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SA Post Office suspends service to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

The SA Post Office has suspended its service to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA) Archives

The SA Post Office has suspended its service to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Mar 2, 2022

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DURBAN – The South African Post Office (Sapo) has suspended its service to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Sapo made the announcement on Wednesday amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said the post office had suspended its service to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus but air mail remained available to 33 countries and surface mail to 51 countries.

“Customers who order items from other countries should include their cellphone number with their address details so that the Post Office is able to send them an SMS when the item is ready for collection,” Kruger said.

“Customers who send items to other countries must make sure they do not send anything that is not allowed in the mail, which includes any arms, ammunition, explosives, liquids or items that could break and leak. No plant or animal material may be sent to other countries. For more information, please visit the website of the postal administration in the receiving country.”

Kruger added that post was transported in bulk which meant that customers should take care when packing items for dispatch abroad.

The postal service is now available in Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe via road transport.

The air mail service is available to Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, United Arab Emirates and the US.

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The sea transport service is available to Argentina, Ascension, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Helena, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tristan da Cunha, United Arab Emirates and the US.

“International items are delivered within an average of 10 working days. For quicker service, the Post Office offers the EMS service, which delivers items within 24 hours of arrival in the destination country,” Kruger continued.

He said customers could access the electronic customs declaration form on the Post Office website for quick clearance of parcels. The form is under “tools” on the website www.postoffice.co.za.

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South Africans are entitled to two tax-free gifts from abroad per year, provided the value of each gift is below R1 400. More information is on the South African Revenue Service website at https://www.sars.gov.za/customs-and-excise/sending-or-receiving-goods-in-the-post/

Kruger said the SA Post Office advised customers who send parcels abroad to pack the items very securely and to use padding. International parcels can be tracked all the way to delivery.

“It is illegal to send or receive live animals or plants, flammable or explosive goods or illegal substances such as drugs in the mail. Any form of medication may only be imported into South Africa if the sender has a permit to export medication to SA. Some countries do not allow the importing of any plant or animal products, even in sealed packaging. For more information, please visit the website of the postal administration in the receiving country.”

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