Post early this Christmas to ensure cards & gifts arrive on time

Isle of Man Post Office is advising customers to post early to ensure their festive cards and gifts arrive with loved ones before Christmas Day, as the last posting dates are announced.

Last year the snow and ice caused severe disruption to postal services throughout the British Isles in the lead up to Christmas. It's unknown whether the Isle of Man and the UK will face the same again this year, but why take the risk? It's Isle of Man Post Office's busiest time of the year and it's strongly advising customers to post in good time just in case.

Airmail bound to Asia, Australia, Far East (including Japan) and New Zealand should be sent no later than December 4 while mail destined for South and Central America, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East should be posted by December 6. Mail for Eastern Europe and Cyprus by December 9 and to Canada, France, Greece and Poland by December 10. Meanwhile for USA and Western Europe before December 13.

For friends and family of HM Forces personnel, mail must be sent by November 29 for operational BFPOs and no later than December 13 for static BFPOs. Don't forget friends and family can continue to send letters and parcels up to 2kg free of charge to any BFPO address.

The last posting date for sending letters, large letters and packets to the UK and for using Parcelforce48 is December 20. The final day for using Special Delivery next-day guaranteed service for both UK and local delivery (including the Saturday guarantee service) and Parcelforce next-day is December 23. While customers have up until December 23 to send Christmas mail (letters and parcels) for local delivery in time for Christmas.

Our Customer Services Centre at Postal Headquarters will be open throughout the lead-up to Christmas to assist customers during this very busy period it will be open to post and collect parcels from 07.00 to 19.00 Monday to Friday and until 20.30 on December 23 only and 07:00 to 12:30 on Saturdays.  However, items need to be posted before 18:45 to ensure despatch to the UK and overseas that evening. Any items posted after this time will be despatched the following day. On December 24 the Customer Services Centre will be open from 07.00 till 18.00. To ensure your parcel is ready for collection, customers are advised to wait until after 18:00 hours before visiting to collect their item during the Christmas period.

Don't forget the Customer Services Centre houses a self-service Pay & Post kiosk so customers can avoid the queues for wanting to weigh stamp, and pay for letters and packages, buy postage and pay electricity, gas, phone bills, Government rents and rates as well as fixed penalty fines through the machines. Postal kiosks can also be found in other locations around the Island.

The retail network will be open as normal in the lead up to Christmas with the exception of Christmas Eve when post offices will close at 13.00 and 16.00 on New Year's Eve. All post offices and operational sites will be closed on Christmas Day (December 25) through till December 27 inclusive and January 1, 2014. Any business customers who would like to discuss their collections (including private boxes) and deliveries during the Christmas period are invited to call the Business Development Team on 698444.

During the Christmas period the Department of Social Care has agreed to the early encashment of pensions and allowances for the convenience of customers – please see information below:

Due date  Encashable from
Tuesday 24th December  Tuesday 17th December
Wednesday 25th Decembe   Wednesday 18th December
Thursday 26th December  Thursday 19th December
Friday 27th December                Friday 20th December

Customers are kindly reminded to make sure their items are safe to fly this Christmas. Many everyday items are now classified as prohibited or restricted under transport legislation therefore some cannot be flown whilst others there may be exceptions. For a full list of prohibited and restricted items visit

Alternatively, if you are unsure about any items you wish to post to the UK or overseas this Christmas, contact Customer Services on 664664 or ask at one of our retail counters.

Finally, you can help us this Christmas by making sure you address your mail correctly by ensuring the postcode is included – this makes a real difference to how quickly we can process your mail and by posting as early as possible. Please also include a return address on any pieces of mail, especially items which include a gift. Information about last posting dates, addressing standards, advice on wrapping and packing can be found on the Christmas page of our website

The Post Shop at Regent Street is the ideal place to visit all for your packing materials in the run up to Christmas as well as fabulous gift ideas. The Post Shop is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm (open from 9.30am on a Tuesday) and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturday. This year's Christmas stamps feature a collection of some of our Christmas stamps during the past 40 years as a celebration of our special anniversary having become independent in July 1973.  Meanwhile the Isle of Man Post Office Yearbook, a packed compendium of all 2013 stamp issues with accompanying text along with all the stamps, is now on sale.

Meanwhile a competition to win a family of four ticket to this year's pantomime 'Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood', a pre-show dinner and return transfer to the Gaiety Theatre is up for grabs. To enter all you need to do is complete the entry coupon which features in the Christmas leaflet which has been distributed to all homes Island-wide and post it inside the special competition box at Regent Street Post Office.

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