USPS Homepage Skip NavigationUSPS Home | Postal Explorer Home
 
Go to previous section of document Link to chapter contents    Link to index Go to next section of document

293 International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) Service

293.1 Definition

International Surface Air Lift™ (ISAL®) is a bulk mailing system that provides fast, economical international delivery of letter-post items. The cost is lower than airmail and the service is much faster than surface mail. ISAL shipments are flown to the foreign destinations and entered into that country's surface or nonpriority mail system for delivery.

293.2 Qualifying Mail and Minimum Quantity Requirements

Letter-post mail as defined in 241 that meets all applicable mailing standards may be sent in this service. There is a minimum volume requirement of 50 pounds per mailing except for the Direct Shipment option, which requires a minimum 750 pounds to a single country destination. Mail is prepared as (1) direct country sacks when there are 11 pounds or more to a single country or required country separation; (2) mixed country package sacks when there are 10 or more pieces or at least 1 pound of mail to a single country, but less than 11 pounds; and (3) residual mail when there are fewer than 10 pieces or less than 1 pound of mail to a single country. Residual mail may not exceed 10 percent, by weight, of the mail presented in direct country sacks, M-bags, and mixed country package sacks. Qualifying residual mail is subject to the appropriate ISAL rate (Full Service, Direct Shipment, M-Bag, or Dropship ISC).

Note: A package is defined as 10 or more pieces of mail to the same country separation or 1 pound or more regardless of the number of pieces. Packages of letter-size pieces of mail should be no thicker than approximately a handful of mail (4 to 6 inches). Packages of flat-size mail may be thicker than 6 inches but must not weigh more than 11 pounds.

Return to top of page

293.3 Service Options

293.31 Availability

ISAL service is available to the foreign countries listed in Exhibit 293.71 from all Post Office facilities where bulk mail is accepted and from the Drop Shipment ISCs listed in 293.32.

293.32 Drop Shipment Locations

Drop shipment rates (as shown in 293.71) are available from the following offices:

New York:

JOHN F KENNEDY AIRPORT MAIL CTR
US POSTAL SERVICE
JOHN F KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BLDG 250
JAMAICA NY 11430-9998

Florida:

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CTR*
US POSTAL SERVICE
11698 NW 25TH ST
MIAMI FL 33112-9997

MIAMI PROCESSING AND DISTRIBUTION CTR
US POSTAL SERVICE
2200 NW 72ND AVE
MIAMI FL 33152-9997

Texas:

DALLAS AIRPORT MAIL CTR
US POSTAL SERVICE
2300 W 32ND ST
DALLAS TX 75261-9741

Illinois:

JT WEEKER INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CENTER
US POSTAL SERVICE
OHARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
514 EXPRESS CENTER DR
CHICAGO IL 60688-9998

California:

LOS ANGELES ISC
US POSTAL SERVICE
21750 ARNOLD CENTER RD
CARSON CA 90810-9998

SAN FRANCISCO ISC
US POSTAL SERVICE
2650 BAYSHORE BLVD
DALY CITY CA 94013-1631

*Only plant-verified mail is transported to these facilities by the mailer.

Return to top of page

293.4 Special Services

The special services described in chapter 3 are not available for items sent by ISAL.

293.5 Customs Documentation

See 123 for the requirements for customs forms.

293.6 Permits

Mailers depositing mail at a Drop Shipment ISC must maintain an advance deposit account at that city if postage is paid by advance deposit account.

293.7 Postage

293.71 Rates
Rate Group Per Piece Rate Full Service
Per Lb.
Direct Shipment
Per Lb.
ISC Drop Shipment
Per Lb.
Regular M-Bag Regular M-Bag Regular M-Bag
1 (Canada) $0.30 $3.15 $1.60 $2.65 $1.60 $2.15 $1.50
2 (Mexico) 0.13 4.55 1.70 4.05 1.70 3.55 1.60
3 0.26 3.55 1.85 3.05 1.85 2.55 1.60
4 0.26 3.90 2.65 3.40 2.65 2.90 2.65
5 0.13 4.85 2.35 4.35 2.35 3.85 2.10
6 0.13 4.75 2.35 4.25 2.35 3.75 2.10
7 0.13 4.85 2.60 4.35 2.60 3.85 2.35
8 0.13 6.80 3.40 6.30 3.40 5.80 3.15
Note: M-bags are subject to the minimum rate for 11 pounds.

