People sending Christmas gifts to and from the UK have been warned to post them well in advance, with Royal Mail strikes set to cause complications over the festive period.
Members of the Communication Workers Union announced their intention to strike on November 30 and December 1, 9, 11, 14 , 15, 23 and 24 in a dispute over pay and conditions.
It follows strikes on November 24 and 25 to coincide with Black Friday.
Meanwhile, French postal service La Poste has launched a large-scale recruitment campaign, and is hoping to hire 3,000 seasonal workers to ensure presents arrive under the tree in time for Christmas.
Colissimo parcels generally take three to five days to arrive in the UK, and five to eight days for the US.
You can estimate arrival times for other destinations here.
Parcels can also be sent via Chronopost, which usually offers faster delivery: two days for the US with Chrono Express.
Suggested delivery times might be less reliable during the Christmas rush, particularly if industrial action continues in the UK.
Here are the recommended deadlines for sending cards or gifts to France for them to arrive before December 25:
UK to France
November 28: Royal Mail International Economy
December 12: Parcelforce Global Value
December 14: Royal Mail International Standard and International Tracking and Signature services, and Parcelforce Global Priority
December 20: Parcelforce Global Express US to France (USPS)
December 6: First Class Package and Priority Mail International Services
December 13: Priority Mail Express International Service
December 21: Global Express Guaranteed Service
Receiving gifts in France
If family or friends from outside the EU send you a parcel, you might be asked to pay.
If the delivery worker does not provide a receipt, you can obtain a breakdown of the charges online here.
You only need to enter the tracking number and your name, postcode and email address.
No VAT should be due on packages worth less than €45, clearly marked as gifts. Customs duty is due only on orders worth more than €150.
If VAT or customs duty are owed, the transporter may also charge a handling fee.
If you believe you have been incorrectly charged, it is possible to request a refund either by calling La Poste’s customer service on 3631, or contacting it via email here.