zone 5: 601-1000 miles
- Zone 6: 1001-1400 miles
- Zone 7: 1401-1800 miles
- Zone 8: 1801 miles or greater
- Zone 9: Freely Associated States – Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau and other US Territories
Shipping to Puerto Rico with FedEx & UPS
Is Shipping to Puerto Rico International with UPS, FedEx & DHL?
The answer is yes. The major carriers all consider Puerto Rico to be an international destination in relation to the United States.
This means that you cannot benefit from any domestic rates when shipping to Puerto Rico with UPS, FedEx & DHL.
In short, using one of these carriers will be a lot more expensive than using USPS.
How to Ship a Package to Puerto Rico
Because Shipping to Puerto Rico is a domestic service with USPS, the process is relatively simple.
As already mentioned, you can use standard USPS domestic shipping options. You will not need to fill out any customs forms either.
Bear in mind the address format, however. When shipping with USPS, Puerto Rico should be entered into the “state” field, and the United States entered as the “country”.
When sending a package to Puerto Rico using UPS, FedEx, or DHL you will have to use one of their international shipping services.
When entering address details the state will be “Puerto Rico” and the country will also be “Puerto Rico”. Just be prepared for some pretty expensive shipping rates depending on the weight of the item.
- Related Content: How Many Stamps Do I Need for a Manila Envelope (USPS 2022)
Taxes When Shipping to Puerto Rico
Whatever carrier you use, there are some special considerations when shipping to a US territory such as Puerto Rico.
For instance, if you are a business sending products a commercial invoice will be required if the shipment exceeds $2,500 US. You will also need Electronic Export Information.
Items entering Puerto Rico over a certain value are subject to tax, however, any US business exporting to Puerto Rico can claim tax exemption with the relevant tax exemption number.
This of course related to business dealings rather than personal shipments to Puerto Rico and is beyond the scope of this article.
When sending a package to Puerto Rico, your best option by far is USPS. This is because your shipment will be considered domestic and you will be able to use standard domestic postal services.
UPS, FedEx, and DHL all consider Puerto Rico to be an international shipment if mailed from the US. This will incur international charges and if the content value is high, extra documentation too.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