Exhibit 293.71 (p. )

International Surface Air Lift Service Network Countries and Rates

Country City Code Rate Group
Albania Tirana TIA 5
Algeria Algiers ALG 8
Angola Luanda LAD 8
Argentina Buenos Aires BUE 6
Aruba Oranjestad AUA 6
Australia Sydney SYD 4
Austria Vienna VIE 3
Bahrain Bahrain BAH 8
Bangladesh Dhaka DAC 8
Belgium Brussels BRU 3
Belize Belize City BZE 6
Benin Cotonou COO 8
Bolivia La Paz LPB 6
Brazil Rio de Janeiro RIO 6
Bulgaria Sofia SOF 5
Burkina Faso Ouagadougou OUA 8
Cameroon Douala DLA 8
Canada See Exhibit 292.455 blank 1
Central African Republic Bangui BGF 8
Chile Santiago SCL 6
China Beijing (Peking) PEK 7
Colombia Bogota BOG 6
Congo, Dem. Rep. of (Zaire) Kinshasa FIH 8
Costa Rica San Jose SJO 6
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Abidjan ABJ 8
Cuba Havana HAV 6
Czech Republic Prague PRG 5
Denmark Copenhagen CPH 3
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo SDQ 6
Ecuador Guayaquil GYE 6
Egypt Cairo CAI 8
El Salvador San Salvador SAL 6
Ethiopia Addis Ababa ADD 8
Fiji Nadi NAN 7
Finland Helsinki HEL 3
France Paris PAR 3
French Guiana Cayenne CAY 6
Gabon Libreville LBV 8
Germany Frankfurt FRA 3
Ghana Accra ACC 8
Great Britain London LON 3
Greece Athens ATH 3
Guatemala Guatemala City GUA 6
Guyana Georgetown GEO 6
Haiti Port-au-Prince PAP 6
Honduras Tegucigalpa TGU 6
Hong Kong Hong Kong HKG 7
Hungary Budapest BUD 5
Iceland Reykjavik REK 3
India Mumbai BOM 8
Indonesia Jakarta JKT 7
Iran Tehran THR 8
Ireland Dublin DUB 3
Israel Tel Aviv TLV 3
Italy Rome ROM 3
Jamaica Kingston KIN 6
Japan * Osaka Int'l OSA 4
blank Tokyo TYO 4
Jordan Amman AMM 8
Kenya Nairobi NBO 8
Korea, Rep. of (South) Seoul SEL 7
Kuwait Kuwait City KWI 8
Lebanon Beirut BEY 8
Liechtenstein Basel BSL 3
Luxembourg Luxembourg LUX 3
Madagascar Antananariva TNR 8
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur KUL 7
Mali Bamako BKO 8
Mauritania Nouakchott NKC 8
Mauritius Port Louis MRU 8
Mexico Mexico City MEX 2
Morocco Casablanca CAS 8
Mozambique Maputo MPM 8
Netherlands Amsterdam AMS 3
Netherlands Antilles Curacao CUR 6
New Zealand Auckland AKL 4
Nicaragua Managua MGA 6
Niger Niamey NIM 8
Nigeria Lagos LOS 8
Norway Oslo OSL 3
Oman Muscat MCT 8
Pakistan Karachi KHI 8
Panama Panama City PTY 6
Papua New Guinea Port Moresby POM 7
Paraguay Asuncion ASU 6
Peru Lima LIM 6
Philippines Manila MNL 7
Poland Warsaw WAW 5
Portugal Lisbon LIS 3
Qatar Doha DOH 8
Reunion Island St Denis RUN 8
Romania Bucharest BUH 5
Russia Moscow MOW 5
Saudi Arabia Dhahran DHA 8
Senegal Dakar DKR 8
Singapore Singapore SIN 7
Slovak Republic (Slovakia) Bratislava BTS 5
South Africa Johannesburg JNB 8
Spain ** Madrid MAD 3
Sri Lanka Colombo CMB 8
Sudan Khartoum KRT 8
Suriname Paramaribo PBM 6
Sweden Stockholm STO 3
Switzerland Basel BSL 3
Syria Damascus DAM 8
Taiwan Taipei TPE 7
Tanzania Dar es Salaam DAR 8
Thailand Bangkok BKK 7
Togo Lome LFW 8
Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain POS 6
Tunisia Tunis TUN 8
Turkey Istanbul IST 5
Uganda Kampala KLA 8
United Arab Emirates Dubai DXB 8
Uruguay Montevideo MVD 6
Venezuela Caracas CCS 6
Yemen Sanaa SAH 8
Zambia Ndola NLA 8
Zimbabwe Harare HRE 8

