When you don’t know the system of the post office, and can’t speak the language of the land, it can be an obstacle that stands in the way of you receiving a package from home, online shopping, or sending mail. I remember the first time I had to pick up a parcel from the Czech post office. I saw the machine where you select your purpose, and I didn’t have the slightest idea what option was right for me. I chose “Pensions A-K” (Duchody A-K) because my best guess was “Duchody A-K” meant “parcels with last names that begin with letters A-K.” 🙂
Post offices in the Czech Republic are generally open from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. during the week, from 8:00 a.m. – noon on Saturday, and closed on Sundays and holidays. When you enter a bigger post office, you will have to choose an option that fits your purpose for being there, and the appropriate number will be printed, depending on which counter will be able to help you. (Smaller post offices with a few counters generally handle everything at all of the counters.)
When mailing an envelope or postcard, leave space at the bottom of the envelope because the postal services reading/sorting machines occasionally print bar codes on your mail.
Here are some instructions on how to send a „recorded delivery“, to make it easier for you. – Get a form called „Podací lístek“ (small paper, which can be found in any post office) – Fill in your name and surname, your address, and the name, surname and address of the person you are sending to (as you can see on the picture) – Go to the post office and say (or write) „Dobrý den, prosím o zaslání doporučené zásilky do….(the country you are sending to), meaning: „Hello, I would like to send a recorded delivery to…“ Address Example: Jane Doe [recipient name] Ostrovní 320/62 [street name, block number / building number] 100 00 PRAHA 10 [postal code, city name, one to three digit numeric identifier for post office] CZECH REP. [country name] Stamps (známky(pl) známka(s)) can be bought in bulk or as you need them. If you purchase them in the post office as you need them, they will automatically weigh the letter and put the appropriate amount on the envelope depending on weight and country.
I receive a lot of packages, and I know how confusing it can be collecting them from the post office. There seems to be little consistency in the practice. Sometimes you will need to show your passport/ID to pick up the package, and other times you won’t, but I recommend you always take it with you to the post office to retrieve the package. If you are not home when the package is being delivered (and it does not fit in your mailbox) there will be a slip left for you to take to the post office. (It will often say you can pick it up after 16:30 on the day you receive the slip.)
Depending on the country of origin, and value of the parcel will determine the process of receiving your package in the Czech Republic. If the goods come from an European Union member state, there is no customs or clearance necessary and your parcels will continue directly to your address. Consignments from other countries will be directed to the Post Office of Exchange Prague 120, Plzeňská 139/290, Prague 5 – Košíře, and go through the customs clearance procedure. If the parcel imported has the total value (not including shipping charges or insurance) of less than €150 or if the amount of duty payable, does not exceed €10 then duty is not paid. Neither duty nor VAT is payable if the total value of the goods (not including shipping charges or insurance) does not exceed €22. If your parcel does exceed these limits, you will receive a Notice of the Arrival of Mail from Abroad. You will be asked for more details about the parcel, additionally you will be required to sign an authorization form that allows the Czech Post to act as your clearance agent. (If you do not authorize the Czech Post to act as your clearance agent, you will have to go to Post Office Prague 120, Plzeňská 290/139, Prague 5 in person to claim your parcel) Once the package has been cleared, you will be informed via post and you can pick up the parcel from the assigned post office. You will have to pay duty fees, as well as fees for the Czech post acting as your clearance agent. You can find the price list here. Unfortunately, these documents are in Czech and they can be confusing to fill out or understand. Here are examples of the forms you will receive and their purpose.
- Example of the Power of Attorney (plna moc) form which allows the Czech post to act as your clearance agent.
- Example of the Application for Future Electronic Notification of Mail from Abroad
Step-by-step 1. Fill out the forms above. We have provided directions in English on the form examples above to make things easier for you. 🙂 2. Scan them, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, include number of the package in the subject line (podaci cislo, skladove cislo) and wait for confirmation via email.
- These numbers for the subject line can be found on the Notification of Mail from Abroad letter that is included with these two documents.
Alternatively, you can send the forms via post to Česká pošta, s.p., Oddělení celní deklarace, Plzeňská 290/139, Praha 5, 220 00, but it will take more time to receive your package. If you plan on receiving packages from abroad often, you can fill out the form and send it via post to the Customs Declaration Department at Česká pošta, s.p., Oddělení celní deklarace, Plzeňská 290/139, Praha 5, 220 00, or scan it and send it by email to email@example.com and the Czech Post will have the authority as your clearance agent until otherwise revoked.
- If you are interested in sending parcels or letters delivery guarantee, tracking numbers, or as priority mail, you can find all the necessary information about registered mail here.
Helpful Words Balík: parcel (pl.Balíkové) Listovní zasílky: letters Hromadné podání: bulk mail Listovní služby: regular mail Obálka: envelope Příjem a vydaj balíků: send or pick up parcels I have these words written down in my agenda that I always carry on me, and I find it easier to write on a piece of paper what I need (envelopes, stamps, and where I am sending the letter/parcel) and hand it to the post worker. Although I have had some luck with post office employees speaking English, generally they don’t, and it makes the process easier if you have it written down (at least if you have trouble pronouncing Czech words, like myself.) Contact Info:
- Information line: 840 111 244
- For general information about services: 420 840 111 244.
- You can send your queries, comments, wishes or complaints via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful Links http://www.ceskaposta.cz/en/ http://www.ceskaposta.cz/en/nastroje/do-you-expect-mail-from-abroad–id32624/ – If you have any questions or need any assistance, just stop by the office. 🙂