ADVISORY ALERTS

Philippines

Severe ashfall following the eruption of the Taal volcano is affecting the areas of Batangas, Laguna and Tagaytay City in the province of Cavite. As a result, some international flights were cancelled last week, delaying the processing of international mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items). Normal flight operations have now resumed however, delays are still to be expected as Taal Volcano’s activity has not yet ceased.

Canada

Due to inclement weather in the Eastern Newfoundland region, mail and parcels has not being delivered since Friday, January 17th

Iraq

Effective Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, the Department of Defense Military Postal Service Agency has requested USPS to temporarily suspend mail acceptance for the DoD military ZIP Codes transiting through / destinating to Bagdad Airport. DoD ZIPS to temporality curtail acceptance in postal stream: 09305 – BDSC 09308 – Besmaya Combat Training Center 09333 – Al Asad Air Base 09348 – FOB Union III 09378 – Camp Taji 09381 – Al Taqqadum Airbase 96610-0800 – SPMGTAF 2/7 DET9 96610-1500 – TF Spartan 20.1

Brazil

Brazil Post delays are the result of significant increases in inbound volumes which were 56% higher in December 2019 over the same period in 2018.  They explained “This unexpected high volumes associated with some technical transmission issues have generated an impact on the treatment and information exchange of some items. However, due to some contingency actions implemented by our operational area, the forecast for the complete regularization of these issues is the second half of February.”

Norway Tax Changes 2020

The government of Norway recently announced changes to the assessment of Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs duties/taxes/fees on low value goods imported into the country effective in 2020.  Low value is defined as below 3000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $339.00).  Under the new regulations, the exemption of VAT and customs duties/taxes/fees for low value goods sent from foreign sellers to consumers in Norway (de minimus threshold) is being eliminated in two stages – January 1 and April 1.  The intent is to charge VAT on all goods, regardless of value, but to no longer charge customs duties/taxes/fees on low value items.  Previously, goods from abroad were not assessed if valued at less than 350 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $39.00) including postage/shipping costs and insurance. Following is the implementation schedule: January 1, 2020:  The exemption on customs duties/taxes/fees for low value goods (goods with a value below 350 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $39.00) was eliminated for foodstuffs and dietary supplements.  In addition, VAT was introduced on such goods.  All charges on such goods imported through the international postal channel are paid by the addressee. April 1, 2020:  The exemption for all other goods valued below 350 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $39.00) will be eliminated.  VAT will be introduced on such goods and paid by the sellers through a process similar to those recently established by Australia and New Zealand.  However, customs duties/taxes/fees will no longer be charged on such goods when VAT is paid through the newly established VAT payment process.  This process, called VOEC (VAT On E-Commerce), will be required for sellers and online marketplaces with annual sales of 50,000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $5,600.00) to Norwegian consumers.  Under VOEC, companies will register with the Norwegian Tax Administration and remit the collected VAT on a quarterly basis. The VOEC registration number will be required to be printed on postal customs forms/address labels. Please note the Norwegian Tax Administration is currently in the process of establishing the VOEC registration system.  It is expected to be operational by February 1, 2020.  Additional details will be provided as they are received. Companies with annual sales of less than 50,000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $5,600.00) to Norwegian consumers will not be required to register under the VOEC system but can do so on an optional basis.  It may be desirable for such companies to exercise this option since goods sent to Norway by VOEC unregistered companies will be subject to VAT in addition to customs duties/taxes/fees which will be paid by the addressee. It should also be noted that goods with a value above 3000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $339.00) are not eligible to be entered under the VOEC system.  Such items will be subject to VAT in addition to customs duties/taxes/fees which will be paid by the addressee. Please see the following references for further information: Links to Norwegian Tax Administration website: Exporting goods to consumers in Norway – Important changes from 1 January 2020: https://www.skatteetaten.no/en/business-and-organisation/vat-and-duties/vat/exporting-goods-to-consumers-in-norway–important-changes Purchases from abroad:   https://www.skatteetaten.no/en/person/duties/purchases-from-abroad/

Australia

Aus Post has updated us saying the extreme hot temperatures, resulting in bushfires in many coastal areas of Australia, is impacting the collection and delivery of all mail products. The affected areas are primarily in postcodes: 2250-2263, 2323-2430, 2440, 2443, 2446, 2469, 2471, 2500-2653, 2721-2730, 2753-2795, 2848, 2900-2914, 3700-3741, 3865, 3909, 4570, 4650, 4670, 4674, 4676, 5115-5117, 5220-5223, 5232-5253, 5271-5275, 6030, 6037, 6041, 6442, 6335-6338 and 6725-6770. The situation is also affecting mail flows into, and out of Australia due to issues transporting mail to and from affected areas.

Indonesia

Indonesia Post has informed that heavy rain in the Region of Jakarta and West Java Province on Wednesday, 1st January 2020 led to floods which rendered all major roads in those areas inaccessible by any type of vehicle. Delays are therefore to be expected in the processing and delivery of all postal and EMS items. The affected districts and areas have the following postcodes: Central Jakarta: 10xxx, West Jakarta: 11xxx, South Jakarta: 12xxx, East Jakarta: 13xxx North Jakarta: 14xxx, Tangerang: 15xxx, Bogor: 160xx, Depok: 164xx, Bekasi: 170xx West Bandung: 405xx There is no indication of the potential delay at present.

United States

The Mail Group facilities will be closed on Wednesday, December 25th due to the Christmas Day holiday.

Slovakia

Slovakia Post are performing IT system maintenance from 4-6 January 2020. All postal operations will be closed between these dates, leading to some delays.

Italy

Poste Italiane and SwissPost have advised, from 1 January 2020 the municipality of Campione d’Italia will be included in the EU customs territory, and excluded from the Swiss customs territory. All postal items addressed to Campione d’Italia from 1 January 2020, will be processed and delivered by Post Italiane. The correct new postal address and code will be 22061,Campione d’Italia, ITALY. The Swiss postcode 6911 will no longer be applicable, any items addressed to Campione d’Italia using the Swiss postcode will be handled as a ‘missent’ item, forwarded by Swiss Post to Post Italiane for customs clearance and may therefore be subject to delay.

Iceland

Icelandic Post have updated us, International flights have resumed and access to the North & East is possible although deliveries remain difficult due to continued heavy snow and power shortages in some regions.

Canada

The Minister of Labour has agreed to extend the arbitration process by six months, to June 30, 2020, at the request of the arbitrator. Arbitrator Elizabeth MacPherson, whose mandate was set to expire on December 31, 2019, now has until the end of June to deliver two new collective agreements between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-Urban and CUPW-RSMC). The two parties have been in arbitration since January of this year. Arbitrator MacPherson intends to write her decision in May, have it translated in June and table it on deadline. There can be no legal work disruption during the arbitration process.

France Update

The national strike in France has been extended with no end-date known at this time. As a result, delivery delays to mail for France and other European destinations transiting through France will continue.

Italy

Italy’s post advises that since Dec. 9 it has experienced problems with sorting equipment used to process inbound tracked and registered items from outside the European Union, causing temporary disruption of operations and delivery for this mail. This issue could affect operations for a few days.

Iceland

A snowstorm that hit the country Dec. 10 caused severe delays in international and domestic transport and mail distribution.

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