* To expedite handling, Japan Post has requested that U.S. shippers make the following optional separation of their ISAL mail:
- Mail destined for locations in Japan with post code prefixes 52-93 should be
labeled to Osaka International (OSA).
- Mail destined for all other post code prefixes should be labeled to
Tokyo(TYO).
All ISAL mail that is not optionally separated as specified above should be labeled to Tokyo (TYO).

** Including the Canary Islands.

Return to top of page

293.72 Full Service Rates

ISAL mailings presented at any Post Office facility that accepts bulk mail, other than a Drop Shipment ISC listed in 293.32, and not eligible for the direct shipment rate, are paid at the full-service rates. Postage for regular ISAL is paid on a per-piece and a per-pound basis. M-bags are subject to the M-bag pound rate only.

293.73 Direct Shipment Rates

Mailers are eligible for the direct shipment rates from the acceptance Post Office facility (except Drop Shipment ISCs) when the Postal Service is able to arrange direct transportation from the origin office to the destination country. To qualify, mailers must present a minimum of 750 pounds to each destination country. Mailers must contact the Post Office of mailing at least 14 days before the first desired mailing date. A Postal Service employee must complete PS Form 3655, International Surface Airlift (ISAL) Direct Shipment Option Advisement and Confirmation of Transactions, and fax it to the distribution network office (DNO) to obtain a contract for transportation. If the DNO cannot arrange direct transportation, the direct shipment rate does not apply. The Postal Service may cancel direct shipment rates and service when direct transportation is no longer available.

293.74 Drop Shipment ISC Rates

ISAL mailings transported by the mailer to the Dropship ISCs listed in 293.32 are eligible for the Drop Shipment ISC rate.

293.75 Payment Methods
293.751 Postage Meter, Permit Imprint, or Precanceled Stamps

Postage must be paid by postage meter, permit imprint, or mailer-precanceled stamps. Postage is computed on PS Form 3650, Statement of Mailing - International Surface Air Lift. PS Form 3650 is required for all ISAL mailings.

Return to top of page

293.752 Piece Rate

The applicable per-piece postage must be affixed to each piece (except M-bags) by meter or mailer-precanceled stamps, unless postage is paid by permit imprint. Mailers may use permit imprint only with identical weight pieces unless authorized under the postage mailing systems referenced in DMM 705. All of the permit imprints for printed matter shown in Exhibit 152.3 are acceptable.

293.753 Pound Rate

Postage for the pound rate portion must be paid either by meter stamp(s) attached to the finance copy of the postage statement or from the mailer's advance deposit account.

293.8 Weight and Size Limits

Any item sent by ISAL must conform to the weight and size limits for letter-post as described in 243.

293.9 Preparation Requirements

293.91 Addressing

International Surface Air Lift mail is subject to the addressing requirements contained in 122.

a. Exception: International Surface Air Lift items destined for Canada must have the applicable alphanumeric post code included in the delivery address. See 122.1k for the address formatting requirements that generally apply to mailpieces sent to Canada.

b. Exception: International Surface Air Lift mail in direct country sacks (see 293.942a) is not subject to the interline addressing requirement that is specified in 122.1d. At the sender's risk, the English translation of the destination post office or city name may be omitted from printed addresses that are in Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Japanese, or Chinese characters. An English translation of the country name (e.g., Russia) is still required on the individual mailpieces.

Return to top of page

293.92 Marking

For publishers' periodicals (Periodicals Mail), the imprint authorized under 294.41e may be used. Individual items paid by meter postage or mailer-precanceled stamps must be endorsed "International Surface Air Lift" or "ISAL."

293.93 Sealing and Packaging

Mail that is sent via the ISAL service may be sealed at the sender's option. See 244.4 for the packaging methods that are applicable to all letter-post items.

