Sending mail to a destination via another country

Hello! Recently I arranged a swap with a postcrosser from Sri Lanka.

At the moment, there is no direct mail from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka. The postcrosser suggested me to write his address, but add “via Singapore” after it, together with a message to Hong Kong and Singapore staff of “please help deliver”. He said he tried a few time in such way and it works!

I wonder if I can do the same to other countries, especially Russia (via China)? It has been 3 years since I sent cards to Russia and I really want to resume. Do you know what’s the mechanism that makes it work?


In a different thread here in the forum, I was told by several Russian members that they receive mail from the USA via Germany.


Yes, I have also seen that. I just wonder if would actually work for me. I suppose the only way to find out is to try it out.


Here is the thread where that was discussed:


I have sent a couple cards to Russia, so now I wait and see.


It also worked between Russia and Brunei (via Singapore) for me. Though my card took 2-ish months, and Brunei card arrived in 7 months or so to me :sweat_smile:


Interesting! If they arrive, please do let us know. I am super curious about it.


I don‘t know if a „via Germany“ on the address part would work. But I live in Germany and can help as an intermediary for sending cards to Russia every now and then. You would send the card to me in an envelope and I would forward it to the Russian postcrosser the same way, using a fresh envelope and sufficient postage from DE to RU.


It didn’t work for me when I tried to send a postcard to Finland via Germany. The postcard returned to me with a note “no mail exchange”. Another Russian member was lucky, and her card reached the recipient, so chances are fifty-fifty.
For my opinion, you’d better look for an intermediary to send you card to avoid problems :slight_smile:


I suspect what has happened was that the American sorting process assumed it was to a German recipient (missing the “via” part), so put the mail on a plane to Frankfurt. The German Post Office decided to send the envelope on to Russia, rather than back to the States.


I think you’re right @Johnk60, the card managed to get through to Germany and a post staff member decided to send it on instead of sending it back (or even destroying it in case there was no sender’s address).

I’m pretty sure that postage is intended for the fastest way, not for extra detours… You’d have to pay new postage for the second part of the travel, and such detours are not intended.

It even could be that the recipient is charged a fee for not sufficient postage… Happened to me once.

I wouldn’t send a card “via” another country, but find a Postcrosser who is willing to help. I already served as a link between Ukrainian and Russian Postcrossers, like @manuchka wrote.


I think the same. Most probably your postcard “via country xy” won’t be forwarded.
I also offered to send some cards from/to Russia in a birthday RR.
It should be no problem to find somebody in the forum who can help out.

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Hello everyone!

I’m wondering whether this can work:

  1. Let’s say I send postcard written and stamped.

  2. I stick my country’s stamp at top right corner.

  3. I buy German internet stamp here, print it out, and stick it somewhere else on postcard.

  4. I write a Russian address with “via Germany” on the last line.

Any thoughts?

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One “sure” way is to get stamps from the via country, and send the letter to their main post office (or some department that offers postmarking).

So if I would use UK as my via to Russia:

I order UK stamps.
I write letter/card, and but the UK stamps in my mail.
This I put inside another envelope, with enough stamps to the UK.
I mail it to their post office.
They open it, postmark it, and send forward.

This way there is enough postage to both countries and the work is done by a normal postal worker, not a “random” (where always is a risk of cheating, life happening etc.).


At least they have arrived! Did you write on the card “via Singapore” or just let it go?

I see! For HK-Sri Lanka I already looked for an intermediate, but not for HK-Russia, but both recipients said can try as they received postcards from Hong Kong. Maybe in case I’ll write my return address to play safe.

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I wrote ‘via Singapore’ on the card and it arrived surprisingly fast, especially considering Russia doesn’t have officially postal connection with Brunei since the very beginning of pandemic in 2020, but receiver said that all Brunei’s mail is delivered through Singapore anyway, so we tried and it worked! So I guess, if you know which countries are used to relay post between countries with closed connection, it works even better (that’s why ‘via Germany’ works good for Russia - as far as I know Russian post had sort of sorting/sending outpost facility in Germany, so most of European mail from Russia is/was delivered via Germany anyway)

As far as I know (you know better of course) the restrictions between China and Hong Kong are softened and China and Hong Kong themselves are staring to open even for tourists, maybe post between our countries will be restored within couple months :crossed_fingers:


The ironic thing about mail to Russia at the moment is that all mail (from North America & Europe atleast) is going via a third country at the moment.

As I mentioned on other threads, I was talking with a friend who works in Air Freight back in the spring, who told me alot of UK - Russia mail is/was being routed through Turkey (not sure if it still is) as the EU/UK and Russia have embargoed each others Airspace with no direct flights.

So if those postcrossers are writing ‘Via Germany’ a routing would be something like this:


Or Singapore-UK-Turkey-Russia

… as a an example

Ofcourse Mainland Europe may send post by Road to Russia?


This thread is becoming more and more interesting :wink:


The following should work:
You buy stamps from the United Nations Post Office in Vienna, Geneva or New York (there is an online shop too). You send the postcards with these stamps in an envelope back to the United Nations with the reference “for mailing”. You find the postal rates and the addresses here:

In general, the New York Office has the best rates with $ 1.30 for all countries but the United States – UN stamps in Dollar currency ONLY (regular letters up to 1 oz).

Send prepared envelopes to (marked with dollar stamps):
“United Nations Postal Administration
P.O. Box 5900, Grand Central Station
New York, N.Y. 10163-5900
Mark outer wrapper: FOR MAILING

The stamps of the Vienna office seem to offer the best rates for Europe:

To Austria € 1.00, rest of Europe € 1.20 and rest of the world € 1.90 for mail from Vienna International Centre
Send prepared envelopes to (marked with euro stamps):
“Postverwaltung der Vereinten Nationen
Postfach 900
Internationales Zentrum Wien
1400 Wien – Vereinte Nationen
Mark outer wrapper: FOR MAILING

Please report if it actually works.