Customs and security data privacy notice
An Post must comply with the EU Union Customs Code, EU VAT legislation and the EU project known as Customs 2020.
An Post must also comply with requirements of the Universal Postal Convention and related regulations and international aviation security requirements.
These obligations require the cross border transmission of certain electronic data to achieve customs and security objectives in the cross border transport and delivery of goods, including by postal consignment.
Most goods arriving in Ireland from outside the EEA* or being sent from Ireland to a destination outside of the EEA* are liable to any or all of the following taxes:
Import Duty / Customs Duty
Excise Duty (tax charged on certain goods, particularly alcohol and tobacco)
VAT (VAT chargeable on importation)
Goods arriving in Ireland from outside the EEA* or being sent from Ireland to a destination outside of the EEA* are required to transmit electronic data:
ITMATT messages are used to communicate attribute information about postal items. An originating postal operator collects postal item data and transmits the data in ITMATT electronic data interchange (EDI) messages to the destination postal operator, to be used for transport security and customs clearance purposes and ultimate delivery.
The ITMATT message contains the data corresponding to the content of paper existing postal forms CN 22 or CN 23 customs declaration, including critical data elements such as:
Sender and recipient full name, address and contact details, and tax code/VAT number;
Category, total value, and total weight of the item;
The complete contents of the item including for each article contained within the item the description, quantity, weight, value, harmonised system (HS) tariff number, origin country;
Postal charges including insurance;
Information about associated documents such as invoice, if required.
The ITMATT message containing the item data is transmitted prior to export by the originating postal operator.
Upon receipt of the ITMATT message, the destination postal operator provides the data needed for border clearance to its local customs authority. Customs then has the opportunity to examine and use the ITMATT data for security and fiscal customs clearance.
The data obtained is also used to facilitate the delivery (or return) of the postal item. Where an item is not deliverable, including for reasons of non-payment of any customs duty or VAT due, the postal item, may need to be returned to the sender, or destroyed.
If you are posting an item, which contains goods (i.e., has content other than ordinary letter/correspondence), to a destination outside of the EEA, then you must take certain steps.
You will be requested at the counter,( or online if using our online service to purchase labels) when mailing such an item to enable the creation of the ITMATT message.
You must give the required information described above, including name and address of sender, the name, address, email address and contact phone number of the addressee and the contents of the item. This data is affixed to the item and is also sent electronically to the destination country and to the airline(s) which carry the item.
As sender of the item, you acknowledge that by inputting the recipient’s details that you have lawful grounds, such as their consent, to do so and that we are entitled to process that personal data to provide the required services.
This electronic data, known as ITMATT, is firstly transferred to the International Postal Corporation (IPC) in Belgium and then transferred by IPC to the destination country. The ITMATT is transferred to the airlines which will carry the item the postal administration in the destination country and to the customs authority in the destination country.
The ITMATT is also transferred to the airline who will originally carry the item. The airline will not carry a consignment of mail without ITMATT being present for all items in the consignment.
Once the item is supplied to An Post and paid for then the item enters the postal system and the ITMATT cannot be changed nor can the item be retrieved.
The ITMATT data is retained for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying legal, regulatory, tax, or reporting requirements; and will be held for a period four years in order to process any queries from the sender, the recipient, customs authorities and other postal administrations.
An Post is required by law to present all items arriving from outside the EEA* through the mail system to Irish Revenue (Revenue). These mail items may be subject to Customs Charges by Revenue and other additional charges, such as the An Post handling fee.
When an item is posted to Ireland from a country that is outside the EEA the ITMATT for that item is sent to An Post and to Revenue. If there is no Customs Charges are due on the item, the item will be delivered as addressed.
If Customs Charges are due on the item then we will write to you, (using a Customs Charge Notification Card) using the address that was supplied by the sender of the item. We will give you various payment options for paying the charges raised by the Revenue. The item will be delivered after we receive your payments. Any queries concerning the Customs Charges should be raised with Revenue, contact details can be found on the Revenue website.
Where an item is not deliverable, including for reasons of non-payment of Customs Charges due within 16 days, the postal item, may be returned to the sender, or destroyed.
An Post will use the ITMATT data as described on the understanding that the sender has lawful grounds, such as the recipient’s consent, to provide that data and that we are entitled to process that personal data to provide the services required.
The ITMATT data is retained for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying legal, regulatory, tax, or reporting requirements; and will be held for a period of four years in order to process any queries from the sender, the recipient, customs authorities and other postal administrations.
It is important that you read this Privacy Notice together with the other An Post Policies so that you are fully aware of how and why An Post is using your data. This Privacy Notice supplements our other Privacy Policies.
Last Updated October 2023