293.94 Makeup Requirements for ISAL
293.941 Packaging

The following guidelines apply:

a. General. All ISAL mail must be prepared in packages within sacks as appropriate. A package is defined as 10 or more pieces of mail to the same country or separation or 1 pound or more regardless of the number of pieces. Packages of letter-size mail pieces should be no thicker than approximately a handful of mail (4 to 6 inches). Packages of flat-size mail may be thicker than 6 inches but must not weigh more than 11 pounds. Packages and sacks must be prepared and labeled as described below. All mailpieces in a package must be "faced" in the same direction (i.e., arranged so that the addresses read in the same direction, with an address visible on the top piece). Pieces that cannot be bundled because of their physical characteristics may be placed loose in the sack.

b. Thickness. Packages of letter-size mail should be no thicker than approximately a handful of mail (4 to 6 inches). Packages of flat-size mail may be thicker than 6 inches but must not weigh more than 11 pounds. Each package must be securely tied. Placing rubber bands around the length and then the girth is the preferred method of securing packages of letter-size mail. Plastic strapping placed around the length and then the girth is the preferred method of securing packages of flat-size mail.

c. Direct Country Packages. When there are 10 or more pieces or 1 pound or more to the same country, then such pieces must be prepared as a direct country package. If there is less than 11 pounds of mail to the same country, then the direct country package must be labeled with a facing slip showing the destination country or country separation. The facing slip must be placed on the address side of the top piece of each package in such a manner that it will not become separated from the package. The pressure-sensitive labels and optional endorsement lines used domestically for presort mail are prohibited for International Surface Air Lift Mail.

d. Residual Packages. If there is not enough mail to prepare a direct country package (fewer than 10 pieces or less than 1 pound), the mail is considered residual mail. When there are fewer than 10 pieces to the same country, then such pieces should be combined in packages with other mail for countries within the same rate group that similarly have fewer than 10 pieces. Such mixed country packages must be labeled with a facing slip marked "Residual, Rate Group ___." The designated rate group (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8) must be inserted as appropriate. The facing slip must be placed on the address side of the top piece of each package in such a manner that it will not become separated from the package. The pressure-sensitive labels and optional endorsement lines used domestically for presort mail are prohibited for International Surface Air Lift Mail.

Exception: The 10-piece criterion is when there are fewer than 10 pieces to the same country and those pieces weigh more than 11 pounds. Such mailpieces should be packaged together as a direct country package and placed in a direct country sack. Pieces that cannot be packaged because of their physical characteristics may be placed loose in the sack.

Return to top of page

293.942 Sacking

Once packages of ISAL mail are prepared, the packages are then placed into one of three types of designated sacks:

a. Direct Country Sack. Prepare a direct country sack if there are at least 11 pounds of mail to the same country. The mail must be packaged and enclosed in a plastic sack and labeled to the country with PS Tag 155, Surface Airlift Mail. The maximum weight of a direct country sack must not exceed 66 pounds.

b. Mixed Country Package Sack. Prepare a mixed country package sack for those direct country packages where there is less than 11 pounds of mail to the same country. The mail must be packaged as direct country packages, identified with a facing slip showing the destination country or country separation, and enclosed in a green pouch labeled to the dropship ISAL service center. PS Tag 155 also must be attached to the sack. Prepare a mixed country package sack for each of the respective rate groups for which there is a direct country package and label as follows:

• Rate group 1 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 2 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 3 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 4 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 5 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 6 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 7 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 8 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

c. Residual Sack. Prepare a residual sack for those packages of mail that contain fewer than 10 pieces or less than 1 pound of mail to any one country (residual packages). The mail must be packaged as residual packages, appropriately identified with a facing slip, and enclosed in a green pouch labeled to the Drop Shipment ISAL service center. PS Tag 155 also must be attached to the sack. The mailer must prepare a residual sack for each of the respective rate groups for which there is a residual package and label it as follows:

• Rate group 1 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 2 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 3 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 4 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 5 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 6 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 7 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 8 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

Return to top of page

293.943 Sack Labeling

Depending on the type of sack, labels are prepared as follows:

a. Direct Country Sack. For a direct country sack, use a plastic sack. Use PS Tag 155 to label each sack with the destination country's name. Mailers must complete four blocks on PS Tag 155:

(1) To (Pour) Block: Enter the name of the ISAL country foreign exchange office, its three-letter exchange office code, and the country's name. See Exhibit 293.71 for the name of the foreign exchange office and its three-letter exchange office code. As an example, for Ireland, this block will be as follows:

Dublin DUB Ireland

(2) Customer Permit No. Block: Enter permit number.

