Another summer means another group of new service members in Germany. That means a lot of new questions and one of the most common questions is, “What can I send to my APO?” Each APO or FPO has different restrictions based on where they are located. Germany is no exception and though some of the restrictions might make you raise an eyebrow, it is best to accept them and remember all the other great things about living in Germany. Read on for the current list of restricted items to German APOs straight from the USPS themselves.
- Cigarettes and other tobacco products, including tobacco leaves, chewing and pipe tobacco, snuff, and cigars are prohibited.
- Coffee is prohibited.
- Medicines (prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and supplements) are prohibited when mailed to individuals for human or animal use.
- Replica weapons and inert explosive devices (such as grenades) and weapons parts are prohibited.
- Meats, including preserved meats, bones, skin, hair, feathers, horns or hoofs of hoofed animals, and wool samples whether hermetically sealed or not, are prohibited. (Note – this covers many common pet treats!)
- Fruits, vegetables, live animals, and live plants are prohibited.
- All alcoholic beverages, including those mailable under Publication 52, Part 421, are prohibited. (Never fear, German beer is better!)
- Synthetic cannabinoids used to stimulate the central nervous system commonly known as “synthetic marijuana,” “K2,” or “Spice” are prohibited.
That is just the list from the USPS. German customs law and US military regulations also prohibit a few more items.
- Fireworks (Go buy them locally, the Germans will give you all you want)
- Endangered species items
- Counterfeit products such as watches, purses, and DVDs. (Yeah, all those “products” you can buy on BAF, don’t mail them to Germany…)
- Home based business products (looking at you scentsy and itworks folks)
Finally there is the end all of restrictions, the size restriction. Max weight for the APO is 70 lbs and max size is 130 inches. Size is measured by length + girth so once down the long side of the box and once around. Also note that the limit for priority (the fast way) is 108 inches. Anything 108 -130 is going parcel post which could add weeks if not months to the shipping time.
There you have it! Leave a comment below with your personal experiences. If you want to stay up to date on USPS restrictions to your APO, simply visit their site here and put in your zip.
What about military retiree APO boxes? They have more restrictions.