When you have a fee to pay
Additional postage and customs fees
I’ve received a 'Fee to pay' card. What does it mean?
An item has been sent to you and either: not enough postage was paid for the item when it was sent or your item has come from abroad 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 which we sent to you.
Where can I pay?
Please note, we will never call you and ask for payment over the phone.
• You can pay online right now
• At your local Delivery Office. Bring the card to the Delivery Office stated on the fee to pay card and pay the charge there. Please remember to bring proof of your identity.
• Send it to us. Affix postage amounting to the value to be paid on the other side of the fee to pay card, send the card back to us. and we'll deliver your item to you.
How do I get my item?
- If you paid online, we will process your item and arrange for it to be delivered shortly (please allow up to five working days for delivery).
- If you are going to pay at the Delivery Office, once you’ve paid you can collect your item straight away.
- If you sent the fee to us, we'll deliver your item to you.
- If when we come to deliver you item there is nobody at home and it’s too big for your letterbox or requires a signature, we will leave a 'Something for you' card - you can then collect it from the Delivery Office stated on the card or arrange for it to be redelivered on a suitable date.
Paying Parcelforce fees?
If your letter or parcel has come from abroad there may be a customs charge to pay. Enter the 17 digit reference number found in the letter we sent you into the Pay your customs charge page on Parcelforce.com and pay online right away.
What is a Fee to pay card?
A Fee to pay card will be left at the delivery address when we cannot deliver an item of mail because sufficient postage was not paid by the sender, or there is a customs fee to pay. The card will give you details of how much you will need to pay and will remind you of the payment options (eg by return mail, or by going online to www.royalmail.com/feetopay.
What is the 13 character reference number?
There may be a 13 character reference number provided at the bottom of the “Fee to pay” card, e.g. AA 0001 0001 9GB. This number will help us to identify your item for redelivery.
What if the date on my card is more than 18 days ago?
We can only hold your items at our Delivery Office for up to 18 days. After 18 days, your item will be returned to the sender. If you know who the sender is, you can ask them to send the item again. If your item has a customs charge to pay, your item will be held for 21 days before being returned to sender.
Why do I have to pay a fee?
The only time you'll ever be asked to pay to receive an item of mail is if the person sending it hasn't paid any / enough postage or your mail has come from overseas and there’s a Customs charge to pay.
How much does it cost?
- You pay the deficient postage for the item, in addition to a £1 fee.
- 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 Standard Parcel rate.
- If any item was clearly intended to be sent by 1st Class, we will handle and charge against the 1st Class rate.
How can I pay my fee?
1. You can pay using your Mastercard or Visa credit card and most debit cards, eg. Visa Delta or Maestro
2. By affixing postage for the required amount on the card stamps/meter impression, and returning it to the Delivery Office at which point we can deliver the item
3. By collection from the Delivery Office (Cash or Cheques only) Remember to take identification with you.
What is Verified by Visa / Mastercard® SecureCode™ ?
We want you to have absolute confidence when you purchase goods or services on royalmail.com. That's why we've introduced Verified by Visa and Mastercard® SecureCode™. These services provide additional protection against identity theft and fraudulent transactions. To use the services, you will need to register with the bank or organisation which issued your card. To find out more about these services visit their website at Verified by Visa and Mastercard® SecureCode™ .
What if I don’t pay the fee?
We will return the item to the sender (if there is a return address on it) after 18 days (or 21 days for items with a customs charge). If there is no return address on it we will deal with the item accordingly.
Are my personal details safe if I enter them online?
All details are taken over a secure network and held in compliance with all required UK security and data protection standards. To help keep your details secure, please do not share your password with anyone.
What is a card security number?
Debit and credit cards issued more recently carry a sequence of numbers on the back of the card, on the strip where your signature appears. For your added security, we ask for the last three numbers in the sequence.
What proof of Identification to I need?
To collect your item from a Post Office® branch or Delivery Office you will need to provide proof of your identity. If someone is collecting it on your behalf, they’ll also need to provide proof of your identity. You can use any of the following to prove your identity:
1. Full Driving Licence
2. Paid Utility Bill (Not older than 6 months)
3. Building Society /National Saving Book
4. Cheque Guarantee/Credit/Debit Card
5. Cheque Book
6. Credit Card Statement (Not Older than 6 months)
7. Council Tax Payment book
8. Birth/Marriage Certificate
10. Trade Union Card
11. A Standard Acknowledgment letter (SAL) issued by The Home Office for Asylum Seekers.
Any other queries?
If you have any other queries, please read through our Customer Service information online or call 08457 740 740.
Welcome to our help centre
All the help and advice you could ever need.
Here's what to do if you need to pay a feeRead the full article