Listed in PC World's
The 50 Most Useful Sites Ever (Feb 2003)
Site of the Day, The Australian Guide to the Internet, 12 Feb 2003.
The UTF-8 conversion was done on 20 January 2003; the previous ISO-8859-1 Latin Alphabet 1 version, current as of that date, remains available HERE (but won't be updated). The UTF-8 version includes text in Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Thai, Khmer, and other scripts that can't be represented in Latin-1 but are easily accommodated in by UTF-8. Most of this text is in the COUNTRY INDEX. Anybody else who can supply missing country names or other relevant items in native language and script is welcome to send them in; I'll be glad to add them (with credit, of course).
Periodic updates of any postal reference are necessary because countries change, provinces within countries change, postal codes change, addressing standards and recommendations change. The Internet makes matters simultaneously better and worse: better because now we can link to the postal authorities in each country and to other relevant sites, worse because web addresses change out from underneath us constantly. Thus any document like this is doomed to decay over time if it's not constantly maintained. The last update time is shown at the top. Feel free to report stale links, or send corrections, suggestions, or new information, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Britain and Ireland: John Benton, Ross Chandler, Craig Cockburn, Peter Crabb-Wyke, David Levy, James Grinter, Ian Morrison, Shane Wilson, "George D", Hugh Dunne, David Goddard, Johannes Eggers, Christy Looby, Finlay Smith, Gerard Lardner, Robert Gormley, G.S. Sinclair, Chris Cooke, Colin Russ, Stewart Potter, Bill Bedford, Chris Harrison, P. Breathnach, Michael Everson, Mark Dyche, David Gowdy, Guy Burgess, Alan Berry, Ken Westmoreland, Jonathan Nigel, Peter Reynolds, Martin Spamer, Chris Davies, Benjamin Brundell, Mark Jolly, Liam McGee, William Wallace, Andy Paterson, Sarah Woodhouse, Mark Brader, Paul Black, Bernard Treves Brown, Greg Boettcher, Peter Kirk, Michael T. Farnworth, Chris Woodhouse (Royal Mail).
General information and corrections: Linda Beek, Dan Olsson, Peter Russell, Ken Westmoreland, Gert Grenander, Marcy Strawmyer, Mark Brader, László Kende, Tex Texin, Helgi Jonsson, Roozbeh Pournader, Tom Gewecke, Magda Danish, Stuart Brown, Noah Levitt, Herman Ranes. Miikka-Markus Alhonen, Marco Cimarosti, Kent Karlsson, Celvin Niklas Jojakin Ruisdael, Hans Schievelkamp, Pete Russel, Doug Ewell, Philip Newton, the IBM International Components for Unicode (ICU) library, and the Web page Country names in various languages by Werner Fröhlich for several of the native-script country names (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc).
This document tries to describe -- or invent when necessary -- conventions for addressing postal mail from within the USA to other countries that are both (a) effective (i.e. have a good chance of working), and (b) as inoffensive as possible when addressing choices might be controversial. Note that the general problem -- how to address mail from country A to country B, for all A's and B's -- is an n × n problem, of which this document attempts to address only one dimension: mail from the USA to elsewhere. But even this is a moving target as addressing guidelines and formats of each country are constantly revised.
The very term country can be controversial. Who decides what is a country and what isn't? The criterion used in this document is simple: if the USPS lists it in its Index to Countries and Localities, we treat it as a country. Thus some localities (such as Reunion Island) that are not distinct countries are listed, whereas other localities that consider themselves countries (such as Western Sahara) are not listed (but still discussed). Rationale: if you address mail from the USA to WESTERN SAHARA, the USPS won't know what to do with it. If you want to send mail to SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON (a part of France that is in Canada) from the USA, it doesn't make sense for the mail to go all the way to France and back.
Similarly, saying that a particular country is in Europe or Africa or Latin America or Asia or the Middle East can be controversial. Where does Russia go? Turkey? Egypt? The Falkland Islands (Malvinas)? I've made a few groupings like this for convenience, e.g. to keep the number of tables to a minimum and avoid duplications -- these choices are purely logistical and not political or ideological.
The best international addressing strategy is one that is not only consistent and inoffensive, but that also achieves to whatever degree possible several potentially conflicting goals:
When this document was first written for internal use in the late 1980s, the United States Postal Service (USPS) had no published guidelines for addressing international mail -- if it did, we'd have just used them. This included standard or recommended names for countries. The situation has improved since then. A visit to the USPS website's "Postal Explorer":
turns up the International Mail Manual (IMM), including an "index of countries and localities", first discovered (by me) in 2000. Unfortunately a URL can't be given, since everything occurs within frames and PDF readers at this site. Full citation: United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual, Issue 28, January 2003 (or later; updated periodically).
ISO International Standard 11180, "Postal Addressing" (1993), by the way, was no help at all, except that it contained a reference to the Universal Postal Union:
which provides tip sheets for addressing mail to each country. But there is no way to tell how authoritative or current the UPU guidelines are -- they are not dated, and they give no references. But for some countries, the UPU provides the only guidance available. It should also be noted that addressing guidelines are incidental to the UPU's primary mission, which is creating standards for the description of postal addresses (that is, defining and naming the elements), not for their rendition, which is left to each country.
Abbreviations and Acronyms:
IMM International Mail Manual (USPS) ISO International Organization for Standardization Portable Document Format (Adobe Acrobat) UPU Universal Postal Union USA United States of America USPS United States Postal Service
As a basis for discussion, let's begin by looking at a typical international address:
JOE BLOGGS Person's name COMPUTER CENTER Department (if any) CURTIN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY Institution or Company (if any) 309 KENT STREET Street Address (or Post Office Box) BENTLEY WA 6102 City Line (WA = Western Australia) AUSTRALIA Country Name
It illustrates several points, all of which are discussed later in greater detail:
Unless the country name is CANADA, the USPS does not read and does not care about anything that appears above it. International mail from from the USA to any country but Canada goes to a single location in that country for sorting and separation. Thus when sending mail from the USA to any other country we are free to format the address according to the requirements of the destination country (for mail to Canada, the addressing requirements conform to our own; for details see the section on Canada).
A handful of national postal authorities now recommend writing postal code on a line by itself, above or below the city line (Ecuador, Ukraine, Hungary... and now also the UK). In such cases, the "City Line" occupies two lines. As far as I can tell, this is a recent development and is largely ignored in many of the countries that recommend it (e.g. Russia). In any case, it makes formatting and parsing international addresses all the more complicated, and might also cause addresses to exceed address-line limits, where they did not before (e.g. for postal scanners, databases, forms, or window envelopes).
While the United States might ignore the destination city in international mail, other countries do not necessarily do so. For example, mail from England to Los Angeles is sent directly to Los Angeles, whereas a letter to New York goes on a flight to New York. The journey of a letter from Nome (Alaska) to Provideniya (Siberia), if sent westward rather than east, could be 23,000 miles shorter if the USPS processed the city line.
The following table shows a sampling of City Line formats. Punctuation shown in the Format column is to be taken literally:
Format Examples town, province postalcode China, India town province postalcode USA, Canada, Australia postalcode town-province Brazil postalcode town, province México postalcode town (provincia) Italy postalcode town Most other European countries & ex-USSR town postalcode New Zealand, Israel, Thailand, Japan, Singapore town, county Ireland (except Dublin) town
UK, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Hungary postalcode
Ecuador town Hong Kong, Syria, Iraq
In the formats above, "province" stands for whatever each country calls its subdivisions (e.g. "state" in the USA), and often is abbreviated according to local postal standards. Here are some variables in City Line format, all of which are illustrated later in this document:
For the lines above the city line, each country has its own standards, which are discussed to some extent in the sections on individual countries such as Cuba and México, but for details consult the postal authority websties of each country, which are accessible from the tables at the beginning of each main section of this document. For the purposes of international mail, the main thing is to get the country line right so the USPS sends it to the right country, and city line right so the main receiving depot in the country can route it to the right town or city, whose local post office will deal with the rest.
When sending international mail:
ABC Holding B.V. Marijkestraat 11 NL-2518 BG Den Haag THE HAGUE NETHERLANDS
The form you choose depends on your own database and record-keeping requirements, for which is it always best to use consistent city names.
When sending mail to Russia, Israel, Greece, Armenia, China, etc, it is perfectly acceptable to write the lines above the City Line in the native script. According to the USPS IMM, it is also OK to write the City Line in the native script, but it must also be written in English below the native script and above the Country Line (USPS guideline (d) below):
198156 САНКТ ПЕТЕРБУРГ 198156 SAINT PETERSBURG RUSSIA
Obviously if you don't have a way to write the address in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Greek, etc, it can be transliterated in whatever way is most acceptable at the receiving end. Most countries that use non-Roman writing systems can deliver letters that are addressed in Roman transliteration -- Russia, Greece, Israel, most Arab countries, Japan, Korea, and both Chinas among them.
