Royal Mail has temporarily suspended its mail services to a number of destinations, due to issues surrounding Covid-19 and customs processing.
The Royal Mail says: “Items are leaving the UK on time but we are experiencing significant delays to a number of EU countries as a result of both new customs processes and ongoing Covid-19 measures.
“Our service to other destinations is operating normally.
“We are working with our airline and postal/courier partners to maintain services across the globe, however delays should be expected as a result of Covid-19 measures.
“The number of countries we can access is changing daily.”
Destinations ‘on suspension’
Despite claiming that operations are normal, the Royal Mail says that it “strongly advises” customers not to send items to destinations listed as “on suspension”.
There are five locations listed as on suspension:
- Haiti: the Royal Mail says that it is currently not sending items to Haiti as there are no available transport links - items sent here will be held and you will experience significant delays
- Iran (Islamic Republic of): the Royal Mail says that despatches to Iran are temporarily suspended as its air carrier has cancelled flights between the UK and Iran due to the current Covid-19 situation - items already in the pipeline will be held pending resumption of flights
- Nicaragua: Items are currently not being sent to Nicaragua because there are no available transport links - items sent will be held and you’ll experience significant delays
- Ukraine (Crimea and Sevastopol Regions): Mail despatches to Donets 83-87, Luhansk 91-94, Crimea 95-98 and Sevastopol 99 are suspended until further notice
- Venezuela: items are currently not being sent to Venezuela as the ‘in-country’ postal service has suspended operations until further notice - items sent will be held and you’ll experience significant delays
In addition to these locations listed as “on suspension”, a number of other destinations are also experiencing significant delays.
These destinations include the likes of Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain. Reasons for these delays range from Covid-19 precautions, severe weather problems and customs issues.
Sending items abroad
If you’re looking to send goods (including gifts) abroad to a country outside of the UK, you’ll need to fill out a customs form - unless you’re sending items from Northern Ireland to the EU, where no customs declarations are required for sending gifts or goods.
Otherwise, you’ll need to complete a customs declaration form (CN22 or CN23). Items sent without a customs declaration or an incorrectly or partially filled declaration may be delayed or returned to the sender.
For items with a value up to £270, use one of the following:
- For International Tracked, International Tracked and signed and International Signed services, you can print and complete form CN22A
- For use on the Royal Mail International Standard and International Economy services, use orm CN22B - do not print and complete the example on the Royal Mail website, but instead obtain a form with a unique barcode from your local Post Office
For items with a value over £270, use customs declaration form CN23.