The chief executive of An Post has hit out at the British post office over delays being caused to packages coming into this country.
He said it was “maddening” that Britain’s Post Office will not implement new customs rules.
The failure to implement the rules means thousands of parcels for delivery in this country are getting stuck for weeks in An Post postal depots, causing huge frustration for consumers.
Others are finding that parcels from outside the European Union are not being delivered at all.
An Post chief executive David McRedmond said parcels coming from the UK and other non-EU countries were being held up because there were issues with customs documentation.
It comes after new customs and delivery rules came into force in the summer.
New customs rules for packages coming from outside the EU took effect in the summer.
Brexit means Britain is no longer part of the EU, so the new customs rules and Vat charges apply to packages coming from that country.
Mr McRedmond said: “Since July, new EU customs rules are being enforced by Irish Customs (Revenue).
“The UK Post Office is a different company to Royal Mail, and won’t implement the new rules.
"It’s maddening for us.”
The Royal Mail delivers letters and parcels in the UK and to Ireland. But a separate company, The Post Office, runs the post office branch network, where people posting to here need to fill out customs declarations.
A consumer had complained that a parcel containing a present for her daughter from the child’s aunt in the UK had been stuck in an An Post sorting depot for 27 days.
Mr McRedmond explained on Twitter that the parcel was not customs compliant and blamed the British Post Office for failing to implement the customs rules that came in last July.
Asked about consumers complaining that their parcels are getting stuck for weeks in An Post depots, the company said new EU customs regulations for parcels posted from non-EU countries, including Britain, came into effect in July.
These require the sender to provide electronic customs information for each parcel. Customs charges may also apply, and these fees must be paid by customers before An Post is allowed to deliver their items. An Post insisted that more than 90pc of all parcels enter Ireland and go straight out on delivery.
A UK Post Office spokesperson said it has put a lot of work into training and communication with UK Post Office branches as well as customer-facing information on how to fill in customs forms correctly for all international destinations, including the Republic of Ireland.
“The focus has been on ensuring the correct forms are used, all the correct information is included on the form and that the forms are completed legibly as they have to be scanned in by Royal Mail and forwarded electronically before the item is sent.”