USPS package intercept
For a fee, USPS Package Intercept® lets the sender or recipient stop delivery or redirect a package, letter, or flat that is not out for delivery or already delivered. Most domestic mailings with a tracking or extra services barcode are eligible for Package Intercept. You can only request a Package Intercept online.
USPS package intercept service is nonrefundable and not guaranteed. You also understand that the intercepted mail will be redirected back to the return address, may be redirected to a new address, or maybe held at a post office for pickup.
In order to open the package, the USPS must first obtain a warrant to do so if they suspect narcotics inside. Unfortunately, obtaining a warrant is rather simple for them to do because packages containing narcotics can be suspicious in nature.
A package intercept is when either the sender or recipient wants it returned it going to a different address. If it has a wrong address on it then the recipient can go to Welcome | USPS and do an I fiercely to fix the address. It works about 50% of the time. If you request the intercept on the same day you ship, it usually works.
Commercial USPS Package Intercept is available through Business Customer Gateway.
- Available for letters, flats, and packages with a tracking barcode.
- For any domestic Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select and Package Services shipment or parcel, measuring not more than 108 inches in length and girth combined.
- Options include return to a mailer or redirect to a new address or to a Post Office as Hold For Pickup service.
- Automated customer notification on the status of the service request is available through email, USPS Package Intercept history reports through the application, or customer extract file through the Product Tracking System.
What happens when a package is intercepted?
Once intercepted, they are redirected at the applicable Priority Mail postage rate. You pay all fees ONLY if an intercept was possible. Commercially shipped packages can only be intercepted by a commercial mailer through the Business Customer Gateway.
How It Works: usps package intercept
USPS Package Intercept service allows customers to request to have a mailpiece that they have sent through the Postal Service intercepted prior to delivery. Customers place their request, and the information is sent to the destination delivery unit for the address on the mailpiece.
You can request that the destination Post Office hold the item for you or have it returned to sender.
- Verify that your shipment is eligible for Package Intercept.
- If eligible, you can submit your request online after logging in with your USPS.com account.
- After submitting your request, you’ll be provided an estimated total (intercept fee plus estimated Priority Mail® postage, if applicable). We will then attempt to intercept and redirect the shipment.
- If the shipment is intercepted, your credit card will be charged the $15.25 Package Intercept fee plus any applicable postage. If the actual postage is greater than estimated, any additional postage will be charged accordingly.
- Your shipment will be redirected to the original sender or held at the local Post Office for pickup.
Paying for USPS Package Intercept
- All intercepted items are redirected as Priority Mail. You must pay the applicable Priority Mail postage, except when the item was originally sent using Priority Mail Express®, Priority Mail, or First-Class Mail®.
- Customers will not be charged if the shipment was not intercepted. If successfully intercepted, the non-refundable Package Intercept fee is applied to each intercepted request.
Package Intercept Price Information
- Retail and commercial customers can also purchase additional services for the intercepted package, like Adult Signature Required, Adult Signature Restricted Delivery, Signature Confirmation™, and insurance.
Insurance & Extra Services
USPS Package Intercept is not a guaranteed service and certain conditions apply.
What Is Eligible
- Domestic USPS mail services with a USPS Tracking® or extra services barcode Check Your Barcode Number
- Packages whose total length and girth length is not larger than 108 inches Measuring Package Girth
What Is Not Eligible
- USPS Marketing Mail® products and periodicals
- Items addressed to a Commercial Mailing Receiving Agency
- Items redirected to a PO Box™
- Nonmailable items, items with surface-only transportation markings, such as Label 127, Surface Mail Only, or items bearing other hazardous materials markings, such as Consumer Commodity ORM-D
How does it work and time limits?
Upon request, items are intercepted at the delivery destination Post Office™ and then returned to the sender or Held for Pickup at the delivery Post Office as Hold for Pickup (but not to a PO Box™). USPS Package Intercept® is not a guaranteed service and certain conditions apply.
- Eligible you will need to verify the item is eligible for an intercept using either USPS Tracking® or the eligibility checker on USPS.com® for all tracking numbers except those beginning with a 92 or 93. Regardless of where your mail item is along the mainstream, or what tracking messages you have received, if your package is eligible, you can proceed with a USPS Package Intercept request.
- Account whether you are the sender or recipient, you must have a USPS.com® account with a credit or debit card or Click to Pay stored in your profile to request USPS Package Intercept.
Register online and submit the USPS Package Intercept request. (A credit or debit card or Click to Pay is required for payment of the USPS Package Intercept and estimated postage fees.)
- Time Limits once a request is made:
USPS Package Intercept® requests are active for 7 business days from the date of the request.
The Post Office™ will make every attempt to locate the item.
- No guarantee that the item can be intercepted before delivery; but, if the item is eligible, the Post Office™ will make every attempt to locate the item.
