Postal Frequently Asked Questions

Postal Delivery FAQs

Track your mail FAQs

Redirection, mail minding FAQs

Prices, weights, delivery times, FAQs

Passport application FAQs

Direct mail services FAQs

Business Response, Freepost FAQs

Standard Post, Express Post and Courier Post FAQs

Registered Post FAQs

Discount, special rates FAQs

Ceadunas FAQs

Franking FAQs

PO Box, Poste Restante, Return Letter Branch FAQs

Business Collections FAQs

Stamps FAQs

Contact us

Postal Delivery FAQs

On what days do An Post deliver mail?

I got a 'Sorry we missed you' notice what do I do now?

The notice will let you know how you can get your mail item. The notice will also give you the address and opening hours of your local delivery office. If you have any further questions please contact our Customer Services Team on 017057600.

Why did the postperson not knock on the door?

The driver should always knock, is it possible you didn’t hear him?  In fact it is easier for our drivers to deliver an item rather than bring it back to the depot.

I recently received a parcel from abroad.  Why is there duty and / or VAT due on my item?

Customs have a statutory right to examine all parcels coming from outside the EU.  It is the Revenue Commissioners who raise these charges and An Post collect them on their behalf.  For further details you can contact them directly on 01 7059737.

A fee of 1% of the value, with a minimum charge of €10 per packet and parcel, is charged by An Post for customs clearance of parcels imported from countries outside the European Union. This fee is in addition to any duty or VAT payable. Items coming from destinations outside the EU may be subject to delay due to customs examination. 

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Track your mail FAQs

How can I track an item?

Refer to our online Track Your Item service. Enter the ID number from your receipt or your customer reference number from the postage label and the status of your item will then be shown.

Is tracking available on all items?

An Post offer 4 distinct services across all categories of mail.

Service     Tracking
Standard Post Tracking only on Parcels and only within the Republic of Ireland
Registered Post  Yes tracking is available
Express Post  Yes. This service only operates within Ireland. 
Express Post (with signature & insurance)  This service provides tracking but only operates within the Republic of Ireland
International Courier Service This is the premium service offered by An Post and does provide insurance

The quality of tracking on items sent internationally is dependent on the destination country.

If I need to check on an item what information do I need?
You need the tracking number (barcode) of the item. An Post is unable to track items using names or addresses. If the item is addressed to you, you should contact the sender to obtain the tracking number.

Can An Post advise me in advance of a delivery?

An Post delivers more than 3 million items daily across Ireland. It would not be possible to contact every addressee prior to delivery.

Can I track an incoming international item?

Yes, provided the item has been received in Ireland and you have the item tracking information.

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Redirection, MailMinder  FAQs

How can I use the Redirection service?

Arranging a redirection is easy. Just allow enough time for it to be set up (it takes about five working days from the time we receive your application before you will start receiving redirected mail). Once we receive your application we will send you a confirmation notice telling you when your redirection will start. Please take care when filling in your application as we can only set up a redirection if we have all the information we need. If you take your completed form to your local Post Office, staff can check to make sure you have filled in all the relevant information. You can print an application form online or collect one from any Post Office.

Can I extend my Redirection service?

Yes, your redirection can be extended for up to two years. You will receive a letter from us, explaining how to renew your redirection before it runs out.

I am moving home/office in the near future, how can I have my mail forwarded to my new address?

An Post offers a complete solution for customers who want tho have their mail redirected to a new address. The cost varies depending on the period of time the service is required for. Refer to our residential redirection or business redirection for more details.

I am going on holidays soon, how do I stop my mail being delivered?

MailMinder is a hassle free service from An Post that looks after your post by simply suspending delivery to your home during the specified time you are away, whether that's in Ireland or abroad.

How do I use the MailMinder service?

You can print an application form online or collect one from any Post Office.

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Prices, weights, delivery times, FAQs

How do I calculate how much postage I need to put on a letter?

Postage is calculated by using a combination of the weight, size and destination of the letter.  You can calculate the postage using our online rate calculator: Calculate the Postage or alternatively you can pick up a rates booklet at any post office.

What is the maximum size/weight for letters/parcels being sent abroad?

The maximum weight for letters is 2kg.  Depending on the destination, maximum parcel weights can vary. For more details refer to our online guide.

