How do I get international return postage

International consignments and mail

The dispatch of goods in normal international letters has been prohibited since January 2019. Only documents may be sent in it. According to Deutsche Post, documents are: "written, drawn, printed or digital messages and information".

Paketda has tested: Which documents are allowed in letters abroad? Abstract: Books are not documents. Photos are documents.


Alternatives for international shipping

► The shipping method DHL Päckchen XS International is available to private customers.

► Corporate customers can use Warenpost International for at least 5 shipments per quarter.

► Private eBay sellers: classify yourself as a commercial seller and open a business customer account at shop.deutschepost.de to use Warenpost International.


Infographic single view

The information in this guide is as of 1/2021 and has been researched to the best of our knowledge, but without guarantee. You can also use the linked Deutsche Post websites to find out about certain shipping methods.

Table of Contents

  1. International letters from € 3.70
  2. Registered international mail for € 3.50 surcharge
  3. International value shipping
  4. Goods mail international
  5. Who can use Warenpost International?

International letter from € 3.70

When sending international letters, the postage for large and maxi letters is based on weight. Regardless of the weight level, the maximum dimensions are as follows:

  • Length + width + height may add up to a maximum of 90 cm
  • The longest side can be a maximum of 60 cm
  • Minimum dimensions: 9cm wide and 14cm long

The weight and postage levels are:

  • Large international letters up to 500 grams: € 3.70
  • Maxi letter international up to 1 kilogram: € 7.00
  • Maxi letter international up to 2 kilograms: € 17.00

Incidentally, the "letter" dispatch type does not mean that an envelope must be used. You can also use a box as long as the maximum dimensions are observed.

Please note, however, that "International Letter" can only be used to send documents. Goods are forbidden. Documents can also be packed in a cardboard box.

Sending books abroad: It is noted in the Deutsche Post FAQ that books can only be sent internationally as goods mail (for business customers). Sending books in international standard letters is therefore excluded.

Deutsche Post information page: www.deutschepost.de/de/b/briefe-ins-ausland.html

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Registered international mail for € 3.50 surcharge

For € 3.50 surcharge on regular postage, you can send an international standard letter as registered international mail (return receipt costs an additional € 2.20 surcharge). The advantages of registered mail are shipment tracking and insurance protection.

Registered international mail is insured against loss with 30 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). SDRs are an international accounting currency whose current value in euros can be calculated on the de.coinmill.com website. Experience shows that the value fluctuates between 35 and 40 euros (as of 2019).

Is a registered letter faster than a normal letter? No, registered mail is not preferred and is just as fast as normal letters. This applies within Germany and when shipping abroad.

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International value shipping

The shipping method International value was severely restricted in 2019. It can only be used as follows:

  • From private customers for sending documents by registered mail (no dispatch of goods possible)
  • From business customers in combination with the shipping method "Warenpost International"

At the beginning of 2019, Deutsche Post banned the dispatch of goods in international letters. A DHL package with higher insurance is an alternative for sending valuables abroad. However, the higher insurance is not available for every destination country.

When shipping within the EU, there is a wide range of DPD, GLS, Hermes and UPS. A price comparison with DHL is worthwhile; use our postage comparison calculator.

Business customers of Deutsche Post can book the shipping method "Warenpost International" and combine it with Wert International if desired.

As of 1/2021, Wert International costs a surcharge of 2.00 euros per 100 euros insured value. Goods can be insured up to a maximum of 500 euros.

Details on the conditions for "Wert International" can be found in this Deutsche Post product brochure (PDF) on page 27. Please also note the permissible content on page 28.

Please also read our guide to value postage.

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Goods mail international

Since January 2019, business customers have been able to use the shipping method "Warenpost International" to send goods abroad in letters.

Private customers are prohibited from sending goods in international letters from Deutsche Post. This applies to normal letters as well as registered mail or consignments. More information here at Paketda.

The shipping method Goods mail international was "invented" by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). This is an amalgamation of almost all postal companies in the world.

Because the international shipping of goods - especially from Asia - has risen sharply, a suitable shipping method should be offered. Warenpost International is suitable for small-format products that fit into an envelope. And that is the crux of the matter for the postal companies: letters that contain goods are more complex to sort than letters that only contain documents.

Even before they arrive at the sorting center, international document and goods shipments should be separated so that they can be processed differently. Letters with documents pass through classic letter sorting systems. Letters with goods are misshapen and therefore unsuitable for letter sorting systems. Shipments of goods must either be sorted by hand or using scanning technology that reads the delivery address from the printed barcode.

Deutsche Post handled the separation of document and merchandise shipments for all customers by the end of 2018. Since January 1st, 2019, corporate customers have to do the separation themselves by sending goods with the special shipping method "Warenpost International".

The shipping method "Warenpost International" requires more work from the sender. Because the Deutsche Post requires the digital transmission of shipment information. In addition to the delivery address, this also includes information about the contents of the shipment. This serves to speed up customs clearance in the recipient country. Customs officers no longer have to pick up every letter to check the affixed customs declaration. Instead, customs officers can look through the pre-registrations digitally and filter out suspicious shipments on the PC.


Who can use Warenpost International?

According to Deutsche Post, Warenpost International is aimed at corporate customers who send at least 5 international consignments per quarter. Small and medium-sized senders who send fewer than 500 items per quarter pay the classic postage per item. Large mailers with a volume of more than 500 shipments per quarter can alternatively agree to billing according to the kilo tariff.

Because Warenpost International has to be linked to digital shipment data, the postage cannot be bought in post offices. Postage is purchased on the Deutsche Post website. There you will find all postage levels and maximum dimensions.

▶ Please also note the step-by-step instructions from Paketda for franking goods mail international.



To which countries can Warenpost International be sent?

Countries to which "Warenpost International" can be sent can be found here on the Deutsche Post website.

Below is an example label showing the components of a Warenpost International shipping label. The exact design regulations are available for download on this page.


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Do you have any futher questions on this topic?