THE Royal Mail has announced the last dates for people posting cards and presents abroad in time for Christmas Day.

The first international recommended posting date is for mail to Africa and the Middle East, should be sent by Tuesday, December 4.

For those wanting to send cards or gifts to Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East and Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) cards and gifts should be sent no later than Friday, December 8.

For the Caribbean, Central and South America mail should be sent by Saturday, December 8.

Those wishing to send festive greetings to friends and family in Australia, New Zealand, Greece or Turkey will need to make sure everything is good to go by Monday, December 10.

Letters and parcels to Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and the USA can be posted up to Friday, December 14 to arrive in time for Christmas.

Festive greetings being sent to Finland and Sweden will need to be in the mail by Saturday, December 15.

Monday, December 17 is the latest recommended posting date for Christmas mail going to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland.

Season’s Greetings going to Belgium, France, Ireland and Luxembourg will need to be posted by Tuesday, December 18.

The last posting dates apply to both standard international services and those which have tracking and signature.