Sending letters and packages can be a wonderful way to keep in touch with loved ones and friends serving overseas. The following guidelines are offered to assist in properly preparing your letter or package.
Important: Plan in advance for special occasions. Once an item is mailed, it could take up to four weeks for the mail to be delivered to the addressee in theatre. If an individual in theatre is consistently experiencing more than four weeks for mail to arrive, it is recommended that the individual discuss the matter with their serving Canadian Forces postal support personnel in theatre.
The following are specific guidelines for this service.
(Note: Oversize and overweight parcels will not be accepted)
When mailing by Canada Post, a Canada Customs declaration form is required with every parcel departing or entering Canada signed by the sender of the parcel. Customs authorities of the destination country may examine all mail and may confiscate any prohibited item. Such items may lead to criminal charges being laid against the sender. Ensure that the parcel is wrapped properly and securely and use packing tape. Do not use string to bind the parcel.
Weight: Maximum 20 Kg (Approximately 44 lb).
Two conditions must be met regarding size:
- maximum length is one metre (Approx 39"); and
- the maximum length plus girth is two meters (Approx 79")
- (the definition of girth = width + height + width + height).
Exceptions to the above guidelines
- Canadian Ships = Size: shoe box size
- APO Address = Size: shoe box size, Frequency: 1 box per month
- Democratic Republic of Congo = Authorized senders only, Weight: 27.5 lbs per 6 month period
All parcels are subject to inspection by the host country’s Customs Officials. Therefore, a detailed list of contents must be included on all parcels. Batteries should be sent in the original packaging and not loose or in a device. No article may be sent by mail if their nature or packaging may expose postal employees to hazards, or damage other items of mail.
Mailing the following items is strictly prohibited:
Total value of all contents should not exceed $214
- alcohol or tobacoo product;
- weapons, including replicas;
- explosives, radioactive materials or ammunition;
- lighters/ matches;
- animal products;
- flammable liquids or solids;
- compressed gas;
- propane cigarette lighters;
- corrosive fluids;
- obscene magazines or pictures;
- drugs/medication; and
- perishable items.
- Write the address on the front of the parcel
- Consult the addresses for overseas operation page on the Forces website
- Write the CF member’s service number, rank, name, and the deployment unit
- All parcels shall contain a list of: Contents, Quantity of each item, Value of each item, Weight.
- Write your return address including your name and phone number
- Ensure that the parcel is wrapped properly and securely and use packing tape. Do not use string to bind the parcel.
(Note: Oversize and overweight parcels will not be accepted)
Download Address Template
The Morale Mail service provides families and friends within Canada a cost-free alternative to using Canada Post to send care packages to those serving at a CF deployed operation.
Eligibility - Families and friends within Canada may send letters and parcels to Canadian Forces members, DND employees, CFPSA personnel, and CF Contractors.
Delivery time frame – because Morale Mail is often sent only once weekly from locations across Canada, it may take as long as 28 days from the time of mailing to delivery to the addressee in Theatre.
Indemnity or expediency – if there is a concern, it is strongly encouraged that the item is sent via Canada Post with an appropriate amount of insurance or with a service that has a faster delivery time such as Canada Post Express Post or Priority Courier service.
Where to mail – Download our list of drop off location
- Within the National Capital Region (Ottawa) - Morale Mail may be sent within the internal mail system. It is essential to write “Via HCC” on the item to the right of the address.
- Mailing Guidelines - As per the Guidelines for mailing by Canada Post. Customs Documentation is not required but the contents must be written on all parcels; just below the return address is an ideal location to list the contents.
- Charitable Donations/Humanitarian Aid - not acceptable within the Morale Mail system and will be returned to sender. Donations to the troops - not accepted in Morale Mail. Please refer to the Donations web page.
- Security Screening - Senders are encouraged to place their address and phone number on the top left corner of the parcel thus enabling the CF Postal Service to contact them should there be address or content concerns. If the parcel contains questionable contents and there is no return address, the parcel will be opened, the contents verified, prohibited items removed, a letter enclosed explaining the actions of the CF Postal Service, and the parcel sent to the addressee. A record of the parcel, the contents removed, a copy of the enclosed letter, and disposition of the contents will be maintained by the CF Postal Service.
- Loss of personal property - Morale Mail Service is not recommended for sending personal property or items of any significant value. For those items, customers are advised to use the Canada Post mail service and to purchase insurance. DND employees and CF members wishing to submit a claim for damage or loss pursuant to Defence Administrative Orders and Directives 7004-2 are to complete and submit the form according to the guidelines at DAOD 7004-2B and submit to their serving AJAG office.
- Limitation of Liability - As this service is provided entirely by the Canadian Forces, no claim is to be raised against Canada Post Corporation. Except as specified at the “Loss of personal property” paragraph above. The Canadian Force Postal Service and the Department of National Defence shall not be responsible for any direct, indirect, general, special or consequential damages regardless of whether such damages result from the loss or mishandling, damage or delay in delivering of items mailed through Morale Mail service.
- Return mail service - The Morale Mail service should not be used if the addressee is scheduled to return to Canada within four weeks of the mailing date. Should a parcel be undeliverable in theatre, the parcel shall be taxed, and forwarded to the addressee in Canada. If the addressee did not leave any forwarding address, the parcel shall be taxed and returned to sender. If there is no forwarding information or return address, the parcel shall be opened in an effort to discover where the parcel is to be sent and, failing that, the contents disposed of in theatre.
- Inquiries - To ask a question regarding the Morale Mail service, please send an e-mail to POSTAL_QUESTION_POSTALE@forces.gc.ca.