Pricing & Classification DMM Advisory
March 20, 2020
UPDATE 5: International Mail Service Disruptions Due to COVID-19
On March 19, 2020, the Postal Service™ received notifications from various postal operators regarding changes in international mail services due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The following countries have suspended certain mail services:
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Posts plc has advised that it is currently not able to send letter-post, parcel-post or EMS items to many countries inside and outside the European Union, with the list changing on a daily basis. For this reason, Bulgarian Posts has ceased to accept any outbound EMS items destined to international locations. The company will continue to accept letter-post and parcel-post items sent to destinations for which transport capacity is still available. Customers should expect delays for all inbound and outbound mail until further notice.
Cyprus Post has advised that effective Saturday, March 21, 2020; all commercial flights to Cyprus are suspended for 14 days. Cyprus Post is therefore suspending all outgoing dispatches to international destinations. [Note: see below regarding change for mail destined to Cyprus.]
Morocco: Poste Maroc has advised that following the suspension of international commercial air traffic, it is suspending outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items to international destinations until normal flight operations resume. [Note: see below regarding change for mail destined to Morocco.]
As a convenience for our customers, the Postal Service will continue to accept and process mail destined for the aforementioned countries. This mail will be held within our network and will be delivered once mail service is restored.
The following countries have announced service disruptions:
Austria: Österreichische Post AG has advised that it is currently unable to send letters and parcels to a constantly increasing number of countries both within and outside of the European Union due to the suspension of flights from Austria. Therefore, Österreichische Post AG has stopped accepting letter-post and parcel-post items for those destinations to where transportation is unavailable. Delivery standards and times can no longer be guaranteed until the situation has returned to normal. Additionally, all items that require the addressee’s signature are now deposited in the addressee’s mailbox or in a secure location on their premises, with signature by the mail carrier on their portable device. In cases where items are delivered to the recipient in person, the mail carrier will likewise sign on the recipient’s behalf.
Belgium: bpost has advised that operations will continue to operate normally as far as possible. However, several measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of both customers and staff, including the following:
• Post offices will remain open in general, but will be closed on Saturdays;
• For domestic and inbound international items that would normally require a signature, the mail carrier will sign for delivery in place of the customer (but in the customer’s presence);
• bpost is no longer able to guarantee delivery times, standard rules for signature on delivery, or availability of tracking data for shipments.
Furthermore, in common with many other postal operators, given the diminishing number of flights and reduced capacity, bpost is temporarily unable to send outbound international mail and parcels (letter post, parcel post and EMS) to destinations outside Europe
Cyprus: Cyprus Post has advised that effective Saturday, March 21, 2020; all commercial flights to Cyprus are suspended for 14 days. Therefore, until further notice, all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items destined to Cyprus will be sent by alternative transportation (e.g. surface). Customers should expect delivery delays.
Djibouti: La Poste has advised that Djibouti has suspended all international flights arriving in and departing from Djibouti, with the exception of cargo flights, until further notice. Therefore, delays are expected in the handling and delivery of letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items, until sufficient transport capacity becomes available.
Finland: Posti and Åland Post have advised that owing to a lack of transport capacity, they are currently unable to transport outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items to many international destinations. Effective March 18, 2020, Posti and Åland Post will only be able to transport letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items destined for the countries listed below, with delays to be expected owing to limited capacity:
• All EU countries, with the exception of Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Slovakia and Spain;
• Australia, Canada, China (People’s Rep.), Israel, Japan, Norway, Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
France: La Poste has advised that the French Government has reinforced the measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. La Poste's network and national and international operational centres remain open and continue to operate. However, given the reduced workforce, La Poste can no longer guarantee delivery lead times, the collection of signatures on delivery, delivery to the addressee in person, tracking of items (scanning and shipment lead times), the processing of items for reimbursement, and insured items. This concerns in particular registered letters, tracked small packets with signature, parcels and EMS items. Additionally, numerous post offices are closed, and the opening hours of those remaining open have been reduced.
