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Author Topic: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)  (Read 57367 times)

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Offline P356

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Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« on: February 04, 2008, 08:09:06 PM »
I just sent a package to my lady through US Post Office, I put insurance on the package. Has anyone had any experience sending packages FSU using regular mail and not UPS or DHL?

Offline Ferret

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 11:41:01 PM »
My experience with the USPS was forget insurance, once it leaves the USA, it won't matter.
And on food items I marked it to abandon if not delivered. I once spent around $40 sending $30 worth of food and stuff to my wife's Mother in Ukraine, it wasn't allowed in, half was removed along the way, and it cost me around $30 when it was returned to me.
Ferret

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 02:12:40 AM »

I just sent a package to my lady through US Post Office, I put insurance on the package.

Has anyone had any experience sending packages FSU using regular mail and not UPS or DHL?


I'm still waiting for a package from Chicago, dispatched on December 28.

According to USPS website, it left US on December 29.

Appeared in Moscow (according to Russian Post website) on January 12, 14:30.

Was waiting in a row till February 1!!!!

Presented to customs inspection on February 1, at 18:13.

Successfully left customs on February 2, 09:09 (are they working overnight?  ??? ).

Still not there... and I live in Moscow!!!

Websites to do the tracking:

http://www.usps.com/shipping/trackandconfirm.htm?from=home&page=0035trackandconfirm

then (if the package has been sent to Russia...)

http://www.russianpost.ru/portal/en/home/postal/trackingpo

I'd recommend you to e-mail your lady the tracking number, so that she could trace the final part of package's itinerary herself.

Good luck! (You'll need it...)
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.


Offline Manny

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 04:57:47 AM »
We always use good old Royal Mail bog standard air mail.

Make the package look not at all valuable. Do not use expensive looking mailing boxes with USPS tape all over them and dixie flags on, it is like saying "gift from America - steal me!" - I use recycled Jiffy bags, old wine boxes etc, anything to make the parcel look as "cheap" as possible and not interesting to steal.

Address it all in Cyrillic, with the exception of "Russia" in English. (Thats all the Post Office need to know) Write the customs CN22 in Russian also with low values in Rubles. Be reasonably honest about it but not descriptive enough that it looks appealing to steal. Value $2 of course and tick "gift." - eg; Versace sweater translates as "used clothing", expensive DVD's translate as "Data CD's" and Belgian hand made chocolates translates as "Candy" - total value $200 er $2.

If it is addressed in Cyrillic only, I think they will assume it is a Russian abroad sending a few items home, who knowing the Postal system is corrupt, would not send anything of value, thus it's not worth stealing.

We have 100% success rate this way sending parcels often. Typical delivery time is 4-5 weeks.
please tell me where I'm being / have been 'dishonest'? 
Yes, he said that.........

Offline P356

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 11:18:46 AM »
The funny thing was that the post office did not issue a tracking number for my package,
I noticed this as I was leaving and asked about it and they told me, that they do not assign tracking numbers to this type of shipments? I am going to the post office near my work to ask about this. I think this was the reason why I used UPS before, but it was very very expensive.

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 12:10:06 PM »

The funny thing was that the post office did not issue a tracking number for my package, I noticed this as I was leaving and asked about it and they told me, that they do not assign tracking numbers to this type of shipments?


So what type of shipment that was? According to USPS website, from USA to Russia there can be:

Global Express Guaranteed (1-3 days;  20 lbs package 25 x 15 x 10 inches would cost 372 USD!)

Express Mail International (website says 8 days... Posting my package which was 20 lbs heavy costed 98 USD, so I presume this is how it was shipped... Well, I'm waiting for my package since December 28!).

Priority Mail International (website says 6-10 days... 83.25 US for 20 lbs).

Priority Mail Flat Rate box (website says 6-10 days... 37.00 US for 20 lbs).

As far as I know, for all of the above types of mail there MUST BE the tracking number...

What does your receipt says? Or, probably, you remember which type of shipment you've chosen?
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline P356

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 12:48:46 PM »
I just got back from the post office and here's what they told me, "If the value of the contents in the package is less than $67.37 and you insure the package they do not issue a tracking number. They will only track the package of you report it missing". The shoes in the package are worth over 90 dollars, but put down a value of 40 dollars, because of what happened to me when shipped an item to her last year using UPS.
The customs department will impose a tax on items valued at over $100 and they will impose a 100% tax on item worth $200 or more, I found out about this the hard way.
No one at UPS could tell me the amount of tax that would be imposed on the package.

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 02:24:27 PM »

... put down a value of 40 dollars, because of what happened to me when shipped an item to her last year using UPS.

The customs department will impose a tax on items valued over $100 and they will impose a 100% tax on item worth $200 or more.

No one at UPS could tell me the amount of tax that would be imposed on the package.

P356, you never mentionned where exactly you've shipped your packages - to Russia, or Ukraine, or Belarus, or...?

Actually things have changed to the better in Russia since October 1 2007 (last year, actually).

Now a Russian citizen does not pay taxes if he\she received "gifts" from abroad which have the declared value of 10.000 roubles (approx. 400 USD) no more often than once a week.

For the more expensive gifts the custom tax shall be 30% from the difference of the gift declared price and 10.000 roubles.

