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Sam Boal/RollingNews

An Post claims UK Post Office causing thousands of packages to be undelivered

UK post offices refusing to add EU-mandated codes to parcels are impacting British small businesses.

AN POST’S CHIEF executive has stated that parcels arriving to Ireland from the UK are being sent back due to the UK’s post office system not following Brexit-related customs measures.

David McRedmond told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland today that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the most impacted by local post offices in the UK not enforcing EU-mandated codes for the sorting of parcels.

When these parcels arrive to An Post facilities here, they need to be send back, he explained.

“The cost of us implementing the customs is anywhere of up to €20 million. So it’s been extremely expensive for An Post. It’s difficult for us to calculate the exact cost for British SMEs because we don’t know the value of all the packages. But we’d estimate somewhere between €150 million and €200 million in one year is lost.” 

“There could be a shoemaker in Carlisle, who goes into Carlisle post office and there’s a few customers in Ireland, and the post office in the UK isn’t telling them you’ve got to put in these codes,” McRedmond said.

“So we’ve been going blue in the face,” he added.

McRedmond had a letter published in the British newspaper the Financial Times yesterday, in which he said the disruption had caused a 52% decline in postal trade between Britain and Ireland in one year.

Ireland became the first country to implement post-Brexit postal regulations for the UK, with the other 26 EU countries adopting the system from January.

“The EU customs rules are mandatory across the EU so the disruption with Ireland will be repeated with every other EU country, if the necessary actions are not taken,” said McRedmond.

He also blamed the lack of coordination on a “dysfunctional relationship” between the UK’s Royal Mail and the state-run Post Office.

“I think if Royal Mail owned the Post Office, I think that the post offices would have the systems in place. There doesn’t seem to be any incentive for the post office to put the systems in place.”

“I’m just hoping that the British government can see sense,  that if they want SMEs to be able to trade with the EU you’ve got a new a new regime, deal with it and put the systems in place,” McRedmond said. 

Irish people in the UK sending packages hope for Christmas won’t be affected however, as the issue relates to businesses trading through the Post Office in the UK.

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