Incident bulletin 22nd March 2019

Incident bulletins are sent weekly with information about situations that affect postal distribution.

This week’s bulletin contains updates about: France, Euro tunnel, Belgium, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Turkey.



Start date: 18th March
Expected end date: 20th March

Air traffic controllers plan to strike: airport operations are likely to be disrupted by an air traffic controllers’ strike as a part of a nationwide multi-union strike throughout France. A work stoppage is planned from 8 p.m. on March 18 until 8 a.m. on March 20.

Euro tunnel

Start date: 19th March
Expected delay: 24 hours

Extended Security Check and French Customs strike at Calais and Dunkirk continues for a 3rd Week with extended waiting time and transit times as a result. The delays continue with mail services likely to be delayed for an extra day.

Countries affected are: France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Poland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.


Start date: 20th March
End date: 21st March

Strike disrupts airport operations: the 24-hour strike of Skeyes air traffic controllers has disrupted flight operations at major Belgian airports, including Brussels-Zaventem, Brussels South Charleroi, Antwerp, Ostend-Bruges and Liège airports. Air traffic is expected to be affected until the afternoon of March 21.

United States

Start date: 18th March
End date: Ongoing

Flooding affects ground transportation: severe flooding following heavy rains and ice melting has affected ground transportation in Eastern Nebraska and in Western Iowa, United States. Multiple roads are impassable due to high water, infrastructural damages and power outages.


Start date: 18th March
End date: Unknown

Airport operations disrupted due to fire: significant disruption has been ongoing at Toronto Pearson International Airport due to a fire. Flight cancellations and delays have occurred. Details on when the operations would fully recover were not immediately provided.


Start date: 19th March
End date: Ongoing

Flooding affects ground transportation: flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Trevor has affected ground transportation across Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Strong winds have resulted in power outages and fallen trees in the affected area. Cyclone Trevor has strengthened to a Category 3 and is currently moving west/southwest.


Start date: 15th March
End date: Ongoing

Zimbabwe Posts wishes to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that parts of Zimbabwe have been affected by Cyclone Idai, which hit the country on Friday, 15 March 2019. The cyclone caused serious damage to bridges and the road network in parts of Manicaland. The collection and delivery of letter post, parcels and EMS items has been affected in Chimanimani, Chipinge, Biriiri, Birchenough, Nyanga, Nyazura, and Rusitu areas.


Start date: 18th March
End date: Ongoing

Disruption reported due to flooding: On March 18, media sources reported that flash flooding and landslides have caused significant disruptions in several Indonesian provinces, including Papua, Jayapura, Java and Flores. Several roads have been blocked by fallen trees, standing water and debris in the affected areas.

Saudi Arabia

Start date: 22nd March
Expected delay: 48 hours

The local customs in Saudi Arabia are currently experiencing up to 48 hours increased processing times, resulting in final clearance and delivery delays.

Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

Germany – lithium batteries

Start date: 19th March

Deutsche Post informs the designated operators of other UPU member countries that, with reference to article 19 of the UPU Convention concerning the acceptance in mail shipments of lithium batteries and cells, which are considered dangerous goods, Deutsche Post has carefully examined the revised regulations and requirements of both the UPU and the International Civil Aviation Organization. As a result of this assessment and until further notice, Deutsche Post will continue to prohibit lithium batteries and cells in mail shipments. This applies to all categories of items and to both outbound and inbound international mail, including open and closed transit mail. It does not apply to airline transfer/transhipments. Designated operators of UPU member countries are asked to kindly take note of this information when advising customers sending mail to Germany.

Turkey – customs legislation

Start date: 19th March

Turkish PTT Corp. would like to inform the designated operators of UPU member countries that, as a result of new customs legislation, postal items (parcels, EMS and small packets), especially those containing mobile phones or electronic cigarettes, will be subject to detailed examination and risk analysis by Turkish Customs. The return procedures for these postal items will therefore be delayed.

Brazil – customs delays

Start date: October  2017
Update: 21st March

Delays into Brazil due to customs checking issues have continued to persist since October 2017. Prior delays were resolved in 2018, but normal service has not yet resumed.

Technical problems

Start date: 15th March
End date: 19th March

IT issue causes postal disruption: La Poste indicated that Colissimo has been experiencing a postal disruption in transmission of EDI since March 15.
Postal operations resumed on March 19.

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