Sending parcels to Zimbabwe
Located in southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country with an ethnically diverse population of around 13 million people. The sovereign state has incredible landscapes and amazing wildlife, but it also has a troubled past and an unstable political climate. This has resulted in a declining economy and issues with other countries.
However, while Zimbabwe's government has some problems with many western and European interests, there are many British expats living in the country. In fact, the UK has become a vital source of relief funds in Zimbabwe.
Despite this, these issues could impact you when you go to send a parcel from the UK to Zimbabwe, so it's crucial you get the lowdown on all the do's and don'ts.
What can't you send?
Business relations between Zimbabwe and the UK and US aren't ideal, largely due to sanctions imposed on the country due to its political policies. However, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority publishes a list of prohibited and restricted imports.
Some are common sense, while others are a little more specific to Zimbabwe. Make sure your parcel does not contain any of the following:
• Pornographic material and other obscene items
• Firearms, ammunition, and specific types of knives*
• Pets, wildlife, and plant products (including soil)*
• Some skin lightening creams
• Counterfeit money
• Products made by prisoners
• Some types of alcohol*
• Products determined to undermine morality
• Historic artefacts and monuments*
• Hazardous substances*
• Perishable foodstuffs
* Some of these items are on the restricted list rather than the prohibited list. You can find the full restricted and prohibited goods
Packaging your parcel to Zimbabwe
Like all long-distance parcel sends, you're going to want to make sure you package your parcel safely and securely. It's a massive 7,581 miles between London and the capital of Harare - make sure your parcel is prepared for the journey.
Find a quality box for your parcel - not one that has been used a lot in the past, or one that is falling apart. Don't worry if the box is too big for the items you're sending; in fact, this could be beneficial as you can then use bubble wrap or polystyrene pieces to cushion the items inside.
Secure all of the box edges with a sturdy tape, ensuring you've left no gaps.
Addressing your package
When you're confident the parcel is securely packaged, you can then move onto the labelling.
Interestingly, postal codes are not used in Zimbabwe. This means you'll need to write the address a little differently than normal. Instead, you'll need to know the P.O. Box code. Here's an example of how a Zimbabwean address should be written:
Mr. John Smith [or company name]
P.O. Box AY 30
Ensure the province and country name are written is capital letters, and that you've written them clearly. If you're not confident in your handwriting, type the address and print it out.
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