This week’s bulletin contains the latest information about Bulgaria, Italy and Ukraine.
Start date: 16 March 2022
End date: ongoing
Incident: IT issues
The designated operator of Bulgaria (Rep,), Bulgarian Posts, wishes to inform that it has been experiencing IT issues since 16 April 2022, owing to a cyberattack. As a result, all its IT systems are down (Internet, International Postal System, telephones, etc.). The Bulgarian Posts IT department and external experts are working to resolve the situation. Bulgarian Posts will provide an update as soon as the system has been restored.
Start date: March 2020
End date: April 2022
Incident: lifting of measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19
Further to earlier 2020 Incident Bulletins, the designated operator of Italy, Poste Italiane, wishes to inform that following the latest announcements by the Italian Government on the relaxation of public health measures throughout the country, the difficulties announced previously have now been resolved. While distancing measures remain in place for staff and customers, Poste Italiane can announce a return to normal for its postal operations across its network.
Poste Italiane is now once again able to guarantee compliance with delivery standards and deadlines for all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items.
Start date: 24 February 2022
End date: ongoing
Incident: situation of postal operations / declaration of martial law – case of force majeure
Further to Incident Bulletins 04.03.2022 and 25.02.2022, the designated operator of Ukraine, Joint Stock Company “Ukrposhta”, wishes to inform that as the Russian Federation’s military action towards Ukraine is ongoing, martial law has been extended.
Four Ukrposhta employees have been killed, and many others have lost their homes and/or have been forced to move to other parts of the country or abroad. Numerous Ukrposhta mail processing centres, post offices and postal vehicles have been damaged or destroyed. International postal operations and related customer service activities have been disrupted to a considerable extent.
However, despite the extremely dangerous conditions in the country, Ukrposhta remains committed to maintaining its postal operations wherever possible to ensure that postal items, humanitarian goods and pensions are delivered to the people who need them. Ukrposhta is doing its best to process and respond to requests through the relevant Internet-based inquiry systems wherever possible.
International postal operations and processing of postal items
In accordance with the possibility provided in articles 36-001.2, 17-143 and 17-219 of the UPU Convention Regulations, Ukrposhta has stopped sending postal items and money orders to, and stopped accepting postal items and money orders from, the Russian Federation (since 24 February 2022) and Belarus (since 25 February 2022).
With Ukrainian airspace temporarily restricted for civilian air transportation, Ukrposhta has developed alternative surface routes via Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Moldova and Hungary with the support of the designated operators of those Union member countries (respectively, Poczta Polska, Slovenská pošta, Latvijas Pasts, Poșta Moldovei and Magyar Posta). Accordingly, Ukrposhta asks the designated operators of other Union member countries to contact these designated operators to agree on the dispatching of postal items to Ukraine in closed transit via their countries.
Moreover, a special weekly charter flight from Warsaw to New York and back to Warsaw has been established in conjunction with Windrose Airlines, to deliver outbound postal items to the United States of America, and inbound postal items (as well as humanitarian aid) to Ukraine on the return leg.
As road access for postal exchanges with Ukrposhta’s centre in Kyiv is severely limited, some international mail processing operations have been moved to the Lviv office of exchange (OE). Longer transit times are to be expected because of queues at the border and difficult road connections inside Ukraine.
Responses to dispatch pre-advice messages (RESDES) and EMSEVT V3 tracking events confirming acceptance of items at the inward office of exchange (EMD) for all inbound postal items are being generated at the OEs in Lviv, Chop and Kyiv (depending on where the receptacles are opened). In addition, delivery tracking events (EDH (item arrival at collection point for pick-up by recipient), EMH (attempted/unsuccessful physical delivery) and EMI (final delivery) are generated where electricity and Internet access are available (i.e. in areas not directly affected by the military action).
Ukrposhta has resumed work at its post offices (permanent and mobile), except in areas where hostilities are taking place, and is now serving the majority of the country. Depending on the situation on a specific day, 3,000 to 6,000 permanent and mobile post offices are serving up to 17,000 localities. Information on open post offices and their working hours is updated daily at offices.ukrposhta.ua.
Upon request, Ukrposhta can provide a list of postcodes to which international postal items are able to be delivered.
Ukrposhta is also maintaining home delivery of EMS items, except in areas where active hostilities are taking place.
Furthermore, Ukrposhta has introduced a number of special services to meet the needs of its customers:
Redirection of postal items within Ukraine (customers can order this service through Ukrposhta’s call centre or its social media);
Free storage at postal facilities of postal items that cannot be delivered (owing to hostilities or because the addressees have left their homes), until the area can be accessed;
A special “parcel from home” service to enable customers to send personal belongings at a reduced price to refugees in Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova and Hungary;
Delivery of incoming international registered letters to addressees’ mailboxes without signature. (However, small packets containing goods are still handed over to addressees at the post office against signature).
Quality of service and force majeure case
Despite all its efforts, Ukrposhta will not be able to guarantee full compliance with the agreed standards, and this will impact on quality of service and related remuneration schemes for all inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. Therefore, Ukrposhta has declared a situation of force majeure with effect from 24 February 2022.
Ukrposhta is grateful for all the incredible support that the world is providing to Ukraine and to Ukrposhta at this difficult time. It will continue to inform the international postal community about further changes in its operations.