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Author Topic: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)  (Read 76744 times)

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Offline dispozo

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2008, 06:54:40 PM »
I have used USPS for all cards and packages.

I have sent many cards this year to Ukraine. Just recently I sent 7 New Years cards to my fiancee family and friends. All cards have arrived. The funny thing is she has one friend in Canada and she is always the last one to receive our cards.

I have also sent many packages, all have arrived. She has to go to post office and show her passport to pick up package. Then she has to open package there and make sure everything is there.

It takes anywhere from 5 to 10 days for things to get to her, she lives in Rivne.

Offline mirror

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2008, 06:25:46 AM »
Parcels from Australia to Russia by avia takes 3 weeks and it is saved! :party0011: But looks like a way from Russia to Australia is a little longer...we will know it later.

Offline shakespear

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2008, 12:29:38 PM »
I have a question about US Mail to the FSU.

They used to have surface mail (ship), airmail, priority mail and express mail.

It now appears that they have first class mail, priority mail and express mail and global express guaranteed.

My question is this, did they eliminate surface mail or airmail.  Does "first-class" mail to Russia go by surface mail or by airplane?  They only say delivery time for first class mail "varies".  I can seem to find out anywhere if first class mail is actually transported like the old airmail.  The rates are the same as the old airmail. 

Anybody have any facts, ideas or opinions on this question?
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn


Offline erudite

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2008, 02:10:00 PM »
I also have a question about the "theft" problem with mail from the US to Ukraine. How bad is it. I have been sending things via DHL, but it is way to expensive for a letter or card, small parcel, etc.
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Offline dispozo

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2008, 02:28:39 PM »
I also have a question about the "theft" problem with mail from the US to Ukraine. How bad is it. I have been sending things via DHL, but it is way to expensive for a letter or card, small parcel, etc.

I recently sent 7 cards to my fiancee's family and friends. I also recently sent 2 package to her and her family. My mother also sent a package to her. All packages had gifts inside them. Everything arrives in about 10 days. I have never had any problems sending cards or packages by USPS. I would use nobody else can not beat the price!!!

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2008, 07:00:28 PM »
Russia and Ukraine has turned their postal services over to semi-private corporations and they're starting to weed out a lot of the corruption and introduce the idea of customer servie.  It'll take some time to change that part of the culture (slowness, bad service, theft, bribes) but they're doing a decent job already.

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2009, 09:32:47 AM »

My question is this, did they eliminate surface mail or airmail.  Does "first-class" mail to Russia go by surface mail or by airplane? 

They only say delivery time for first class mail "varies".  I can seem to find out anywhere if first class mail is actually transported like the old airmail.  The rates are the same as the old airmail. 

Anybody have any facts, ideas or opinions on this question?


I've created a looooong thread in ebay "Package & shipping" forum about it, but it seems it's already lost somewhere deep down... (though you might try to google "Shipping from USA to Russia: Moscow-based buyer's experience").

Briefly:

1) First class and Priority have about the same delivery times. Both go by air. Both are handled here by Russian Post.  www.russianpost.ru

2) A package sent by First class mail is treated as "Recommande" here (even though it shouldn't be!) for the simple reason: there is a bar code and a AX123456789US number on the green custom label!

3) Priority Mail International parcels, instead of their original numbers (LJ123456789US for large envelopes with postage paid online, CP123456789US for parcels with postage paid at the office, CJ123456789US for parcels with postage paid online) are getting the NEW Russian tracking number (RA123456789RU) after leaving customs.

There's no chance for you to find out this new number before you actually receive the parcel...

4) Express Mail International is what makes the difference! Here in Russia it is treated by EMS GarantPost www.emspost.ru .

They have in their system the original tracking numbers (EB123456789US, when postage is paid at the office, or EC123456789US when postge is paid online), thus knowing this number the sender can track the parcel at any stage, and the recipient - to call EMS and inform them about the comfortable delivery time.

5) The biggest delays are during Russian part of the journey. The most time-consuming step is... collecting dust in the International Post Office warehouse, waiting for customs inspection  >:(

6) Express Mail International parcels do somehow spend less time waiting to be inspected than Priority and First Class. Sometimes EMS operator can tell you something like "your parcel will be submitted for inspection tomorrow". With Priority and First Class you never know when this day will come...

7) Parcels under 2 kilos are usually inspected quicked than heavier ones.

8.) Customs delays are the worst in second half of December and the whole January.

From my personal experience, the longest delivery time from USA was with a real heavy Priority Mail International parcel: sent from Chicago on December 28, passed customs inspection on February 1, arrived to my post office (for self pick-up!) on February 7.