For mail to México, Italy, France, etc, if you can print accented Roman letters, all the better. If you can't, leave off the accents or transliterate according to language-specific rules (as in German "ä" to "ae" -- see section on Germany).
Never put "ATTN: person's name" or any other notations such as apartment number below the City or Country Line. This interferes with automatic sorting and can slow down delivery. (Personally, I think bureaucratic notations like ATTN are useless -- if you have addressed your mail to a person, then of course it is for their attention.)
Americans should avoid referring to other countries' postal codes as Zip codes, and also should not call other countries' administrative subdivisions states. These are common errors on address forms. Use "State or Province" and "Zip or Postal Code" on your address forms. It's not perfect, but it indicates that we understand that other countries can have their own terminology.
The USPS lists the following general guidelines for addressing domestic business mail at THIS WEBSITE (the link worked as of 16 Jan 2003; if it doesn't work for you, search the website for "addressing" or somesuch); most (but not all) of these points apply also to international mail:
The following additional guidelines are given in Section 122 the IMM for addressing international mail:
MR THOMAS CLARK 117 RUSSELL DRIVE LONDON WIP 6HQ ENGLAND
MS C P APPLE APARTADO 3068 46807 PUERTO VALLARTA JALISCO MEXICO
In the absence of more-specific guidelines, don't put more than six lines (including the country name) in an international address, nor more than 38 characters in any line (these are the requirements for France). Pieces that do not follow the guidelines are liable to be rejected by automatic sorting machines, slowing down their delivery.
Here's an example of a well-formed address for mail from the USA to Canada:
PROF FRED FOO 1. Most specific line at the top DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY 2. Less specific... MOUNT ROYAL COLLEGE 3. Less specific... 4825 RICHARD ROAD SW 4. Street Address CALGARY AB T3E 6K6 5. City Line CANADA 6. Country Line (not used in domestic mail)
It conforms to both US and Canadian postal addressing guidelines. It's printed in a fixed font with all capital letters and contains absolutely no punctuation. The lines go from most specific at the top to most general at the bottom. The City Line includes the official province abbreviation with no comma and two spaces before the postal code, which is the format recommended by Canada Post. The country line is at the bottom. The postal code goes in the City Line, not the Country Line, on the left or right according to the standard of the destination country.
USA address format is:
town ST nnnnn-nnnn
where ST is the official USPS 2-letter state or territory abbreviation from the table below with no comma preceding it, followed by the ZIP or ZIP+4, for example:
JOHN DOE ACME INC 123 MAIN ST NW STE 12 ANYTOWN NY 12345
in which ST, NW, STE, and NY are abbreviations recognized by USPS (for Street, Northwest, Suite, and New York, respectively). If ZIP+4 is used, the two parts of the ZIP code must be separated by a single dash (and no spaces). The state abbreviation and ZIP code should be separated by one or two spaces (depending on which recommendation you read). Examples:
OSHKOSH WI 54901 (5-digit ZIP) FRANKLIN SQUARE NY 11010 (5-digit ZIP) NEW YORK NY 10025-7799 (ZIP+4) FORT RICHARDSON AK 99505-5700 (ZIP+4)
Uppercase is used, as recommended by the USPS, for ease of automatic scanning and application of bar codes. See the USPS ZIP Code directory or other relevant publications for additional addressing recommendations such as the format of street addresses, recommended abbreviations, etc, all of which help to keep your mail from being rejected by the automatic sorters. Some useful information on USA addresses can be found at the USPS Website:
Don't spell out state names or use old-fashioned state abbreviations for them like "Ala", "Miss", or "N.Y.". Here is the table of states and other postal entities of the USA with their official 2-letter abbreviations (source: USPS National ZIP Code Directory) that are recognized by the USPS and its postal sorters:
AL Alabama IN Indiana ND North Dakota AK Alaska IA Iowa OH Ohio AS American Samoa KS Kansas OK Oklahoma AZ Arizona KY Kentucky OR Oregon AR Arkansas LA Louisiana PW Palau AA Armed Forces Americas ME Maine PA Pennsylvania AE Armed Forces Europe MH Marshall Islands PR Puerto Rico AP Armed Forces Pacific MD Maryland RI Rhode Island CA California MA Massachusetts SC South Carolina CO Colorado MI Michigan SD South Dakota CT Connecticut MN Minnesota TN Tennessee DE Delaware MS Mississippi TX Texas DC District of Columbia MO Missouri VI US Virgin Islands FM Federated Micronesia MT Montana UT Utah FL Florida MP N. Mariana Islands VT Vermont GA Georgia NE Nebraska VA Virginia GU Guam NV Nevada WA Washington HI Hawaii NJ New Jersery WV West Virginia NH New Hampshire NM New Mexico WI Wisconsin ID Idaho NY New York WY Wyoming IL Illinois NC North Carolina
For more about automatic sorting of US mail, see the Kermit News article, Kermit Helps Automate Mail Delivery.
The Canada address format is like the USA format:
town province postalcode
No commas or other punctuation, postal code on the right separated by two spaces. Upper case is preferred but not required except in the postal code. Example:
SASKATCHEWAN WATER CORP 111 FAIRFORD STREET EAST MOOSE JAW SK S6H 2X1 CANADA
Canada has 2-letter abbreviations for its provinces and territories, just like we have for our states, and which do not conflict with ours:
Symbol English Name French Name Inuktitut Name AB Alberta Alberta BC British Columbia Colombie-Britannique MB Manitoba Manitoba NB New Brunswick Nouveau-Brunswick NL (3) Newfoundland and Labrador Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador NT Northwest Territories Territoires du Nord-Ouest NS Nova Scotia Nouvelle-Écosse NU (1) Nunavut Nunavut ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ ON Ontario Ontario PE Prince Edward Island Île-du-Prince-Édouard QC (2) Quebec Québec SK Saskatchewan Saskatchewan YT Yukon Yukon
Canadian postal codes are always LNL NLN (Letter, Number, Letter, Space, Number, Letter, Number). (In this context, "Number" means "Digit".) The first segment is the Forward Sortation Area; the second is the Local Delivery Unit. The postal code is placed two spaces to the right of the province/territory abbreviation. All letters in the City Line (and preferably the entire address) should be uppercase. Examples:
CALGARY AB T2H 1M5 MOOSE JAW SK S6H 2X1 ST LAURENT QC H4N 1J7 MISSISSAUGA ON L5K 1Z8 YELLOWKNIFE NT X1A 2P7 TALOYOAK NU X0E 1B0 NORTH POLE NT H0H 0H0 <-- ("Ho Ho Ho")
The city or town name must not be translated. If the official name of the municipality is French, it must be written in French including accents; if it is English, it must be written in English. Canadian postal policies emphasize equal treatment of English and French, but they do not mention other languages of Canada such as Inuktitut, Cree, Lakota, Micmac, Ojibwa, etc. I assume that locality names must be written in Roman letters and not Canadian Syllabics (see Nunavut in the table above), although I could not find any statements to that effect at the Canada Post website. In Nunavut, Inuktitut is the official language of government and road signs are in both Roman and Syllabics -- what about mail? (It turns out that even French town names with accents are stored internally in uppercase ASCII without accents, as you can see in postcode lookup).
