Letters and invoices despatched to forces personnel serving overseas by a dedicated service that works in partnership with the Ministry of Defence. The British Forces Post Office® (BFPO) sets special discounted postal rates for personnel on operational duty.
- Send items weighing up to 2kg.
- HM Forces Special Delivery and Recorded Signed For also available.
Find the right price for your mail and print postage from your computer.
Sending HM Forces Mail
Sending letters to HM Forces is straightforward, but there are a few guidelines to observe.
- Don’t write the country of destination when you’re completing a BFPO address.
- Seal the edges of large letters and packages with good quality adhesive tape.
- No need to use an Airmail sticker.
- The same maximum size dimensions for Royal Mail’s international services also apply. These are smaller than our UK domestic mail size limits - and are as follows:
Size and weight limits
Items in the form of a postcard, letter or parcel
Minimum: One surface at least 90mm x 140mm
No single side must be longer than 600mm.
Items in the form of a roll
Minimum: length plus 2 x diameter should be at least 170mm
No single side can be shorter than 100mm.
As with UK domestic mail, BFPO Airmail prices reflect Royal Mail’s current rates, so prices will depend on whether you are sending a letter, large letter or parcel.
Sending HM Forces Special Delivery
If you're sending important correspondence to Forces Personnel overseas, and want a signature taken on delivery then H M Forces Special Delivery is available. This service also provides compensation in the event of loss or damage to items. H M Forces Special Delivery is only available to and from BFPO numbered addresses, although the usual advice of delivery is not available.
HM Forces Recorded Signed For™ is also available. Takes a signature on delivery but offers no compensation.
Customs Regulations apply for BFPO mail. For all BFPO destinations where mail contains goods, regardless of value and whether the BFPO destination is within the EU or not, you’ll need to attach a signed Customs declaration to the package. Read our Customs information.
HM Customs and Excise will pay close attention to all HM Forces Mail arriving in or leaving the UK so it’s important to complete and sign the declaration on Customs label CN22 or CN23. You also need to be aware that the local customs authorities at overseas bases also have the right to examine mail addressed to HM Forces. They may make charges under local regulations. For more about this, read our Customs information or ask at your local Post Office® branch
At your Post Office®
HM Forces Mail is available at all Post Offices®. Find your nearest Post Office®.
You can buy HM Forces Mail online:
Step 1: Use our Price Finder.
Step 2: Using your printer, print postage directly onto envelopes or labels.
Step 3: Take your item to the Post Office® so we can apply the barcode and your Track & Trace information. Find your nearest Post Office®.
Online Business Account (OBA)
One of the easiest ways for you to buy HM Forces Mail is through an Online Business Account (OBA).
Need to set up an account?
If you don’t already have one, you can contact us on 08457 950 950.
Already have an account?
If you already have an account, call us on 08457 950 950. We’ll tell you how to add HM Forces Mail to your account. It will speed things up if you can have your Royal Mail account number to hand when you ring us.
You can use your franking machine to send HM Foces Mail items. Find out more about Franking.
Search help for more answers...
Can I send mail to personnel serving in the armed forces of other countries?
HM Forces Mail services are only for HM Armed Forces personnel serving at BFPO addresses, but this also includes civilian contractors situated at a BFPO address. We don’t have any special postal arrangements with the armed forces of any other nation, so you will need to pay at our usual international rates.Back to top
Can I send HM Forces mail free of charge?
Occasionally, letters for HM Forces personnel on operational duty can be sent free of charge. However, this is usually for a short period such as in the lead-up to Christmas. When this service operates, it is only open to friends and relatives of Forces personnel who are sending personal items via a Post Office® branch and it can’t be used for business mailings.
To check what can be sent free of charge go to the BFPO website or call the BFPO Customer Care Unit on 08457 697978.Back to top