What is the delivery time for Standard Post?

Delivery times can vary depending on the destination. Generally Standard Post items are delivered next working day, with international items taking between 3 to 7 working days. You can see estimated delivery times for your chosen destination by using our Calculate the Postage tool.

Why is my mail delivered at different times and sometimes late in the afternoon?

A post person’s delivery is spread over the course of the day, usually between 8am & 4pm.  The time your mail is delivered generally depends on whether your address lies at the beginning or end of the route.  However there are other factors which may have an effect on delivery times.

How will changes to VAT treatment of postal services affect postal rates?

The Irish Revenue Commissioners confirmed on 1 July 2011 that standard rate Value Added Tax would apply to some postal services. The standard rate of VAT effective from the 3 January 2012 is 23%. Most An Post customers will not be affected by this change as most services will remain exempt from VAT. A full list of An Post Services, including VAT status, is included in the tables below. This change in VAT treatment of some postal services is now effective across all EU Member States as a direct result of a European Court of Justice Case*.

An Post is required to charge VAT on services provided under individually negotiated business contracts with customers. This does not include standard or discounted published tariffs including An Post’s Bulk Mail Discounts which are available to all qualifying customers and remain exempt from VAT.

*TNT UK Limited (C-357/07)

Services already subject to VAT at standard rate before 1st July 2011

  • Courier services
  • Mailroom Management
  • Philatelic sales - Albums
  • Publicity Post

Services subject to VAT at standard rate after 1st July 2011
Individually negotiated contracts

Services that continue to be exempt from VAT

  • Express Post
  • MailMinder
  • Parcels under 20kg weight - USO service
  • Parcels over 20kg – Retail sales
  • Passport Express
  • Periodicals - Bulk mailing service
  • Philatelic sales – Stamps
  • Private Box and Bag
  • Re-direction
  • Registered Mail
  • Registered Additional Insurance
  • Special Collections
  • Terminal Dues
  • International Bulk Mail Services (IBMS)
  • All USO services at published rates

For more information on our published rates please see our guide to postal rates

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Passport application FAQs

I am expecting a passport that has not arrived yet.

Our Passport Express service takes ten working days to return your passport.  If ten working days have elapsed since you applied or you are travelling in the immediate future, please contact our Customer Services Department

When does the ten working day period begin?

Always remember that as the Passport Office receives your details on the next working day after you apply, the date of application, along with weekends and public holidays, should not be included in the ten working day turnaround time.

Can I confirm the issue date and track my passport coming back to me?

An Post deals with the postal aspect of your application.  The Passport Office uses a different number when returning completed passports to customers and An Post does not have access to these or to passport issue dates.  These details can be obtained from the Passport Office at (01)6711633.

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Direct mail services FAQs

Where can I find out more about the Direct Mail Services?

You can contact our Business Support team on 1850 262 362

What is the difference between Postaim and Publicity Post?

Postaim is addressed mail. Publicity Post is unaddressed leaflets

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Business Response

What is the difference between the Business Response service and the Freepost service?

Both of these services are designed to speed up bill payments and generate orders/subscriptions for business customers.  The service allows the customer’s clients to reply without having to pay postage.  The Business Response service uses pre-printed envelopes or cards, whilst the Freepost service lets respondents reply with their own envelopes or cards.

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Standard Post, Express Post and Courier Post FAQs

What is the difference between Standard Post, Express Post and Courier Post?

The new range of services from An Post has been designed to make it easier for you to pick the service that best meets your needs, whether it’s speed, security or guaranteed delivery. Refer to our online guide for more details.

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Registered Post FAQs

I sent a Registered letter, which the addressee denies receipt of, how can I prove the item was delivered?

Confirmation of delivery can be obtained by using our online tracking service

How can I order more service labels?

You may order labels online or by contacting our Business Support Team on 1850 262 362.

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Discount, special rates FAQs

How can I get mailing discounts?

An Post offers a range of discounts to customers who present mail at a time or in a format that generates cost efficiencies.  The full range of discounts is available to customers posting more than 2,000 items in a single posting with a more restricted offering available to customers posting between 350 and 2,000 items

Can I get cheaper rates when posting magazines or newspapers?

