Royal Mail Europe Shipping restarts for mail and Parcelforce

By Chris Dawson December 29, 2020 - 1:07 pm

Royal Mail Europe shipping has restarted with both Royal Mail and Parcelforce once again able to restart services. The services were originally suspended on the 22nd of December.

This means that for those back at work for the first time since Christmas Royal Mail Europe letters and parcels can be despatched again safe in the knowledge that they will leave the UK for Europe. However, be aware that any parcels that cross the channel after the 31st will need additional customs information despite the Free Trade Agreement struck between the UK and the EU.

“Royal Mail and Parcelforce services to Europe have been reopened and are now fully operational. For items posted today, customers should expect a delay up to 2 working days for some countries.”
– Royal Mail

Royal Mail Europe services were temporarily suspended when the French slammed the borders shut due to concerns over a new Coronavirus variant. The 48 hour stoppage caused chaos in Kent with thousands of lorry drivers stranded over Christmas.

Since the border reopened and drivers were once again allowed to cross the channel on condition they had a negative Coronavirus test in the preceding 72 hours, around 15,000 had crossed by Monday. Sadly, they had missed Christmas with their families and many still faced 100s of miles of many hours driving before they reached home in various European countries.

Royal Mail remind customers that they are working with our airline and postal/courier partners across the globe to maintain services, however delays should be expected. Many countries have implemented special measure to combat the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, especially for signature service to maintain social distancing. The number of countries Royal Mail can access is changing daily.

  • NorthCrystal
    10 months ago

    “…customers should expect a delay up to 2 working days for some countries”

    What about Tracked 48 from NE to Reading taking 8 working days??

    The service should be renamed to Tracked Unlimited.

  • Simon Everett
    10 months ago

    I asked RM this morning about a tracked 24 that was dispatched on the 21st December. The response was that there was a lot of mail in the system and it might move again tomorrow! The RM agent then pointed out that they have until January 4th to deliver. I burst out laughing. I don’t think my Amazon customer would be too impressed if I told them that.

  • 10 months ago

    I attempted to post a large letter to Spain today by track & trace but was refused by two post offices in my area (Southampton) although, according to the Royal Mail web site, the system is up and running again.
    When will this service actually open and accept European posting again?

  • Nick
    10 months ago

    What is the use of the free trade agreement if charges are still being made for items sent from the UK to Europe. I thought that it would mean that items received from the UK would be free of the customs charges and import duties. This is not the case at all, I have just had confirmation of this from the Customs Department.

  • Helga
    10 months ago

    I went to Royal Mail on the 29th of December and told nail from UK to Europe is still suspended. So not correct what is written here that it’s open again.

  • Marek Vojcik
    10 months ago

    What a nonsense!


    They are still “Christmas is comming” on their website. What a fail for such a big company. I had to ship my parcels via private van man.

  • Margaret
    10 months ago

    I was refused service for mail to Europe yesterday Dec 29 in Leicester. The suspension should have been on national news I think.

  • Christina Rickards
    10 months ago

    I posted a Parcel to Malta on 7th December and it still has not reached its destination just hope it arrives soon

  • Ian
    10 months ago

    I sent a parcel to holland on the 4 /12/2020 and the person who its sent to has not received it ..I look on track and trace and all it says its left the overseas department ..but that was on the 10 /12/2020 ..I’ve tried to email royal mail them..nothing feels like I am just ignored ..I understand the reason y but I wont be using u lot again

  • grant appleby
    10 months ago

    refused today on 30 december to accept any tracked to europe? whats happening if it states on here its back to normal, totally useless.

  • Lee Henderson
    10 months ago

    Cannot book on parcel force so thats a blatant lie

  • Jackie
    10 months ago

    We posted some on the 8th. December, one is grandsons 1st birthday present for 2nd January. We thought even if we couldn’t get to Malta that the Christmas and birthday presents might. We are looking at putting a claim in.

  • Mannosh
    10 months ago

    I have parcels stuck in Germany
    The dpd company tried to deliver the goods to me but UK refused to let them in , any one knows why?
    Is shipping from Germany to UK is ok at the Moment,?
    Any one knows anything about this, please do let me know. Thanks

  • Rocio
    10 months ago

    Still waiting for 2 parcels sent from Spain to here since 14 of December, when you check the status is saying send from origen destination but its like didn’t arrive here, what a chaos of service.

  • David Burlinson
    10 months ago

    I posted 3 x christmas cards in one big enverlope from Thailand on 12th and paid equivalent of £38 pound so would arrive before xmas … managed to track it to Bangkok apparently left 15th from EMS ( Thai postal service ) to RM in UK and thats it NOTHING !!!!!!!

  • Norma jean
    10 months ago

    Email the [email protected] get on their backs. They are the ones who make the decisions

  • John
    10 months ago

    Cannot book through parcelforce, absolute shambles. Parcels piling up here, barely any couriers available

  • Tracey
    10 months ago

    None of you have worked for Royal Mail obviously. I have worked for the last 6 years but this year was different because of Covid AND brexit. 7.20 hours standing on concrete floor. Extra work load, wrapping that was insufficient and had to be put right. Royal Mail and Christmas casuals worked their butts off. Those of you that need a job in September to December next year apply in 1st week of September, bet you won’t last 1 week.

