The lowdown on sending parcels to Belarus
The landlocked East European country of Belarus has a tumultuous history. Its borders - with Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia - were established during World War II, when it was a Soviet republic. These days, Belarus is its own nation, having become independent after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, although political troubles are still apparent.
While it's not likely to make the 'top five summer sun destinations' list any time soon, Belarus does have some tourism pull. In fact, around 4,000 Brits visit every year. As in most countries, there's also real demand for consumer goods, which means there's every chance you might find yourself needing to send parcels there.
Before you do, though, you might want to consider the following.
Despite being part of Europe, Belarus is not a European Union member state. This means all parcels must be accompanied by the appropriate customs documentation. The form you need, though, depends on exactly what you're sending.
If the contents of your package are valued in excess of £270, you'll need form CN23. Anything else and you should complete and attach form CN22 instead.
Prohibitions and restrictions
It goes without saying that you shouldn't send anything to a country in which the item is illegal or prohibited, so check the wider laws before considering any import restrictions. Belarus does have its own 'banned items' list as well, though. Many of the items featured are as expected, such as:
- Live animals
- Radioactive materials and elements
- Explosives (including pyrotechnics and matches)
- Arms and ammunition
- Pharmaceuticals and narcotics
- Nuclear reactors
On top of this there are a few things you might not have guessed. You can't, for example: send clocks or watches (or parts thereof); printed books, newspapers and pictures; sound and image recording equipment, or silk.
Restrictions even exist around headgear, cotton, works of art and antiques. Be sure to refer to the official Belpost website for more information.
Whenever you travel long distances, you probably choose comfortable clothing and pack one of those funky little inflatable pillows. The same care should be taken for your parcel, as the trip from London to Belarusian capital Minsk is around 1,165 miles long.
Instead of pyjama bottoms and a hoodie, you should opt for a decent-sized cardboard box, with bubble wrap as the pillow. This'll ensure your item is properly protected all the way to its destination. Then, close things up with some thick parcel tape, to stop anything getting out.
Last but not least, write the address clearly on the front, with 'BELARUS' on the final line. This can be considered the boarding pass.
With all that done, you're ready to send!
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Sending parcels to Belarus