This week’s bulletin contains updates about: COVID-19
Mail disruption due to Coronavirus
Argentina – the designated operator of Argentina, Correo Argentino, informs that the Argentinean Government has extended the period of obligatory social isolation until 27 April.
Colombia – the designated operator of Colombia, Servicios Postales Nacionales S.A. 4-72 informs of the additional measures taken:
- Through Decree 531 of 8 April 2020, the Colombian government extended mandatory preventative isolation until midnight of 27 April. As an essential service, the postal service is currently exempt from restrictions on movement, but this could change in the future;
- The previously communicated measures affecting operations will remain in place, and will continue to cause significant delays to all inbound and outbound international letter-post, parcel- post and EMS correspondence. Measures on operational and administrative teleworking and modified working hours will also remain in place;
- To avoid physical contact with customers at the point of delivery, Servicios Postales Nacionales S.A. 4-72 is currently developing the IT tool 5ntacto (“no contact”), which will be used to trial technology-driven delivery requiring the addressee to provide his/her name and ID number at the point of delivery. A mobile phone number should also be provided if the addressee wishes to receive a link to information on, and proof of, the delivery;
- Finally, owing to the declaration of force majeure, the cancellation of international flights and the internal measures taken by countries and their designated operators, Servicios Postales Nacionales S.A. 4-72 is currently unable to send letter post or parcel post to various member countries. For more information, please go to its website at www.4-72.com.co.
Cuba – All international operations have been suspended following the cessation of flights to and from Cuba and the temporary closure of operations at Havana Airport.
Correos de Cuba cannot guarantee delivery times or comply with the established rules for the processing and delivery of letter-post, parcel-post or EMS items.
Post offices will remain open to provide electronic services, postal payment services and services on behalf of third parties. Postal workers will continue to comply with the safety measures implemented by the Cuban Government.
Curaçao – Cpost International N.V. informs that, owing to the suspension until further notice of partner airline flights to China (People’s Rep.), it is currently unable to send letter-post items or parcel-post to that country.
Cpost International is therefore declaring a situation of force majeure and ceasing, with immediate effect, to accept letter-post or parcel-post items destined for China (People’s Rep.), until sufficient transport capacity becomes available.
France – The French Government announced extension of measures aimed at slowing the pandemic spread of the corona virus until May 11.
La Poste is no longer able to maintain the delivery standards applicable under UPU provisions.
Owing to the suspension of numerous flights and the resulting reduction in air transport capacity, La Poste currently has limited capacity to send outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) to certain Union member countries. It is therefore invoking a situation of force majeure for letter post and parcel post and ceasing to accept mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) destined for these Union member countries, until the countries concerned reopen their networks.
La Poste kindly requests that other postal operators relay the following information to their customers, asking them to defer the sending of any non-urgent mail items destined for France.
For storage reasons, please limit as far as possible the sending of:
– small packet letter-post items;
– bulky parcels exceeding 15 kg in weight and whose longest dimension exceeds 1 m and/or whose three dimensions combined exceed 1.5 m (i.e. L+W+H must be less than 150 cm).
Owing to reduced transport capacity and the volume of accumulated mail at its offices of exchange resulting from shipment delays, La Poste is currently unable to offer transit services. Therefore, international mail in transit à découvert and closed dispatches is no longer authorized.
All of these international restrictions (outbound, inbound and transit) on postal traffic and products also apply with regard to the French overseas departments. However, La Poste continues to provide continuity of service between the French overseas departments and mainland France.
Postal and delivery network
La Poste wishes to inform its partners that operations continue, in degraded mode, within its network and national and international operational centres. However, given the reduced workforce owing to the closure of schools and measures taken to ensure the safety of personnel, La Poste can no longer guarantee the following:
1. For all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items:
– delivery lead times;
– delivery to the addressee in person and collection of signatures on delivery.
For these items, La Poste has modified the handover procedure in accordance with the directives issued by the French Government, with effect from 16 March 2020, as below:
- La Poste no longer collects the recipient’s signature for registered items, postal parcels and EMS items;
- As La Poste has undertaken to deliver these items to its customers, other proof of delivery methods have been implemented, using various sources of confirmation of delivery.
- For registered letters, tracked small packets with or without signature, and parcels:
– delivery of bulky parcels exceeding 15 kg in weight and whose longest dimension exceeds 1 m and/or whose three dimensions combined exceed 1.5 m (i.e. L+W+H over 150 cm), until social distancing measures have been lifted (in particular, the minimum distance of 1 m between two people); wherever possible, parcels should be sent in a format not exceeding 32×24×24 cm, as these can be deposited directly in mailboxes, thus avoiding direct contact;
– tracking of mail items (scanning and shipment lead times);
– insured items.
