Since the introduction of the new regulations on 1 January 2021, HQ BFPO has been advising customers of customs clearance issues within some EU locations which are being further complicated by items being received in BFPO from UK commercial companies, which do not comply with the new regulations. This has led to a number of EU countries refusing to clear private mail items and returning them back to the sender. This issue is being felt across the UK mail industry and is not just affecting BFPO. The need for compliance has been raised on a number of occasions with UK commercial companies by HQ BFPO and some are starting to change processes; it remains the sender’s responsibility to ensure customs compliance and the overseas community will need to ensure that any orders meet the requirements.
BFPO will need to return items which do not comply to the sender, this includes mail which was ordered and entered the BFPO system which we have been unable to deliver. At present the returns process will only affect BFPO customers in Italy.
HQ BFPO understand that this decision is not ideal, but we need to ensure that existing and future customs compliance needs are met and other, correctly labelled, mail is not delayed or impounded as a result of a few non-compliant items.
BFPO customers in all overseas defence locations are reminded that they must ensure that they highlight that items despatched to ‘BFPO numbers/BF1 postcodes’ are to be despatched as international mail and are not destined for the UK market and are responsible for ensuring customs compliance.