The lowdown of sending parcels to Peru

Some 31 million people live in Peru, which probably doesn't sound like that many given a quarter of that amount equates to the population of London. Nevertheless, this South American gem is a popular spot on the backpacker trail, so parents across the UK may at some point need to mail a care package to their wandering offspring. After all, Paddington couldn't make the journey without his beloved marmalade sandwiches.

If you are sending packages to Peru, it's worth knowing the how, what and why to ensure that your gift or goods reach their intended recipient and aren't returned or worse - confiscated. With that in mind, here's the lowdown on sending parcels to Peru.

Declaration forms

For customs purposes, you will need to declare the contents of your parcel, indicating the value, whether you have insurance and any other necessary certificates. Gifts to residents are generally classed as 'not subject to any control' and don't require any sort of commercial invoice except where the total value exceeds US$450 throughout the year.

If in any doubt, contact your courier for clarification. They will be able to tell you precisely what forms you need and the level of detail you should go into. If it is simply a care package - maybe some new clothes or photos from home - you should be fine. 

Restricted items

As with sending goods to any other country, there are restrictions on the importation of certain goods. If you wanted to send any telecommunications items - perhaps a cheap mobile phone - you'll need to obtain a license from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in advance.

Prohibited items, it will come as no great surprise, include firearms, dangerous liquids, pyrotechnic materials and any perishable, infectious and/or biological substances. In addition, you may not send seeds, bulbs and roots, fresh fruit, leaves, currency or any magazines or articles that are deemed 'contrary to moral standards'. Some maps are also prohibited.

Marmalade, however, should be fine - provided it's in a sealed jar!

Guaranteeing a safe journey

Step number one towards this is to ensure the items you send are not on the prohibited items list, so if yours hasn't been mentioned above, then do check. Peru's own postal service, SerPost, has a poor reputation and is known for losing packages, so you're advised to use a courier service which will take full responsibility for ensuring your parcel is picked up and delivered as per your instructions.

The usual guidelines apply with regard to wrapping your parcel carefully. Use your common sense when packing your items, making use of bubble wrap, padded envelopes and sturdy boxes where appropriate. Seal any edges well, so that curious fingers can't prise anything open that they shouldn't. Naturally, make sure that you have printed the address clearly - double checking the details and perhaps covering with clear tape so that it doesn't get smudged. Your courier will have your return address, but it doesn't hurt to add this to the package, too.

Follow these recommendations, and you shouldn't have any trouble with sending your parcel to Peru.

Find out information on sending parcels to Peru here

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Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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