An Post has said last-minute international letters and parcels to and from Britain and the rest of Europe will be impacted by the serious disruption to international supply lines through Britain.
“We’ll do everything within our power to maintain the flow of incoming and outgoing international mail,” said Garrett Bridgman, Managing Director, An Post Mails & Parcels. “However, current issues affecting transportation are increasingly outside the control of An Post as more European countries including Belgium, Sweden and Germany – one of our largest incoming mailers – temporarily suspend all dispatches to Great Britain.
“Through planning and early advice on deadline posting dates, we have been able to avoid the delays and disruptions being experienced in other countries as a result of Covid restrictions and unprecedented volumes”, Mr Bridgman said.
Air freight capacity has already been seriously impacted this year by Covid 19 restrictions. As a result, practically all incoming and outgoing international letters and parcels are conveyed by ferry via Great Britain. While freight is still moving between Britain and Ireland, there are significant delays and long tailbacks with hundreds of container trucks waiting to board ferries.
Meanwhile, today is the last day for posting Christmas cards and parcels within the Republic of Ireland, for guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas. More than 3.3 million parcels were delivered in the last week alone, up from 1 million during the same period last year, together with more than five million Christmas cards daily.
Post Offices will remain open until 1pm on Christmas Eve for posting and last minute gifts including One4all giftcards, An Post Mobile and Western Union Services. Post Offices reopen and full parcel and letter deliveries will resume on Wednesday, December 30.
An Post has been working to prepare for Brexit and from early 2021 changes will apply to customers sending items to and receiving items from the United Kingdom (excluding NI) as it formally moves outside the EU. It said timely investment in technology and two years of planning by the company will assist Irish business and consumers when the effects of Customs changes and Brexit kick in as expected on January 1.
“Our priority is to make the changes as easy as possible for business and personal cusomers,” Mr Bridgman said. “An Post has also been preparing for the single biggest change to the customs regime in the history of the State: the implementation of Customs 2020, the EU programme to enable national customs administrations create and exchange information electronically.
“We have been engaging with business customers for some time and we have a suite of facilities available online and at post offices ready to assist SMEs and personal customers in arranging any necessary electronic customs documentation that might be required.”