Canadian postal humor: "Canada Post doesn't really charge 32 cents for a stamp. It's 2 cents for postage and 30 cents for storage." (Gerald Regan, Cabinet Minister, 31 Dec 1983 Financial Post)
Here's a summary table of Carribean localities showing the USPS country name (see INDEX for local, long, and other forms), ISO 3166 Alpha-2 Code, United Nations Car Code (these codes are explained in the section on Europe), postcode format (if any), and sample City line. As far as I can tell, neither ISO nor Car codes are used in Caribbean postal addresses. The right two columns are taken from the Universal Postal Union, when available (a surprising number are not). In the postcode format, n indicates a digit and L indicates an uppercase letter; italic words like town and island are to be replaced by actual town or island names. Country names link to the country's postal authority website, if known, or other relevant site.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example ANGUILLA AI -- town THE VALLEY ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA AG -- town St. John's ARUBA AW -- town Oranjestad BAHAMAS BS BS town NASSAU BARBADOS BB BDS town BRIDGETOWN BERMUDA (*) BM -- town LL nn Hamilton HM 12 BONAIRE AN NA Address through NETHERLANDS ANTILLES BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS VG -- town, island Road Town, Tortola CAYMAN ISLANDS KY -- town
Grand Cayman Island
CUBA (*) CU C CP nnnnn town CP 10600 CIUDAD DE LA HABANA CURACAO AN NA Address through NETHERLANDS ANTILLES DOMINICA DM WD town ROSEAU DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DO DOM nnnnn-nnnn town 00921-0448 SANTO DOMINGO GRENADA GD WG town ST. GEORGE'S GUADELOUPE (*) GP -- nnnnn town 97163 POINT À PITRE HAITI HT RH nnnn town 6110 PORT-AU-PRINCE JAMAICA (*) JM JA town zone KINGSTON 10 MARTINIQUE (8) MQ -- nnnnn town 97246 FORT DE FRANCE MONTSERRAT MS -- town OLD TOWNE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES (*) AN NA town
PUERTO RICO PR -- Address through USA SABA AN NA Address through NETHERLANDS ANTILLES SAINT CROIX (*) VI -- US Virgin Islands - Address through USA SAINT EUSTATIUS AN NA Address through NETHERLANDS ANTILLES SAINT JOHN (*) VI -- US Virgin Islands - Address through USA SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS KN -- town BASSETERRE SAINT LUCIA LC -- town CASTRIES SAINT MAARTEN AN NA Address through NETHERLANDS ANTILLES SAINT THOMAS (*) VI -- US Virgin Islands - Address through USA SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES VC -- town KINGSTOWN TORTOLA VG -- Address through BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO TT TT town
Port of Spain
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS TC -- town Providenciales VIRGIN GORDA VG -- Address through BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Don't write ANTILLES, CARIBBEAN, LEEWARD ISLANDS, VIRGIN ISLANDS, WEST INDIES, BRITISH WEST INDIES, or BRITISH ISLANDS under the country name, despite advice to that affect that can be found elsewhere, since the USPS operates on country names, not on names of regions or areas. Notes:
56 Church Street PO Box HM 100 Hamilton HM 12 Hamilton HM AX BERMUDA BERMUDA
US Consulate General J.B. Gorsiraweg 1 (street and number) Willemstad (town) CURAÇAO (island) NETHERLANDS ANTILLES
BUREAU OF VITAL RECORDS VIRGIN ISLANDS DEPT OF HEALTH CHARLOTTE AMALIE (town) SAINT THOMAS VI 00801 (island VI Zip)
Here's a summary table of Latin American countries showing the USPS country name (see INDEX for local, long, and other forms), ISO 3166 Alpha-2 Code, United Nations Car Code (these codes are explained in the section on Europe), postcode format (if any), and sample City line. As far as I can tell, neither ISO nor Car codes are used in Latin American postal addresses. The right two columns are taken from the Universal Postal Union except where I had better information. In the postcode format, n indicates a digit and L indicates an uppercase letter; italic words like town and district are to be replaced by actual town or district names. Non-italic letters, spaces, and hyphens are to be taken literally (such as CP, which stands for Código Postal, Postal Code). Country names link to the country's postal authority website, if known, or other relevant site.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example ARGENTINA AR RA LnnnnLLL town S3000ADQ SANTA FE BELIZE BZ BH town BELIZE CITY BOLIVIA BO BOL town COCHABAMBA BRAZIL BR BR nnnnn-nnn town-LL 40301-110 SALVADOR-BA CHILE CL RCH nnnnnnn town 6500709 SANTIAGO COLOMBIA CO CO town BOGOTÁ COSTA RICA CR CR nnnn town 1000 SAN JOSÉ CUBA CU C CP nnnnn town CP 10600 CIUDAD DE LA HABANA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DO DOM nnnnn-nnnn town 00921-0448 SANTO DOMINGO ECUADOR EC EC LnnnnL
EL SALVADOR SV ES CP nnnn district
CP 1120 MEJICANOS
FRENCH GUIANA GF -- nnnnn town 97300 CAYENNE GUATEMALA GT GCA nnnnn-town 09001-QUETZALTENANGO GUYANA GY GUY town GEORGETOWN HAITI HT RH nnnn town 6110 PORT-AU-PRINCE HONDURAS HN -- nnnnn town 11101 TEGUCIGALPA DC MEXICO MX MEX nnnnn town, LL 02860 MÉXICO, DF NICARAGUA NI NIC nnn-nnn-n
PANAMA PA PA town PANAMÁ PARAGUAY PY PY nnnn town 1209 ASUNCION PERU PE PE town LIMA 39 PUERTO RICO PR -- (Address through USA) SURINAME SR SME town PARAMARIBO URUGUAY UY ROU nnnnn
VENEZUELA VE YV town nnnn state CARACAS 1010 DISTRITO CAPITAL
When addressing mail to a Latin American country, don't write SOUTH AMERICA or CENTRAL AMERICA under the country name.
Venezuelan city lines include the city name, then the 4-digit postal code, then either ESTADO followed by the state name or else DISTRITO FEDERAL for Caracas. The postcode might have a letter suffix:
CORO 4101-A ESTADO FALCÓN
You can address French Guiana through France; it's part of the French postcode and delivery system. You should also be able to address it directly too, thus avoiding the double ocean crossing.
Note that Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Uruguay (according to the UPU) write the postal code on its own line. As always, postcodes are in flux. The examples above (current as of January 2003) are contrasted with examples from our own database from just a few years prior:
Bahia Blanca 8000 ARGENTINA Santiago 9 CHILE Bogota COLOMBIA Nival 4 GUATEMALA Asuncion 2968 PARAGUAY Montevideo 11000 URUGUAY
Additional information about Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba is given in the following sections.
For purposes of addressing mail from within the USA, the name of the country is MEXICO. In Spanish, the 'e' has an acute accent: México. In Spain and parts of Latin America, some people prefer the more phonetic spelling, "Méjico" (just as in the USA, some Texans might prefer to write "Tejas").
México has states (estados) like Jalisco, Sonora, etc, which are included in the address. The state for México City is DF (Distrito Federal = Federal District), similar to Washington DC in the USA or Canberra ACT in Australia (DF is divided into Delegaciones including México City, San Jerónimo, etc.)
Postal codes are 5 digits. Examples:
03100 México, DF 10200 San Jerónimo, DF 62000 Cuernavaca, MOR 85100 Ciudad Obregon, SON
The states of México and their official abbreviations are:
AGS Aguascalientes MOR Morelos BCN Baja California Norte NAY Nayarit BCS Baja California Sur NL Nuevo León CAM Campeche OAX Oaxaca CHIS Chiapas PUE Puebla CHIH Chihuahua QRO Querétaro COAH Coahuila QROO Quintana Roo COL Colima SLP San Luis Potosí DF Distrito Federal SIN Sinaloa DGO Durango SON Sonora GTO Guanajuato TAB Tabasco GRO Guerrero TAMPS Tamaulipas HGO Hidalgo TLAX Tlaxcala JAL Jalisco VER Veracruz MEX México (Estado de) YUC Yucatán MICH Michoacán ZAC Zacatecas
It is important to put "Colonia" for District (when known) in Mexican addresses, for example:
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Carretera Al Ajusco Km.13, Colonia Héroes de Padierna Apartado 20-021, Delegación Alvaro Obregón 01000 México, DF MEXICO
The 5-digit postal code goes on the left, then the town or city, a comma, and the state abbreviation. Authority: Universal Postal Union (the Mexican Postal Service site contains no guidelines or examples that I can find).
