TALLINN - Starting from this year, international consignments destined for countries outside the European Union must include electronic information regarding the sender, recipient and contents of the consignment; the decision on whether or not the consignment is permitted to be sent to its country of destination will be bade on the basis of this customs data.
According to the rules of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), consignments not including this data must not be shipped, according to the Estonian state-owned postal operator Omniva. Parcels destined for third states, including to the United Kingdom, that do not have the sender's information will thus not be transported out of Estonia.
Marita Magi, head of the international segment of the parcel business at Omniva, said that the biggest problems arise in relation to customers attempting to send small packages through a mailbox.
"At post offices, postal workers know to keep an eye out when accepting consignments to ensure that the package has all the necessary information included in it, and they can ask additional information from the customer if needed. That's unfortunately not possible when the parcel is sent through a mailbox," Magi said.
"As a result, either out of ignorance or intentionally, some several dozens to 100 consignments are sent to us each month lacking the data needed for forwarding the consignment or contacting the sender," she noted.
Magi added that all parcels destined for a foreign country must include the information of both the recipient and the sender. Parcels to third states, including the United Kingdom, must also include a relevant customs declaration.
The easiest way to guarantee that a consignment includes all the necessary information and is shipped as intended is to bring it to a postal office.
Consignments destined for third states outside the EU without sender information and a customs declaration will be stored for six months for the sender to be able to contact the postal service and reclaim their package.
Parcels with sender information but lacking the relevant customs declaration will be returned to the sender.