US Postal Service to Ireland worked well (May 2016)
We have just moved to Ireland as of yesterday. We spent the past few weeks sorting through our belongings, giving lots away to charity and relatives, putting some in storage in Seattle (and also have some in Atlanta), and sending the things we value most to Ireland using USPS International Priority Mail. This is the least expensive option that the USPS offers to Ireland, with a 66 LBS maximum weight. That heaviest box would cost about $250. $200 insurance comes with that, and you can add up to $450 more insured value for a small insurance fee. The postage fee is by weight but there is a max size limit (109 inches girth plus height, I think. Our boxes were 18" cubes, "heavy duty medium" from Lowes or Home Depot). It comes out to about $44 for an empty box, and everything in it is about $2/lb extra. For one high-value box with lots of electronics, I filled out the detailed Transfer of Residence form for the Irish Customs to exempt it from paying any customs or VAT. That worked. But may not have been needed, as we mailed about 15 other big boxes with only very brief descriptions of their contents, and none were opened or got held up in customs. An Post delivered our large, heavy parcels to my Irish wife's family home. It is important to address them to someone who can sign for them, as one box was addressed to my wife (Mairead) and it was kept at the Delivery Service Centre of An Post until we could collect it ourselves today. It took only 5-7 days for each of the parcels to travel from Seattle to Ireland (Arklow), and they were trackable the whole way. In the end, we spent about $3000 to mail about 700 lbs of our things to Ireland, much cheaper than any shipping container, and way faster and no customs hassles at all. I salute all the hard work done by both the USPS and An Post, to get our stuff here safely and quickly! Well done!
Let me know by replying to this thread if you have any questions or comments about your own experiences mailing parcels full of personal belongings to Ireland via USPS.
-Steve, Mairead's husband
Thanks for this info. It's really helpful.
I'm glad to hear that you and Mairead arrived safely, and ALL your boxes.
About 10 years ago when i first made the move back to Ireland, I also used the boxes via USPS method. I can't recall exactly, but I think we sent 20+, and one went missing. All others arrived fully in tact.
5-7 days is incredible! Most people wait 4 to 6 months when shipping via freight. By the sounds of it, I actually think your way is a bit more expensive, but worth it for the speed, and also it saves you from having to rebuy anything to fill the gap while waiting for a shipment.
For moves where you're not bringing anything large (furniture etc) I definitely recommend your way. Far less stressful!
Thanks for the update. Hope you're settling in well
Definitely good information.
Thank you Mairead and Steve! This is super helpful!
It is good to have such detailed information about your USPS experience, especially as we are in Seattle. With the furniture we will have to ship, much will go in a container, but for some things the USPS would be superior for the speed and convenience.