International Incident Bulletin

Last updated: 2nd of February 2023

 

Welcome to our international incident bulletin; a roundup of any issues that may be impacting our parcel and letter services to and from countries around the world. We keep this information as up to date as possible, with information supplied to Royal Mail by the various foreign national postal authorities.

Service Update

We continue to make progress in exporting an increasing number of items to a growing number of international destinations. We are using alternative solutions and systems, which are not affected by the recent cyber incident.

Our focus has been on despatching the export parcels and letters which were in our network before the cyber incident. We have also been successfully despatching Standard (Untracked) export letters since reinstating those services for customers on 18 January and Tracked & Signed and Signed letters and parcels since 26 January.

As a result of this progress and the further growing capability of our alternative export solutions, we have resumed our International Tracked services to all destinations for business customers and consumers buying postage online. This includes parcel, large letter and letter formats of these services. Online shipping solutions have been enabled to allow customers to select these services, print labels and send items from 30 January. 

Delivery of International Tracked items posted from Monday 30 January may take slightly longer than usual and customers may notice slightly different tracking information as items leave the UK.  

At this time we are still unable to process new Royal Mail parcels purchased through Post Office branches. Customers can still access the following export services though Post Office branches:

  • Sending export parcels through Parcelforce Worldwide
  • Dropping off items they have labelled online
  • Purchasing our International standard and economy letter format service.

We are working hard to resume more services through Post Office branches and will provide further updates on these services as soon as possible.

Summary of International services which have been reinstated:

  • International Tracked
  • International Tracked & Signed
  • International Signed
  • International Untracked (Standard / Economy) Letter services
  • Customers in Northern Ireland are also able to submit both export letters and export parcels for all services bound for Ireland into the Royal Mail network through all channels. These services are currently only available for customers based in Northern Ireland.

Delivery of International items may take slightly longer than usual and customers using Tracked services may notice different tracking information as items leave the UK. 

We continue to ask customers not to submit any Untracked (Standard/Economy) export parcels into our network just yet. We are aiming to provide further updates on these services as soon as possible.

Import operations continue to perform a full service with some minor delays. Domestic services are unaffected.

We would like to sincerely apologise to impacted customers for the disruption this incident is causing. Our teams are continuing to work around the clock to reinstate remaining export services as quickly as we can.

 

HS Code Update January 2022 

On January 1st 2022, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), an independent intergovernmental body that serves as the voice of the customs community, implemented the 7th edition of its Harmonised System (HS). This means the data requirements have changed in areas including HS codes and duty and VAT rates, as well as having implications for prohibited and restricted goods screening. For a full-list of updates please visit Gov.uk or visit HMRC Trade Tariff tool for more information, in order to minimise delays through customs or items being returned to sender.

Start date: 9 August 2021
Latest update: 23 August 2021
End date: Ongoing
Incident: No available route

Original Incident
There is currently no route to Afghanistan as carriers have cancelled flights since Monday 16th August 2021.

Start date: 6 February 2018
Latest update: 7 December 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Runway repair work

Please Note: Mail to the Falkland Islands is unaffected.

Original Incident
Air transportation to Ascension Island & St Helena is greatly reduced due to essential runway repairs. Unfortunately, given the location of the islands, there isn't a viable alternative to air transport. Customers can continue to send mail, but there'll be significant delays in the delivery of all products.

Latest Update
We have been notified that air transportation to Ascension Island & St Helena is greatly reduced. Unfortunately, given the location of the countries, there is no viable alternative which would arrive any earlier. Customers can continue to send mail but there will be significant delays in the delivery of all products. Please note that mail to the Falkland Island is not affected. Last flight closed on the 21st of October as planned. Next flight is to close on the 8th of December 2022. Subsequent flights are planned to close by the 22nd January 2023. The situation is likely to be ongoing until Airport/runway rebuilding work is complete.

Start date: 10 December 2022
Latest Update: 13 December 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Fire damage

Latest Update
Aruba Post has informed that there was a fire at the international mail processing centre in Oranjestad during the night of 9 December and the early morning of 10 December 2022.As a result of the fire and damage, the building has been temporarily closed and will not be operational for several days. Items destined for Aruba may be delayed during this period as a result.

Start date: 12 March 2020
Latest Update: 4 November 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Airline capacity

Latest Update
The movement of items into Australia continues to be subject to airfreight supply and performance difficulties which is resulting in the delivery standards currently being outside the current advertised delivery specification. Royal Mail continue to work to find alternate capacity and on work on short term performance improvement activities.

Start date: 11 April 2022
Latest Update: 11 April 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Service availability

Latest Update
We are still despatching postal items to Belarus. We are continually monitoring the situation and will provide an update if there are any changes to our service moving forward.

