Thanks to Thomas Molloy who has posted this on the British in Portugal Facebook Page.
I seem to have accidentally deleted this post once, sorry! This is based on over an hour this week with the lovely staff at our Correios, who took the time to help. It feels like an exaggeration – it’s no joke, I’m afraid.
If sending anything other than a letter/card/document with no enclosures to the UK, you must now complete a process online
(see weblink below) before you go to the Correios. If you do not, one of three things will happen:
1 – you’ll be sent away to do it, and return;
2 – they’ll do it for you, which has a €5 supplementary charge per package;
3 – they’ll somehow let it through, but it is likely to be stopped at the UK border, and that’ll be the last you hear of it, most likely!
For gifts, this is the process (for items sold, see below)
Choose Extracomunitário on the form, and complete it fully. You´ll need email and phone number for you (and one of those for the recipient), weight of total package, or individual items if there are multiple items, value of items, etc
At the end of the multi-page form, you’ll see options to print the documents – you don’t have to do this, as long as you have the emailed code beginning RT and ending PT, on paper on on your phone.
At the Correios, they may never have dealt with this before – but they need to enter the code into the section of the system for the type of service you selected. (If the code is invalid, they’ve tried the wrong service – eg CTT Expressos when you selected Registado). They will then print one document which will be stamped as your receipt (in lieu of the red form you normally get for Registado) and one which will be stamped and go in a plastic doobrie on the outside of your package (which replaces the C22, as it includes that information, as well as all the personal and item details you submitted online) Your package will need to have one side at least the size of a CD case clear for this to be stuck on.
Then, you pay – normal postage price for the service you selected, no supplement unless they did the online process for you.
If you are sending something you’ve sold, good luck! This will take more steps, and more forms, and pre-payment of VAT. There is a U barcode you need to somehow produce and stick on each item, in some way I didn’t have the will to explore, sorry. I won’t be selling anything to the UK in future.
This is a pain in the backside. The online process is a new global thing, not just Portugal or Brexit related, coming in at different times in different countries. The additional complexity in terms of paperwork, especially for merchandise, is entirely Brexit and specific to the UK (because the UK is unique, and exercised its freedom to have the most complicated import system on the planet).
Be nice to the CTT staff – they hate it too, but have to do it, and finding a way round it may well result in non-delivery, and in extra costs for the recipient.