Sending and receiving packages in Portugal

Hello,

As an expat, there are inevitably certain items you might want or need from back home, and around the holiday period, many people like to send gift packages.

How easy is it to send and receive packages in Portugal?

Is the public postal system efficient?

Do people tend to prefer using private shipping services? Which ones?

How do the costs of the private shipping services compare?

How long does it take generally to receive packages from abroad in Portugal?

Do you have to pay taxes on items received by mail from abroad?

Are packages delivered right to your doorstep, or do you usually have to go collect them somewhere?

Thank you for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Hello, we have lived in Portugal for about 6 months now. Here is what we know.   Our experience with the postal system (CTT) is good.   Our deliveries when we order from Amazon Spain or Germany come directly to our home by a contracted service that Amazon uses here in Portugal.  If the package does not fit into your mail slot, you will need to be home to receive it.  But mostly you know what day to expect it.  (I have seen DHL trucks so assume they operate here fine).  Now, here's the important part about receiving packages from overseas...don't or you may be stuck paying exorbitant custom fees.   We have heard several stories from people whose well meaning friends and families sent them "stuff" from America or their countries only to find out they must pay to get their package.  So it's very dicey.  Everything goes through customs so is subject to the laws of the country in terms of what will be accepted.   We haven't tried to send anything from Portugal back to the USA so I am not sure how that would work but I suspect it may be the same issue in reverse.   Hope this helps a bit. 
Sewright772

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