INTERNATIONAL POSTAGE - MAILING INSTRUCTIONS AND CURRENT RATES (2016)
All squares should be securely packaged up and posted to:
Private Bag X900,
Bryanston 2021, South Africa
MAILING CHECKLIST - IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
1. Please DO NOT REGISTER your letters, parcels or packages or boxes
We ask that you send your parcels ONLY through the POSTAL SERVICE of your country. We recommend sending by surface mail if available. Although it takes longer, it is so much more economical, that it will save you a lot of money.
Please DO NOT ship via FedEx, courier, or other mail services because they do not deliver to Box Numbers as in the KAS address. (Private Bag X900, PO Bryanston 2021, South Africa). This also causes enormous problems for Ronda financially, as couriers charge her a handling fee and parcels are subject to VAT tax.
Please avoid INSURING packages or USING TRACKING NUMBERS. Often this will attract the attention of the South African Customs Service and could result in parcels being held up or inspected - or even worse, duty being charged
2. Please do not give a dollar value on your parcels (or only the minimum amount as instructed by your post office).We pay minimal duty on most large parcels arriving. However even just a small dollar value on a parcel attracts far higher duties. Letters, parcels/packages and boxes continue to arrive safely in volumes without any registration or dollar values appended to them.
3. Please do not send parcels over 20Kg (44 lbs) from Australia, Canada or the United States or parcels over 30 Kg (66 lbs) from the UK
4. Wrap your squares and crocheted or knitted items in a plastic bag, bubble wrap or buy Tyvek bags or postal bags with an inner plastic coating to keep them moisture proof. PLEASE DO NOT USE CLING WRAP as squares develop an odour. Tape your parcels well.
5. Include the 2016 packing slip inside the package. You can find the packing slip here. It also includes an address label and a “No Commercial Value” for your package.
6. Please send your squares flat (not folded or rolled). If you are sending a large number of squares, it is helpful to the unpacking team if they are bundled into 5’s or 10’s to make counting faster. Ronda also appreciates receiving bundles of 35 (a whole blanket’s worth) to save sorting and counting
7. All ‘ends’ should be darned in, and the 20" (50cm) ‘tail’ for sewing up should be butterflied to avoid tangling during unpacking as shown here
8. To find out if your squares have arrived, check the Square Lists here. Click on Received Squares in the left sidebar.
Do not be concerned if it seems to take 3 or 4 months for your name to appear in the lists. It takes several weeks for surface mail to arrive plus the time to unpack and record the list in South Africa.
9. A NOTE ABOUT “SLIP-INS”. Frequently, KASfolk send items such as soft toys and teddies in their parcels that we call “slip-ins”. It is most important that all packaging, labels, price tags etc. be removed. Once this is done, the item qualifies as ‘used’ and will not attract duty. It is usually not necessary to declare these on a customs slip since they have No Commercial Value.
URGENT MESSAGE RE: CUSTOMS SLIPS COMPLETION
We are all aware that Knit-a-Square in South Africa operates on a shoestring budget. Monthly donations are used to keep the operation running and help to cover the cost of KasVan gas for the distributions, expenses incurred in keeping the office running, and a myriad of other small expenses each month.
One of the expenses that Ronda has to deal with is the occasional charge levied by the South African Customs and Excise. Some of these are unavoidable, even when we have filled out the Customs Slip correctly, and are usually small, manageable amounts.
HOWEVER, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE TAKE GREAT CARE IN FILLING OUT THE CUSTOMS SLIP SO THAT RONDA DOES NOT INCURR ANY UNECESSARY CHARGES.
All customs slips have the option of declaring the parcel as a 'GIFT'. PLEASE BE SURE TO DO THIS.
All Customs Slips have a square for declaring VALUE. Please declare the value as $0 so that no charges will be made on your parcel when it arrives in South Africa. If your postmaster insists on a value, please declare $1.00.
Please be sure your handwriting is clear. Sadly a parcel recently arrived from the UK declaring a value of £12 sterling. Unfortunately, the writing was not perfectly clear, and, South African Customs & Excise insisted it said £72 sterling, and Ronda had to pay 300 Rand (£17.50 or $30 US) to bail it out. This sum far outstripped the value of the goods contained in the parcel, plus it used up valuable cash that Knit-a-Square would prefer to spend providing the children with extra food!
