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UK’s Royal Mail Resumes International Letter Mail, But Hold Your Packages

Royal Mail
UK Resumes International Letter Mail, But Hold Your Packages

UK’s postal service Royal Mail has resumed sending international letter mail as it continues to deal with last week’s cyber incident, but it continues to advise shippers to hold off on submitting packages destined for customers outside the country.

One Etsy seller was hopeful upon hearing the update. Online sellers in the UK are impacted by the inability to use Royal Mail to fulfill their orders. “Sounds like a little progress,” the seller wrote in a discussion thread on Wednesday.

Another Etsy seller said they had extended the ship-date for one US-bound order until the 20th of January in the hopes the disruption would be over, “but I think that’s overly optimistic, and I may have to cancel and refund that one,” they said, adding “Small steps!”

eBay and Etsy have advised sellers on the disruption, as we reported in Sunday’s EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

Wednesday’s service update from Royal Mail explained it was testing workarounds and had started moving “limited volumes of export parcels” but not yet ready to accept new parcels. The full update follows below:

Service update: 18th of January 2023
“Following the recent cyber incident, we are trialling operational workarounds and have started moving limited volumes of export parcels. While we trial these operational workarounds, we continue to ask customers not to submit any new export parcels into the network. Our initial focus will be to clear mail that has already been processed and is waiting to be despatched.

“We are pleased to announce that we have resumed the export of International Standard and International Economy letters which do not require a customs declaration (i.e. these letters do not contain goods); International Business Standard (untracked) and International Business Economy personal correspondence letters (which do not require a customs declaration) to all international destinations. From 1900 on 18 January, customers will be able to start sending International Standard and International Economy letters which do not require a customs declaration (i.e. these letters do not contain goods); International Business Standard (untracked) and International Business Economy personal correspondence letters (which do not require a customs declaration) into the Royal Mail network through all channels including Royal Mail post boxes and Post Office branches.

“Royal Mail continues to work with external experts, the security authorities and regulators to mitigate the impact of this cyber incident, with a focus on restoring export services. Our import operations continue to perform a full service, with some minor delays. Parcelforce Worldwide export services are still operating to all international destinations though customers should expect minor delays. Royal Mail’s UK services are still operational.

“Our teams are continuing to work around the clock to resolve this disruption and we will update you as soon as we have more information. An investigation into the incident is ongoing and we are working with external experts. We have reported the incident to our regulators and the relevant security authorities.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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