Start date: 28 September 2022
Latest Update: 4 November 2022
End date:Ongoing
Incident: Toronto delays

Incident one
Canada Post have provided a further update regarding the scanning and resourcing issues within Toronto. They have informed that these issues are ongoing and are particularly affecting Untracked and Signed items. As a result, significant delays should be expected, for items destined for Toronto, in postcodes beginning with L and ending with P, until further notice.

Start date: 28 January 2020
Latest update: 28 October 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Operational delays

Latest Update
Items destined for China may still be experiencing delays due to operational delays within China. We are continuing to work with China post and will provide an update once the situation has improved.

Start date: 17 October 2022
Latest update: 31 January 2023
End date: Ongoing
Incident 1: Coronavirus

Latest Update
Deutsche Post of Germany has informed that due to increasing COVID-19 infections among staff, it is currently encountering challenges in delivering items within promised delivery timescales.These challenges are mainly at local or regional levels rather than nationwide but may affect different parts of Germany with delays. As a result, minor delays may be experienced for items destined for Germany until further notice.

Incident 2: Industrial Action

Deutsche Post have advised of some localised Industrial Action which may result in delays to delivery.

Start date: 19 October 2022
Latest update: 19 October 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Backlog

Latest Update
Due to a carrier backlog at the Transit hub, Guatemala Post have advised that the journey time to Guatemala may be extended, and customers may experience delays.

Start date: 5 November 2022
Latest update: 15 November 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Suspension of service

Latest Update
There is currently no available route to Haiti. Posted items will be processed for return to senders until route available for resumption.

Start date: 10 December 2022
Latest update: 19 December 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Snowstorm

Latest Update
Icelandic Post has informed that due to a snowstorm, mail transportation has been severely affected since Friday evening 16th of December. Many flights have been cancelled or delayed to and from Iceland. Items destined for Iceland may be delayed until further notice.

Start date: 16 September 2021
Latest Update: 1 September 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Customs delays

Latest Update
Our service to Ireland is operating as normal. However, items that require the payment of import taxes by the recipient may take longer to be delivered as payment is required before items are released from Irish customs.

Please note: Delivered Duties Unpaid items sent to Ireland are handled as follows:
•Where a mobile number and /or email is provided, the recipient will receive a text and / or email and a letter with the amount of tax to pay plus An Post’s processing fee.
•Where just the address has been provided, the recipient will receive a letter.

In both situations the recipient will receive instructions on how to pay and will have 16 working days to make the payment before the item is returned. The pay by date is included in the customer notification.All items are held in the Dublin Mail Centre Campus before being released, once payment is received. If payment is not received by the payment due date or the customer rejects the item then it is returned to sender.

IOSS HS Code Restrictions
The Irish Custom authority have notified us that they have relaxed their import controls on certain goods and HS codes. Customers sending items to Ireland via IOSS are advised to check the latest restricted HS Tariff codes implemented by Irish Customs. To access the list of restricted HS Tariff codes, please visit our Ireland Page.

Start Date: 16 Sep 2020
Latest update: 17 January 2023
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Coronavirus / customs update

Incident one
Israeli Post has advised that processing and delivery of all mail types are no longer subject to delay owing to COVID 19 related restrictions. Normal operation has resumed

Incident two
Israel Post has informed that due to a planned Customs system update on the 15th of January 2023, the customs systems will not be operational from the 12th of January 2023 to the 15th of January 2023. As a result, delays may be experienced for items destined for Israel during this period.

Start date: 2 July 2021
Latest Update: 15 December 2021
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Infrequent Service

Latest Update
Connecting flights to Kiribati have been available again since the 15th of December. However, please note this service is infrequent and therefore customers should expect items to take between 2-3 months to reach their final destination.

No service since July 2014.

Start date: 1 December 2022
Latest Update: 17 January 2023
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Coronavirus

Latest Update
Macao Post have advised that the situation regarding Coronavirus has improved and postal operations have returned to normal.

Start date: 12 December 2021
Latest Update: 6 January 2023
End date: 6 January 2023
Incident: Coronavirus/ Flooding

Incident one
Post Malaysia has updated that both Covid-19 prevention measures and the impacts of the heavy rainful have now ceased. All operations within Post Malaysia have now resumed.

Start date: 13 January 2022
Latest Update: 16 December 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Customs data/Industrial action

Incident one
Malta Post has provided an update that in order to avoid delays, it is important that complete and accurate electronic customs data is provided along with customs documents (CN22/23). Provision of the recipient’s mobile phone number (including country code) and/or recipient email address in electronic data is also recommended to assist in timely delivery of items. Items that do not fulfil these requirements will be manually processed by Malta Post which is likely to lead to delays. In some cases, items will be held until the recipient can be contacted in order to provide any missing information and/or in the case of certain products any supplementary documentation that may be required.

Incident two
Malta Post has informed that the industrial dispute with its delivery staff has come to an end. Postal services have therefore resumed as normal, effective from 1 December 2022.

