In this monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.
Question: I’ve heard that mail to and from the UK is now more difficult. Can we still send parcels by the postal service?
afpop answers: It’s true that there are changes to the postal service between Portugal and the UK, now that the UK has left the EU, specifically the parcel service. The basic service of posting a letter has not changed and mail between the UK and Portugal continues as it did before.
However, parcel delivery has changed and some organisations (online companies) have even temporarily suspended posting items to the EU.
Posting parcels as individuals, from both the UK and Portugal, now requires some additional paperwork. If your family wishes to post a parcel from the UK to you in Portugal, they will need to fill in and print forms from the Post Office website, which can be found at the following link: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mail/customs-forms
From Portugal to the UK, the forms are on the CTT website (www.ctt.pt/particulares) and are in Portuguese. We are creating a Fact Sheet for afpop members with the translations of the forms, which will be available from the afpop office and website. The Fact Sheet will also include details on VAT and customs taxes applicable in Portugal.
If you use a browser that automatically translates Portuguese to your preferred language, the process is simple to follow. Start by clicking ‘Enviar’ and then selecting ‘Para o estrangeiro’ (Abroad) and then ‘Criar envio de Correio Internacional’. Once you completed the form, you must print and include the form with your parcel.
For anyone who is not comfortable with filling in forms online, CTT provides a service to assist you if you go to the post office, for which there is a small fee.
If you usually send parcels via a transport company, they will inform you of the requirements to continue to send parcels through their service.
For more information about the Benefits of Membership of afpop, the largest Association for Foreign Residents in Portugal, you can visit their website www.afpop.com; e-mail them direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the afpop office on 282 458 509 (t/m 938 252 100). Please remember to quote THE ALGARVE RESIDENT when contacting them.