It is common to see the postal code written on the right, but I believe this is an old form (say, pre-2000):
(Person's Name) Calle Ave. Castillo Chapultepec No.47 Colonia Cd.Chapultepec Cuernavaca, MOR 62380 MEXICO
Terms and abbreviations include in Mexican addresses include:
Apartado (Apartado Postal, Apartado de Correos) Post office box Calle Street Cd. Ciudad (city) Col. Colonia (district) CP Código Postal (postal code)
México Postal Service: http://rtn.net.mx/sepomex/ Postal Codes: http://rtn.net.mx/sepomex/copostal.html Lookup: http://rtn.net.mx/sepomex/busca.html States of México: http://www.tourbymexico.com/Pprisel/pprisel.htm
Brazilian addresses have states (estados) and a 5+3-digit postal code that goes on the left. The state goes on the right, separated by a dash. There should be no other punctuation. Example:
20071-003 Rio de Janeiro-RJ
If a postal code has only 5 digits (like our own ZIP without the "plus 4"), add "-000" to the end:
01000-000 São Paulo-SP
The state for Brasilia is DF (Distrito Federal), like Washington DC, e.g.:
Always use the exact spacing and punctuation shown above -- no periods, commas, etc. Never include "CEP" in the address; it just means "postal code". For example, if you have an address like:
Rio de Janeiro, RJ CEP 20071-003
it should be written as:
20071-003 Rio de Janeiro-RJ
The states of Brazil and their official abbreviations are:
AC Acre PB Paraíba AL Alagoas PA Pará AP Amapá PE Pernambuco AM Amazonas PI Piauí BA Bahía RN Rio Grande do Norte CE Ceará RS Rio Grande do Sul DF Distrito Federal RJ Rio de Janeiro ES Espirito Santo RO Rondônia GO Goiás RR Roraima MA Maranhão SC Santa Catarina MT Mato Grosso SE Sergipe MS Mato Grosso do Sul SP São Paulo MG Minas Geraís TO Tocantins PR Paraná
Correios Brasil Brazil Post http://www.correios.com.br/ Consulta de CEP Postcode Lookup http://www.correios.com.br/servicos/cep/default.cfm Formas de Endereçamento Addressing Guidelines http://www.correios.com.br/servicos/cep/cep_formas.cfm
Cuban addresses are written like this:
Sr. Héctor García Marizá Reina #35, apt. 4a, e/ Gervasio y Escobar Ciudad de La Habana, CP 11900 CUBA
Reina #35 = street and number apt. 4a = apartment number e/ = between streets Gervasio and Escobar CP = Código Postal (postal code)
After this line may be the Reparto (zone) and Municipio; that is, minor divisions, for example:
Sr. Jorge Pérez Rodríguez Calle Martí #24, apt. 4a., e/ Corombé y 26 de Julio Rpto. Abel Santamaría, Aguacate Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, CP 22222 CUBA
Person street / number, apartment, between streets Reparto, Pueblo Municipio, Provincia, Postal Code CUBA
"esq." (esquina, corner) can be used instead of "e/" (between) when the house is on the corner, for example:
Calle Martí #24, apt. 4a., esq. Corombé
In practice the CP is rarely used and mail, if otherwise properly addressed, can be delivered without it.
The divisions of Cuba are:
Provincia → Municipio → Ciudad or Pueblo → Reparto or Barrio
Note that this scheme does not apply to Ciudad de La Habana, which is a Provincia. There are many Municipios without Ciudad or Pueblo; for example, Ciudad de La Habana has these general options:
Ciudad de La Habana → Municipio → Pueblo → Reparto or Barrio
Ciudad de La Habana → Municipio → Reparto or Barrio
And for Municipio Especial Isla de la Juventud, the scheme is:
Municipio Especial Isla de la Juventud → Ciudad o Pueblo → Reparto o Barrio
The Provincias, with their recommended abbreviations, are:
PR Pinar del Río CA Ciego de Ávila CH Ciudad de La Habana CG Camagüey HA La Habana LT (Victoria de) Las Tunas MT Matanzas HO Holguín VC Villa Clara GR Granma (Bayamo) CF Cienfuegos SC Santiago de Cuba SS Sancti Spíritus GT Guantánamo IJ Municipio Especial Isla de la Juventud
Municipio Especial Isla de la Juventud is a special municipio; that is, not a provincia, but treated as a provincia.
Australia uses the same address format as the USA and Canada. It has 4-digit numeric postal codes and the following states, always abbreviated in caps as follows:
Abbrev Full Name Postboxes and
Street Addresses ACT Australian Capital Territory 0200-0299 2600-2639 NSW New South Wales 1000-1999 2000-2599, 2640-2914 NT Northern Territory 0900-0999 0800-0899 QLD Queensland 9000-9999 4000-4999 SA South Australia 5000-5799 5800-5999 TAS Tasmania 7800-7999 7000-7499 VIC Victoria 8000-8999 3000-3999 WA Western Australia 6800-6999 6000-6799
NSW includes Norfolk Island; WA includes Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Island. Write Australian city lines as follows:
town state postal-code
Use all uppercase letters, no punctuation, put two spaces before the postal code. Examples:
CANBERRA ACT 2614 AUSTRALIA SYDNEY NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA
Within Western Australia lies a small area calling itself the Hutt River Province Principality, which seceded from Western Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia in 1970 over a wheat-quota dispute. Whatever its legal and international standing, it has no listing in the USPS International Mail Manual, so mail from the USA to that area must be addressed "via Northampton WA 6535" in Australia. For further info, search the Web for "Hutt River".
New Zealand, like Australia, uses 4-digit postal codes but they are relatively optional, used mainly for presorting bulk mail. New Zealand Post doesn't even show them in their own contact addresses:
Customer Service Centre New Zealand Post Private Box 39100 Wellington Mail Service Centre Wellington NEW ZEALAND
Addressing guidelines for business mail are a bit unusual: Upper and lower case may be used (but the first letter of each address line must be upper case); province names, district, regions and nearby cities should not be used in the address; post codes must be three to six spaces right of the city name.
One peculiarity of NZ addresses is the use of "suburb name" in addresses in Greater Auckland, as in:
J.P. Smith 6-123 Great South Rd Owairaka Auckland 1003 NEW ZEALAND
(Owairaka is the suburb name.) Also note that "6/123" means Flat (Apartment) 6 at 123 Great South Road. The following address, however, is in downtown Auckland and so does not have a suburb.
NZI Life 3 Shortland St Auckland 1001 NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand has Post Office Boxes, and they also have something special called Private Bags and Private Boxes. Private Box is another term for Post Office Box. If a Post Office Box is used, it must be abbreviated "P O" (space after P and after O):
Mr Martin Jollys Jewellery P O Box 324 Wellington 6015 NEW ZEALAND
Private Bag / Box addresses might or might not have a Bag or Box number. When there is a number, it must not contain any spaces or punctuation (example on the right):
Rt Hon Helen Clarke John Brown Leader of the Opposition Jabid Electrical Parliament Private Bag 39990 Private Bag Wellington 6332 Wellington 6020 NEW ZEALAND NEW ZEALAND
Older addresses in large cities might show a single-digit postal zone:, e.g. "Wellington 1". This is an old form ("1" means central city, "5" denotes eastern suburbs, etc). Postal zones have been superseded by 4-digit postal codes, but might still be seen occasionally.
Rural Delivery routes, like Post Office boxes, require spaces as in the following example:
Mr C Campbell Railway Road R D 10 Palmerston North 5321 NEW ZEALAND
The last two digits of NZ postcodes denote the mode of delivery. To take Palmerston North as an example:
5301 Street Delivery
5315 P O Box
5320 Private Bag
5321 Rural Delivery
New Zealand post offices are now called Post Shops (or "PostShops").
(The UK and Ireland have their own sections towards the end of this document.)
All European countries have postal codes. They are almost always written on the left-hand side of the City line, before the name of the town or city. The format of the postcode itself varies from country to country: number of digits, grouping, and in a few cases an alphabetic part.
Until recently, all European postcodes included country-code prefixes. These were originally United Nations "car codes" (one, two, or three letters), kept in an annex, "Car (Or Road) Distinguishing Signs", to the 1949/68 United Nations Conventions on Road Traffic, adopted in part by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). These codes were not accepted by the Universal Postal Union as a world standard, but were widely used anyway.
Beginning in 1994, car codes were supposed to be replaced by ISO 3166 Alpha-2 codes, but it seems this was not done to any great extent outside of Scandinavia. Thus for some decades (say 1970-1994) a letter to Sweden would have a City and Country line like the following (note: two spaces recommended after the postcode):
S-126 25 Stockholm SWEDEN
Then in 1995 this became:
SE-126 25 Stockholm SWEDEN
More recently in most European countries, the recommendation is to leave off the country prefix for internal mail (and in return addresses when sending international mail), but to use it for international mail. Many countries (not all) also recommend all uppercase letters for better automatic sorting results:
126 25 STOCKHOLM SWEDEN
The situation is definitely confusing with postal standards, guidelines, and examples in flux and in conflict. The Universal Postal Union recommends that the ISO Alpha-2 Country Code be used for international mail, and that the country code prefix be omitted on domestic mail (e.g. within Italy), but of course the local standards of each country prevail, and to confound matters, Alpha-2 codes can change or (worse) be recycled; for example, Czechoslovakia was CS but when it split into the Czech and Slovak Republics in 1993 the codes became became CZ and SK, respectively; then in 2003 Serbia and Montenegro, which had inherited YU from Yugoslovia, had its code changed to CS (Crna Gora i Srbja).
Postal addresses that appear in printed matter, databases, and on the Web can be found in all three formats. CEN (see Links at the end of this section) recommends in Annex C of EN 14142-1:2003 (a standard for addresses) that cross-border mail should be prefixed by the ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 code where the postcode precedes the the locality in the destination country.