Georgia – the designated operator of Georgia, Georgian Post LLC, informs that the Georgian Government has decided to extend the period of application of the measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 until 10 May.
Honduras – the designated operator of Honduras, Empresa de Correos de Honduras (Honducor), informs that the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 19 April (or a later date to be communicated in due course).
To minimize human contact and protect its workers, Honducor has decided that it is necessary to suspend the postal service across the entire postal supply chain until 19 April, or a later date to be communicated in due course. It therefore asks countries that normally send their mail to Honduras by air cargo or commercial flights not to do so for the time being; otherwise the mails will need to be stored in customs warehouses, generating significant extra costs. An exception may be made for humanitarian aid, which Honducor is able to process with the knowledge and prior authorization of the Honduran Government.
Iran – Iran Post have now limited to sending outbound mails (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) to a growing number of destinations. As a result it is declaring a situation of force majeure, with immediate effect and ceasing to accept mails to those destinations until sufficient transport capacity becomes available.
Ireland – An Post informs that is currently limited in its ability to send outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) to some Union member countries and ceasing to accept letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items destined for those countries until they indicate they are able to accept international mail and sufficient transport capacity becomes available.
An Post is constantly updating its list of outbound destinations accordingly. Details of these destinations can be found at https://www.anpost.com/Coronavirus/Mails-Parcels-services.
Italy – Poste Italiane wishes to inform that the Italian Government has further extended the period of application of the measures aimed at minimizing the spread of COVID-19 until 3 May.
Moreover, owing to a lack of transport capacity following the cancellation of numerous international flights, Poste Italiane is currently unable to transport mail and parcels to a growing number of countries, and is no longer accepting postal items destined for those countries until sufficient transport capacity becomes available. The list of destination countries concerned is liable to change every day, and is available here: www.poste.it/files/1476515729674/spedizioni-internazionali-elenco-localita-non-servite-covid.pdf.
Korea – Korea Post informs other Union member countries that the processing of outbound mail to the countries listed below has been suspended until further notice.
1. Effective date: from 7 April
– Countries: Germany, Russian Federation, Singapore, United Kingdom
– Target items: outbound airmail (letter and parcel-post)
– Exception: only EMS is accepted for these countries.
2. Effective date: from 10 April
– Countries: Guam , Lithuania
– Target items: all outbound airmail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items)
Latvia – the Latvian Government has extended the state of emergency until at least 12 May. Therefore, the situation of force majeure previously declared by Latvijas Pasts is being extended until further notice.
For this reason, Latvijas Pasts can no longer guarantee service delivery standards (including delivery times, quality link to remuneration and other quality parameters) applicable under UPU and associated or related bilateral and multilateral agreements. Latvian postal law stipulates that the universal postal service is provided permanently and continuously, except in cases of force majeure or emergency situations.
Madagascar – The designated operator of Madagascar, Paositra Malagasy, informs that the Government of Madagascar has extended the state of emergency in the country until 19 April.
All measures already taken by the government have been reinforced. These include the suspension of all passenger flights, strict limitation of personal movements, and prohibition of all forms of public transport, in order to minimize person-to-person contacts.
Post offices are continuing to operate with a minimum level of service only. Mail deliveries (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) are taking place, but with delays.
Maldives – the Government of the Maldives has decided to extend the period of suspension of work in all government offices until 18 April, and the suspension of international flights to and from the Maldives until 30 April.
Severe delays for all outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) conveyed by air are to be expected until sufficient transport capacity becomes available. Maldives Post is therefore ceasing, with immediate effect, to accept international letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items for all destinations until the situation returns to normal.
Since 1 April and until further notice, the international mail processing centre has been operating with a skeleton workforce to process incoming international dispatches. This means that Maldives Post is unable to guarantee delivery standards for letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. The disruption is expected to continue until the pandemic is over. Signature on delivery will be suspended with immediate effect for all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. However, tracked confirmation of deliveries will be provided via the usual tracking event scans for products that allow tracking.
Mauritius – the Government of Mauritius has decided to extend the sanitary curfew for a further period of 19 days, i.e. until 4 May.
Montenegro – the designated operator of Montenegro, Montenegro Post, informs of its partial resumption of international mail traffic.
Montenegro Post is now able to send mail to Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Serbia and Slovenia. Furthermore, it is able to accept all inbound mail from Croatian Post, Croatian Post Mostar, Post of Serbia and Pošta Slovenije.
Montenegro Post has made arrangements to enable the exchange of mail with Post of North Macedonia. Furthermore, by passing via North Macedonia, mail can also be exchanged with Bulgaria and Greece. These arrangements for the exchange of mail will be effective from 22 April.
New Caledonia – The designated operator of New Caledonia, OPT-NC, informs that the confinement measures in place in New Caledonia will gradually be lifted between 20 April and 3 May. The situation of force majeure of 20 March 2020 remains in place, with the following modifications:
- Import/export: OPT-NC is no longer imposing any restrictions with regard to inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. However, restrictions remain in place with regard to air and sea transport, which has an impact on the import of postal shipments.
- 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 postman/woman or OPT-NC agent. This measure will remain in force until 3 May inclusive.
Philippines – The Philippine Government has extended the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and the rest of the Luzon islands until 30 April as part of stringent social distancing measures. The community quarantine imposed in areas of the Visayas and Mindanao islands is currently due to end as of 12 April.
The international mail processing centres (IMPCs) are operating with a skeleton workforce in order to accept incoming international dispatches. These items will be processed and forwarded to delivery post offices upon resumption of normal work as of 30 April.
Inbound postal items received by the IMPCs by 12 March will be processed and forwarded to delivery post offices upon resumption of the normal work schedule as of 30 April.
Outbound international dispatches from the IMPCs remain suspended until the end of the community quarantine in Metro Manila and the rest of the Luzon islands.
Outbound postal items received by 12 March by selected post offices located in Metro Manila and the rest of the Luzon islands will be processed and forwarded to IMPCs if land transport is permitted. However, processing and forwarding to destination countries of those postal items will take place upon resumption of the normal work schedule as of 4 May.
Outbound postal items received by 12 March by post offices in the Visayas and Mindanao islands will be forwarded to IMPCs and processed and forwarded to destination countries by the IMPCs upon resumption of the normal work schedule as of 4 May. Transport to the Visayas and Mindanao islands, which have been on total lockdown since 15 March, is by air and sea only.
Designated operators may request the processing and/or delivery of postal items containing vital communications, medicines, goods and/or perishable items, and/or pension cheques, loans and similar items. While it is anticipated that Internet connections at the homes of PHLPost customer service personnel may be intermittent, designated operators are encouraged to use e-mail to communicate such requests, as well as customer service concerns. It should, however, be noted that Post-to-Post customer service remains operational using Internet-based inquiry systems.
Saudi Arabia – Saudi Post Corporation informs that all postal services have resumed with effect from 12 April.
However, quality of service, including delivery times and other quality standards, cannot yet be fully guaranteed.
South Africa – South African Post Office Ltd., informs that the government has extended the lockdown by another two weeks from 17 April to 30 April.
Consequently, South African Post Office Ltd is declaring a situation of force majeure in relation to the standards affected as a result, including the quality link to remuneration for letter post and parcel post (suspension of pay-for-performance penalties has been unanimously agreed by the EMS Cooperative).
As things stand, normal services are expected to resume on 4 May. South African Post Office will, however, advise its partners of its status at that time.
Sri Lanka – the designated operator of Sri Lanka, the Department of Posts, informs that the directives issued by the Sri Lankan Government in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the temporary suspension of all inbound international passenger flights to Colombo and the declaration of a “work from home” period, have been extended until 20 April. These measures may be extended further if the situation demands.
Therefore, the Department of Posts is suspending the processing and delivery of all international inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) until sufficient transport and workforce capacity is available.
USA – The designated operator of the United States of America, the United States Postal Service (USPS), would like to advise member countries and their designated operators on the impacts of COVID-19 on its operations at offices of exchange and in the USPS networks involved in the transport, processing and delivery of international mail.
While USPS networks have been impacted by precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 currently enacted by national, state or municipal authorities, its offices of exchange have been accepting and processing all the mail tendered to it for delivery in the domestic network.
However, USPS now wishes to inform its partners of the following temporary changes:
- USPS can no longer maintain service delivery standards (i.e., on-time delivery, quality of service link measurement to terminal dues, parcel performance measurement, tracked letter-post performance metrics, EMS service performance, and other related parameters for measuring quality), applicable under the UPU provisions.
- Owing to the suspension of many flights and the resulting reduction in transport capacity, USPS is now limited in its ability to send outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) to some Union member countries. As a result, it’s ceasing to accept US-origin letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items destined for the Union member countries concerned until sufficient transport capacity becomes available. Designated operators are advised to consult the following web page for USPS’s most recent listing of the destinations impacted: about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm.
- As a result of the decreasing transport capacity and the resultant tonnage of delayed volumes backlogged at its offices of exchange, USPS is not in a position to offer transit services at this time.
USPS has changed its traditional procedures for international mail requiring signature. In lieu of asking the recipient to provide a signature, USPS delivery staff have been requested to maintain a safe distance, and ask the recipient for their first initial and family name. This information (along with delivery agent details) is entered into the mobile delivery device. USPS therefore declares a force majeure situation in respect of the applicable UPU provisions regarding capture of signature on international mail items.