Royal Mail delivery van

Royal Mail: Shipments to Ireland Continue to Encounter Customs Clearing Problems and Are Being Returned

Royal Mail reports that parcels sent to Ireland are continuing to encounter problems with Irish Customs and are being returned to shippers in the UK.

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The UK postal operator said, “this disruption is being caused by the implementation of new import controls which are resulting in the return of some items by the Irish Customs authorities.”

Royal Mail is trying to sort out the issue with An Post, Irelands postal operator, to help identify new processes and improve the flow of mail into the country. But it seems this problem continues to create problems for online retailers during one of the most inconvenient times of the year.

An Post is blaming the issue on insufficient or invalid electronic customs declarations made by retailers or senders that do not conform to Ireland’s customs regulations.

In response, Royal Mail maintains a page on their website that tries to help UK shippers comply with the new regulations and offers best practices suggestions for parcels destined to Ireland.

In addition, An Post on its site says that all parcels entering Ireland must contain the following information:

  • A valid HS/Tariff Code
  • A valid item description
  • Country of origin
  • Item value
  • Postage, insurance, freight paid
  • Sender name, address details
  • Addressee name, address
  • Packet/parcel weight

The Irish postal operator also has an online tool to help shippers identify the appropriate HS/Tariff Code available here.

Update 21 November 2021: Royal Mail says that the Irish Customs Authority has notified them they have relaxed their import controls on certain goods and HS codes. Shippers are urged to visit Royal Mail’s site for the latest shipment restrictions and prohibitions here.

Royal Mail Also Reports Some Issues to Other EU Countries

A combination of BREXIT and the introduction of new VAT rules for shipments to EU countries is to blame for these problems. While the new customs regulations and processes went into effect in July, they are continuing to create challenges for UK shippers.

Royal Mail has also reported that shipments to other EU countries are experiencing some customs clearance delays as well, but the Irish problem seems to be the biggest headache at the moment.

For UK-based sellers that are just ramping up sales for the holiday season – and who have had little experience with export sales into the EU recently – it would be best to review this information from Royal Mail to minimize problems and delays with export shipments.

It seems almost one year later; BREXIT is still dogging SMEs.

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