Thus, depending on whose guidelines you read, the CEPT country code should be used, or the ISO code should be used, or there should be no country code at all. For example, the local standard of Germany might say something like "Under no circumstances should a country code such as D or DE be prefixed to the postcode", but the standard in (say) Switzerland for sending mail to Germany might call for a D or DE prefix. In any case, the prefixes should do no harm except perhaps to cause the mail piece to be rejected by automatic sorters in the source country, the destination country, or both, in which case they are handled manually. As far as I can tell, the USPS doesn't care about them.
Here's a summary table of European countries showing the USPS country name (see INDEX for local, long, and other forms), ISO 3166 Alpha-2 Code, United Nations Car Code, postcode format, and sample City line. The country-code prefix is omitted, as in the UPU examples, except where the UPU states explicitly that it should be used. In the postcode format, n indicates a digit and L indicates an uppercase letter; italic words like town and district are to be replaced actual town or district names. Non-italic letters, spaces, and hyphens are to be taken literally. Country names link to the country's postal authority website, if known, or other relevant site.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example AALAND FI FIN (ÅLAND) Address through FINLAND ALBANIA AL AL town TIRANA ANDORRA AD AND AUSTRIA AT A nnnn town 1010 WIEN BELGIUM BE B nnnn town 4000 LIEGE BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (*) BA BIH nnnnn town 71000 SARAJEVO BULGARIA BG BG nnnn town 1000 SOFIA CROATIA (*) HR HR nnnnn town 10000 ZAGREB CYPRUS (*) CY CY nnnn town 1900 NICOSIA CZECH REPUBLIC CZ CZ nnn nn town 100 00 PRAHA 10 DENMARK DK DK nnnn 1566 COPENHAGEN V ESTONIA EE EST nnnnn 10001 TALLINN FAROE ISLANDS (*) FO FO nnn 100 TÓRSHAVN FINLAND (*) FI FIN nnnnn 00550 HELSINKI FRANCE (*) FR F nnnnn town 34092 MONTPELLIER GERMANY DE D nnnnn town 35035 MARBURG GREECE GR GR nnn nn town 101 88 ATHENS HUNGARY (*) HU H town
ICELAND IS IS nnn town 110 REYKJAVÍK ITALY IT I nnnnn town (LL) 00144 ROMA (RM) LATVIA (*) LV LV town, LV-nnnn RIGA, LV-1073 LIECHTENSTEIN (*) LI FL nnnn town 9486 SCHAANWALD LITHUANIA LT LT nnnn town 2600 VILNIUS LUXEMBOURG LU L nnnn town 2998 LUXEMBOURG MACEDONIA (*) MK MK nnnn town 1000 SKOPJE MALTA (*) MT M town LLL nn ZEJTUN ZTN 05 MONACO (*) MC MC nnnnn town 98000 MONACO NETHERLANDS NL NL nnnn LL town 1098 SJ AMSTERDAM NORWAY NO N nnnn town 0107 OSLO POLAND PL PL nn-nnn town 00-940 WARSZAWA PORTUGAL PT P nnnn-nnn town 1250-096 LISBOA ROMANIA RO RO nnnnnn town 050000 BUCARESTI RUSSIA (*) RU RUS town
SAN MARINO SM RSM nnnn town 47899 FIORINA SERBIA-MONTENEGRO (*) CS YU nnnnn town 11001 BEOGRAD SLOVAK REPUBLIC SK SK nnn nn town 811 03 BRATISLAVA SLOVENIA (*) SI SLO SI-nnnn town SI-1001 LJUBLJANA SPAIN (*) ES E nnnnn 28070 MADRID SWEDEN SE S nnn nn town 105 00 STOCKHOLM SWITZERLAND CH CH nnnn town 8037 ZÜRICH VATICAN CITY (*) VA V nnnnn town 00120 CITTÀ DEL VATICANO
When addressing mail to a European country, don't write EUROPE under or next to the country name.
The Italian postal code system is called CAP (Codice di Avviamento Postale, Post Delivery Code). Italian postal codes have a prefix of "I-" (or "IT-", or none at all, depending on where the mail originates) followed by five digits. The UPU advises leaving off the country prefix for internal mail and using the ISO Alpha-2 form ("IT") for mail to Italy, but the Car Code "I" is often seen. In practice, sometimes "I" is written in lowercase to avoid confusion with the digit "1", but I don't know whether or how this affects automatic scanning.
Italy is divided into 20 Regioni (regions) listed in the following table, which shows the region name in Italian (and German or French where applicable), then in English (if different), then an unofficial abbreviation (from the Gwillim Law book) for the region name used in the subsequent provincia table.
Abruzzo Abruzzi AB Basilicata BC Calabria CI Campania CM Emilia-Romagna ER Friuli-Venezia Giulia FB Lazio LZ Liguria LG Lombardia Lombardy LM Marche MH
Molise ML Piemonte Piedmont PM Puglia Apulia PU Sardegna Sardinia SD Sicilia Sicily SC Toscana Tuscany TC Trentino-Alto Adige / Trentino-Südtirol TT Umbria UM Valle d'Aosta / Vallée d'Aoste Valle d'Aosta VD Veneto VN
The regione is not used in the postal address, but the provincia is included as the 2-letter abbreviation of the province's capital. Thus in the following address:
GE Fanuc Automation Italia S.r.l Largo Brugnatelli - Angolo Via Volta IT-20090 BUCCINASCO (MI) ITALY
the town of Buccinasco is in the provincia of Milano; the regione of Lombardia is not included in the address.
The provincia abbreviation is called sigla automobilistica (automobile acronym), and is composed of the first letter of the name of the province's capital town, plus a second letter from the name. (The only exception is "KR" for Crotone: that is because when the Crotone province was established, all the possible regular combinations where already used: CR=Cremona, CO=Como, CT=Catania, CN=Cuneo, CE=Caserta. So, the acronym was based on the ancient Greek name of the town: "Kroton".)
These acronyms are called sigle automobilistiche because, up to a few years ago, each province had its own registry of vehicles, and the car registration plates had this two-letter province abbreviation preceding the actual number. (This had the side effect that "stranger" cars could be immediately identified when traveling in other parts of Italy. As a consequence, Italian drivers always had to be very well informed about soccer matches, as it was not advisable to park a car with a "Turin" registration plate in Rome the day after Torino F.C defeated Roma A.C...)
Traditionally, the 2-letter provincia abbreviation was given in parentheses after the city, e.g.:
IT-00144 Roma (RM) IT-57023 Cecina (LI) IT-50016 S. Domenico di Fiesole (FI) IT-20041 Agrate Brianza (MI) IT-38014 Gardolo (TN) IT-20064 Gorgonzola (MI) IT-20010 San Pietro All'Olmo (MI)
Italian Post now recommends the parentheses be omitted for the sake of automatic scanning and sorting (but the parenthesized form is still widely used):
I-00144 Roma RM I-57023 Cecina LI I-50016 S. Domenico di Fiesole FI I-20041 Agrate Brianza MI I-38014 Gardolo TN I-20064 Gorgonzola MI I-20010 San Pietro All'Olmo MI
Strictly speaking, the provincia abbreviation is redundant, since it is also embodied in the postal code, which has three fields:
Here's a table of province, in which the first column is the provincia name, second the provincia abbreviation, third the first two digits of the CAP, and fourth the regione abbreviation keyed to the previous table.
