U.S. military communities in the United Kingdom will now have to pay close attention when mailing letters and packages off base using the Royal Mail postal service.

The U.K. postal service has introduced a new pricing system based on the size, thickness and weight of the item being mailed. Before, mail was only priced by its weight, a Royal Mail news release said.

Prices will vary depending on three package sizes: A letter comparable to a standard birthday card with a maximum thickness of 5 mm; a large letter comparable to a monthly magazine with a maximum thickness of 25 mm; and a packet, which is anything larger than a large letter.

The postal service said it will not earn extra revenue with the recent changes and that postage for 80 percent of mail will not be affected, the release said. The main impact of the changes will be that lighter, bulkier items will cost more and heavier, compact items will cost less, the release said.

Customers can check prices on its Web site,, by asking their local post office, or by calling 08456 113113.

In addition, Royal Mail post offices no longer sell annual TV licenses. The license, which costs almost $250 for a color television, can be purchased by a number of other methods that are found on its Web site: The change took effect July 31.

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