An Post launches European customs information campaign for customers

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An Post, the national postal operator for the Republic of Ireland, has launched an information campaign to advise customers on new EU customs rules for parcels coming from third countries, including the UK.

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Having started on October 16, the company’s customer information ads will continue to run in newspapers, digital and social channels, and on radio over the coming weeks.

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Since the new EU customs regulations for parcels posted from non-EU countries, including the United Kingdom, came into effect on July 1, 2021, senders must provide electronic customs information for each package. However, many customers remain confused about the process and experience postage disappointments and unexpected customs fees as a result. The customers who have the most problems are those who send their packages through other postal services.

As shippers, typically small businesses or individual customers, are unaware of complex new data and tax requirements, they frequently experience delivery delays, non-deliveries, and concerns about payment advice. fraudulent.

However, unlike parcels mailed in bulk by large non-EU retailers, An Post does not have an easy way to advise personal customers or small businesses dropping off parcels in Ireland from outside the EU. In addition to information campaigns at home and abroad, An Post has developed a range of technologies and processing solutions to facilitate the passage of parcels through customs and delivery and works with Royal Mail and other postal services to help educate their customers while developing “paid” solutions (ie paying all charges when paying online).

An Post is committed to helping its customers in Ireland manage these new global changes through six key strategies. The first of these works with Irish Customs and international postal services, particularly Royal Mail, to help reduce delivery delays for customers awaiting items purchased or posted by retailers, family or friends in non-EU countries. Second, An Post intends to advise consumers across multiple communication channels on how to get the most out of online shopping, how to avoid some of the pitfalls that can lead to delivery delays or nondelivery, and to ensure that fees are paid securely. Third, the company will send an “Online Shopping Guide” by post to every address in the country (1.1 million addresses). At the same time, customer information campaigns were broadcast on digital and social channels throughout October 2021.

Another strategy underway is the development of the range of advice for small specialist retailers outside the EU. An Post also makes more information available for Irish customers to send to family, friends and preferred e-merchants in non-EU countries including the UK on how to post to Ireland in accordance with EU customs rules this Christmas. Additionally, the company plans to allay customer concerns about fraudulent payment advice by asking our trusted, uniformed An Post delivery staff to call customers to send them notifications of customs charges and VAT. which can be paid securely online or at any post office. SMS or email notification can also be sent. Finally, the company will expand its customer service team and hours of service to assist retail and small business customers with questions and advice online, by email and by phone.

Overall, An Post advises customers receiving packages (whether online purchases or personal goods) from outside the EU to verify with the sender that they complete all appropriate paperwork in advance for each package they send to Ireland by post. EU customs rules now restrict the sending of a range of goods and substances into the EU from non-EU countries and the rules dictate that these items must be returned to the sender.

The company advises its customers to buy local whenever possible, in-store or online. They also advise customers to buy from EU retailers as they are free of any customs or VAT charges or from non-European brands (including major UK retailers) which allow buyers to pay all charges. customs or VAT charges in advance at the time of purchase.

Angus Laverty, Head of Public Affairs for An Post, said: “An Post is committed to helping customers manage these new global changes and meet the challenges posed by new EU customs rules. We strive to communicate directly with non-EU customers, trade organizations and SME representatives to get the message across, especially in Great Britain. We have also developed a range of technologies and processing solutions to facilitate the passage of packages through customs and through to delivery, and we work closely with Royal Mail and other postal services to help keep their customers informed. and develop “rights paid” solutions.

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