Agrigento AG 92 SC Alessandria AL 15 PM Ancona AN 60 MH Aosta / Aoste AO 11 VD Arezzo AR 52 TC Ascoli Piceno AP 63 MH Asti AT 14 PM Avellino AV 83 CM Bari BA 70 PU Belluno BL 32 VN Benevento BN 82 CM Bergamo BG 24 LM Biella BI 13 PM Bologna BO 40 ER Bolzano / Bolzen BZ 39 TT Brescia BS 25 LM Brindisi BR 72 PU Cagliari CA 09 SD Caltanisetta CL 93 SC Campobasso CB 86 ML Caserta CE 81 CM Catania CT 95 SC Catanzaro CZ 88 CI Chieti CH 66 AB Como CO 22 LM Cosenza CS 87 CI Cremona CR 26 LM Crotone KR 88 CI Cuneo CN 12 PM Enna EN 94 SC Ferrara FE 44 ER Firenze FI 50 TC Foggia FG 71 PU Forlì FO 47 ER Frosinone FR 03 LZ
Genova GE 16 LG Gorizia GO 34 FV Grosseto GR 58 TC Imperia IM 18 LG Isernia IS 86 ML L'Aquila AQ 67 AB La Spezia SP 19 LG Latina LT 04 LZ Lecce LE 73 PU Lecco LC 22 LM Livorno LI 57 TC Lodi LO 20 LM Lucca LU 55 TC Macerata MC 62 MH Mantova MN 46 LM Massa-Carrara MS 54 TC Matera MT 75 BC Messina ME 98 SC Milano MI 20 LM Modena MO 41 ER Napoli NA 80 CM Novara NO 28 PM Nuoro NU 08 SD Oristano OR 09 SD Padova PD 35 VN Palermo PA 90 SC Parma PR 43 ER Pavia PV 27 LM Perugia PG 06 UM Pesaro-Urbino PS 61 MH Pescara PE 65 AB Piacenza PC 29 ER Pisa PI 56 TC Pistoia PT 51 TC Pordenone PN 33 FB
Potenza PZ 85 BC Prato PO 50 TC Ragusa RG 97 SC Ravenna RA 48 ER Reggio di Calabria RC 89 CI Reggio nell'Emilia RE 42 ER Rieti RI 02 LZ Rimini RN 47 ER Roma RM 00 LZ Rovigo RO 45 VN Salerno SA 84 CM Sassari SS 07 SD Savona SV 17 LG Siena SI 53 TC Siracusa SR 96 SC Sondrio SO 23 LM Taranto TA 74 PU Teramo TE 64 AB Terni TR 05 UM Torino TO 10 PM Trapani TP 91 SC Trento TN 38 TT Treviso TV 31 VN Trieste TS 34 FV Udine UD 33 FV Varese VA 21 LM Venezia VE 30 VN Verbania VB 28 PM Vercelli VC 13 PM Verona VR 37 VN Vibo Valentia VV 88 CI Vicenza VI 36 VN Viterbo VT 01 LZ
Here is a UPU example of an Italian address, in which the CAP lacks a country prefix (as required for internal mail and perhaps for mail from certain countries but definitely not for others):
Sig. Mario Rossi Viale Europa, 22 00144 ROMA RM ITALY
By the way, Italy surrounds at least two other small countries: Vatican City and San Marino, which are properly treated by the USPS as separate countries -- VATICAN CITY and SAN MARINO -- and by some accounts also a third, the Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta, or Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), consisting of a single building on a Roman street, the Palace of Malta in the Via dei Condotti 68 (you're probably better off using the Roman street address).
Not only are countries to be found inside Italy, but a piece of Italy can be found inside another country: Campione d'Italia in Switzerland on Lake Lugano. It chose to stay part of Lombardy, and hence Italy, when Ticino became a Swiss Canton in 1798. It uses the Swiss postcode CH-6911 (as well as Italian CAP 22060), the Swiss telephone code +41 91, and has Italian police driving in Swiss-registered automobiles. But it's Italy. (Also see the section on Germany, another country with a piece inside Switzerland.)
In the NETHERLANDS, a 2-letter delivery code follows the numeric part of the postal code -- this is not a state/province abbreviation, just an indication of a "subzone" within the area indicated by the number. The four-digit number never begins with 0; the subzone letters never include F, I, O, Q, U, or Y, or the combinations SA, SD, and SS. The "NL-" prefix is not used within the Netherlands, but can be used for mail to the Netherlands.
NL-3514 BN Utrecht NL-3563 AW Utrecht NL-6500 HB Nijmegen NL-1098 SJ Amsterdam NL-3000 DR Rotterdam
Don't refer to the Netherlands as Holland. Holland is only one part of the Netherlands. "Dutch" is another misnomer -- it really means "German", but in English we don't have any other word that REALLY means Dutch... Postbus means PO Box.
The provinces of the Netherlands are generally not used in postal addresses, but in case it's ever of any use, here is the list, also showing some well-known towns:
English Dutch Abbr Towns Drenthe Drenthe DR Flevoland Flevoland FLD Friesland Friesland FR Gelderland Gelderland GLD Apeldorn, Arnhem, Nijmegen Groningen Groningen GN Lemburg Limburg LB North Brabant Noord-Brabant NB Eindhoven, Breda North Holland Noord-Holland NH Amsterdam, Haarlem Overijssel Overijssel OV South Holland Zuid-Holland ZH Rotterdam, Leiden, Dordrecht, the Hague Utrecht Utrecht UT Zeeland Zeeland ZLD
German postal codes are five digits, possibly prefixed by "DE-" (for Deutschland, formerly just "D"). Prior to 1991 (the union of DDR and the Bundesrepublik), the prefixes for the 4-digit codes were "D-" (for the Federal Republic (West)), and "DDR-" (for the Democratic Republic (East)). Then, in the united Federal Republic, the prefixes were "O-" (for East) and "W-" (for West), to distinguish the conflicting 4-digit postcodes of East and West. Then on July 1, 1993, a new comprehensive Germany-wide 5-digit system took effect and all the German addresses in all the databases in the world had to be converted.
The country prefix (D- or DE-) is not used for internal mail, and should no longer be used for mail to Germany either, at least not according to the UPU, which says "In items for Germany, on no account should a country code (D- or DE-) be written in front of the postcode. This could cause delay in processing the items as they cannot be sorted by the sorting machines" (boldface from the original). The exception would be when sending mail from a country that requires country prefixes on postcodes in mail bound for other European countries. (Confused? When sending mail from the USA to Germany, omit the prefix.)
Alex Bochannek adds, "As part of the 1993 PLZ [Postleitzahlen - Postal Codes] conversion, the trailing postal district number was dropped. For example, 1000 Berlin 20 covered part of the Berlin district of Spandau. After the 1993 conversion a finer granularity was possible and 13591 Berlin was assigned to an even smaller part of Spandau.
"Prior to conversion, trailing zeroes in the postal code were commonly omitted, so people would often write 1 Berlin 20 for 1000 Berlin 20. This was more obvious with large cities that had three zeroes, but even smaller cities with only one trailing zero could have that digit dropped. So you could say that while the postal code had four digits, they were written as one to four digits.
"While the first German postal codes date from 1943, the 4-digit codes in West Germany were introduced on March 23, 1962. East Germany followed suit soon thereafter, but did not use postal district numbers after the city name, but instead incorporated them into the postal code. Therefore, there was a 1000 Berlin in the west and 1XXX numbers for the eastern parts of Berlin.
"The postal district numbers (at least in the big cities that actually used them) had a certain sociopolitical connotation. In Berlin the famed (notorious?) district Kreuzberg used to also be known as SO36 (Süd-Ost [South East] 36) after their old postal district. I think the SO part actually predated the numbering and I suspect that it was probably used in parallel for a while, possibly to indicate mail distribution centers. But that is pretty much speculation on my part since I never actually saw the letter designation used on contemporary mail - only the digits."
You can look up German postal codes here:
or in Frank's copy of the Deutsche Bundespost Postleitzahlenbuch ( onsite only :-)
Also note the following transcription rules for German, to be used in cases where you can't print the special German characters:
German Transcription Example Vowel with Umlaut (ä ö ü) Same vowel followed by "e" (ae, oe, ue) Köln → Koeln German sharp s (ß) Two s's (ss) Straße (street) → Strasse
Sharp s is Scharfes s or Esszet in German; although it might look like a Greek beta (β), it is a ligature of long s (ſ) with s: "ſs". Here is a German address with Umlauts and Sharp s and its transcription:
German Transcription Herrn Jürgen Jemandem Computer+Software GmbH Albrecht-Thär-Straße 22 48147 Münster GERMANY Herrn Juergen Jemandem Computer+Software GmbH Albrecht-Thaer-Strasse 22 48147 Muenster GERMANY
Most street addresses have the street name first, then the house number. GmbH stands for Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (company with limited liability), a corporate status designation similar to English "Ltd." It is capitalized as shown. About the hyphenation of German street names, Otto Stolz writes:
In this example [i.e. the one above], the street name is a compound word, and the general rule is that a compound is either written in one single word, or else with hyphens between all of its (1st level) components, cf. http://www.ids-mannheim.de/grammis/reform/c2.html#P44. Particularly, compounds starting with a proper name are always written with hyphens, cf. http://www.ids-mannheim.de/grammis/reform/c3.html#P50.
Note that all street names are not compounds: some comprise an adjective with a noun, as in "Kurze Straße" (in 13585 Berlin) or "Livländische Straße" (10715 Berlin); some comprise a preposition, an article, optional adjectives and a noun, as in "In den neuen Gärten" (12247 Berlin). A particular pitfal lurks in the "-er" suffix: normally, it signals an adjective as in "Egger Wiese" (78464 Konstanz), but many proper names end in "-er", these can constitute the 1st part of a compound, as in "Zähringerplatz" (78464 Konstanz). The only sure way to tell these cases apart is to consult the Postleitzahlenbuch (or to know the local history ;-)
Also from Otto Stolz:
There are two more types of addresses you may wish to mention:
- Postfachadressen (Post Office Boxes)
- Großkundenadressen (Large Customer Addresses)
Postfachadressen (PO Boxes):
- In medium, and large, places, post office boxes are assigned particular codes, different from the street's codes. Only small places have a single code both for street, and post office box, addresses. (Cf. Postleitzahlenbuch, p. 25)
- In large places, a particular code covers a range of post office boxes (64 boxes per code, IIRC); hence, the particular post code to be used depends on the bost office box number.
