Circumventing country blockades

I’ve just looked at the “Ongoing mail suspensions” list, and was wondering…
Is there a way for this community to set up a sort of relay so that if country A does not send mail to country B, but it does send to country C, someone in country A sends a enveloped card to someone in country C, and the card gets sent from country C to country B?

I did this during the first pandemic lockdown with a letter from Germany to Brazil via the US. I enclosed the letter to Brazil in a letter to a friend in the US, noting exactly how much US postage he would need to apply (and that I reimbursed him for).
There definitely was a lot of overhead, but it’s possible if you and your intermediary are motivated.


And some forumites write the address:

To “blocked country”
VIA a country that does send to the blocked country.

And postcards have arrived doing this, though I suspect many haven’t. I can’t remember the individual threads that discuss doing this. Maybe someone else can.


Proxy mail to defeat mailing restrictions

I think this is the thread @Florallle mentioned and another discussion in Tags categorie.

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“But you still have to ask the recipient if they agree that you give their address to another person.”

You can’t just give out the recipient’s address to a 3rd member without their permission given Postcrossing’s rules around privacy.


Yes, and also in general I think it’s good manners to ask a person if it’s ok to give the address to someone they might not know, and are they ok about the possibly slower travel time and willing to take the risk that the extra person might not do what they promised.

Also, if I were using a third person in the middle would mean I should know this person well too, that I would know they can say no to me, and don’t agree just to be polite, and I would put extra work to them.

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The restrictions are there for a good reason and should not be circumvented.


:+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1:

There are lots of reasons. Some are economic, some are political. Some restrictions are short-term, some have been around for years. Whether a reason is good or bad, lies in the eye of the beholder. Having to circumvent the restrictions, also is a bit annoying, because additional actions and costs are involved. People usually think twice before doing it.

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And these reasons might be???

Let’s say it’s the pandemic: the overall infection numbers of the US and Europe are more or less the same, the fact aside that transmission via mail is (almost) non-existing. So if a country does accept from the US, why shouldn’t they from Europe? Or even more a card/letter from Europe sent via the US? (or vice versa).

Let’s say it’s the postal system: why should a country be able to handle mailings from X, but not from Y. Even more mail from Y sent via X, so basically the same bag/airport/process. (and it’s not like the volume would double or triple or …, esp. given the effort that has to be made).

Let’s say it’s politics/sanctions: If there is no harm of mail-connections between country A and country R, why should there be harm between B and R? (I’m talking about postcards and letters, not exchanging espionage-information or sending TNT to enemies or buying cheap oil from a hateful war-leading invader).

To end on a personal note: I can’t send from Austria (AT) to some countries atm, but could drive 15 minutes to Germany (DE), and suddenly it’s possible. It’s still my mail, my viruses, my ‘political agenda’. So what is the good reason that justifies the no for AT but the yes for DE? And if there is no good reason, what would be the good reason if I don’t drive over the border myself but send to a DE-friend to forward my mail.

PS: And we should not forget that regular postcrossing-cards don’t face these challenges anyway, as there are no connections if there aren’t official ones.


People can do whatever they want, whenever they want. I just know that I follow my county’s postal rules, including the amount of postage to use, what items I can mail, and where that mail is sent.

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I would not be happy with this. This would mean I might randomly be given an address of someone that my own country won’t allow me to send to. I would have no choice but to send my mail to a third party and go against my country’s wishes. If I didn’t send, I’d get marked up for expiring cards and would have an outgoing slot taken up.


If the people involved consent to a third party being a “go between” and forwarding mail between them, I can’t see why it would be a problem.

Perhaps A wants to protect the people of R from getting peace messages… :japanese_ogre:

How do you get the receiver to consent without revealing who or where the postcard is coming from?

I think we’re having different assumptions here. I’m not talking about the regular Postcrossing site, where it’s random. I’m thinking that prearranged swaps or just sending correspondence to a friend who lives somewhere that no longer can receive mail from other countries could be worked out through a trusted third party. I have helped out Postcrossing friends who weren’t able to order products directly because of postal restrictions (covid related, not the Ukraine invasion).

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Oh ok. I assumed it meant officials since it was posted on the Postcrossing forum meant for suggestions, which I thought were for the main site. I’m probably confused.

If postcrossing’s postal monitor does know about your country’s suspensions , you won’t receive the respective adresses.

As others have mentioned, this is more about swaps or non-official cards in these tense times.

But if they changed the rules so that it went to a restricted country via another country, you would get all countries. Isn’t that the whole point of the suggestion? To make it so no countries are off limits?

So, the question is to @Bokkie_B_Goat Is your suggestion for the forums only as others have said? Or are you wanting this change to the main site as well?

The suggestions category says: "Got ideas or suggestions for the website or the forum? "

So suggestions about for official and forum swaps are in the same place.
But yes, it’s not now clear which this idea is about.

I don’t think there will be a situation that official addresses are given like that.
How would one choose the via member? They should some kind of trustworthy, so that it’s just not a person collecting others cards. Like at least 1000 sent and received cards. They should agree with each address given to them individually, so that it’s seen in Postcrossing who was the via member each time. They should have their expired list too, to keep track if there cards are getting forwarded.
The receiver should also agree that their address is given to a third person (and they should understand this person has no responsibility to do what they promised).

And, what in a situation that this via member’s country stops sending mail to target country?
Like Finland was able to send to Russia longer than some countries. but then stopped with short notice time. If I were a via member, how many cards to Russia via me, would have been travelling to me, and then how long were I to keep these?