An Post boss David McRedmond has criticised the Royal Mail in Britain amid claims that a row over the implementation of post-Brexit customs rules is leading to online purchases by Irish customers being returned to smaller British retailers.
Mr McRedmond wrote a letter to the Financial Times in which he said that the UK post office has failed to bring in necessary systems to comply with the new EU customs rules that apply to the UK post-Brexit.
In his letter, Mr McRedmond said trade from Britain to Ireland through postal channels had fallen by 52 per cent in a course of just one year.
In an interview with RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr McRedmond also said that issues with parcels being sent from small firms in the UK has been "extremely expensive for An Post".
He said that when parcels are mailed to Ireland and do not have the right data Irish customs instructs they are sent back to the UK.
He states that the loss to An Post is in the region of about €25 million in one year and comes "directly from the lost revenue from people not sending".
Mr McRedmond says the cost of implementing customs is "anywhere up to €20 million" whilst stating that the loss to UK firms it in the region of €150-200 million in one year.
Mr Redmond said correct systems need to be put in place in relation to sending packages to Ireland.
"So we’re now been very direct and saying, you need to put (the correct data) them in or we won't be able to take in parcels from you much longer," he stated.
He said that the problem specifically applies with small businesses and that there is no issue with personal parcels getting in to Ireland from the UK.
"In terms of items that have come from people in the UK - citizen to citizen - we've worked with Irish customs to be able to get them through the system."
Royal Mail has indicated that customs authorities now need more detailed information to control the cross-border flow of goods.
"Royal Mail has invested significantly in enhancing the online posting experience for our customers. This process helps customers fill out all of the required documentation and classifications so that they can drop off their items at the Post Office if they wish.
We recommend customers also take advantage of our Parcel Collect service where we print then deliver shipping and customs labels on our customers' behalf, as well as digitally transmit customs information to its destination for added convenience," the statement added.
For account customers we have also introduced Postal Delivery Duties Paid wherever it is available."