Bulk mailers of newspapers and periodicals to addresses within Ireland can make use of special rates providing the publication is registered with us and they meet our terms and conditions.

Are there special rates available for posting material for the blind?

Yes, there are special rates available for posting material for the blind which is under 7kgs and addressed to Ireland or Northern Ireland

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Ceadúnas FAQs

What is a Ceadúnas Licence used for?

Ceadúnas Licence allows customers with a relatively large volume of identical items to have them franked with a prepaid logo removing the need to use a postage franking machine or stamps.  The rates of postage are the normal published rates.

How can I get a Ceadúnas Licence?

You can contact our Customer Service Team on 017057600 for an application form or any other queries

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Franking FAQs

Is it possible to have my mail franked by An Post?

Yes, An Post offer a cash paid service, where customers can bring their mail to certain Post Offices and pay for their postage in cash.  All mail pieces must be identical in size and weight and there must be a minimum of either 500 items.

Does An Post sell or lease franking machines?

No. The following three companies are authorised by An Post to supply franking machines in the Irish Republic:-

CASS Limited
47 Coolmine Industrial Estate
Dublin 15
Phone 01-8207596
Fax 01-8207598

Pitney Bowes (Irl) Limited
Unit E5
Calmount Business Park
Dublin 12
Phone 01-4608700
Fax 01 -4505493

Neopost Ireland Limited
Unit 16
Fonthill Retail & Business Park
Fonthill Road
Dublin 22
Phone 01- 6250900
Fax 01 – 6250909

Are there any conditions laid down by An Post for the daily use of franking machines?

The conditions for use of a franking machine are laid out in the meter licence which is issued when a new customer acquires a franking machine. A summary of the main points contained in the licence are listed below.

  • The ink used to make a franked impression must be red in colour
  • The date appearing on the franked impression must be the date of posting
  • Franked impressions must not be used to prepay postage for ‘Reply’
  • Franked mail must not be placed in ordinary post boxes
  • Franked mail must be handed in at a designated post office, placed in a meter posting box or brought to a mail centre
  • The franking machine must be available for inspection by An Post during normal business hours
  • The franking machine must be inspected and maintained by the meter agent once every six months back to top

PO Box, Poste Restante, Return Letter Branch FAQs

What is a Post Office Box?

A Post Office Box (PO Box) may be rented at Head Post Offices, Delivery Service Units and certain Post Offices.  It is used to hold mail until collected by the customer renting the box.

What is the Poste Restante service?

Poste Restante is a free service that allows visitors to a town to have their mail addressed to the local Post Office, where it will be held for collection.

I’ve sent an item with the wrong address. How do I retrieve it?

Items which are undelivered for reasons such as ‘unknown addressee’ or ‘insufficient address’ are held at our Return Letter Branch when there is no return address on them. 

How do I retrieve an item from the Return Letter Branch? 

Our Customer Service Team can confirm if an item is been held and you may claim it by completing our online mails enquiry form you can also pick up a copy of the form at your local Post Office or Delivery Office.

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Business Collections FAQs

Can I arrange for mail to be collected from my business premises?

An Post operates a daily scheduled collection as well as once off special collections which can be ordered the day before they are required

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Stamps FAQs

Can I order postage stamps over the phone?

Yes, our website allows you to buy postage stamps and other postal products online, or you can telephone 01 705 7400 and speak to a member of our Philatelic team to place your order also.

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Can I get a refund on unused stamps, or spoiled franking impressions?

Yes, you can get a refund on:

  • €6.50 is the minimum value of unused postage stamps that will be accepted for refund.
  • Fee of 20% will be applied to refunds up to €250 and fee of 10% will be applied to the balance over €250.
  • Stamps must have been purchased at a Post Office/Post Office stamp vending machine or from a person duly authorised to sell stamps within the previous two years.

Spoiled Franking Impressions

  • No charge for 20 items or less.
  • Fee of 10% will be applied to refunds for more than 20 items.
  • The entire envelopes / wrappers of address labels must be submitted.
  • No refund will be given for Franking Impressions which are not surrendered within one month of the date of franking.

 Download the unused stamps, or spoiled franking impressions refund form and return it to

The Manager
National Meter Centre
General Post Office
O’Connell Street Lower
Dublin 1
D01 F5P2

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