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You’ve received a ‘fee to pay’ card from Royal Mail

If someone has sent an item of mail to you but not paid the right amount of postage (or customs charges if coming from abroad), you will receive a ‘fee to pay’ card. This is also called a P4605 card. This will tell you that the mail is being kept at the delivery office and how much you need to pay for it to be delivered to you.

This page explains what you should do if you receive a ‘fee to pay’ card.

Top tips

In order to prevent surcharge fees for the person you’re sending mail to, you should always:

  • affix the correct postage fee on envelopes.
  • contact Royal Mail Customer Services on 08457 740740 if you’re not sure of the correct postage fee required before sending out mail

How can you get your item if you get a ‘fee to pay’ card?

If you receive a ‘fee to pay’ card, you can only get your mail if you pay the amount of postage that is missing, plus a small administration fee.

The ‘fee to pay’ card will give you details of exactly how much you need to pay and tell you how you can do this. You can:

  • make an online payment. The item will then be delivered to you within five working days
  • affix stamps to the correct value on the other side of the card and put it in a postbox. The item will then be delivered to you
  • bring the card to the delivery office stated on the card, pay the charge, show proof of your identity and collect the item

The amount you'll have to pay is worked out according to which postal service was used. If there are no postal markings on an item to prove which service was used, you will be charged the second class rate. For items that weigh more than 750g, the standard parcel rate will be charged.

If any item was clearly intended to be sent by first class post, it will be handled and charged against the first class rate.

Why do you have to pay an extra administration fee?

Royal Mail says that the handling charge is needed to cover the cost of working out how much the correct postage should be for the item. Royal Mail also charges for the costs of taking the item out of the normal stream of mail, and writing to the addressee to ask for the extra postage. They don't make a profit out of the handling charge.

What if you don’t pay the fee?

If you don’t pay the fee, the item will be returned to the sender. If there is a return address on the envelope or packet, this will happen after 18 days. If it was a recorded signed for item, it will be returned after seven days.

If there is no return address, the mail will go to the Royal Mail returned letter centre in Belfast, where it will be opened and sent back to the sender.

Next steps

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