View Full Version : Shipping/mail to Moscow

01-01-2004, 23:58
I have searched and cannot find any info on this. How easy is it to get packages shipped to Moscow without problems? Do most of you have a post office box to receive mail? Are there places like a Mailboxes etc. or a UPS store?

Sorry for the stupid questions.

02-01-2004, 00:20
Ahh, no problem, TBill. Shipping to Russia- well. Everyone says that parcels and letters get pilfered - not true. Mainly. Sent parcels and letters for ages and only one didn`t get through - though Customs WILL open anything and definitely WILL rummage around in anything without a customs declaration on.

Russian post system is heroically slow - no matter what you send, it always seems to take a month for a parcel to reach anywhere outside Moscow and two weeks for a letter. ;-) The Postal Pixie gets hold of it on the way and that`s that. Everything arrives eventually - most folks have mailboxes for letters inside their apartment blocks but sometimes the main post office will send the recipient a card saying they`ve got a parcel to pick up from there. UPS can be to the door, I think. Costs a fortune.

Generally a very good idea to write the name of the recipient in Cyrillic if you can (PM me the address and I`ll do it for you. No problem) - and always always put the right postage on (or it`ll come back to you) and - the declared value should be under $100 or you`ll find the sender has to pay.

Ломкий - "fragile"
Адресс от правителя - "sender`s address"

There y`go, Tbill !!!! Think I only lost one letter and one small (pilferable sized) parcel over a three year period sending stuff to my fiancee and her folks. It`ll get there - ultra slowly. ;-))))))

02-01-2004, 08:01
Thanks Dave,

I was thinking more about ordering something online (clothes for example) and having it shipped to me when I move to Moscow. I also am a technophile/nerd and I order a lot of gadgets and games over the internet. Of course, I could always go back to the old fashioned way of shopping. But walking is such a pain!

02-01-2004, 10:33
Well, I would advise against it, actually. I've twice had packages stopped by Customs at the border and been forced to pay a hefty fee (up to or over 50% of the declared value). One was an online ordered sweater under $100. While $50 in the grand scheme may not be an outrageous fee, it's still half of the contents' value, and I point this out to show that any item is suspect to search regardless of declared value, contents, and presence of a declaration or not. Fed-Ex and DHL are completely hapless and useless in assisting you with dealing with customs. If you like ordering stuff online, I think you're much better off sending it to a home address and collecting it either through friends travelling this way, or on one of your trips home.

I can't comment, obviously on Dave's personal experience with regular mail pilfering, but a while back while living in the provinces, the delivery success rate I estimated to be at about 50%. I do think things have gotten a tad better, and Moscow is not the provinces, but Russian mail is still notoriously slow and unreliable, even domestically. Never forget that postal workers are severely underpaid. Temptation runs high.

Hope that helps.

02-01-2004, 18:34
True from Intourist there. Plus. If you send money - even in a card - somehow they seem to know and open it.....

Once sent my ex a teddy bear. It arrived in Volgograd with the head cut off having been searched for contraband. B*stards. ;-) Sent another one with a five pound note in the box saying that this was to pay for the x ray fee so they wouldn`t have to mutilate the bear.

Bear arrived, the fiver, and the note, didn`t. ;-) There`s always a way of doing things. ;-))))))

Akila Pils
02-01-2004, 19:04
I want to ship a book of around 20 $ as a birthday present to Moscow- adressed to pretty much in the center of the city.

I was planning to do it on regulair mail, not DHL or anything such like it.

Are you serious they gonna open it all up? And wtf I never heard of stitching a cargo declaration to my package?? Will it arrive in the first place?

02-01-2004, 19:20
If you put a minimum of insurance on the package, and be sure to declare it as a "Book" the recipient should get a card from their nearest Post Office in three to four weeks. It is safer to pick it up at the Post Office (necessary to show your passport) if it is not going to an office address. I once had a book arrive with a $20 bill inside, but my experience seems to be the exception.

04-01-2004, 06:35
Ive always used UPS to mail items to Russia and NEVER had a problem..all contentes arrived safe and sound..I usually sent it the 2-3 day delivery service..and Im from California..and go to Russia 2-3 times a year..and will be moving there permamently in about 8 months....Always fill out customs decleerations obviously.. ...the items I sent by UPS also always arrived well within the 2-3 day period..but mind y ou that was to moscow or to Peter...cant comment on the rest of the country..can say that sending mail OUT of Peter or Moscow to the US is like putting it in a bottle and dropping it in theocean..figure 3 weeks miminum......once I actually received a letter from Nizhny Novgorod in under two weeks and was shocked..it vaires..