On March 8 a package was dispatched from a specialist confectionery shop, Dolly’s, in Surrey, UK to a young Cypriot recipient in Anavargos, Cyprus as a gift to celebrate western Easter. The gift’s retail value being just £8 was, of course, way below the duty ceiling of €40. The postage and associated declaration costing almost as much, £7.50. Royal Mail and international tracking shows that the package left the UK on March 9 and five days later Larnaca O/E Air 6911 dispatched the package to Paphos Counter 8900 for delivery to the recipient in Anavargos.

On March 19 the recipient’s mother received a notification to collect the package from Paphos PO. She was informed that she had to pay around £7 in duty before they would release the package. Knowing that no
duty was due she refused to pay and subsequently, at Paphos PO’s request, both she and I have provided invoice proof to Cyprus customs for release of the package.

At the time of writing to you, some 10 days later, Cyprus customs has not responded and Paphos PO is still
withholding the package. The UK retailer, Dolly’s, wrote to me this morning confirming they have satisfied all customs’ requirements.

Because the western Easter has now come and gone I have requested that Cyprus customs return the package to the retailer immediately. As yet, they have not responded. The recipient’s mother will go to Paphos PO again requesting they ensure the package is returned to the sender (Dolly’s) and provide proof of same.

In conclusion, I should add that this is not the first time I have encountered this with Cyprus Post and customs. One Christmas gift they held on to for three months and another gift I sent the recipient’s mother paid the duty unaware all duty formalities had already been dealt with. Sending gifts from the UK to Cyprus can be fraught with issues.

Sue Cochrane