(3) Kg. Block: Enter the combined weight of the sack and its contents in kilograms (1 pound = 0.4536 kilogram).

(4) Date Block: Enter date as shown on PS Form 3650, Statement of Mailing - International Surface Air Lift.

After completing the above items on PS Tag 155, attach it to the neck of the sack.

b. Mixed Country Package Sack. For a mixed country package sack, use a domestic green nylon pouch and label it to the appropriate Drop Shipment ISAL service center as follows:

• Rate group 1 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 2 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 3 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 4 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 5 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 6 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 7 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 8 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

Labels are prepared as follows:

Content:
Line 1: Drop Shipment ISAL Service Center
Line 2: ISAL DRX
Line 3: Mailer, Mailer Location

Example:

AMC KENNEDY - JFK 003
ISAL DRX
ABC COMPANY, NEW YORK, NY

For the mixed country package sack label, use Content Identification Number (CIN) 753.

In addition, use PS Tag 155 to label each sack with the appropriate Drop Shipment ISAL service center. Mailers must complete four blocks on PS Tag 155:

(1) To (Pour) Block: Enter the name of the Drop Shipment ISAL service center and rate group:

• Rate group 1 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 2 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 3 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 4 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 5 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 6 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 7 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 8 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

(2) Customer Permit No. Block: Enter your permit.

(3) Kg. Block: Enter the combined weight of the sack and its contents in kilograms (1 pound = 0.4536 kilogram).

(4) Date Block: Enter date as shown on PS Form 3650.

After completing the above items on PS Tag 155, attach it to the sack.

c. Residual Sack. For a residual sack, use a domestic green nylon pouch and label it to the appropriate Drop Shipment ISAL service center as follows:

• Rate group 1 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 2 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 3 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 4 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 5 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 6 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 7 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 8 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

Labels are prepared as follows:

Content:
Line 1: Drop Shipment ISAL Service Center
Line 2: ISAL WKG
Line 3: Mailer, Mailer Location

Example:

AMC KENNEDY - JFK 003
ISAL WKG
ABC COMPANY, NEW YORK, NY

For the residual sack label, use CIN 754.

In addition, use PS Tag 155 to label each sack with the appropriate Drop Shipment ISAL service center. Mailers must complete three blocks on PS Tag 155:

(1) To (Pour) Block: Enter the name of the Drop Shipment ISAL service center and rate group:

• Rate group 1 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 2 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 3 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 4 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 5 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

• Rate group 6 - AMC Miami 33159

• Rate group 7 - AMC San Francisco 941

• Rate group 8 - AMC Kennedy - JFK 003

(2) Customer Permit No. Block: Enter your 10-digit ISAL permit or customer identification number.

(3) Kg. Block: Enter the combined weight of the sack and its contents in kilograms (1 pound = 0.4536 kilogram).

(4) Date Block: Enter date as shown on PS Form 3650.

After completing the above items on PS Tag 155, attach it to the sack.

Return to top of page

293.944 Sack Separation

When presenting an ISAL shipment to the Postal Service, the mailer must physically separate the sacks of mail by type (direct, mixed, residual) and rate group (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) at time of mailing.

293.945 ISAL M-Bags

Subject to the provisions of 260, Direct Sacks of Printed Matter to One Addressee (M-bags) may be entered as ISAL mail and sent to all destination countries that are referenced in Exhibit 293.71. When using that method of mail preparation, the sender must complete PS Tag 155, Surface Airlift Mail, and PS Tag 158, M-bag Addressee Tag, and securely attach each of those tags to the neck of the sack. Merchandise items, in combination with related printed matter, may be placed into ISAL M-bags, provided that the contents and method of preparation conform to the requirements that are specified in 261.22.

293.95 Mailer Notification

Mailers who wish to mail shipments that weigh over 750 pounds but who are not eligible for direct shipment rates must notify the ISAL coordinator at the office of mailing at least 14 days before the planned date of mailing. Specific country information and weight per country must be provided. No prior notification is required for mailers with 750 pounds or less.

Go to previous section of document Link to chapter contents    Link to index Go to next section of document