From today, residents of the Falkland Islands will be able to enjoy a postcode, similar in format to those used in the UK. Bill Rammell, Foreign Office Minister, welcomed the innovation, saying:
'The new postcode being introduced today will help reduce delays in the direction of mail to the Islands. Falkland Islands inhabitants often find that their letters have transited the postal systems of places such as the Faroe Islands, Iceland or the most popular destination for lost Falkland's mail, Falkirk in Scotland.
The postcode should also make on-line shopping easier for Falkland's residents, given that most Internet-purchasing services require a post or zip code before transactions can be completed.
The Islanders can now take full advantage of today's communications options, with all the benefits that that brings.'
The problem particularly affects letters posted from outside the UK to the Falklands.
Postcodes are simultaneously being introduced today for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and British Antarctic Territory.
Other UK Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic, namely St Helena and Ascension Island, have had postcodes since March 2002.
Note: 1. The project was created with the help of the International Division of Royal Mail and the Universal Postal Union in Berne, Switzerland.
2. The designated postcodes are:
Falkland Islands FIQQ 1ZZ South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands SIQQ 1ZZ British Antarctic Territory BIQQ 1ZZ
St Helena STHL 1ZZ Ascension Island ASCN 1ZZ