- As long as the item is not showing as out for delivery or delivered, USPS Package Intercept® will prevent delivery to the addressee. Based on your request, the item is redirected as either…
Return to sender, or
At the Delivery Post Office™ as Hold for Pickup (but not to a PO Box)
The item may incur additional postage based on the directions of the mailer.
All intercepted items, except those being returned to sender, are relabeled as new Priority Mail® pieces. Once intercepted, they are redirected at the applicable Priority Mail postage rate. You pay all fees ONLY if an intercept was possible.
Commercially shipped packages can only be intercepted by a commercial mailer through the Business Customer Gateway. As information, commercially shipped packages typically contain a tracking number that begins with a “92” or “93”.
Note: You cannot edit or cancel your USPS Package Intercept® request.
How do I get started?
- Residential Intercepts
If you are the sender or recipient, the person requesting the Residential USPS Package Intercept® must have a USPS.com account and a credit or debit card or Click to Pay stored in their profile to intercept the item. Upon successful interception, the intercept fee and any applicable postage are charged to the person requesting USPS Package Intercept®. If the item is delivered before it can be intercepted, there is no charge. Get Started Now >
Note: Youcannot edit or cancel your USPS Package Intercept request.
2. Commercial USPS Package Intercepts®
If you are a commercial customer with a previously established Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS) debit or trust account, you can request USPS Package Intercept® by registering online and submitting your request through the USPS Business Customer Gateway. As a commercial customer, you can intercept individually or in bulk.
- The customer must be a registered BCG user.
- A permit imprint linked to a valid CAPS debit or trust account must be associated with the Customer Registration ID (CRID) for the business location.
- The Customer must have access to the Manage Mailing Activity and be assigned Mailer ID services on BCG.
- Customers must request access to the USPS Package Intercept service via BCG.
- Each business location, identified by a CRID, is required to have a USPS Package Intercept Business Service Administrator (BSA).
- The USPS Package Intercept BSA will manage and grant access to the USPS Package Intercept service to other users of the same CRID.
How much does it cost? usps package intercept
There is a Package Intercept fee of $15.25 that applies to all intercepted shipments. Commercial customers who purchase postage online can also submit their Package Intercept request online.
All intercepted mailpieces that are redirected back to the sender, a new delivery address or a Post Office as Hold For Pickup service through the electronic commercial method are relabeled and handled as a new Priority Mail piece.
The new Priority Mail piece is charged the applicable Priority Mail postage from the location where intercepted to the new destination based on the dimensions, weight, and zone of the piece, except for pieces being redirected back to the sender that was originally sent by Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail or First-Class Mail.
Any applicable postage and fees for sending the intercepted item to a different location or for purchasing an Extra Service will be charged at the time of intercept – if the intercept is possible – or otherwise will be collected at the time of delivery by a USPS carrier.
The USPS Package Intercept fee applies for each mailpiece intercepted. No fee is charged until the item is found and your intercept request is processed. When the order summary page appears, you will see an “Estimated Total” for your USPS Package Intercept order.
Fees are estimated based on whatever information is available on your package – generally, weight and dimensions. Once the package is intercepted, your credit card will be charged an actual cost that may vary from the estimated total.
Additional postage and fees may be applicable to redirect the item as requested by the mailer and will be charged to the requestor’s method of payment, depending on whether a Residential or Commercial account was established, after a successful intercept. Get USPS Package Intercept price information.
Extra Postage Fee Exceptions
Items originally mailed as Priority Mail Express®, and Priority Mail®, as well as First-Class Mail® being redirected to the sender, are not relabeled and bear no additional postage cost. Again, the intercept fee is charged at the time of successful intercept, or collected by the USPS carrier at the time of delivery.
When requests for commercial intercepts are made through the Business Customer Gateway, postage and fees are automatically deducted from the customer’s ACH Debit or Credit (Trust Account), after a successful intercept. An ACH Debit or Credit (Trust Account) is required to pay the USPS Package Intercept fee and any applicable postage and fees (such as Extra Services) for the intercepted item.
What are other options for intercepted mail?
When a USPS Package Intercept is requested, Extra Services can also be added to the intercepted item(s) when redirected to the sender or the delivery Post Office™ as a Hold for Pickup (but not to a PO Box™). No matter the original eligible mail class, when the item is relabeled as Priority Mail®, it is assigned a new mailing barcode and may include applicable Extra Services. Customers can continue to track the status of the Intercepted item using the original article tracking number.
Customers can choose from the following services:
- Adult Signature Required
- Adult Signature Restricted Delivery
- Insurance (but only if the original shipment included insurance and only at the original value stated)
- Signature Confirmation™
Extra Services Exceptions
- Extra Services cannot be added to items that are redirected to the sender, regardless of class.
- Return to Sender is the only intercept option available for Registered Mail® service. Registered Mail items are returned with the original Registered Mail number, and are not re-labeled or re-packaged.
