New Mailing Solutions

With the significant changes to International mailings now being enforced by world Customs areas, it has meant that this also effects QSL management and i believe that we are the only QSL management team in the world that has been working with our national mail provider, Royal Mail, to discuss mailing solutions and secure access to the right products to keep the direct and bureau QSL cards posted.
The products that we had been using for many years were getting more expensive and were not suitable in the current Covid and customs climate.

Royal Mail had made the decision that these products were going to be removed and replaced by a new stream of mailing products that had to be accessed only by an online mailing solution to give us the correct customs clearance for the Bureau dispatches, however we urgently still require IARU to discuss a unique commodity code to reflect the “0” value at customs of QSL cards. It is quite clear that we are a long way off from this if it happens at all, the result of this no action is that Bureau boxes are now attracting TAX and handling fees around the world which some IARU Bureaus are failing to understand and refusing to pay the TAX and i have to say that I predicted this as far back as 2017, which begs the question why has no action been taken to secure the future of QSL’ing?

For “Direct QSL cards” we are proud to announce that we have secured access to a new mailing product which secures a better package for our daily mailing of direct QSL cards around the world. Prices are considerably more competitive and means that there will be no price rises for your QSL requests going forward into 2022. This is great news for those that enjoy QSl’ing and excellent news for DXpeditions using our QSL services. We are very confident that our UK QSL managers are the only worldwide QSL providers that work with our national providers to give you the best QSL service out there today.

JW0X QO-100 DX-pedition

We take up the challenge… Please mark 22 | 23 | 24 April 2022 in your calendar. From 78° North, the first Svalbard “QO-100 DX-pedition”.

For Full website information click here:
When we posted our first messages on social media that we were planning to travel to Svalbard, we were quite quickly contacted by several radio amateurs from all over Europe asking if QO-100 would be part of this DX-pedition.

Others wanted to provide us with a complete QO-100 station. We answered every message saying we would investigate the possibilities.

In the meantime, we did some research and to our great surprise we couldn’t find anything about QO-100 activations from Svalbard. The search continued but it yielded nothing. We contacted active QO-100 users, but nobody had JW – Svalbard in his logbook. This became even more fascinating to us, and we had to conclude that apparently no one had ever activated QO-100 from Svalbard.

We looked closely at several QO-100 footprints and scoured quite a few websites so we could prepare further. We found out that the QO-100 satellite is totally inaccessible from Longyearbyen. The high mountain peaks and very low elevation of only 3° made it impossible. This finding was not a nice feeling and made us immediately realize why no one has activated QO-100 from Svalbard yet. In the meantime, we were so fascinated that we continued our search for a solution.

Via Google and by watching a lot of YouTube movies, we came across Svalsat. Svalsat is an ESA satellite base at 400 meters ASL. We had contact with Ole Petter Storstad from the ESA Svalsat station. He answered all our messages nicely but unfortunately, he could not help us. He had left Svalbard two years ago and was no longer the director of the ESA Svalsat base. All other contacts with Svalsat were fruitless. After further research, the mountain peaks would also remain a problem here. So no guarantee of success from this location and we certainly didn’t want to take that risk.
Kapp Linné – Isfjord Radio
Finally, our eye fell on Kapp Linné a place where also Isfjord Radio is located. From this location we have a nice open view towards the QO-100 satellite and no mountain tops to make life difficult for us.

During the month of April, it is still very cold winter weather, so Kapp Linné is not accessible by boat because the sea is completely frozen. The only way to get there is by snowmobile. Via the mainland, this is a trip that takes at least five hours in temperatures of -20° a -25° Celcius. If the weather is very bad, this can quickly increase to seven hours.

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Raivavae Island DX-pedition (OC-114)

A team of seven experienced DX-pedition / contest operators will activate Raivavae (Austral Islands) OC-114, French Polynesia as TX5N from April 16 to April 28, 2022. Team members are: Rob N7QT, Walt N6XG, Heye DJ9RR, Gene K5GS, Steve W1SRD, Melanie N7BX and Doris K0BEE.

Current plans call for Elecraft K3 / amplifier equipped stations. Beach mounted verticals and one hexbeam round out the antenna plan. They will operate 10 – 160m, CW, SSB and Digital. The QSL manager will be Tim M0URX

The team will meet in Papeete, Tahiti on April 12th and fly to Raivavae on April 15th. As with all international travel, Covid restrictions may require us to reschedule or cancel.
Thiss self-funded project welcomes your donations through the website. Donations will be used to off-set the equipment shipping expenses.

Website: https://tx5n.netPlease direct questions to: support@tx5n.net
73, Team TX5N  Happy New Year  GS K5GS

Electronic Pre Delivery Advice Data

Thank you for the excellent feedback on my last Blog entry regarding the Universal Postal Union UPU’s postal regulations called Electronic Pre Delivery Advice Data that was introduced in 2017. I have had some emails asking for a further explanation and understanding of the new postal regulations. 

The reason for the new regulation was to prevent terrorism by ensuring that every parcel sent internationally was linked “electronically” directly to a person both the sender and the recipient. Also so that every parcel can clear customs more quickly through the new S10 Bar Code system.
It is no longer enough to send a Bureau parcel by address only as done in the past.
The sender must now provide the following, full name, email address, telephone number of sender & recipient and UPU commodity code.

January 1st 2021 these regulations were enforced worldwide.
I informed IARU of the new customs laws back in 2017, however they felt that making the data public was against GDPR so did nothing. 

  • It is important to remember that QSL cards as documents are exempt from these regulations. BUT…. Without following the regulations it is down to the customs officers in your country to enforce the regulations.