Start date: 20 January 2023
Incident: Torrential Rain

Latest Update

Mauritius Post has informed that the situation has returned to normal and all postal and business activities have resumed as of the 30 January 2023

Start date: 24 February 2022
Latest Update: 10 March 2022
End date: To be advised
Incident: Airspace availability

Original Incident
Due to the situation in neighbouring Ukraine, we have been advised that Moldovan airspace is closed. We are working with our postal and transportation partners to put in place alternative routes. We are still accepting items for Moldova but please be advised that there may be short delays to the delivery of your item.

Latest Update
An alternative transit route is in place for Moldova. However as this is a non-direct route, please be advised that there may be short delays to the delivery of your item.

Start date: 15 October 2021
Latest Update: 4 November 2021
End date: Ongoing
Incident: No route available

Latest Update
Our 3rd Party Postal Operator has temporary suspended transit service to Nauru since 22nd October 2021. No alternative route has been found for this destination at present. As result, despatch to this destination is suspended, until alternative route can be identified. Items that have been sent that are currently in transit will be returned to senders.

Start date: 31 January 2023
Incident: Torrential Rain

Latest Update

NZ Post have informed us that torrential rain across the Auckland region has caused widespread flooding. The severe weather conditions in Auckland and surrounding regions are affecting the delivery and collection of all mail items and a state of emergency has been declared. Further weather-related disruption is expected in the coming days.

All international inbound/outbound mail handling and processing is affected as extreme flooding and road closures into and out of Auckland have impacted NZ Post’s ability to transport mail and complete deliveries in many areas. As a result, delays should be expected

Start date: 2 July 2021
Latest Update: 28 April 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Coronavirus

Latest Update
Panama Post has updated that all of their processing facilities are operating under normal working hours but subject to special measures established by the Ministry of Health of Panama. As result it is unable to guarantee delivery standards until further notice.

Start date: 7 December 2022
Latest Update: 27 January 2023
End date: Ongoing
Incident: State of emergency

Latest Update
Peruvian Post has informed that their postal services may be disrupted due to civil unrest and protests since the 7th December. The unrest has disrupted transportation and access to certain areas. As a result delays may be experienced during this period.

Start date: 28 February 2022
Latest Update: 11 April 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Service availability

Latest Update
We are still despatching postal items to Russia. We are continually monitoring the situation and will provide an update if there are any changes to our service moving forward.

Start date: 26 March 2020
Latest Update: 1 March 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Coronavirus

Latest Update
Samoa Post has updated that there is currently only one flight per week to and from New Zealand on which Samoa Post can send and receive mail. All items are subject to a three-days quarantine before being processed and delivered. As result, Samoa Post has advised that delays are to be expected.

Start date: 11 March 2020
Latest Update: 3 March 2022
End date: Ongoing
Incident: Coronavirus

Latest Update
Singapore Post has updated that restrictions remain in place to limit spread of COVID-19. Signatures are not collected at delivery, items of letter box size will be deposited in letter box, and items larger than letter-box size, will be delivered to parcel locker stations (POP stations), post offices or collection points for collection by the addressee.

No service since October 1991.

No service since December 2012.

Start date: 10 December 2022
Latest update: 30 January 2023
End date: To be advised
Incident: Flood

Latest Update
Thai Post has informed that the rain in the Southern part of Thailand has now ceased. All postal operations have resumed as normal 

Start date: 2 July 2021
Latest update:15 December 2021
End date: To be advised
Incident: Infrequent Service

Connecting flights to Tuvalu have been available again since the 15th of December. However, please note this service is infrequent and therefore customers should expect items to take between 2-3 months to reach their final destination.

Start date: 24 February 2022
Latest update:28 October 2022
End date: To be advised
Incident: Service availability

Latest Update
We continue to make regular mail despatch to Ukraine transiting via our Postal Partners. Ukraine Post has updated that the country’s infrastructure has suffered severe damage. The attacks on the power grid and local energy facilities are necessitating rolling power cuts lasting from one to four hours. In some cases, following a direct missile strike, power may be cut off for several days in certain areas. In areas without active hostilities, all Ukrposhta post offices will remain open. In places with up to 24 hours power outage, Ukrposhta employees will hand out postal items and pay out money orders and upload the delivery data into the system at a later stage, once power and Internet access are restored. Sorting facilities are equipped with electricity generators to ensure uninterrupted work and maintain normal customs and sorting procedures. However, operationally there may be delays. Therefore, delays should continue to be expected for items destined to Ukraine until further notice.

No mail service to Donets 83-87, Luhansk 91-94 Crimea 95-98 and Sevestapol 99 since 2014.

An alternative route is now available for Venezuela and has been available from 21st January 22.

Start date: 28 December 2022
Latest update:6 January 2023
End date:6 January 2023
Incident: Winter storm

Latest Update

USPS has updated that Winter Storm Elliott has now ended. However, delivery delays may still be observed due to any possible backlog and local conditions.

No service since March 2015.