Estonia (or, more formally, the Republic of Estonia) has witnessed a tumultuous century in terms of rulership. After being granted independence in 1918, it then went on to become occupied first by the Soviet Union, then again by Nazi Germany. It was a coup in 1991 that finally restored power back to the Estonians and the country went on to be admitted to Nato and the EU in 2004.
Today, Estonia is home to around 1.3 million people and has a strong standing in Europe. In fact, it frequently out-performs many of its bigger and more established neighbours at both economy and quality of life. It should be no surprise, then, that business owners across the UK look to Estonia as a potentially lucrative export market.
If this sounds like you, or you're simply sending packages to friends or family across the way, here are a few things to consider.
As you'd probably expect, Estonia will not permit anyone to send acids, flammables, poisons and radioactives across its borders. Perhaps surprisingly, though, this list also extends to jewellery, magnets, metal and toiletries. There are also restrictions on seeds and beans from Egypt, though this is a temporary issue. As it stands, mustard seeds, soya beans, radish sprouts and oleaginous fruits are among those in the prohibited list.
With Estonia being a fully-fledged EU member, it means you save time on customs documentation. There are no CN22 or CN23 forms needed here - the parcel can head on its merry way with little more than an address required.
Whilst a reputable carrier will do its utmost to ensure your parcel arrives safely, securely and speedily, there are measures you can take to ensure nothing goes awry. First off, properly package your item by finding a box that's only slightly bigger than what you're posting - as this gives a bit of space but prevents too much movement in transit. Any gaps can then be filled with protective materials such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
Boxes that have gone through the post a couple of times already should be fine, but check all seams and edges before sending. Either strengthen weak points with heavy-duty tape or - if you want to be extra careful - simply find another box.
Once your items are safely packed inside, secure all openings and write the addressee clearly on the front. It's also worth popping your address on the back (in much smaller writing) just in case there are any issues along the way and your goods need to be re-routed back.
With all that considered your parcel should now be ready for the 1,600-mile journey from the UK to Estonia. You can even wave it off with a "huvasti", or "goodbye" to me and you.