  • 10 months ago

    I have 2 parcels I am waiting for since 2nd and 3rd of December not here yet .

    10 months ago

    Posted a parcel to my son in Germany on Dec 14, paid extra for tracking and parcel has still not arrived. The most recent entry for tracking on my order dates back to Dec 18 and states that parcel is about to leave the UK … the entry has not changed in over two weeks!

  • John smith
    10 months ago

    I did the same with a family member and now they’ll be able to pay customs probably as well and whatever else because when I sent it UK was still within the EU and now since the 1st they are not.
    I would love to know what Royal Mail plans to do with the packages that are in the warehouse being “ kept safe “ until they’re ready to be sent to Europe now without any customs papers, it’s a joke. Any type of customs charges that come from this mess I will send to Royal Mail to pay ! I paid for “ tracked international “not “ send it when you feel like and deliver when you want “
    Terrible service and better yet there is no correct information ever posted on their site , since 29th “ shipping time EU continues without problem “ my tracking since the 21st “ leaving UK “

  • Sandra Gomez-Perez
    10 months ago

    Two packages sent out to Spain tracked onbb by the 15th December still it arrived!

  • Sandra Gomez-Perez
    10 months ago


  • Dinko
    10 months ago

    No mail to Croatia This is a joke
    The virus only lives for 48 hours on hard surfaces……why the panic and delay ?

  • 9 months ago

    i have been sand to kazakhstan letter and this my Reference number (RN655762269GB)in 10/12/2020 and is not go yet to my wife can you Please be so kind and let me know what’s happen 

    Best Regard 

  • Maria Gaskell
    9 months ago

    I sent 3 parcels to Iceland on 27th December. They still haven’t arrived.

  • Parwinder Singh
    9 months ago

    Helo sir can help me plz my parcel no coming 2 month my original document 22 November send spain to london is no coming delivery my company is correo spain with royal mail my ref.RF215522423ES thx..

  • Lee macleod
    9 months ago


    This has said for 10 days now. Leaving Germany. However the parcel arrived at Germany and leaving Germany are exact same time.
    Normally the parcels from singapore to Germany and then to uk are pretty fluent.
    Is there still a backlog. Just strange saying left Germany but there is no sign of it having arrived in uk yet. It’s not on the system yet. Can you please advise.

    Kindest regards


  • Maureen Sauvage
    9 months ago

    I sent 2 small packages to my daughter in Holland, on the 15 th December, but they have not arrived, she received the card, I just don’t know what to do ???

  • Alan Paterson
    9 months ago

    Hi Maureen, it can very much depend on the courier or postal system used. I presume you have used Royal Mail. You didn’t say what international service – do you have a tracking number?

    I am going to presume Royal Mail. if you have an EMS tracking number then enter it to the Royal Mail track and trace system and it should give you info or even the location of the parcel. if that fails go into the Holland track and trace system – the EMS tracking is not exclusive to Royal Mail and can be used in the delivering countries postal system. I have put a link below. This is MEANT to give you the same info as Royal Mail tracking but often it gives better and more detailed information where the packet has been in Holland, attempted delivery details, current location etc.

    The card your daughter received should give info on how to arrange a redelivery or a collection (always a good idea to bring photo ID and proof of address when collecting). It is likely to be at customs.

    Failing that – providing you have a return address on the packages – the packages will often make its way back to you If undelivered.

    One thing we can say for almost certain – if your daughter has received a card there has least been an attempted delivery of the packages OR it has made it to Holland customs.

    Useful like below: (this is the track and trace web site for Netherlands including Holland. Your EMS tracking number supplied by Royal Mail can be entered directly at bottom right corner of screen. This will often give you more detailed tracking than the departure county (UK Royal Mail). It should tell you where the package is. UK Royal Mail track and trace. Sometimes info can be a bit sparse (especially when sent signed for) and it is best to go into the tracking info for the delivering country. Remember the tracking number (EMS) can be used internationally.

    If you have sent normal air mail with no tracking your daughter will need to rely on the instructions on the card. If uncollected the package will usually make it back to you if you have a return address but given the current climate that may take a while.

    Hope that helps. your question did not give me much to go on.

  • Alan Paterson
    9 months ago

    @ Lee

    I checked your tracking in destination county (UK). It left Germany yesterday and arrived at Heathrow UK just after 9pm last night. It should arrive at its destination shortly but it IS now in UK.

  • Alan paterson
    9 months ago

    @ Sameh above. If you go into the destination country track and trace web site it will give you an update. forgive me, the tracking is in Russian and my reading of Russian is not so good and I cannot find my Babel fish.

    Many people posting on here looking for parcels. I don’t mind helping but this is not Royal Mail. Chris has written an article above ABOUT Royal Mail.

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