Royal Mail Holding PLC is the state postal service company in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, founded in 1516. There is a division working under the name of “Royal Mail” that is engaged in sending mail and parcel around the country and abroad.
If you want to shop in the British online shops, as an individual, first of all you should review the following information:
- The most widely used delivery methods from Britain offered by Royal Mail include:
Airmail – standard airmail. Insurance included. No tracking.
Airmail Signed For – the same thing, but with tracking.
Parcel Force – courier service, EMS partner.
- Before making purchase make sure that this product is allowed for export abroad. To do this visit the official website of Royal Mail and read the list of the prohibited goods for export and the list of the restricted goods for export. It’s worth mentioning that if you ever made purchases in foreign on-line stores you will find nothing new in those lists: the same drugs, weapons, explosives, etc.
- If your future purchase doesn’t contradict the above points, then it’s time to proceed to measure operations:
- Should not exceed 2 kilos per one shipment, including the weight of the package. For print production, this restriction is up to 5 kilos. If the weight is bigger, but up to 30 kilos, you must use the services of Parcel Force EMS, this is the division of Royal Mail.
- Height, width, and depth, should not exceed 60 cm in total. Larger parcels are delivered by Parcel Force.
- According to Russian customs regulations on one passport, that means for one individual, the total cost of goods received from the abroad cannot exceed 1000 euros. This means that these parcels are intended for personal use and not for commercial. If you receive goods worth more than 1000 euros, they are over taxed at the rate of 30%. For instance, if you received goods worth 1200 euros in one month, you will have to pay a duty of 60 euros (200euros*30%). The same regulations are for Kazakhstan.
Ukrainian custom office set the limit for international parcels worth 300 euros per moths for one individual. Anything exceeding this amount will be overtaxed at the rate of 10% if the cost of the parcel doesn’t exceed 10 000 euros, and 20% if it does. In addition, VAT at rate 20% is added to the duty.
- Another important thing to remember is to declare the worth of the ending, which affects the cost of the delivery. In case of buying from the online store the invoice( a bill) is added. Nothing can be done here. However, if you are buying something at online auctions some tricks can take place between the individuals.
You can negotiate with the seller, on eBay for instance, and ask him to lower the declared price of the item, declare the new item as a used one, throwing away the package, or ever indicated the parcel as a gift, however, the main thing here is not to exaggerate.
All international postal sending are checked at the customs for compliance of the item in the box with the declared ones, the legality of the shipment and determine the cost of the customs duties or exemptions from them.
Therefore, if the customs inspector suspects that the price in the declaration is definitely too low, the goods may be overvalued at a maximum, or they may require documentary proof of the purchase (bank statement, Paypal, etc.). Let’s agree that in transactions between the individuals it will be difficult to do this. So let’s not abuse the loyalty of the custom officers on the private parcels.
- Calculation of the delivery cost. Please note that since 1 May 2012 Royal Mail prices for the international shipment of the letters and parcels changed.
However, it is easier to estimate the delivery cost using the calculator from the website. To do this, open it and click on the «Price Finder» link. Then you will see the calculation page. Fill in all the windows, step by step. Click on the button “Find Price”. For instance, you have to deliver the parcel weighing 2 kilos and costing 500 pounds to Russia within 1 month.
As a result, you receive this calculation:
This means that you will pay for the delivery with the insurance and notification Airmail International Signed For. The Royal Mail has other ways of shipping the goods abroad.
|The type of the delivery||Regular Airmail||Airmail International Signed For||Royal Mail – Surface Mail||Surface Mail International Signed For|
|Delivery method||Airmail. Delivered to the local post office.||Delivery with the notification and insurance. Delivered to the local post office.||Surface mail.
Delivery to your post office.
|Surface mail. Delivery with the notification and insurance. Delivery to your post office.
|Tracking of the sending||Not available||Available until the sending does not leave Britain; after that tracking on the native postal service website.||Not available||Available until the sending does not leave Britain; after that tracking on the native postal service website.|
|Delivery time||14-30 days||14-30 days||From 5 to 8 weeks||From 5 to 8 weeks|
|Insurance/ Sum of the insurance||Available, 46 pounds.||Available, 50 pounds. It is possible to purchase insurance coverage up to 500 pounds.||Available, 46 pounds.||Available, 50 pounds. It is possible to purchase insurance coverage up to 500 pounds.|
|Priority of the processing||No||Yes||No||Yes|
The delivery method is determined in the sender’s post office considering the following parameters: weight, price, the delivery time. The delivery with the tracking number and tracking (“Signed For”) is charged an additional 5.15 pounds.
Royal Mail Tracking
The cheapest delivery methods such as Airmail (Royal Mail Small Packet), are assigned ID starting with “R” letter. When you check it on the Royal Mail website system will tell you : «Your item, posted on DATA». When the item is already in Ukraine or Russia it is assigned with a number but the sender doesn’t know it.
All Royal Mail parcels with the prefix “Signed For”, that are the ones with tracking, are assigned the ID, which consists of 2 letters, 9 numbers, and 2 letters at the end. The last letters stand for the country of the sending, in our case its Great Britain (GB). The numbers also start with “R” letter and look like for example, RJ*********GB. Tracking number starts to work at least after 12 hours after the sending.
The delivery of the parcels weighing more than 2 kilos deserves special attention. If your parcel weighs up to 30 kilos (and 20 for Ukrainian deliveries) then your shipment will be delivered by Parcel Force. It is a subdivision of Royal Mail and a partner of EMS.
There are 3 ways of the delivery:
- Global Express: delivery time – 5-10 days, with tracking
- Global Priority: delivery time – 14-20 days, with tracking.
- Global Value: delivery time – 20-40 days. Tracking is available only when the item is on the territory of the recipient’s country, on the national postal service’s website (RF Post, UkrPost, etc). Tracking in the UK is not available.
Restrictions on the size and weight
Global Express: length no more than 1,5 meters, girth + length no more than 3 meters.
Global Priority: length no more than 1,05 meters, girth + length no more than 2 meters.
Global Value: length no more than 1,05 meters, girth + length no more than 3 meters.
Girth is calculated as follows:
Girth= 2*(width + height)
The maximum weight of the parcel is 30 kilos; for Global Value 20 kilos.
All parcels send via Parcel Force have default insurance for 100 pounds. An additional insurance up to 1000 pounds is available (the cost is 4 pounds for every 500 pounds of insurance coverage).
Currier delivery straight to the recipient’s door. The postal item will be delivered by EMS Russia or EMS Ukraine currier.
The tables with the prices are available on the website Parcelforce.com. Select your preferred method of delivery, for example, Express. Click on the link «Prices», the table will open. Russia is a zone number 9 (Non E.U). Please note that all prices do not include VAT.
To explore other delivery methods, that Parcel Force offers to your country, go to the website of the shipping service, in a special window, select the country of the recipient, and then choose option that you do not have an account on the site.
Click the “Search button”, and you will obtain the following calculation for the zone number 9, that is for Russia. It should be noted that the indicated time of the delivery is a bit far from reality. A more realistic time frame is showed above.
Tracking Parcel Force
Parcel Force sending are assigned with the ID starting with “E” letter, for example, EBxxxxxxxxxGB, EGxxxxxxxxxGB, EMxxxxxxxxxGB.
The cheapest way to send Parcel Force – Global Value is not tracked on Royal Mail website, but it can be tracked after the parcel is in Russia or Ukraine, on the website of the national postal service.