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It is known that the Russian Post Service (Почта России) is notoriously unreliable and slow.

What are some other ways to send mail (envelope of documents or light parcel of small customs value) to private address in Russia from the EU? What are their performance regarding reliability and speed?

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It is known that the Russian Post Service (Почта России) is notoriously unreliable and slow

Actually, that's no longer true. In November 2016 I've sent two heavy packages using the cheapest regular mail service from Czech Republic to a middle-sized city in Russia. The packages took 3 days to leave the Czech Republic and then took only 10 days to get delivered to the recipient. Here's the tracking screenshot so that you don't have to believe me.

So unless you need the package to be delivered urgently, simply mail them at the post office in your home country. They should arrive within 2-3 weeks at the latest.

If you explicitly don't trust the Russian Mail Service no matter what, you can try express shipment options. However, some companies like DHL Express do not ship express parcels to Russia since 2014 due to complications on the customs. Same for FedEx. This usually does not affect shipping of documents, which is still possible with DHL Express.

Among other express shipping companies, UPS may be a good choice, hopefully they still ship to Russia. Other products (EMS) are not significantly better than the regular postal service. There are also some cheap good options to send packages from Russia (e.g. Dimex), but they don't accept shipments in the other direction.

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    While it is true that the Russian post service has improved over the last years, I would still not trust it to for example deliver important documents or packages that contain something you don't want to lose. Last year I sent 2 packages of which one didn't arrive and one was sent back to me after 3 months. Another letter was lost two years ago. I doubt it has improved considerably in such a short time. I am therefore asking about alternatives to the regular Russian post service. – ahemmetter Dec 12 '16 at 8:41
  • @andynitrox I've expanded my answer. The postal service did improve a lot in 2016, I believe a lot of it is due to the fact that people ship less stuff now and therefore the sorting centers are underloaded. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Dec 12 '16 at 9:13

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