GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The United States Postal Service (USPS) found new processes to safeguard its customers and employees as the COVID-19 pandemic changes the way the world does business, according to USAG Bavaria USPS postmaster Jaye Bakalars.
“We weren’t prepared for a pandemic,” Bakalars, said. “I’m very proud of my staff. We are getting mail delivered as expeditiously as we can, safely.”
“Online customs forms are now mandatory,” Bakalars said.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency requires them, when mailing packages to the United States.
“That caught some of our customers off guard,” Bakalars said. “But we are taking the customers through the process who have never done it before.”
One customer surprised by the change was USAG Bavaria’s chief of operations, Pete Huller.
“I brought in a handwritten customs form and was shocked that it was no longer accepted,” Huller said. “But the gentleman inside the post office was very accommodating and helped me fill out the form online.”
At both Rose and Tower Barracks, the USPS now provides computers and printer capabilities in the lobby so customers can fill out their forms on-site.
“Customer dwell time in our lobby — before the online customs — was unbelievable. A customer could spend an hour in our office filling out their customs form,” said Richard Sturm, custodian of postal effects with USAG Bavaria USPS. “By Christmas, there will be a priority lane dedicated to Click-N-Ship. If you don’t want to wait, this is the trick. It takes less than a minute for us to accept your package, give you the receipt, then you are out the door.”
Customers wanting to ship packages are encouraged to print their customs forms from the comfort of their homes. And to speed up the process of shipping packages, customers are also urged to sign-up for a Click-N-Ship account.