Johannesburg – If you want your loved ones living abroad to receive their Christmas parcels on time, then start posting them now, says the South African Post Office. Those wanting to send packages to Tristan da Cunha, Ascension and St Helena by surface mail destination service should post their items on or before November 24, the Post Office urged. Gifts being sent to Europe, the Middle East, North America, The Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Réunion need to be sent on or before October 27. Those intending to send gifts to New Zealand, East and West Africa, Madagascar, Angola, Malawi and Zambia, must do so before or on December 1. To make sure that Christmas presents sent to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe arrive on time South Africans have until December 8. The recommended deadline for sending packages to all other countries is before or until December 27. The postal services said registered items could be insured against non-delivery but not damage because the Post Office does not have control over the contents of parcels or their packaging, so it cannot accept responsibility for breakages.Useful hints include making sure that parcels are packaged securely and that the item inside does not fill the container. People must be absolutely certain that the items they are sending are legal in the country of destination because most countries do not permit plant and animal material to be imported. The Post Office has warned against sending illegal items such as drugs, items that could leak and damage packages and items which may explode.