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Postmasters can cut down on admin thanks to the Post Office’s new International Customs Data Capture (ICDC) platform which will provide customers with a convenient new digital journey to speed up the process involved when sending international parcels.

Until now, every time a customer wanted to send parcels abroad with Royal Mail, they have been required to complete a paper customs declaration form, which takes on average two minutes to complete. These forms help local customs authorities identify if items are allowed into their destination country and to calculate any duties or taxes due.

The new digital platform will give customers the choice to fill in their international postage details online via the Post Office website, either at home or when they arrive in branch on their tablet, PC or smartphone. The new process doubles the number of items that can be included in a parcel – taking it from five to ten – a particular benefit for small business customers who are looking to send a number of items and want to streamline processes to save time. 

With millions of international parcels sent every year, these digital forms produce a barcode that will reduce hours of admin time for Postmasters while giving customers the greater choice and convenience to send more parcels more quickly and easily from Post Offices - providing both Postmasters and customers more time to focus on growing their businesses. 

Local Post Offices are a vital one-stop hub for communities and businesses. Whether people prefer the face-to-face advice and service provided in-branch or use the Post Office as a bridge between the physical and the digital, they can rely on their local Post Office to give them the help and support they need.

At the Holloway Post Office, PM Krishan Shah handles more than 200 international parcels each week, which amount for about 25% of the total mails the branch handles. With the branch serving over 3000 customers weekly, it’s vital for the Holloway Post Office to provide the international mails service.

Holloway Postmaster, Krishan Shah, said, “For our customers, particularly those sending multiple international items, the ability to file the customs form online means less queuing at the branch. Instead, they can conveniently complete the process at home, show us the QR code in branch, drop their parcel, and be on their way hassle-free.

“Meanwhile, for me this digitalisation takes away the need of manually entering important customs information and streamlines the process in branch. This is a much more efficient use of my time and that of my staff which means I have a happy team and happy customers.”

Neill O’Sullivan, MD of Parcels and Mails at Post Office, said: “Postmasters work tirelessly to provide their communities with the essential services they need. And when it comes to sending parcels abroad, Post Offices are the go-to place for millions of people and businesses every week. As part of our ongoing commitment to enhance and transform Post Office’s mails services we are continually looking to find new ways to help better support Postmasters’ businesses and deliver an enhanced service for customers and local communities alike.

“We recognise that for some customers, sending parcels abroad can be complicated and they often prefer a face-to-face service to get guidance on how to complete their customs form correctly so the option to go through this process in branch with your postmaster will still apply to cater for all needs.”

The online platform is available now and can be accessed here: