Aussie Postal Restrictions in Context

Sub title: Frogglin has too much time on her hands.

As Aussies will know, Australia is currently not sending mail to 66 countries. This is quite a high number of countries (but not nearly the highest, if you check the Postal Monitor some countries are not sending to over 200 places) and it can be frustrating to see the little note when you send a card.

Anyway, I wanted to look at this in the context just of Postcrossing and just of Official cards. Obviously these restrictions impact people with family or friends in the restricted countries, and does impact tags and trades etc, but for the official side only let’s have a peek.

Of the 66 countries we don’t send to, 14 of those don’t have any Postcrossing members currently. That leaves us with 52 restricted countries.

Of course, Russia and Belarus have thousands of members (146,570 between them which is a significant chunk of the total number of active members). We know the reasons these countries are restricted, and I have left them out of the rest of the calculations for that reason. I know we all look forward to sending to Russia and Belarus again when we can.

So, without Russia and Belarus, we still have 50 countries we can’t send to and the combined member total of those countries is just 3375 members.

This is not to discount those 3375 members! They are as important as any other member of Postcrossing, but in the context of sending postcards the chances of drawing those members were very very slim at the best of times. Countries like Kosovo (3 members), Gambia (14 members) or Bolivia (22 members) are very rare, and honestly very few of us would have drawn an address from there (if any of us).

Now I’m going to go an write a postcard because I clearly need something to do today lol.

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Another thing to be aware of is, I believe Postcrossing always applied these restrictions behind the scenes, it’s only with covid that people became aware of large-scale restrictions, and the Postcrossing team released this information publicly.

I assume the restrictions were always pretty minor beforehand, but there were probably always a few countries in that list. It will be interesting to look at the restrictions once covid is 100% not a factor anymore and see the picture then.

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For sure. Sanctions, closed borders, all sorts of reasons why a country can’t send somewhere else. If not for covid we might be not sending to, I don’t know, Kosovo, and never even know it.

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I really had not thought about this to be honest. Thank you for sharing. Now I know.

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Out of the fifty “blocked” countries under discussion, I have in the past, sent to three of them - one to Cuba, one to Trinidad and Tobago and ten to South Africa. So South Africa is the only place that I ever sent much to. As South Africa is not sending mail to 183 countries I imagine that their postal system is under a lot of stress, so not really surprising that Australia is not sending there.

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Thank you! I am really pleased that you have too much time on your hands!

I will admit to being somewhat ‘bored’ with so many cards to the US and Germany. I find that I get a wider range of countries if I vary the time of day that I request an address. I’m just a creature of habit and tend to request addresses first thing in the morning - when the US is most active.

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Yep, the vast majority of mine are going to the USA or Germany, but that’s okay. It means when I do get a different country I say “Ooh!”, but I’m happy to send anywhere!

I have no problems of sending most postcards to USA and Germany since these routes are fast and reliable. I just feel a little bit boring…

After having so many cards expire the last 2 years, mainly to Russia, I love that most of my cards are now getting through to Germany and USA. I have the repeated countries ticked as well. I find the profiles of the addresses I draw quite different so I can send a variety of cards. So I’m not bored with it all. :smile:

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Just a small question.
I want to send a card to Russia.
My original plan was to send the card inside an envelope to a friend in Europe and then have him re-send it to Russia.

Question:
Instead of doing that would it be possible to address the card directly to Russia and write on the bottom “via Germany”??
Would this sort of thing work with the Aussie (and the German) Post?

IMO won’t work.

Mail in AU gets sorted into zones and countries and depends on the route that the sacks/containers go to get there. If Russia is currently being held here in Australia (and Postcrossing understands that a lot of mail to suspended countries is being held in AU warehouses by AU Post) then adding via Germany isn’t going to see it get sorted into the Germany sack.

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I did that last year. Then Aussie Post had sent that postcard back to me.

Hey fellow Postcrossers from Australia,

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the number of resricted countries for sending mail from Australia has been reduced to 43 (from 66).
:partying_face: :tada: :partying_face: :tada:

I am not sure how much practical benefit this will give us but in any case that’s really cool news!

Since I don’t have the excel list I once made, I don’t know exactly which countries are back. Do you?
I know for sure that Uruguay is back.

Unfortunately, Russia is still restricted.
(I hate their invasion but Russian postcrossers did tend to send really great cards and I miss them… )

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Bit of a random one but Mauritius is one of them. I remember seeing it on the postal monitor list recently and now it’s not.

I am exceedingly annoyed that we still can’t send cards to Russia. I’ve checked and New Zealand doesn’t have a Russia restriction, so why does Australia?

It’s at exactly times like these that continued cultural communication and exchange is important. I’m so annoyed that I feel like complaining to someone. Perhaps my federal MP.

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I know that there is now a letter service to Moldova despite what the website says (I have received replies to letters there). So maybe letter service to Russia is also unsuspended? Has anyone tried recently?

It’s a good question @austviolin as to whether a letter or posctcard sent to Russia from Australia might arrive (and vice versa). Perhaps it might. However, from the point of view of postcrossers in Australia, we’re not going to get assigned any Russians (or Belarussians) while the official advice from Auspost remains that service is suspended (as PostCrossing follows official advice). So we really need AusPost to change their position before we’ll be able to exchange with Russians and Belarussians again through PostCrossing.

I also dislike the continuous ban of mail to/from Russia.
I have received a few cards from Russia via Germany. I.e. The sender writes “Australia (via Germany)” on the card and the card eventually reaches Australia.

Even though I’ve had some postcrossers from overseas suggesting that the opposite will also work, I’ve never tried it. So I don’t know if it works.
I would be interested to know anyone here has tried to send a card to Russia via another country.

I sent an envelope to Russia via Germany on 19/02 and it hasn’t been returned yet so I’m holding out hope! The recipient sent me a postcard via Germany on 14/02 and it hasn’t arrived yet but I don’t expect it to be fast.

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I tried this recently. Too soon to know if it worked, but I will report back here if I remember.

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