Note: If a mailpiece was originally sent as Registered Mail, it can only be returned to the sender. The mailpiece will maintain the original Registered Mail label number.
Additional Priority Mail postage will apply to intercepted mailpieces under the following conditions:
Note: USPS does not guarantee the interception of a mailpiece.
Customers should validate the status of the mailpiece by using the Track & Confirm tool at Track & Confirm prior to placing a request. Customers will be charged for all USPS Package Intercept Requests made.
Need more information? Learn about mail classes that can be intercepted.
USPS Package Intercept is a fee-based service that enables anyone – sender AND recipient – to authorize the Hold for Pickup or Return to Sender of qualifying domestic letters, flats, and parcels that have a USPS® IMpb® (Intelligent Mail® Package Barcode).
If the item does not bear a USPS IMpb, USPS Package Intercept service is not possible. USPS Package Intercept® is available in two versions, residential and commercial. Not sure if your item qualifies for an interception?
Note: Residential USPS Package Intercept can’t be used for a tracking number beginning with a 92 or 93 prefix. It is available for all domestic mail classes except USPS Marketing Mail® and Periodicals.
1. What is USPS Package Intercept®?
USPS Package Intercept service allows customers to request to have a mailpiece that they have sent through the Postal Service intercepted prior to delivery. Customers place their requests, and the information is sent to the destination delivery unit for the address on the mailpiece.
It is a domestic service and not available for international, or APO/FPO/DPO destinations, or for mailpieces that require a customs form.
USPS Package Intercept requests are open for 10 days from the day the request is made.
2. How is USPS Package Intercept service requested?
CommercialOnline request is through the Business Customer Gateway (BCG), which can be found on the lower right corner on USPS.com or at Business Customer Gateway. Customers must be a registered BCG user, with a permit account (linked to a Centralized Account Payment System (CAPS) debit or trust account), a Mailer ID, and Managed Mail activity. Visit Business Customer Gateway.
Retail: The service is available by completing PS Form 1509, Sender’s Request for USPS Package Intercept® Service.
3. What Mail Classes are eligible for the USPS Package Intercept service?
All domestic mail classes are eligible except Standard Mail and Periodicals with a tracking or Extra Service barcode.
4. What are the fees and/or postage required for the service?
The fee for requesting USPS Package Intercept can be found in Notice 123, Pricelist. In addition to the USPS Package Intercept fee, applicable postage and additional fees may apply for redirecting the mailpiece to a new location or back to the mailer.
5. What options are available for redirecting intercepted mailpieces?
Commercial online USPS Package Intercept requests have three redirect options:
- Back to the mailer.
- New delivery address.
- Hold For Pickup at a Post Office location of the sender’s / mailer choice.
All USPS Package Intercept mailpieces requested at the Post Office are redirected back to the mailer.
6. How do I know if postage will apply to my request? All mailpieces are returned as Priority Mail. Additional Priority Mail postage will apply to intercepted mailpieces under the following conditions:
Additional Priority Mail postage is charged when the item is found and redirected as requested by the mailer. Postage fees do not apply if the item is not found.
7. Can a customer request to have additional Extra Services on the new mailing once it is intercepted at the Post Office?
- Adult Signature Required.
- Adult Signature Restricted Delivery.
- Signature Confirmation.
Note: If a mailpiece was originally sent as Registered Mail, it can only be returned to the sender. The mailpiece will maintain the original Registered Mail label number.
Retail: No, additional extra services cannot be added to an intercepted mailpiece.
Note: All previous Extra Services requested on the original mailpiece are no longer valid once the mailpiece is intercepted.
8. What type of communication is provided to the customer?
Commercial: Automated customer notification on the status of the service request is available through email, the USPS Package Intercept application status report online at Business Customer Gateway or customer extract file through the Product Tracking System.
Retail: Destination Post Offices working on the USPS Package Intercept request may provide customers with notification on the status of their request. Customer status should be provided by phone or email. Customers may also check the status of their request by looking out for the “Customer Recall” scan event using the Track & Confirm tool on USPS.com.
9. What should a customer do before placing a USPS Package Intercept request?
Customers should validate the status of a mailpiece by using the Track & Confirm tool prior to placing a request. Customers will be charged for all USPS Package Intercept requests made.
10. Is USPS Package Intercept a guaranteed service?
It is not a guaranteed service. The Postal Service will make every effort to find the mailpiece and redirect as requested, however, this is not a guaranteed service and refunds are not available.
11. Do I need a permit imprint account to request a USPS Package Intercept?
Yes. You need at least one permit imprint account to request a USPS Package Intercept. Only CRIDs with a valid permit imprint account are selectable on the USPS Package Intercept request form. If you do not have a permit imprint account, you will not be able to access the request form.
Learn how to set up a permit imprint account here: https://pe.usps.com/BusinessMail101/Index?ViewName=MailingPermit.
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