Sending to French Polynesia
Made up of 118 islands and atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia is - as its name suggests - part of the French Republic. Only 67 of these islands are actually inhabited, though, with Tahiti being the most populous. In fact it is believed that this archipelago was one of the last places on earth to be settled on by humans.
Islands such as Bora Bora, Manihi and of course Tahiti are popular tourist destinations, thanks to their palm-fringed white sand beaches, coral reefs and beautiful scenery. As the busiest island, Tahiti also acts as the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia.
When it comes to doing business with Tahiti and the other islands in French Polynesia you'll discover that, while French is the official language, English is widely understood particularly in tourist spots, in addition to the indigenous Polynesian dialects such as Tahitian. The country's biggest exports include cultured black pearls, fish and coconut products. However, imports outweigh exports tenfold. Popular imports for Polynesians include packaged medicine, computers and baked goods.
What can't you send to French Polynesia?
As with all countries, there are items that can't be sent into French Polynesia, and it's well worth being aware of these in advance, to avoid any tedious delays in customs. Obvious items that you'll find on the list include live animals, explosives, knives, pornography and illegal drugs. However, perhaps surprisingly the prohibition extends to fruit - unless it's in a can. Plants and flowers are also not permitted.
When sending vintage items or works of art, restrictions apply; antiques and nationally valuable works of art should be checked with customs. Telecommunications and radio equipment will also require a licence when being imported.
With any international parcel outside of the EU you'll need to complete the customs forms in full and attach the documents to the front of the parcel. Packages worth £270 or less will require the CN22 form, while parcels over this amount will need the CN23.
Travelling to Tahiti
Your parcel will have a whopping distance to travel - around 9,200 miles - so make sure to wrap it carefully to protect it on its long journey. Pad with bubble wrap or tissue paper, tape down any openings firmly with a strong parcel tape and write the address clearly on the front. According to the Universal Postal Union, the French Polynesia Post Office prefers that the island name is added after the post code, then with FRENCH POLYNESIA written in capitals at the very bottom.
There are 48 airports in French Polynesia, the largest being Fa'a'a International Airport on Tahiti. With not every island being served by an airport, packages will likely be flown in to their nearest airport, and then depending on their destination they will make the rest of their journey by sea to their intended tropical island paradise.
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Sending parcels to French Polynesia