Huge backlog of parcels

CTT has over half a million parcels in storage

CTT vams being loaded with parcels

Thanks to Maurice for a link to a report in the Portugal News that according to a report by the mainland newspaper Expresso, CTT Correios, Portugal’s “post office” has over half a million parcels on its premises that are not being delivered.

The postal company have already been forced to increase its storage capacity, resorting to other warehouses to store these orders, explained the weekly newspaper.

A combination of an increase in online sales due to the pandemic, alongside new VAT rules, appears to have exacerbated delays in the delivery of packages across Portugal in regard to orders from third countries.

Official information is not precise regarding the exact number of packages held in CTT’s warehouses. The only information released confirms that 450,000 orders arrived from outside the EU between 1 July and 21 September – a number that Expresso considers to be far removed from the actual number of orders awaiting shipment.

CTT vans outside the main Funchal Post Office. Photo: FN

CTT attributes the delays to the new VAT rules and to the increase in the number of online purchases during the pandemic. Additionally, CTT told to The Portugal News that sellers of goods from outside the EU also take responsibility, claiming that these private entities have to adapt their management to the new VAT rules. “CTT’s current customs process is based on prior notice information from the company that sells the goods outside European Union”, which means that a proof of payment of VAT must be provided from the seller to the postal operator of destination – in this case CTT – by an electronic message complying with a specific protocol.

Since 1 July 2021, the day when the new directive that amended the VAT regime came into force, all goods imported from third countries, including those up to €22, are subjected to VAT, which means the end of the previous exemption from VAT on community purchases up to €22. All purchases of goods on websites based outside the EU now pay VAT and are subject to customs procedures, regardless of value.

COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found in an earlier post

Vaccinations in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

7 thoughts on “Huge backlog of parcels”

  1. If anyone has the chance to receive something via DHL in Portugal then it gets through much quicker and they give you the option to pay any customs charges etc online.

    • I ordered some books from Bertrand last week. So from mainland Portugal.

      The postage charge was relatively high (only 2 choices both express ca 3 days) but DHL delivered them in about 3 days to Finland.

      The delivery information says that they were in the hands of CTT first (CTT Express if I remember correctly) but as there are no time details for the transfers it’s impossible to say if CTT really ever had their hands on them.

      [No customs problems to here as still in the EU. Finnish 10% VAT (book+newspaper rate) was charged on the books while 23% percent VAT was included in the postage costs – Finland 24%]

      • I should have made it clear that *Bertrand* charged the Finnish rate on the books and noted in a bracket that it was FI. I.e. I needed to have nothing to do with customs here as it was already paid.

        [I have stopped ordering things from the UK (*) so I can appreciate what a pain it is nowadays for people with UK-Portugal connections.

        (*) I order UK books from Amazon Germany. They get them from their UK warehouses; transfer them to Belgium (they handle customs) then to Germany and then from there to Finland AND I still pay nothing in postage as that’s free over €39 for the whole order which might well contain other things from their German and Italian warehouses. ]

  2. Anyone living on the island or in mainland Portugal preparing to send parcels to the UK should look for some carrier other than CTT. Christmas is approaching and nobody wants their presents getting stuck in some warehouse in Lisbon.

  3. Now hear up folks, dont they charge for storage and if they redirect to another post office they charge you for that as well. I tried to pick up for a friend at post office Monumental only to be told that it had to be delivered to our home in Liveramenta and an extra charge, this happened three times

  4. sent a parcel from UK to Madeiura back in May of this year. CTT still have it despite my having completed customs forms.despite numerous contacts I just dont know hot to get CTT to deliver.


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