The South African Post Office (SAPO) has warned customers not to post prohibited items overseas, as this will greatly delay outgoing mail.
The post office said in a statement on Wednesday that it had recently discovered several incidents of customers mailing prohibited items overseas.
"Airlines scan all mail bags before loading prohibited items, using X-ray machines similar to those used to scan hand luggage.
"If a single prohibited item is detected in the mail bag, the entire mail bag will return to the sorting center to open and search until the illegal package is found. All the items in the mail bag missed the flight and were delayed until the next flight departs," SAPO said .
As the packages are loaded into the cargo compartment of the aircraft in large numbers, customers are urged to ensure that the valuable packages are packed in sturdy packaging. If there are vacancies, they must be filled with packaging materials.
"It is best to indicate the content on the package. If it is an item sent by one person to another, it is best to write the word'gift'. This is conducive to customs clearance in the country of arrival. Write the recipient's mobile phone number on it. Parcels; this allows the postal administration of the receiving country to send text messages to the recipient to collect the item," it said.
You can use the cost-effective expedited mail service to send urgent items to other countries. These items will arrive within 24 hours of arrival in the destination country.
Items that are potentially dangerous on the plane may not be mailed to other countries/regions. They include the following:
Liquids, including creams and lotions. Certain explosives are produced in the form of gels or creams.
Explosives-ammunition, fireworks. These may explode in the shell of the aircraft.
Compressed gas-aerosol, carbon dioxide gas, lighter. These may also explode in the outer shell of the aircraft.
Flammable liquids: alcohol, thinner, varnish remover, turpentine, petroleum products.
Flammable solids: magnesium, matches and zinc powder
Oxidizing materials: bleach, some hair dyes, peroxides, glass fiber repair kits. If these items leak, they may produce deadly explosive gas.
Poisons, including drugs and medicines. All countries require import licenses.
Radioactive materials (including mercury thermometers)
Magnetized material. These items can interfere with the aircraft's navigation system.
The following items are prohibited:
Banknotes and coins. You need to obtain an import and export license to send these items.
Jewelry, precious stones or precious metals. These items also require an import license.
Any animal, insect or organism
Fur, ivory or any other animal products
(Input from the South African government press release)
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