The shortest delivery time with Express Mail International was 1 week: shipped from New York on Monday - delivered by courrier into my hands next Monday.
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline shakespear

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2009, 09:46:35 AM »
1) First class and Priority have about the same delivery times. Both go by air. Both are handled here by Russian Post.   

I'm not so sure. 

I mailed in mid-December several Christmas Cards to Russia by "first class" and they took between 6-7 weeks for delivery - more like surface mail.  The letters were sent to Moscow, Volgograd and Volzsky

A Priority Mail package mailed in mid-January was delivered in 8 days.  It was sent to Volgograd.

   
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Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2009, 10:27:42 AM »



1) First class and Priority have about the same delivery times. Both go by air.

Both are handled here by Russian Post.   


I'm not so sure. 


I've got First Class Mail parcels two times so far (prefer having my purchases shipped with a trackable option!); delivery time was 2 weeks +\- a couple of days.

Priority takes the same to Moscow, IME.

The extended delivery times you experienced was most likely due to Christmas period & Russian holidays till January 11th (read above about my Priority parcel last year!).
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline ChrisBFLA

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2009, 07:44:19 AM »
Use MEEST.  Look them up on a google search.  We use the one in Boston.  Roman Malko gets the job done.  Never had a problem with this service.  You can send up to 70 lb (30 Kg) in a package by sea and it gets there in about 5 weeks. (Ukraine).

Forget the post office!!!!!!

Chris

Offline ECR844

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2009, 09:14:08 AM »
Out of curiousity has anyone here been 'brave' ( or crazy, or stupid, depending on your opinion, and choice of adjectives) enough to try to send a laptop via the mail to Russia and was it delivered sucessfully?

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2009, 09:03:22 AM »

Out of curiousity has anyone here been 'brave' ( or crazy, or stupid, depending on your opinion, and choice of adjectives) enough to try to send a laptop via the mail to Russia and was it delivered sucessfully?


I think someone has already posted here a story about sending a laptop by DHL to a scammer who claimed being a "poor Russian girl with no means to buy a computer"?


Anyway: got a Priority Mail International parcel today.

Shipped from Florida on February 23, Monday (weight 2 lb 3 oz, postage paid online).

Arrived to Russia & cleared customs on March 1.

Total delivery time - 10 days.
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline BCARTR

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2009, 09:35:03 AM »
Well since the wife has been in the US, the postal office has changed a tad wee bit.
They now only offer Air Mail versus standard post.  So everything goes via Air Mail which is a bit more expensive.

We shipped out some toys about 6 months ago to her mother's address for her sisters son.
We made sure to remove the toys from their packages before sending them and marked them as a gift.
It arrived about 5 weeks later intact with no issues. Her mother had to go to the post office to pick up the package.

On Feb. 21, 2009 we sent another package with Baby Books!  Yeah Anya put together several baby books with pictures of our baby/family. She put some of our pictures in frames via photoshop and printed them and stuck them in the books.  One for her mother, grandmother and sister.  Sent some CDs with some software/pictures for her friends and a purse with cosmetics inside.  I put everything in separate "One Gallon bags" just in case the box got wet.  The package was about 10lbs and cost us $28.00 to ship via air.  I did not purchase insurance as I have no idea how I would recover anyway. (Thats another story) so when I ship I tell Anya we are shipping with the hopes that it arrives and if it does not oh well.

The good news is that they received that package today. This time we had shipped it to her grandmothers home, and what we learned was that the Ukrainian post woman knew that the tenant of that apartment was a grandmother and had decided to take the box to her instead of having her walk to the post office!!! That was nice, and the post woman told her grandmother to call them if she is expecting any other packages, and they will drop them off at her home. (An advanced warning). So for now on we are shipping our items to her grandmothers home.
For both instances no customs money were due. :)

Anyway another happy mailing.

PS. Her parents are so happy to have pictures of our baby and family!

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Here's my personal "complaints corner" for today  :crybaby:   :GRRRR:  :crybaby:    :GRRRR:

Placed an order at Amazon.de on March 6. My credit card has been charged on March 14. Order has been shipped on March 16, left Germany on March 17, and arrived to Russia on March 18.

From March 19 I am staring at a line saying "submitted for customs control on March 19, 13:07".

This morning I called the Russian post hotline (8-800-200-58-88), and was told that my parcel is "retained by customs" - thus I have to arrive personally at the Central International Postoffice with the printouts of all the documents related with my order. Usually that means that Amazon forgot to put the invoice inside, and I will have to prove my poor 2 CDs are worth only 16 euros 84 cents, not 10.000 roubles.