By the way, UPS screwed up your lady last year (if she is a Russian citizen! in other countries custom regulations can be different): if the item was more expensive than 100 USD, she should have paid 30% from the difference between the declared price and 100 USD.

Before October 1, 2007 100 USD was a monthly "allowance"...

100% tax doesn't exist, and never existed officially, as well as I know!
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline P356

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008, 05:01:46 PM »
I shipped the package to the Ukraine. The items that I shipped via UPS last year was worth in total about $240, so the Ukrainian government charged a tax of $240. My lady wanted to tell UPS to ship the package back to me, but after many phones calls, I was told by UPS that they could not guarantee that the package to arrive back to the US. I think that they charged what ever they wanted. Customs also made her fill out lots of paper work to receive the package. I told her that there was no quarantee that the package would arrive back to me, so I paid this crazy tax.

I have been told a story about a person who shipped a walkman worth over $150.00 dollars and Customs imposed a tax of $150.00.

Offline Manny

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2008, 05:15:55 PM »
Quote from: P356
The shoes in the package are worth over 90 dollars

Regular air mail, declared value $5, tagged "gift" - no insurance. Send two packages a week apart, one shoe in each. Nobody will steal one shoe.

Forget tracking and insurance for low value items like this. With tracking numbers you may as well write "steal me" on the package, or at best "I am valuable - tax me."
please tell me where I'm being / have been 'dishonest'? 
Yes, he said that.........

Offline freebird

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 08:17:58 PM »
I'm with Manny's school of thought.

Address: Written in cyrillic with a big "Russia" +zip code added to the bottom of the address. put the telephone number of the recipient on the label too.  Write it smaller than the address.  I print the mailing info on 4"X6" adhesive labels and place the same label on both sides of the parcel.  Customs forms usually get put on the backside over the redundant label but that's OK.

Customs forms: Fill out in English but put Russian address in Cyrillic.  Put a value on all of the items.  List miscellaneous items as toys or souvenirs and place a $10 value.  Be sure to list any food items and give them a $ value too.

Packaging: Use a box that can survive a big trip.  If using a used shipping box, remove all the other stickers;  No need to confuse any of the sorting machines or people in the process.  My test for a parcel: You should be able to stand on it without damaging the contents.  Use lots of tape to make it waterproof.

Don't send stuff worth over $100.  Don't send stuff that will raise red flags with customs.

I send tea\coffee\chocolate\cigarettes on a regular basis and declare everything. 

I've been using good ol' USPS for three years and have no complaint.




Offline Chris

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 03:12:40 AM »
I shipped the package to the Ukraine. The items that I shipped via UPS last year was worth in total about $240, so the Ukrainian government charged a tax of $240. My lady wanted to tell UPS to ship the package back to me, but after many phones calls, I was told by UPS that they could not guarantee that the package to arrive back to the US. I think that they charged what ever they wanted. Customs also made her fill out lots of paper work to receive the package. I told her that there was no quarantee that the package would arrive back to me, so I paid this crazy tax.

I have been told a story about a person who shipped a walkman worth over $150.00 dollars and Customs imposed a tax of $150.00.

I have sent loads of parcels to Ukraine and Russia and never yet been charged any tax, you need to be a bit more inventive, do as Manny and Freebird have stated. Its the only way.  ;)

Offline lindochka

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  • это что такое?
Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 02:22:47 PM »
Okay, who's sent packages to Belarus? I've used Meest for years but lately there have been some concerns with customs that have me biting my nails every time I go to ship something.

I need to ship over a couple of our wedding gifts -- two relatively small 220V kitchen appliances with a total weight of twenty pounds, that would be a lot more expensive to buy there than here. I liked Manny's idea of separate packages and was thinking maybe I could do something similar -- take apart the appliances (not the internal workings, just the components) and ship them separately.

Has anyone done this? If so, how did it work? If not, but you have experience sending packages to Belarus, what do you think?
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Offline Manny

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 07:09:19 PM »
Welcome back Lindochka!  :bow:

As eccentric as it may sound; I bought some shoes in Holland recently. After a few weeks some of the stitching came away where the upper joins the sole. Me being in England and the retailer in Holland, taking them back was not much of an option. So I took them to a local shoe repairer, he gave me tales of 'hard work' and 'special machines' and them having to be 'sent away' and talked his way up to £30.  :o

My wife was having none of this. The offending shoe was sent to Russia - £3-50 with Royal Mail, it was repaired there at a princely sum of £3. We will collect it in April as we are going anyway - total cost £6-50 ($13)

Russian mail service!  :party0031:

Lindochka - I gather Belarus is the same as Russia in most regards? Nobody will steal 'domestic appliance components' with a declared value of $3 surely? Especially if not wrapped in inviting looking USPS boxes.

please tell me where I'm being / have been 'dishonest'? 
Yes, he said that.........

Offline P356

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008, 07:16:22 PM »
Well, for one thing I did write the address in Cyrillic  :fighting0025:, I was told that I did not need to go this, but you guys might be right. I hope that my package does not end up on Mars or some other plant. Well, the good thing is that I did buy insurance, I just hope that I don't have to hire F. Lee Bailey to get my money back. Next time, I will follow your directions. But I certainly, hope that my package gets to my lady, because I think that she will like the very nice shoes that I bought for her.  :)