Postal Digest: Brazil strike continues; VAT changes in UK and Latvia

More postal news from around the world – including news from Brazil, the UK, Latvia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Brazil postal workers praised for weekend overtime efforts

Postal workers in Brazil had another big weekend trying to catch up with mail backlogs built up during the current partial strike.

Brazil’s Post and Telegraph Company (ECT) reports that its national task force delivered 13m letters and parcels throughout Brazil over the weekend, while 22m items were processed ready for delivery this week. ECT’s army of overtime delivery and processing staff, along with redeployed administrative staff, have now delivered around 25m pieces and processed 69m during weekends during the industrial action.

The strike itself, involving around 20% of the 110,000 work force, has been ongoing since September 14, and is now heading for the courts. ECT praised its task force yesterday stating that its were really “committed” to keeping the postal service going.

Latvia law cuts VAT on postal services

New legal changes prompted by European postal legislation came into effect in Latvia at the weekend, which will make letters and parcel delivery up to 10kg exempt from the Value Added Tax.

Latvia Post said that as a result, postal rates have been lowered for services including domestic letter post from 50g to 2kg in weight, as well as for domestic parcels up to 10kg in weight. Rates will also change for letters and parcels up to 10kg going to European Union countries.

With VAT at 22% in Latvia, a domestic letter costing LVL 0.49 (EU 0.69) to send will now be LVL 0.40 (EUR 0.56), for example, while a 10kg parcel sent to Britain will now cost LVL 22.95 (EUR 33.33) to send, rather than LVL 28.00 (EUR 39.46).

UK to lower VAT threshold on imported goods

From next month, the UK will lower the threshold above which goods commercially imported from outside the European Union will be subject to VAT.

Goods will, from November 1, be subject to customs duty if they are above GBP 15, a three pound reduction in the threshold. Goods below that value – except for alcohol, tobacco and perfume – will continue to be free from customs duty and import VAT.

Parcelforce said the change would not affect any other Customs thresholds or reliefs, and that its Parcelforce Clearance Fee for those items that do have a customs charge, remains the same.

Iran Post reports improving ecommerce service

Iran Post has reported a steadily improving e-commerce delivery service, with its backlog of items reducing from 50,000 to around 7,000.

The postal operator has been seeing customer satisfaction levels growing, with more and more retailers seeing the benefits of selling via the Internet thanks to the improved service.

The company said the ecommerce market has huge potential in creating jobs and economic prosperity, and for consumers it means much more convenience. Iran Post is looking to make the most of its new services and the interaction between physical and electronic services, a spokesman said.

Saudi Post renews BSI security certification

The Saudi Postal Corporation has had its certificate with the British Standards Institute (BSI) renewed for its Information Security systems (ISO 27001).

The Post said it was the fourth time in a row it achieved the advanced level of certification, which was achieved after a review of the systems by chief auditor Brian Mahoney.

The certification underscores the “high level of security awareness” in the organisation, Saudi Post said.

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