New EU Customs regulations for parcels posted from non-EU countries, including Britain, came into effect on 1st July 2021 and these require the sender to provide electronic customs information for each parcel. Customs charges may also apply, and these fees must be paid by customers before An Post is allowed to deliver their items.
Over 90% of all parcels enter Ireland and go straight out on delivery. Almost all the large non-EU retailers, including British brands such as M&S, River Island and Boots have worked with An Post to provide a simple and clear ‘duty paid’ facility at the online checkout to pay all VAT and customs charges up front so these parcels can be delivered straightaway.
More problematic are parcels which come in via other postal services such as Royal Mail, USPS etc because the senders, typically a small business or individual personal customers are unaware of the new complex data and tax requirements. Unlike parcels which are posted in bulk from large non-EU retailers who An Post can advise and assist with the new rules, An Post has no simple way of advising the personal customers or small businesses posting parcels to Ireland from outside the EU, and whose own postal operators or trade organisations are not providing sufficient guidance on the new regulations, required customs data and prohibited items.
Despite these issues not being of our making or within our direct control, An Post is making every effort to communicate directly with non-EU customers, trade organisations and SME representatives in order to get the message out, particularly in Britain.
In addition to information campaigns at home and abroad, An Post has developed a range of technology and process solutions to facilitate parcels through Customs and on to delivery, and is working closely with Royal Mail and other postal services to help inform their customers; and to develop ‘duty-paid’ solutions (ie pay all charges at the online check-out).
Anything that customers may need to know about sending or receiving parcels and An Post’s list of online retailers can be found at anpost.com/customs
An Post is committed to helping its customers in Ireland to manage these new global changes by:
Working with Irish Customs and International postal services, particularly Royal Mail, to help ease delivery delays for customers awaiting items purchased or posted by retailers, family or friends in non-EU countries, especially Britain.
Providing advice to consumers across multiple communications channels on how to get the most from shopping online, how to avoid some of the pitfalls that can lead to delivery delays or non-delivery, and to ensure that charges are paid safely and securely.
Delivering a Guide to Online Shopping by postal mail to every address in the country (1.1 million addresses). This has been delivered in recent weeks and customer information campaigns have been running across digital and social channels
Developing a range of supports and advice for smaller, specialist non-EU retailers. An Post is also making more information available to Irish customers to send on to their family, friends and favoured e-tailers in non-EU countries, including Britain, about how to post into Ireland in accordance with EU Customs rules this Christmas.
Allaying customer concerns about fraudulent payment notices by having our trusted, uniformed An Post delivery staff call to customers to deliver notifications of Customs and VAT charges which may be paid securely online or at any post office. A text or email notification may also be sent.
Extending our Customer Care team and service hours to assist personal customers and SMEs with queries and advice online, by email and by phone. More detailed information on all aspects of the EU Customs requirements is available at anpost.com/customs and anpost.com/sending
We advise our customers to shop local wherever possible, in-store or online; to shop from EU retailers as they are not subject to any customs or VAT charges; or from non-EU brands (including larger British retailers) who enable shoppers to pay all customs or VAT charges upfront at the time of purchase.
We also advise customers receiving parcels (either online shopping or personal goods) from outside the EU to check with the sender that they are completing all the appropriate documentation in advance for every parcel they send to Ireland through the post. EU Customs rules now restrict / prohibit a range of goods and substances from being posted into the EU from non-EU countries and the rules dictate that these items must be returned to sender. More information at www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/prohibitions-and-restrictions/index.aspx
Source: An Post