CURRENT POSTAL RATES FOR VARIOUS COUNTRIES
In general, the least expensive way to ship is by Surface Mail. This is available in Canada, the UK and Australia. It takes longer for parcels to arrive, but since there is a constant flow of packages coming in, this is not a concern. All parcels from the USA go airmail.
It appears that most countries, including the Eurozone, have some sort of “small packet rate” which applies to parcels up to 2 Kg in weight and measuring no more than 90 cm (HxLxD). We have found that generally this THE CHEAPEST way to ship.
Be sure to stress to your post office that you want to send "small packet rate - surface mail", as some of them don’t seem to be aware of it.
The following are current rates as of November 2016. We will attempt to keep this list updated as rates change.
CANADA - INTERNATIONAL SURFACE MAIL
As you can see below, it is wise to save up items until you are close to the 2 kg weight to obtain the best rate. **BE SURE TO TELL YOUR POST OFFICE YOU WANT THE SMALL PACKET RATE SURFACE MAIL** as some postmasters are not familiar with this. Delivery time (according to Canada Post) 4-6 weeks
Maximum size - Length + width + height = 90 cm (Max length 60 cm)
Maximum weight - 2 kg.
Cost: - .5Kg $12.48
Parcels over 2KG must go International Postage Rate (this works if you are sending a large quantity of squares at a time.
5 Kg $105.53
The US Postal Service does not offer the option of Surface Mail (SA is Zone 7)
First Class Mail International
Maximum length : 24 inches..
Maximum length x height x depth 36 inches.
Maximum weight - 4 lbs.
Sample prices (to follow)
Priority Mail International
Maximum length : 42 inches
Maximum length x height x depth 79 inches
Important tip - Do not use Flat Rate Priority Mail boxes. You cannot fit enough in them to make it cost effective. Use regular boxes that fit within the size guidelines.
Sample prices (to follow)
Best Bang for Your Buck
The more the package weighs for Priority, the lower the cost becomes per pound. However, if the package weighs less than 10 lbs., you will pay more per pound to send one package Priority than if you send smaller packages First Class International.
The Bottom Line:
US residents, if you have less than 10 lbs. including the weight of the packaging/container to be shipped, send smaller packages not exceeding 4 lbs. each that meet the size requirements for First Class Mail International. If you mailing weighs 10 lbs. or more (including packaging/container), send one package Priority Mail International.
AUSTRALIA - INTERNATIONAL SURFACE MAIL
All parcels up to 2Kg now go by air. There is no economy seamail available.
The following is the least expensive way to ship from Australia. Save up your squares until you can make up a parcel in one of the following weight categories. for parcels over 2.Kg request Economy Seamail
Note: Maximum allowable weight is 20 Kg.
Maximum length 105 cm
Maximum girth 140 cm (width + depth)
2.0-2.5 Kg $44.60
2.5 - 3 Kg $49.12
3 - 3.5 Kg $53.65
3.5-4.0 Kg $58.18
When posting parcels over 4.0 Kg, add $4.53 for every 500 grams over the last amount listed above.
Also in Australia there must always be a $ value placed on the customs note...some post offices will allow you to put $'0', otherwise, please put $1.00
Thanks Bev Jeffery for this information. A further note from Bev - It may take 8-12 weeks for parcels to arrive - don't worry if you don't see your squares in the lists for a while.
UK - INTERNATIONAL SURFACE MAIL
This is the cheapest way to ship from the UK. As you can see below, it is wise to save up items until you are close to the 2 kg weight to obtain the best rate. The 2 kg weight is the maximum weight possible, and parcel size, as in Canada, is maximum 90 cm. (Length + width =+height)
**BE SURE TO TELL YOUR POST OFFICE YOU WANT THE SMALL PACKET RATE SURFACE MAIL.**
Here are the prices for Small Packets, International Economy (formerly Surface Mail) to South Africa: (November 2016)
500 g £5.40
1 Kg £8.20
1.5 Kg £10.75
2 Kg £13.25
If you have any questions about mailing squares, please post them in Questions, Answers and Help here
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