Royal Mail Relaxes Rules on Posting Alcohol and Perfume

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From today, Royal Mail customers will be able to send small quantities of toiletries medicinal aerosols, nail varnishes, fragrances and alcohol through the post to UK addresses.

Britain’s universal service provider has reviewed its procedures and agreed protocols with the government’s Department for Transport, and regulators including the Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Department and regulators have agreed that Royal Mail can carry certain “low risk” hazardous consumer items provided certain quantity, packaging and labeling requirements are met.

The new rules will require customers to post items over a Post Office counter, where a special label will be applied. Items cannot be posted through post boxes.

Volume restrictions and packaging requirements apply, while for alcohol the rules apply to 24% to 70% alcohol by volume. Customers will also be able to post electronic items sent with or containing lithium batteries within the UK.

There are new packaging rules for mobile phones sent back to recyclers, with Royal Mail no longer accepting prepaid polylope envelopes that have commonly been used in the past by mobile phone recycling companies.

Royal Mail said the updated procedures limit the risk posed by consumer goods containing flammable liquid, aerosols or lithium batteries when transported through the postal network.

Aerosols, perfumes, aftershaves, nail varnish and lithium batteries separate from electronic goods will continue to be prohibited from postal shipments for international destinations for all consumer and business customers. Beverages with alcoholic content higher than 24% by volume are also prohibited from international mail.

Royal Mail has had to invest in a range of measures to control low risk items entering the postal network, while also raising public awareness of the new rules.

But, the new rules make it easier to ship items previously banned from the postal network under dangerous goods legislation.

Mike Newnham, Royal Mail’s chief customer officer, said his company and Post Office Ltd were now working to provide customers with appropriate advice on the updated arrangements for “low risk” items entering the network.

He said: “Royal Mail has agreed updated procedures with the Civil Aviation Authority, Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for sending specific consumer items in the mail. This will limit the risk posed by those items and ensure they can be transported safely through the UK postal network.”

Royal Mail’s parcel carrier subsidiary Parcelforce Worldwide is also introducing the new updated rules alongside Royal Mail.

Isle of Man
The Isle of Man Post Office said the identical prohibitions and restrictions applied by the Royal Mail in the UK now apply to mail posted on the Isle of Man.

Malcolm MacPherson, mails managing director at Isle of Man Post Office said from today all customers would be guided through the new process when sending a package via the island’s retail network.

Customers refusing to confirm packages do not confirm prohibited items or amounts will be refused service.

“It is important that everyone posting mail is aware of their responsibilities as a sender. Ultimately it is the sender’s responsibility for checking whether the items being sent are prohibited or restricted,” said MacPherson.

“Of course, we don’t want to know what’s in the package but we do need to make sure it is safe to fly.”

Source: Post&Parcel/Royal Mail/IoMPO

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