Blog: An Post hails end of Brexit parcel chaos as UK rolls out new customs system –

An Post has welcomed a major breakthrough in a long-running battle with the UK’s Royal Mail over issues with parcels coming from the UK since Brexit – which had forced it to return thousands of parcels every week.

new system has been introduced for the UK postal network over the past three weeks, following months of requests from An Post to resolve the issues.

The problem was primarily with packages coming from small business in the UK that failed to display the correct customs data.

Larger retailers had quickly put in place systems to ensure smooth deliveries after new rules came in following Brexit.

Last December, An Post CEO David McRedmond wrote a letter to the Financial Times, highlighting ongoing issues with UK parcels and asking why the “UK post office has refused to implement the necessary systems to comply with the new EU customs rules”.

Garrett Bridgeman, An Post managing director of mails and parcels, told the Sunday Independent: “We’ve been working with Royal Mail for the last year and a half, saying: ‘Guys, you need to put these systems in – because it’s such a bad customer experience at our end.’

“It took a lot of pressure from our CEO. On foot of the pressure that has been applied, they put the systems in place in the UK across 10,000 post offices.

Since rules came in, An Post has collected €167m, mostly relating to UK packages

“We are delighted to say that while customers have had bad experiences, thankfully from now on they will have much better ones – the data will be on and customers can trade again with the UK.”

While it was frustrating for customers, it also handicapped British SMEs. Bridgeman estimated that 70,000 businesses had stopped selling to Irish customers due to the issue.

Brexit has had a significant effect on sending goods between Ireland and the UK. Before the customs rules came in, An Post collected between €1m and €2m a year in customs’ fees.

Since rules came in which affect all ‘third countries’ including the UK, An Post has collected €167m ​in two years, mostly relating to UK packages.


Royal Mail has rolled out a new system Royal Mail has rolled out a new system

Royal Mail has rolled out a new system

Royal Mail has rolled out a new system

“About 50pc of our parcels would be domestic and about 50pc would be from international – and two-thirds of those are from the UK,” said Bridgeman.

While packages without the 10-digit code required from ‘third countries’ such as the UK were previously returned to sender, recipients will now have to pay customs fees when they accept delivery of items.

However, Bridgeman said An Post was hoping that Royal Mail would move to a solution where all charges could be paid in a single transaction.

“We’re working with Royal Mail to say we want customers to be able to do this at the online checkout. So it would all be built-in. We want it to be as seamless as possible for Irish consumers to trade with the UK.”

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