However at the Central International Postoffice I have been told the following:

1) that they are receiving "an incredible amount" of parcels from Amazon;

2) that all parcels & packages from mailorder companies are subject to "консигнация";

3) that on March 16 they have already returned to Amazon more than 400 parcels, that arrived to Russia in January and February;

4) that they had a "special meeting" about this problem in their headoffice today at 15:00;

5) and that they still haven't decided what to do with parcels from "Amazon" that arrived in March; the final decision will be made on Friday, March 27, and most likely all other parcels will be returned too.

A friend of mine, who had 3 parcels delayed (retained), went with me - to find out that the parcel shipped on January 24 has been sent back to Amazon on March 16, because its "storage time expired"!!!  :GRRRR:

Arriving home, I checked the meaning of the word "consignement" in the dictionary; if I understood correctly, it means that the SELLER has to pay the POST for processing & handling of the goods sold. So it seems our wonderful Russian post just wants some money from Amazon  :-\

I know our post is very far from being perfect, especially after January 11, 2009 – when ex-Sberbank guy who was their boss since November 2007 quit. His departure meant the immediate tariffs growth (from Feb.1), website going lethargic in the middle of the working day, some stupid "graphic info confirmation" appearing in the Russian version of "Tracking" option, English version of "Tracking" option not working proprely, and so on.

But still I think this is not RIGHT that the final victim of the problems between two big companies, Amazon and Russian Post, is the BUYER!

I’ve paid the order on March 14, I have submitted the correct address, I was tracking the parcel online every day starting from March 16, I have spent half a day today traveling across the whole Moscow to the Central International Postoffice (not to mention the money for subway & trams to get there) – and all in vain??

I truly hope that at least Amazon can make an effort from their end too – and to contact Russian Post authorities to clarify the situation.  :GRRRR:
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2009, 09:18:19 AM »
Olga, I'm looking at the term консигнация thru a Western "filter" naturally, and that usually means that Company A gives a product to Company B to sell. Once Company B sells the product, the two companies share some percentage split on the money.

This seems to be an extortion play by the Russian postal service to get money from Amazon, by holding you hostage. They see Amazon as company A and wish to insert themselves into the deal as company B. They know that if Amazon doesn't pay them bribes, you will demand a refund and Amazon will lose money.

This helps me understand something which just happened to us.  My wife and I sent a package to Russia in mid December to our Moscow address. My wife returned to Russia later and beat the package home. I went there in mid-late January and it had still not arrived. Just this week on Sunday it arrived in Moscow.  It had sat in Russian customs for almost 3 months. My MIL picked it up and apparently had to pay some sort of "fee" to redeem it.




Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2009, 07:46:06 AM »

This seems to be an extortion play by the Russian postal service to get money from Amazon, by holding you hostage. They see Amazon as company A and wish to insert themselves into the deal as company B. They know that if Amazon doesn't pay them bribes, you will demand a refund and Amazon will lose money.


Mendy, there seems to be a more serious problem than just my poor Amazon CDs.

Russian customs authorities got an order "from above" saying that  more taxes shall be collected. On March 4 the "customs boss" (forgot the name...) sent a note about it to all his subalterns.

So now they do the following:

1) Block the parcels from internet shops like Amazon, UggStop (Australia), T.M.Lewine (UK, I think...) - and all other possible internet shops where Russian residents can purchase items (CDs, shoes, clothes) cheaper than in Russia.

2) In case a RF resident has purchased an item with discount, they base their "customs duty" calculations NOT on the "after discount" digit, but a "pre-discount" digit!

3) In case the item's price is under "tax free limit", but the price + shipping is OVER "tax free limit", they base their calculations on... price + shipping digit!

There are 30 pages and 293 posts about this problem on a Russian forum dedicated to all the customs-related issues:

http://www.tks.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=194237

There are also 2 court cases "citizens against customs" running now. I will not jump in, as paying 10.000 roubles for a lawyer to receive my 2 CDs worth 19.35 EUR is not the smartest move; but the whole "f***ed by customs community" watches these cases with interest (one guy ordered a suit \ shirts \ tie from T.M.Lewin - and he happens to be a lawyer himself; another girl ordered uggly boots from Australia that got shipped back).


 My MIL picked it up and apparently had to pay some sort of "fee" to redeem it.


The "fee" was "customs tax", I presume? What was the declared value of the parcel? More than 10.000 roubles (approx. $330)?

ATTENTION   RULES  CHANGE

The "tax free" declared value of incoming parcel shipped with DHL, UPS, TNT, EMS, other courrier delivery companies is 5.000 roubles (or equivalent in the country of origin's currency) per person per month now.