- The street address must not be used for a letter to a post office box. e.g.:An den Oberbürgermeister Herrn Dr. Baganz Stadt Mülheim an der Ruhr Postfach 101953 45466 Mülheim GERMANY
Großkundenadressen (Large Customers):
- The new, 5-digit, post codes brought a particular form of address for authorities, institutions, or enterprises receiving large amounts of mail. (Cf. Postleitzahlenbuch, p. 26)
- Each of these has its own, particular postcode, different from the codes used in street, or post office box, addresses.
- The street address must not be used for a letter to a "Großkunde", e.g.:
Herrn Otto Stolz Universität Konstanz 78457 Konstanz GERMANY
The Postleitzahlenbuch covers only post codes for street addresses; for post office boxes, or "Großkunden", you need special directories, available from the Deutsche Bundespost. The easiest way to find the correct post code is to look at the sender's address of the letter you are answering to, or in the WWW homepage of the adressee.
Note that you must use the street address (with its particular post code) for parcels and for express delivery, e.g.:
An den Oberbürgermeister Herrn Dr. Baganz Stadt Mülheim an der Ruhr Ruhrstraße 32–34 45468 Mülheim GERMANY Herrn Otto Stolz Universität Konstanz Universitätsstraße 10 78464 Konstanz GERMANY
Some German cities have different names in English, such as Munich (for München), Cologne (for Köln), and Nuremburg (for Nürnburg). Quite honestly, I have no idea whether it makes a difference which form you use when sending mail from USA. I can find nothing in the IMM about it, so for extra safety it's probably best to use the "double city line" approach which they recommend in similar situations:
Lehrstuhl für Datenverarbeitung Technische Universität München Arcisstraße 21 80290 München MUNICH GERMANY
Before the end of the Second World War (and in some cases, the First), parts of what are now the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, and other countries were German. Old addresses referring to German town names such as Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland), Danzig (now Gdansk in Poland), Preßburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia), Budweis (now České Budějovice in the Czech Republic), Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic), Königsberg (now Kaliningrad in Russia), etc, obviously must be adjusted.
Although Germany's borders have changed repeatedly, it has always been subdivided into states (Länder). German states are not used in postal addresses, but nevertheless sometimes we find addresses in which a state name is used instead of the country, e.g. "Augsburg, Bavaria". Such address should be converted to omit the state name and to include a postcode, which can be looked up at sites in the Links at the end of this section or in the Postleitzahlenbuch. Germany's current states are shown in the following table. When the English name of a German state or city is different from the German name, the English name is shown in parentheses. PLZ is the approximate postal code range for reality checking.
Name ISO 3166-2 PLZ Former Capital Some Other Cities Baden-Württemberg BW 7xxxx West Stuttgart Baden Baden, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Ludwigsburg, Mannheim, Tübingen, Ulm Bayern (Bavaria) BY 8xxxx West München (Munich) Augsburg, Nürnberg, Würzburg Berlin BE 10-14xxx East/West Berlin Brandenburg BR 15-19xxx East Potsdam Cottbus, Frankfurt/Oder Bremen HB 28xxx West Bremen Hamburg HH 20-22xxx West Hamburg Hessen (Hesse) HE 6xxxx West Wiesbaden Darmstadt, Frankfurt/Main, Fulda, Kassel Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) NI 2xxxx West Hannover Braunschweig, Bremerhaven, Göttingen, Lüneburg, Osnabrück Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania) MV 18-19xxx East Schwerin Rostock, Wismar Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia) NW 4xxxx West Düsseldorf Aachen, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen, Köln (Cologne), Münster Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) RP 67-68xxx West Mainz Bad Durkheim, Kaiserlautern, Koblenz, Ludwigshafen, Trier, Worms Saarland SL 66xxx West Saarbrücken Sachsen (Saxony) SN 0xxxx East Dresden Chemnitz, Leipzig Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony Anhalt) ST 0xxxx East Magdeburg Dessau, Halle Schleswig-Holstein SH 23-25xxx West Kiel Lübeck Thüringen (Thuringia) TH 0xxxx East Erfurt Eisenach, Jena
In the postal oddities department, Ken Westmoreland reports on Germany's enclave in Switzerland: "Mail can be sent via Germany to D-78266 Büsingen, or via Switzerland to CH-8238 Büsingen:
"This must be the only place in the world that is part of two countries' postcode systems. Interestingly, while France and Spain operate postal services side by side in Andorra, neither have postcodes for the Principality." (Also see the section on Italy for more countries or pieces of countries inside of other countries).
Otto Stolz lists several other places that are part of two countries' postcode systems (A for Austria, D for Germany):
A-6691/D-87491 Jungholz A-6992/D-87568 Hirschegg A-6993/D-87569 Mittelberg A-6991/D-87567 Riezlern
« Parcels may be addressed to the A code, while letters may addressed to either. These four places are not really exclaves, as they are connected to the Austrian mainland -- though in pathless mountain regions, whilst the roads go in from Germany. Particularily funny is the border around Jungholz: Jungholz's precincts are connected to the Austrian mainland in one single point, on top of the Sorgschrofen mountain. »
French addresses are straightforward. A typical example (from the UPU addressing formats guide) is:
Société DUPONT Mademoiselle Lucie MARTIN Résidence le Capucines 56 RUE EMILE ZOLA BP 90432 MONTFERRIER SUR LEZ 34092 MONTPELLIER CEDEX 5 FRANCE
Lines from the street address down are supposed to be in all capital letters. The French also like to write surnames in all caps, as shown, and an address can include both a street name and number (56 RUE EMILE ZOLA) and a Post Office Box (BP 90432). The "F-" or "FR-" country code prefix is omitted from the postcode in this example, but is often seen in practice.
The example also shows how the town or city name can be followed by the word CEDEX (Courrier d’Entreprise à Distribution EXceptionnelle), which indicates a special delivery service for business mail; if this word is included in an address (possibly followed by a zone number, as in the example), do not omit it; it's part of the address. Conversely, don't add CEDEX unless you know it's part of the address.
France still owns a tiny piece of North America, the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (Michelon), just south of Newfoundland. Mark Brader points out: "It's the only place I know of in North America where, if you go east from any part of it until you enter a different time zone, you put your watch back; certainly the only one where you put it back half an hour. SP&M uses zone -3; the island of Newfoundland, which has a southward peninsula east of SP&M, uses -3:30." Saint-Pierre and Miquelon was also one of the few parts of North America controlled by an Axis power in World War II, until it was liberated by General De Gaulle (who some decades later also tried to liberate Québec :-) SP&M is listed in the IMM and addressed is if it were a country:
Receveur du bureau de poste de Saint-Pierre
BP 4330, Place du Général de Gaulle
F-97500 Saint Pierre
SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON
Quiz Question 1: What other parts of North America were controlled by Axis powers in World War II?
Several other spots in the Western Hemisphere are also parts of France, and share the same postal codes. These include French Guiana in South America the islands Martinique and Guadaloupe. Each of these is treated by the USPS as a distinct country for addressing purposes. Ditto for French departments in the Pacific Ocean.
[ Map of Czechoslovakia ] [ Map of Czech Republic ] [ Map of Slovak Republic ]
On New Years Day, 1993, Czechoslovakia (ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code CS) split into two countries: The Czech Republic (CZ, containing Prague, Brno, Plzn, etc), and the Slovak Republic (SK, containing Bratislava). The new postal codes are as follows:
CZ 1?? ?? CZ 3?? ?? CZ 6?? ?? SK 9?? ?? CZ 2?? ?? CZ 4?? ?? CZ 7?? ?? SK 0?? ?? CZ 2?? ?? CZ 5?? ?? SK 8?? ??
As you can see, the two countries share the same code space (i.e. their postcodes do not overlap).
Prague and some of the other Czech and Slovak cities also put zone (district) numbers after the city name. Examples:
CZ-602 00 Brno CZECH REPUBLIC CZ-370 06 České Budějovice CZECH REPUBLIC CZ-547 01 Náchod CZECH REPUBLIC CZ-130 00 Prague 3 CZECH REPUBLIC CZ-763 14 Zlín 12 CZECH REPUBLIC SK-811 01 Bratislava SLOVAK REPUBLIC
Recent guidance says to omit the country prefix from the postcode, as in this example for Slovakia:
Slovenská pošta, š.p. (Name) Partizánska cesta č. 9 (Street, number) 975 99 Banská Bystrica 1 (Postal code, city [zone])
Since the Czech name for Prague is Praha, you might want to use the double-city-line format when addressing mail there:
130 00 Praha 3 PRAGUE CZECH REPUBLIC
Don't use the old German names for Czech and Slovak cities (Preßburg, Carlsbad, Budweis, etc); see section on Germany.