    The customs officers will do one of 4 things:
    1. Allow the parcel to its destination.
    2. Add a customs TAX + handling fee to the parcel and forward on.
    3. Return the parcel.
    4. Destroy the parcel.

    So doing nothing is not an option as it will lead to all of the above! We are currently relying on |Number 1, the customs officer allowing the Bureau parcel to be forwarded  on to the Society.

I have a problem putting a UPU commodity code 9705000090 on the parcel the nearest code is for Post Cards, but this could / will result in a TAX being put on the parcel. As this code does not distinguish between commercial product or hobby document.
Ideally we need IARU to pay for a UPU commodity code to show the parcel contains QSL Cards with no value and show as documents. So as you can see this is what the new worldwide customs regulations are about for shipping bureau parcels.

I have no control over your customs officers decision. Bureau card delivery is now at serious risk. The very survival of the Bureaus is in the hands of the IARU, who at this time and for the last four years have ignored this situation developing. 

Undeliverable Bureau cards

As we have reported previously there are some Bureau parcels that remain undelivered which is why we cannot guarantee ANY bureau QSLs requested. We strongly advise that you always use OQRS Direct.
Let me go through some of the problems that continue:

Argentina QSL Bureau – Parcels get returned almost every time endorsed “not collected”. Despite sending these again and again we cannot get these to Argentina Bureau.
Brazil QSL Bureau – Despite some parcels getting through. The address alone is not sufficient for getting through customs. IARU will not provide correct information on its website. Brazil customs return most parcels without Pre-Electronic Delivery Advice. Package returned 6 times, One package got through.
Cuba QSL Bureau – For the past 5 years at least, Cuba Bureau packages have been returned uncollected from the PO Box. We can only assume that the Cuba Bureau is no longer functional.
Portugal QSL Bureau – July package was returned endorsed “Non-reclaimed” We are now in communication by email to REP. Package to be reposted!
Sweden QSL Bureau – July parcel was returned. Insufficient documentation. Swedish Customs now will NOT accept any parcels that do not have Pre-Electronic Delivery Advice. IARU does not provide the complete information. Sweden Bureau cannot be supported until full data is provided to us.
Turkey QSL Bureau – July parcel was returned. Insufficient documentation. Turkish Customs now will NOT accept any parcels that do not have Pre-Electronic Delivery Advice. IARU does not provide the complete information. Turkish Bureau cannot be supported until full data is provided to us. Package returned twice. 

We have reported the issues with the lack of data for the Pre-electronic delivery advice to IARU many times since 2017 and repeatedly told that they consider that putting this data on the IARU website contravenes GDPR regulations. However, without it the Bureaus will cease to function. There are many other Bureau packages that have been returned due to Covid restrictions or non-collection or other reasons that we have been able to resend and eventually arrived at the destination Bureau. To continue re-sending the Bureau packages costs more money. 

If you are in one of the above countries and requested Bureau cards, we suggest that you request Via Direct using OQRS only as we are unable to get the cards to your Bureau. If any of you have connections with those Bureaus listed above, we would like to engage in discussions to allow re delivery. But if Bureaus and the IARU continue to bury their head in the sand to ignore the new worldwide Pre-Electronic Delivery Advice customs regulations it will be catastrophic for the Bureau system.

5Z4VJ Continues Activity

Andy, 5Z4VJ continues his activity from Nairobi, Kenya. After a break for his summer holidays Andy is back and has installed his Hexbeam on top of the apartment building at 40m above round. 

Please note that Andy’s logs will be uploaded periodically to OQRS. Always check the “LAST QSO DATE & TIME” on the log search before requesting your QSL. 

Very important  – Andy has uploaded his  CQWW SSB entry to OQRS. Due to Andy’s work commitments Qs from before CQWW have not yet been uploaded. These Qs are not missing, busted or lost, please be patient. Please do not email me, just wait. Thank you.

PJ4BAR QSL Preview

PJ4BAR Bonaire Amateur Radio Club was recently active with the first activity and the QSL card has now been designed.
OQRS is open and logs will be uploaded to LoTW as they come in from club activities. 

Incoming Bureau September 2021

3,200 Incoming Bureau cards arrived from the RSGB Bureau on September 24th 2021.
Cards sorted and processed through OQRS as of today 4th October. You know! You do not need to send Bureau cards for DXpeditions or rare DX. Just use OQRS. You can get your bureau cards 2 years quicker that way!

Brazil – The parcel sent in March to Brazil QSL Bureau was returned for the 7th time. Unable to deliver to Brazil QSL Bureau.
Croatia – Parcel returned uncollected from July. Posted back to the Croatia Bureau 05/10/2021.

International Posting Service for DXpedition Teams.

The United Radio QSL Bureau is a service to assist DXpedition Teams send their QSL mailings at discounted postal costs, so that the team can divert finances to where they are most needed at the DXpedition.

United Radio QSL Bureau has a rather unique international mailing contract with Royal Mail, which has been tailored for the use of UK QSL Management.

The international mailing contract allows our QSL managers to send QSL cards using Business Air Mail for fast delivery of QSL cards Worldwide at Royal Mail’s most competitive international rates.

Our UK based QSL managers have an instant access to the Online Business Account from where ever they are situated in the United Kingdom.

We can deal with all your DXpedition QSL management requirements. Please contact me for further information. 

5Z4VJ Log updated 13/09/2021

The latest log update 1,579 Q’s from Andy 5Z4VJ has been uploaded to Bespoke OQRS.

Andy reports: 5Z4VJ – update – I will be moving QTH this week to a different location in Nairobi so likely to be off the air for a while. All antennas down here now. 170k QSOs in the log. Many thanks all. Especially to Tim, @M0URX for handling all the QSLs!