The "tax free" declared value for packages shipped via Russian Post is still 10.000 roubles per person per month, BUT there are talks that this will be soon brought down to 5.000 roubles as well.

Moreover, the customs now do their best to prove the sender lied to them and deliberately underrated the value of contents. So, if some lucky Russian won something on ebay, it will be a pain in the ass to prove this 1973 Fender guitar really costs $273, not $6000!
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2009, 11:03:24 AM »
Wow, that is a big problem.


Quote
The "fee" was "customs tax", I presume? What was the declared value of the parcel? More than 10.000 roubles (approx. $330)?

I think the value was around $150-200, certainly supposed to be under the limit.

While I can't prove it, my suspicion is that they held the package for a long time and then someone pocketed the "fee" for themselves.

Offline shakespear

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2009, 11:21:48 AM »
I think the value was around $150-200, certainly supposed to be under the limit.

While I can't prove it, my suspicion is that they held the package for a long time and then someone pocketed the "fee" for themselves. 

Mendy:

If you check the usps web page and consult the International Mailing Manual (IMM) you will see that the actual published postal regulations are MUCH different than what has been outlined in this thread so far -

From the IMM -

"Items containing articles admitted as imports are delivered to addressees subject to payment of customs duties at the rate of 30% of the cost of the articles:

If the cost of the contents is between 101 USD and 1,000 USD.
If the quantity of articles imported exceeds three times the limit according to the internal standards set.

Items containing articles admitted as imports the cost of which is between 1,001 USD and 10,000 USD are delivered to addressees subject to payment of the customs duties at the rate of 50% of the cost of the articles. "


So it would appear that packages containing less that $100 stated value will be admitted duty free, not 5,000 or 10,000pyb
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Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2009, 12:07:07 PM »

"Items containing articles admitted as imports are delivered to addressees subject to payment of customs duties at the rate of 30% of the cost of the articles:

If the cost of the contents is between 101 USD and 1,000 USD.

.....

So it would appear that packages containing less that $100 stated value will be admitted duty free, not 5,000 or 10,000 pyb


The "tax free" limit was $100 before 2007 or even 2006.

Then it has been raised till 10.000 roubles for Russian post and till 5.000 roubles for courrier companies.

http://www.tks.ru/nat/0020000001/print

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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2009, 12:08:08 PM »
SS, as International mail is done by treaty and inter-postal agreements, does this mean the Russian side is ignoring what they've agreed to in the past?

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2009, 12:19:58 PM »

While I can't prove it, my suspicion is that they held the package for a long time and then someone pocketed the "fee" for themselves.


The fee for what? For storage? They can't charge for that (legally, at least).

If that was a customs tax, your MIL should have gotten an official telegram from customs, with the bank account number to which the tax must be paid. Then collecting the parcel from the customs would be possible after showing tax payment confirmation only.

However these cases used to be easily arguable - normally it took a printout of the confirmation e-mail from the seller (Amazon, Ebay, etc.) and a personal visit to Warsawskoe chausse, 37 to bring the greedy customers back to their senses. Don't know about now, though  ::)  ... after that famous Mr.Andrej Belyaninov's order from 04.03.2009...

http://www.ete.ru/news/detail.php?ID=75536
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Offline shakespear

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2009, 12:23:19 PM »
SS, as International mail is done by treaty and inter-postal agreements, does this mean the Russian side is ignoring what they've agreed to in the past?

I don't know.  I was only trying to explain why your package that had a value of over $100 would have to pay an import duty.  The IMM on the www.usps.com web page is version 2009 so I'm pretty sure the postal regulations stated therein are accurate and up to date with current existing treaties and inter-postal agreements.
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2009, 01:21:58 PM »
Wish I could have been there to see the details. MIL is pretty savvy about what is legal, etc, and her suspicion is that the fee was paid for "redeeming" it, if you follow my drift.

The stuff inside was worth maybe $150 but it was so long ago that I don't remember what we listed on the customs slip.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2009, 01:27:01 PM »
I sent a very small package worth maybe $45-50 in mid-late February which has yet to arrive in Moscow.  Another very small package went in early March and it has not yet arrived either. The March one I'm not surprised at, but the February is a little long even for Russia.

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Sending Items by Mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (FSU)
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2009, 11:52:20 AM »

The IMM on the www.usps.com web page is version 2009 so I'm pretty sure the postal regulations stated therein are accurate and up to date with current existing treaties and inter-postal agreements.


 :chuckle:  :chuckle:  :chuckle:
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.


 

 

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