The Global Advantage Program (GAP, for short) is an economical method to ship internationally. If you have a Stamps.com account, you are automatically enrolled in the Global Advantage Program.
ShipStation prints a domestic label that directs the packages to the nearest international sorting facility, where the package will be relabled and forwarded to their final international destination.
ShipStation prints a domestic label (as shown above, with a scannable barcode for USPS and an international tracking number).
ShipStation submits the Customs Declarations to Stamps.com (or Endicia) electronically.
USPS ships the package to the nearest sorting facility.
Sorting facility staff relabels the package.
International carrier ships the package to its final destination.
Since January 21st, 2018, the USPS no longer allows First Class Mail International (FCMI) service using the Large Envelope/Flat package type to ship anything but Documents.
For any content type other than Documents, the USPS now requires shipments to use the package type of Package or Thick Envelope.
ShipStation will automatically print a Global Advantage Program label for shipments with the following settings:
Service: USPS First Class International
Package: Large Envelope/Flat
Package Contents: Anything other than Documents
If you do not wish to participate in the Global Advantage Program, you must select Package or Thick Envelope from the package type drop-down menu when shipping via USPS First Class Mail International, unless the customs declaration Package Contents is set as Documents.
For more details on the USPS change, including what does and does not meet the criteria for a document, read the Stamps.com blog post.
If an error is returned in the Rate field in ShipStation, or when you attempt to create a label, you may have a Stamps.com account with a negotiated service agreement. If this is the case, your Stamps.com (or Endicia) account may not be eligible for the Global Advantage Program. Please contact your Stamps.com or Endicia representative for further information.
Do not choose Documents for content type if the content does not conform to the USPS criteria for documents. If the contents of the package do not meet the USPS criteria for documents, the USPS Automatic Package Verification (APV) has the ability to post-charge your account the difference between the Large Envelope/Flat rate and the Package rate (which can be $7 or more).
The Global Advantage Program can also be used for other First Class Mail and Priority Mail services, but this must first be set up through Stamps.com directly.
The international tracking number will track the package to the sorting facility and may track the package to the destination country as well, depending on the country.
See Global Advantage Program FAQ for more information.