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The Post Office is launching a new system to save customers time when sending Royal Mail parcels outside the UK.

The new International Customs Data Capture (ICDC) will replace the paper declaration filled in-branch required until now with an online service that customers can fill in at home or on their devices in store.

The new service is optional, with the Post Office still providing “access face-to-face service and advice” in-branch.

The ICDC also allows customers to send double the number of items inside a parcel, taking the total from five to 10.

The new digital forms produce a barcode that is estimated to save hours of admin time for postmasters, who won’t need to enter customer details line by line manually.

The Post Office estimates “millions” of international parcels are sent every year. At the Holloway Post Office, PM Krishnan Shah handles “more than 200 international parcels each week” which amount to 25% of total mail handled by the branch.

He said: “For our customers, particularly those sending multiple international items, the ability to file the customs form online means less queueing at the branch. Instead, they can conveniently complete the process at home, show us the QR code in branch, drop their parcel, and be on their way hassle-free.

“For me this digitalisation takes away the need of manually entering important customs information and streamlines the process in branch,” he added.

“This is a much more efficient use of my time and that of my staff, which means I have a happy team and happy customers.”

Neill O’Sullivan, MD of parcels and mails at Post Office, said: “Postmasters work tirelessly to provide their communities with the essential services they need. And when it comes to sending parcels abroad, Post Offices are the go-to place for millions of people and businesses every week.”