Recently introduced rules are affecting delivery of parcels from outside the EU. Stock image
Small businesses say the current problems with delivery of parcels to Donegal and other parts of Ireland have not been addressed by An Post.
Last week, the Donegal Post ran a story saying that an increasing number of parcels with delivery addresses in the county were being returned to the senders.
The story included a statement from An Post which said that this was down to new EU rules which came into effect in July.
Angus Laverty from An Post said: ““Online shopping delivery by An Post for local Irish and EU retailers and with larger international retailers such as Amazon, Marks & Spencer and River Island is running smoothly, and this accounts for more than 95% of e-commerce parcels coming into Ireland through An Post.
“However, due to stringent new EU Customs rules governing non-EU goods, which came into effect on July 1, 2021, and due to the impact of Brexit, some customers in Ireland buying from smaller or specialist non-EU retailers and in particular smaller/specialist British retailers, are experiencing significant delays or not receiving their goods at all.
“Gift parcels being sent by family and friends in Great Britain to Irish addresses are also being impacted.
“This is due to both an EU customs requirement for additional electronic documentation and more goods being either restricted or prohibited from coming into Ireland from non-EU markets.”
Since the story was published, the Donegal Post has been contacted by a number of business owners in Northern Ireland, and by customers buying from Northern Ireland. They believe that parcels which meet all the new requirements are still being returned. This view is being reflected across discussions boards and social media.
One person who is based in Northern Ireland and runs a small business through the Etsy platform said: “I currently have a customer who I sent an item to on August 31 that was held in Ireland, sent back to the UK, then sent back to Ireland again to then be told ‘it does not have the correct electronic declaration.’”
The business owner outlined all the steps taken by themselves and Etsy to comply with the new regulations, adding: “I have not had any issues sending to other EU countries through this way. It is simply impossible for the information required to not be there/incorrect as it's getting through in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium etc.
“To say that small businesses do not know about these new customs regulations is pretty disrespectful as there are so many of us that know this and fill out the correct tariff codes and have spent so much time getting ready and ensuring electronic declaration is there.”
An Post has begun delivering booklets outline the new regulations to homes in Donegal and across the country.
But with Christmas approaching, customers and business owners are concerned that online shopping will continue to be affected.
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