What happens to incoming mail when a country stops outgoing mail?

Hi, I’m curious if people know what’s happening in these situations.

I’ll give several examples from Canada.

Canada Post says I can send mail to South Korea & Algeria, but neither country is letting citizens send mail outside their countries to the vast majority of other countries. There are many examples like this within many, many countries.

Does anyone know what happens to the mail sent to those kind of countries? And I’m assuming your post office accepts it - some postal services don’t accept this kind of mail.

Does it get there? Or does it get put aside by the sending country til a later date?

I’d love to hear any specific examples people have please.

In China,all mails will hold in the Customs until the postal route recovery.


Hi, I’m from South korea. I can’t send to many countries but I have no problem receiving mails from those countries that I can’t send mail to. For example, I can’t send mail to germany but I’m able to receive mail from germany. Hope it helps your curiosity.

Okay, that’s super helpful for South Korea.

What I’ve noticed is people/the postal system generally seem to assume that if one way is closed, both ways are closed and that didn’t make sense to me given that they are different processes controlled by different postal systems.

Thanks for your help.

A while back I got an official address from South-Korea. The postcard seems to have arrived just fine, so I would say if your country says it can send mail to South-Korea, it will probably be fine.

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Somewhere else on the forum I read that it’s indeed different and that sending to and receiving from countries is different in mail terms! So you might not be able to send somewhere but receiving isn’t a problem.

Yes, well each postal system is responsible for its’ own transporting of its’ own mail to other countries so they are different systems.

Yeah, for instance, India is accepting INCOMING but outgoing postal service is patchy, so lord knows if I will ever receive the postcard. It’s a bummer and it’s not exactly fair if you’re doing a postcard swap.

From the Singpost website:

  • India – Update on measures to limit the spread of COVID-19

India Post has advised that the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 crisis has been extended, though with certain relaxations.

India Post continues to accept inbound international mails; however, owing to limited domestic transport capacity, it still cannot guarantee to meet service delivery standards.

Do you hold off the swap from requests from countries with unreliable service? What do you guys do?

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What about Taiwan post? My card to a Taiwanese girl would inspire in two days. In all this time she hasn’t received anything. All her cards arrived though. She is a child, so it upsets me.