Although e-mail has largely superseded written letters, there are still many things that can't easily be e-mailed. For those, there is parcel post. Parcels are items larger than letters, but small enough to be shipped with the regular postal system (as opposed to with private shipping companies). Sending a parcel to Russia follows the same procedure as sending one anywhere else, but senders should be aware that Russian customs charges large duties (30 per cent of the value if the parcel is worth £65 to £650 GBP; 50 per cent for parcels worth more than £650). Many items are also prohibited.
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Things you need
- Customs form
- Parcel paper
Check whether the items you wish to ship are allowed into Russia. You cannot send publications that contain anything the government deems obscene or a threat to national security. You cannot mail honey or wax, currency of any kind, any type of weapon, dangerous chemicals, animals, transmitters or undeveloped film. You also cannot send more than 200 cigarettes or medications, unless you have a Russian government permit.
Contact the receiver of the parcel and warn them of what is coming. They may need an import permit to be able to receive the parcel. They must arrange this in Russia.
Box the items and wrap the parcel in brown parcel paper.
Write the addressee's name on the parcel in block capital letters. It must be the first line in the address. Below that, add the street address in Russian format, though English letters are acceptable. For example, someone who lived at apartment number 176, 5 Lesnaya Street (Ulitsa Lesnaya) would have an address written as "ul. Lesnaya d. 5, kv.176."
Add the town name below the street name if it is a large town or city. If a small town or rural area, you will need to add the town or locality name, drop a line and add the district name, then drop another line and add the province name.
Write "RUSSIAN FEDERATION" below the address lines. The 6-digit postcode goes below this.
Bring your parcel to a post office. There you must fill out and attach a customs declaration describing the contents. Weigh the parcel there and pay the appropriate postage. Your package will then be sent to Russia.
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