So - preface: idiot me, I know - sent five cards abroad (to US, Canada and Australia to boot) absent of any customs slips. All International Standard as they weren't generally high valued, with one exception that was £36 which I had already accepted was my own risk should it go missing. It's been many, many years since I've sent cards abroad that weren't signed/tracked so when I did actually prompt the post office worker for customs slips, I was told it didn't matter if they were all just cards (which I'd mentioned them to be as they were being weighed) and just accepted it and paid.
I've spent the last few hours slightly paranoid because I couldn't make sense why this would be the case that they wouldn't need customs slips if they were only cards and how surely that only factors in size and weight, not value. Trawled google for any enlightenment and while I've generally inferred from the Royal Mail site that ANYTHING must have a slip attached, I have had some confusion/hope: I did find this on another forum from a few years back, unrelated to cards:
You don't need a customs label for a letter, only parcels. They will probably open it at customs an then send it on, or if they are lazy they'll just bounce it back to you (annoyingly) but the stamp will still be fine so you can just add the customs label an pop it in a post box Hope that helps (I work in a post office)
They were all in Airkraft Jiffy Bags (size 00) so for all intents are defined as letters on the Royal Mail site.
I suppose here I'm asking more seasoned sellers/mailers for some reassurance that I haven't ballsed this one up? Has anyone not bothered with slips before on low value cards and it all been fine? Cards are not exactly weighty or big, or is there an overall assumption at every stage of delivery that the value was less than £20 because International Standard was used?This message has been edited. Last edited by: rwn410,
Posts: 397 | Location: UK | Registered: January 01, 2007
I do this all the time. I have sent to many places using large letter (for card + toploader in padded bag) without customs etc and never have any problems. I tend to start tracking at about GBP 50 or higher if I've dealt with them before. The occasional missing is much cheaper than the tracking would be.
In the U.S. now, anything rigid needs customs. Including even photo mailers. So now i send lower priced stuff in toploaders in a standard envelope. Bendable, but not CREASABLE. I've watched post office employees actually bend stuff in front of me (including ones marked do not bend).
I'm sure this loophole will be closed soon, and anything thicker than 1/8th inch and slightly rigid will go parcel rate at $13.75
I have family in the US and Oz and have posted things all over the world for years. To save time, anything more than cards and if it's a jiffy padded envelope and outside the EU I always put a customs label on. I asked for some Customs forms from my Post Office and they gave me a whole little roll of sticker labels(free). So I can complete everything at home before going to the Post Office or if someone posts stuff for me. Saves any questions and using up time.
I only use tracking if something has value of £50+ and I don't know the buyer or see that they have had strange dealings. Otherwise I send everything standard and get a Proof of Posting receipt(free) in case I have to claim the standard £20 back, so I'm not completely out of pocket.
Posts: 282 | Location: UK | Registered: March 13, 2013