Customs Act 2015


Control of postal traffic

13. (1) The Customs Acts shall apply to postal packets in cross-border mail.

(2) The Commissioners may approve premises operated by the postal authority for the receipt and storage of postal packets awaiting customs clearance.

(3) The operator of a premises approved under subsection (2) shall, if required by the Commissioners, provide and maintain at those premises, such reasonable and proportionate office accommodation and other facilities for customs staff, as are appropriate.

(4) All postal packets in cross-border mail may be examined and opened and the contents examined by an officer of customs without the requirement to notify the addressee of such examination.

(5) Where, following examination of the contents of a postal packet in cross-border mail, it is found that the description or declared value on or attached to that postal packet is false or misleading, such postal packet may be seized as liable to forfeiture.

(6) For the purposes of this section the addressee of the postal packet referred to in subsection (4) shall be deemed to be the owner of the goods.

(7) (a) Where duty or tax is payable on goods contained in a postal packet in cross- border mail, the value of which falls below the threshold for which a declaration for free circulation is required under the Customs Code, such duty or tax shall be collected by the postal authority and paid over by the authority to the Commissioners at such time and in such manner as shall be from time to time determined by the Commissioners.

(b) Where delivery of a postal packet in cross-border mail is not accepted by the addressee and the duty or tax payable on it is not collected, that postal packet shall be returned by the postal authority to the sender.

(c) Where no sender under paragraph (b) can be identified and where the postal packet is subsequently sold or disposed of other than by destruction, by or at the request of, the postal authority, any duty or tax payable on it shall be paid by the postal authority to the Commissioners within 30 days from its disposal.

(8) For the purposes of examining a postal packet in cross-border mail under subsection (4), an officer of customs may—

(a) require such postal packet to be taken by the postal authority to such place as the officer may consider suitable for carrying out the examination,

(b) require that the postal authority open, unpack and repack any such postal packet,

(c) require that any facilities or assistance required for any such examination be provided by the postal authority, or

(d) take samples of the goods in the postal packet,

and any costs incurred under paragraph (a), (b) or (c) shall be borne by the postal authority and any costs incurred under paragraph (d) shall be borne by the owner of the goods in the postal packet.

(9) The postal authority shall have the same right of recovering any sums paid to the Commissioners in pursuance of the Customs Acts, in respect of any postal packet, as that authority would have if the sum so paid were a rate of postage.

(10) Subsection (4) shall apply in respect of a postal packet in cross-border mail originating in another Member State or being consigned from the State to another Member State only where an officer of customs has reasonable grounds to suspect that the postal packet may contain any of the following:

(a) goods that are liable to any duty or tax; or

(b) goods that are subject to any prohibition or restriction on importation or exportation.

(11) A person who contravenes subsection (7) or (8) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of €5,000.

(12) In this section—

“addressee”, in relation to a postal packet, means the person to whom it is addressed;

“postal authority” means any entity designated by the Commission for Communications Regulation as a universal postal service provider;

“universal postal service provider” has the same meaning as it has in the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011.