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La Paz Post The process for sending packages from Bolivia to other countries is not all that complicated but there are a few things that most people probably wouldnt think to do so it can end up taking longer than they expected. Here is a step by step guide to make things a little simpler for people wanting to send parcels from Bolivia to another country. Overall Ive found the Bolivian post to be very good and have never had anything not be delivered and Ive sent many parcels. Please note this is based on my experience sending from the main post office in La Paz (on Prado) but it should be the same ,or at least this guide to help you avoid delays, in other cities.

Before you go to the la paz post office :

What are you sending? – Make sure you are not sending anything Illegal. Obviously firearms and drugs are not to be sent back home to grandma in the mail, thatspretty obvious, but some other things are not. Liquids are usually not allowed including sometimes things like perfume and bathroom products although sometime they are – you need to check. One item some people send back home, or to relatives outside of Bolivia, is coca tea or trimate containing coco. In many countries this is illegal, the US being one. The post office in Bolivia will allow you to send it but it will probably be removed by customs and could even get you into trouble (if in largish quantities). Also the fake US dollars you find on the streets used in festivalsare likely to land you in trouble. La Paz Post foodstuffs in general are probably a bad idea but you should be okay with chocolates and sweets. If unsure ask the post office staff or your embassy.

La Paz Post Is your parcel over or under 2KG? If under 2KG things are easier as you can send using the normal post and dont have to fill in custom declaration forms, or have the parcel checked by customs.

LA PAZ POST FOR PARCELS / LETTERS UNDER 2KG :

La Paz Post On the parcel / letter put the FULL address of the person you are sending to on the front very clearly. If you are sending to the US put UNITED STATES (not America – this will probjust make them angry – ive seen this done). If you are sending to somewhere in Europe, put the country name AND ‘Europe’. You may find that they Bolivian post office doesntknow where Holland or The Netherlands is (almost sure they wontknow the latter). Make sure and be as clear as possible. On the back put your address in Bolivia – this can simply be your hotel, a friends address in Bolivia or of course your house if you live here. Its not important if you are leaving that hotel the next day, its just something that is required. You could probably put Evo Morales address and they wouldnt care – put nothing and they will give it you back. Of course if you are staying in Bolivia dont put Evos address, put your own as the parcel will be returned to this address if it is not delivered (probably).
With parcels under 2KG you dont need to go through customs procedures although you can request to fill in a little customs certificate if you like – Ivenever bother with this as it isnt required. Also the staff dontneed to check the contents so you can pack and seal the parcel (if you are sure its under 2KG) before you take it to the PO. Simply hand the parcel over to the staff at the correct counter (In La Paz centro, El Prado this is 6,7or 8 on the ground level by the corner as you walk in) and they will weigh it then tellyou how much it costs to send to the destination. Pay the amount and they will give you the stamps – if its small enough to fit simply post it in the letter box a little further down the hall on the same floor. Another option and a good idea is to send anything registered post. La Paz Post This costs 5 Bolivianos no matter what size the parcel and means the person receivingthe parcel will have to sign for it. I think that items sent registered are more likely to be looked after better as if they are lost they have to compensate you the value of the package. You may not be staying in Bolivia though so this compensation will be no use to you but I think for the small price its worth the extra security and piece of mind it gives you as they will probably take better care of it (its not that the Bolivian Post office is bad but I find Post Office all over the world tend to take better care of things if you have paid some insurance). If you want to send it registered just say “con certificado) or “registrada” and they fill charge you 5B more and give you a little certificate with the details.

La Paz Post NB – To pretty much anywhere outside of South and Central America normal post take around 10 to 20 days. Most of the delay is due to customs in the receiving country – the parcel usually arrives in the country in about 2 or 3 days from posting.

FOR PARCELS / LETTERS OVER 2KG :

If you parcel is over 2KG (and it can be up to 60KG) you need to follow a procedure that is a little more work and also go to a different part of the post office (in La Paz at least). You need to go to encomiendas/aduana (downstairs in La Paz, Prado).

IMPORTANT – BEFORE YOU GO!

La Paz Post Bring your passport (or carnet ID card if resident in Bolivia) and 2 photocopies of it. These are required.
DO NOT SEAL THE PARCEL! – for parcels over 2KG the contents need to be checked and the customs forms show the correct contents.

In La Paz the following is all down in the offices downstairs by each other so its not much walking round.
1. La Paz Post there are two forms you need – CP71 and CN23, they will know what you want and give them to you. Fill them in (ask for help if you dontunderstand them) and take you parcel to the staff to check the contents. Here they will make sure you have written what is in the parcel correctly and the forms are filled in ok, that you have put the destination address and your address in Bolivia (see above regarding this) and they will pack the parcel for you in a box if you want them too/ donthave one, and put it inside a protective sack if you wish (and give you a label to fill in again if required). La Paz Post after it is all sealed and checked you need to go and weigh the parcel and hand in the forms and they will tell you how much it costs.

Its all quite simple really and the staff are used to dealing with people who arentfamiliar with the process so will help you out. The main things you need to remember are the two photocopies and not to seal the parcel (they will seal it for you) – do this and it will save you time.

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