Sending Christmas mail via the British Forces Post Office can sometimes be a bit of a minefield.
So, Forces News has put together this handy guide on how to send morale parcels to military personnel serving overseas this Christmas.
Families and friends who are thinking of sending presents via the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) and Royal Mail have a deadline of Friday 2 December, for them to arrive in time for Christmas Day.
How to send 'Bluey' letter
Forces Free Air Letters (FFALs) also known as 'blueys', are a way of sending hand-written letters and messages free to personnel deployed in certain locations. Blank 'blueys' can be picked up free from a post office.
Personnel entitled to use BFPO services at these locations are also eligible to send blueys back to the UK free of charge.
Letters sent to other locations that are not eligible for free postage are charged at the standard UK rate, rather than the more expensive international rate usually charged.
How to send parcels to a BFPO address
Under the Enduring Families Free Mail Service (EFFMS), small parcels of up to 2kg in weight can be sent free of charge to certain locations via Royal Mail services. Small parcels must not exceed 45cm in length, 35cm in width and a depth of 16cm to qualify for free postage.
For sending larger parcels and items not eligible to the EFFMS can be sent via the BFPO system, but will be charged at standard UK postal rates instead of the more expensive international rates.
You can check if the location you are sending to is eligible for the EFFMS on the BFPO website.
How to address BFPO parcels correctly
All BFPO mail should be addressed as follows:
Service Number, Rank, Name
Operation or location name
Make sure to always include a return address on your mail.
For more information on the BFPO's Christmas 2022 postage deadlines, click here.