When are the last Royal Mail posting dates before Christmas 2016?

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Each year thousands of people use Royal Mail to send gifts and cards to loved ones far and near.

The postal service has released a guide to help make sure that things turn up in time for Christmas.

For gifts to family or friends in the UK, the last recommended posting dates are:

  • Friday December 23 for Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed services
  • Tuesday December 22 for Special Delivery
  • Wednesday December 21 for First Class mail and Royal Mail Tracked
  • Tuesday December 20 for Second Class mail

Sending gifts abroad? For International Standard (formerly Airmail) and all International Tracking and Signature Services (formerly Airsure and International Signed For) parcels, the deadlines are:

  • Saturday December 3 for Africa, Middle East
  • Wednesday December 7 for Asia, Cyprus, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) Far East (including Japan)
  • Thursday December 8 for the Caribbean, Central and South America
  • Saturday December 10 for Australia, Greece, New Zealand
  • Wednesday December 14 for Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
  • Thursday December 15 for Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
  • Friday December 16 for Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
  • Saturday December 17 for Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

The deadlines for International Economy (formerly known as Surface Mail) have now all passed.

For those with loved ones in the armed forces, the last dates to send items to static British Forces Post Office addresses (BFPOs) is Monday December 12. The deadline for operation BFPOs has now passed.

To be sure that parcels will turn up before the big day, Royal Mail advises customers to post them as early as possible.

Make sure that the address and postcode is correct and that you have paid the right amount of postage.

Visit royalmail.com to check that items are allowed to be sent in the post, and that you packaged your parcels safely.