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What you need to know about sending post to and from Sweden this Christmas season

What you need to know about sending post to and from Sweden this Christmas season
Santa isn't the only one with lots of letters to sort through, so make sure you send your festive post in good time. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Pressens Bild/TT
This year, more people than ever are expected to do their Christmas shopping online, and you may want to send post to people you can't see in person. Make sure you don't miss the last post for Christmas!

Online shopping

The Public Health Agency has asked everyone in Sweden to make sure they don't contribute to crowding in shops or at post collection points.

When you order online in Sweden, you may be able to choose between home delivery or delivery to a post office or a local shop that handles parcel deliveries.

When collecting your parcels, both Swedish health authorities and postal workers have asked the public to show consideration. That means visiting at less busy times if you can (according to Postnord, the busiest times are 3-6pm), preparing parcels before you get to the store, keeping a distance in the queue and following local guidelines at all times (such as staying at home if you are sick). 

Up until the end of this year, parcels will typically stay at delivery points for 14 days after delivery – although the high pressure on postal services means that Postnord has asked people to try to pick up their parcels sooner rather than later.

You will usually be informed that your parcel has arrived either by text, a letter posted to your door, or via the Postnord app.

It is a good idea to place your order as early as possible for several reasons: to ensure it actually gets delivered on time, to avoid crowded pick-up points when collecting your parcel, and to make it easier for the people packing and delivering your order to prioritise their own health and safety while working to tight deadlines.

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Sending post from or within Sweden

The final date to post domestic letters by standard post and be assured they will arrive before December 24th (the traditional date for gift exchanges in Sweden) is between December 18th and December 22nd, depending on the type of post you use.

Letters sent with first class post can be sent on December 22nd and should arrive on time, but be aware that Swedish mail operator Postnord has been experiencing longer than usual delivery times throughout 2020. They have hired extra staff to help with the Christmas rush, but the safest thing to do is send your festive mail early if you can.

To encourage the tradition of sending Christmas cards, Postnord produces specially designed festive stamps each year, which are slightly cheaper than usual stamps but have a longer than average delivery time. You cannot use these to send letters overseas though, and they are only for standard letter sizes, not for parcels or recorded delivery. The final date to send mail within Sweden this way is December 16th. Find a full list of final dates from Postnord here.

For your friends and family overseas, you will need to be organised.

For letters to EU countries, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, the final postal date for most first-class or tracked deliveries is December 11th, and for other types of letters December 7th. For the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, December 7th is the last posting date for most first-class or tracked deliveries, and it's December 3rd for other kinds of post.

For parcels sent abroad, December 7th is the deadline for countries outside Europe (the continent, not the EU) and December 11th is the deadline for deliveries within Europe. That applies if you use the delivery services International Parcel or Postpaket Utrikes, while Postnord says standard delivery times apply to most of their other services.

These delivery times apply if you're sending post directly from Sweden to another country. Another option might be finding a way to order gifts to be delivered directly to your loved ones within their country – perhaps supporting a business local to them.


Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX/TT

Sending post to Sweden

If you are based abroad and want your items to arrive in Sweden in time for Christmas, you need to check with the mail provider in your country about the last dates for guaranteed arrival before Christmas. Again, you may want to be cautious and send it even earlier given that the usual holiday pressure will be amplified by both travel restrictions and higher demand for postal services.

There are two other things you need to do to make sure your item reaches its recipient.

Firstly, mark the address clearly. In Sweden, that means: Recipient's full name and C/O address if relevant (and apartment number if they live in an apartment), street name and number, the five-digit post code, and geographic location (the town, city, or the neighbourhood in larger areas). Don't forget to write 'Sweden' or 'Sverige', as well as the name for Sweden in your local language, so mail staff know where it's going.

Your recipient will know if you need to include a C/O address, which is sometimes the case if they are renting.

Secondly, make sure that the full name you use matches the recipient exactly. This is especially important for parcels or anything sent by recorded delivery, since these often don't go directly to the recipient but need to be collected at a post office or similar.

It might sound obvious, but the name usually has to match the recipient's legal ID, which means avoiding nicknames and abbreviations – and if you're sending a parcel to a child (or a pet!), it is often simpler to put their parent or guardian's name on the parcel. If the name doesn't match, there's a risk the recipient won't be able to collect it.

You can always include the child's name on a card or tag within the parcel. Otherwise, the child will either need to be present and show their own legal ID when the parcel is collected, or the guardian may need to show their own ID as well as proof of their relationship to the child.

Before sending your parcel, it's a good idea to check with the recipient if you have got all these details correct. You can find more information (in English) from PostNord.


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