Georgia: Georgian Post has advised that the Government of Georgia has taken measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As these measures include the self-quarantine of staff, significant delays are to be expected in the delivery of all inbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. Severe delays are also to be expected for outbound mail to all destinations, as a result of flight suspensions. Indirect delivery methods will be implemented temporarily for letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items that would ordinarily require the addressee’s signature. Consequently, it will not be mandatory for Georgian Post to collect and provide written proof of delivery.
Liechtenstein: Liechtensteinische Post has advised that all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items requiring a signature upon delivery are no longer being signed when handed over to the addressee. For such items, the mail carrier will leave a note in the signature field of the handheld device. This temporary measure will apply until further notice.
Mauritius: Mauritius Post has advised that all post offices are closed until 2 April 2020. As a result, severe delays are to be expected in the processing, transport and delivery of both inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items due to the suspension of postal services and various flight cancellations. Moreover, signature on delivery will no longer be required at the time delivery is made. Instead, the mail carrier will ask the recipient’s name and will record it on the delivery receipt.
Mexico: Correos de México has advised that, owing to the cancellation of international flights it is facing significant disruption to its operations. Until further notice, only services to Canada and the United States of America will be maintained. Customers should expect delivery delays.
Morocco: Poste Maroc has advised that incoming mail has been processed and delivered as normal. However, delivery services may suffer certain delays, because of limited staff in processing and delivery centers. Postal parcels, EMS items and registered mail are being delivered without the addressee's signature being requested. For such items, the mail carrier will the addressee for their identity card number and record it. This exceptional March 17, 2020, and will remain in effect until further notice.
New Caledonia: OPT–NC has advised that owing to the reduction in the number of flights offered by partner airlines, and new measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19, the shipment of inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items is currently limited to mainland France only. OPT–NC is ceasing to accept any mail originating from other Union member countries with immediate effect. For all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items requiring a signature on delivery, the addressee's signature will be replaced by that of the mail carrier or OPT–NC agent. Customers should expect delivery delays.
North Macedonia: Post of North Macedonia has advised that the government has officially declared a state of emergency for 30 days from March 19, 2020, (period subject to extension). Skopje Airport is closed to all international flights until further notice. Exchanges of mail with the designated operators of neighbouring countries are being organized where possible. This situation will have a major impact on operations, and quality of service for all types of inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. This is expected to remain the case until the end of the pandemic.
Poland: Poczta Polska has advised that until further notice delivery delays are should be expected for all types of inbound and outbound EMS, parcel-post and letter-post items. Additionally, Poczta Polska has stopped accepting outbound international mail until further notice, with the exception of mail destined to: Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Switzerland: Swiss Post Ltd has advised that owing to the cancellation of most international flights it is currently unable to send letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items to any countries outside the European Union, with the exception of: Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Delays are also to be expected for postal items destined for the member countries listed above.
Vietnam: VNPost has advised that delivery of letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items to the following locations may be delayed:
Ha Noi (100000–159999)
Hai Phong (180000–189999)
Quang Ninh (200000–209999)
Soc Trang (950000–959999)
Hung Yen (160000–169999)
Quang Binh (510000–519999)
Quang Nam (560000–569999)
Da Nang (550000–559999)
Hau Giang (910000–919999)
Binh Dinh (590000–599999)
Bac Giang (230000–239999)
Thai Nguyen (250000–259999)
Ninh Thuan (660000–669999)
Kien Giang (920000–929999)
Quang Tri (520000–529999)
Ha Tinh (480000–489999)
Nghe An (460000–479999)
Ninh Binh (430000–439999)
Ho Chi Minh (700000–769999)
Thanh Hoa (440000–459999)
These service disruptions affect Priority Mail Express International® (PMEI), Priority Mail International® (PMI), First-Class Mail International® (FCMI), First-Class Package International Service® (FCPIS®), International Priority Airmail® (IPA®), International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®), and M-Bag® items.
The DMM Advisory will continue to update mailers regarding new service disruptions as they are received. For a full list of international service disruptions, please the visit https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm