When you have a fee to pay
Additional postage and customs fees
I’ve received a card asking me for payment, what does it mean?
We're holding an item of mail for you that we haven't delivered yet as there is a fee that needs to be paid first. You've been sent an item of mail and either not enough postage was paid when it was sent, or it's come from a country outside the UK and there's a Customs charge to pay. Don't worry - you'll still get your mail as we're holding it for you. All you need to do is pay the fee stated on the card.
Where can I pay?
Please note, we will never call you and ask for payment over the phone.
• You can pay online right now
• In person at our enquiry office - the address will be on the card. Don't forget to take the card and proof of identity for the person named on the card.
• Post it to us. Follow the instructions on the card and post it back to us, then we'll deliver your item.
When do I get my item?
- Paying online - you can choose the day we deliver to ensure someone is home.
- Paying in person - once you’ve paid at our enquiry office, we'll give you your item there and then.
- Paying by post - we'll deliver your item to you, if there's no one home and it’s too big for your letterbox or needs a signature, we will leave a 'Something for you' card.
What is the reference number?
There may be a reference number provided at the bottom of the card. This number will help us to identify your item for redelivery. Don't worry if there isn't a reference number you can still pay your fee.
What if the date on my card is more than 18 days ago?
We will hold your item for 18 calendar days. We will then return it to the sender. If your item has a Customs charge to pay, we will hold it for 21 calendar days before returning to the sender.
What are the fees for?
• You pay the deficient postage for the item, in addition to a £1.00 fee the total is shown on the card
• The amount of underpayment is calculated against the service used. Where there are no markings on an item to indicate which service was used, we will charge the 2nd Class rate. For items that weigh more than 750g, we will charge the Small or Medium Parcel rate, whichever is applicable.
• If an item was clearly intended to be sent by 1st Class, we will handle and charge against the 1st Class rate.
• If your item has had a Customs charge applied it will include a handling fee of £8.00.
What if I don’t pay the fee?
We will return the item to the sender after 18 calendar days or 21 calendar days for any items with a Customs charge.
What proof of Identification do I need?
To keep your mail as secure as possible, we require proof of identification as well as your ‘Fee to pay’ card when you collect your items.
You can use the following forms of ID:
•Credit or debit card.
•Bank or building society cheque book.
•Bank or building society savings book.
•NHS Medical Card.
•Photo Identity Card (Foreign National, Military, Police Warrant, Royal Mail Employee).
If someone else is collecting the item on your behalf, you will need to give them your ‘Fee to Pay card” and an item of your ID as listed above.
For children (16 and younger):
If you are collecting on behalf of a child who, due to their age, does not have any of the above listed ID then you will be able to collect the item as long as you bring the ‘Fee to Pay’ card we left plus 2 other forms of identification for yourself from the list above: Photo iD and proof you live at the address the card was delivered to.
Receiving mail from countries outside the UK
All mail that enters the UK may be examined by Customs. Normally letters, postcards and parcels containing only documents or similar forms of correspondence are excluded.
If you are receiving a parcel from a country outside the EU it may incur Customs charges. Any parcel assessed as being liable for Customs charges will also incur a Royal Mail handling fee of £8.
Any goods imported into the UK over the value of £15 are liable to import VAT. Gifts between private individuals over the value of £36 are also liable for VAT. Goods and gifts over these values may also be liable for customs duty. You no longer have to pay Customs duty for goods up to the value of £135, however you will still be required to pay import VAT and excise duty where applicable.
Please note these limits do not apply to alcohol and tobacco goods where both excise duty and import VAT may be charged. It is not permitted to send alcohol and tobacco products into the UK from another EU country unless prior arrangements have been made to account for the excise duty.
For more details please check the HM Revenue & Customs guide to Shopping
I don’t believe my item should have incurred a Customs charge, what should I do?
If,after paying for your item, you believe the charges have been wrongly applied we recommend you contact Border Force. If your challenge is successful, the charges will be refunded. If Border Force were responsible for the original charging error, the refund will also include our £8.00 handling fee .If however, the goods have been mis-declared the RM handling fee will be non-refundable. Details on how to challenge the charges can be found on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
HM Revenue & Customs is the main point of contact for enquiries about why items are charged, what the charges are, and general customs advice. For more information, please see Notice 143 on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
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