Czech Republic http://www.cpost.cz/ Slovak Republic http://www.slposta.sk/online/hlpsc.htm
In the 1990s, what was once the Federated (or Federal) Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia -- a federation of six Republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia) and two Socialist Autonomous Regions (Kosovo and Vojvodina) -- became the following countries (see INDEX for native-language, alternative, and former names): As always, the spelling of country names for addressing purposes is the USPS spelling since, after all, it is the USPS that must recognize the country name.
Country ISO Some cities or towns in the new country BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BA (MAP) Sarajevo, Pale, Banja Luka, Tuzla CROATIA HR (MAP) Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Rijeka, Osijek MACEDONIA MK (MAP) Skopje SERBIA-MONTENEGRO CS (MAP) Belgrade [Beograd] (Serbia), Novi Sad (Vojvodina), Priština [Prishtinë], Prizren (Kosovo), Podgorica [Titograd] (Montenegro). SLOVENIA SI (MAP) Ljubljana, Maribor, Novo Mesto, Litija, Slovenj Gradec
"Bosnia-Herzegovina" (Bosna-i-Hercegovina) sounds like two countries but really is one, with two main parts: a Serbian part (Republika Srpska) and the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna-i-Hercegovina); the latter also administers a separate district named Brcko in the northeast which is not part of Republika Srpska or the Bosniak/Croat Federation. (Note: "Bosnian" refers to nationality, "Bosniak" refers to the Bosnian-speaking population, as opposed to the Serbs and Croats). Bosnia-Herzegovina has 5-digit postal codes:
BA-71000 Sarajevo BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
The Republics of Montenegro (Црна Гора, Crna Gora) and Serbia (Србија) together form a "super-country" which until 5 February 2003 was called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Сојузна Република Југославија), and now is called the State Union of of Serbia and Montenegro: Државна заједница Србије и Црне Горе, Državna zajednica Srbije i Crne Gore, or simply Serbia and Montenegro: Србија и Црна Гора, Srbija i Crna Gora. All along the USPS has called it SERBIA-MONTENEGRO, and it is unlikely this will change.
Serbia, in turn, includes two autonomous provinces: Kosovo (Kosovë, Косово) in the South and Vojvodina (Војводина) in the North (see map).
The country prefix is problematic; it might be YU or (beginning 23 July 2003) CS (which as of that date is the ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for Serbia-Montenegro):
CS-11000 BEOGRAD (formerly YU-11000 BEOGRAD)
Republics (Serbia, Montenegro) or autonomous provinces of Serbia (Kosovo, Vojvodina) need not be included in the address if you have the postal code, as in this Kosovo address:
Komiteti Kosovar i Helsinkit Taslixhe I 36a 38000 PRIŠTINA SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
If you don't know the postal code, however, it is probably better to include the republic (Montenegro) or province (Kosovo or Vojvodina) when the town is not in Serbia proper:
FINCA Kosovo Str Sitnica 2 PRIZREN, KOSOVO SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
You should be aware that Macedonia (Makedonija) is a controversial name, claimed also by Greece. For this reason, in some countries the official name is THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA. The USPS, however, uses MACEDONIA.
Also note the usage of the Cyrillic versus Latin alphabet. Croatian is always written with Latin letters; Serbian (spoken in Serbia, Montenegro, and part of Bosnia) can be written with Cyrillic or Latin (BELGRADE can be БЕОГРАД or BEOGRAD). Latin letters seem to be the rule in Bosnia and Kosovo but Cyrillic is also used; Cyrillic predominates in Macedonia. People of many nationalities besides Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, etc, live in these countries, including Hungarians, Romanians, Czechs, Slovaks, Albanians, Turks, and Gypsies. Reportedly, in Vojvodina the street signs used to be in six languages: Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, and Serbian/Croatian.
What was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) until 1992 now consists of the new (or old) countries shown in the table below. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, these countries have also been known -- with decreasing frequency -- as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The country names shown are the ones recognized by the USPS (highlighted names link to postal authorities); see INDEX for long, local, and other forms. The ISO and Car codes are explained in the Europe section. The postcode formats and city line examples come from the Universal Postal Union.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example ARMENIA AM ARM nnnnnn town 375010 YEREVAN AZERBAIJAN AZ AZ nnnnnn town 370139 BAKU BELARUS BY BY nnnnnn town(-zone) 220050 MINSK-50 ESTONIA EE EST nnnnn town 10001 TALLINN GEORGIA GE GE nnnn town 0100 TBILISI KAZAKHSTAN KZ KZ town
KYRGYZSTAN KG KS nnnnnn town 720001 BISHKEK LATVIA LV LV town, LV-nnnn RIGA, LV-1073 LITHUANIA LT LT nnnn town 2600 VILNIUS MOLDOVA MD MD nnnn town 2012 CHISINAU RUSSIA RU RUS town
TAJIKISTAN TJ TJ nnnnnn town 734025 DUSHANBE TURKMENISTAN TM TM nnnnnn town 744000 ASHKHABAD UKRAINE UA UA town
UZBEKISTAN UZ UZ nnnnnn town 700000 TASHKENT
As you can see, the UPU says that Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia put the postal code on a line by itself under the city name, but I have never seen this done in practice, and I suspect it might confuse the USPS, so unless you have better information than I do, I'd recommend putting these postcodes in the city line as in the examples below.
Most of these countries write addresses backwards from how we write them, e.g. with country name on top, the city line as the second line ("г." stands for "город", meaning town or city), the street line next, and finally the company or person:
РОССИЯ г.Москва 125252 ул.Куусинена 21-Б Междунродный Центр Научной и Технической Информации
When addressing mail to these countries, write addresses in the normal USA order, because the USPS looks at the bottom of the address, not the top, for the City line and Country name, and of course write at least the City and Country lines in Roman letters. This form works best:
Междунродный Центр Научной и Технической Информации ул.Куусинена 21-Б г.Москва 125252 MOSCOW 125252 RUSSIA
The all-English version should work too, but might result in delayed delivery since it requires translation of the local parts:
International Centre for Scientific and Technical Information Kuusinena Street 21-B MOSCOW 125252 RUSSIA
Where should the postcode go? The examples above are from a few years ago; more recent examples tend to put it on the left. Besides the UPU recommendation of putting it on a line by itself, all of the following have been seen:
MOSCOW 125252 MOSCOW 125 252 125252 MOSCOW 125 252 MOSCOW RU-125252 MOSCOW RU-125 252 MOSCOW RF-125252 MOSCOW RF-125 252 MOSCOW
In the absence of any official addressing guidelines or examples on the Почта России (Russian Post) website, take your pick!
A piece of Russia, the Kaliningradskaya Oblast', or Kaliningrad Free Economic Zone, lies on the Baltic coast, about 500km west of "contiguous Russia", with Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus in between, and sharing a border with Poland. The city of Kaliningrad is the former Königsberg, once capital of East Prussia and later part of Germany, and was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1945, becoming the USSR's main Baltic port. Today it is the "Hong Kong" of Russia. City government addresses are listed in this manner:
Person's name City Hall Pl. Pobedy 1 RU-236 040 Kaliningrad RUSSIA
Another piece of Russia, the villages of Sankova and Medvezhe, lies inside Belarus.
Although the Cyrillic alphabet was used throughout most of the Soviet Union, some of the former Soviet republics are converting to Roman or Arabic script. Georgia and Armenia each have their own unique scripts.
Of course Asia also includes much of the former Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Eastern Russia), but that has its own section.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example AFGHANISTAN AF -- town KABUL BANGLADESH BD BD town - nnnn DAKHA - 1340 BHUTAN BT -- town TIMPHU BRUNEI DARUSSALAM BN BRU town LLnnnn BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN BB3510 CAMBODIA KH K town nnnnn PHNOM PENH 12203 CHINA CN RC town, province nnnnnn> HANGZOU, ZHEJIANG 310027 EAST TIMOR (*) TL -- town HONG KONG HK HK town KOWLOON INDIA IN IND town-nnnnnn NEW DELHI-110034 INDONESIA ID RI town nnnnn BANDUNG 40115 JAPAN JP J locality
KOREA KR ROK town nnn-nnn SEOUL 110-700 LAOS LA LAO nnnnn town 01000 VIENTIANE MACAO (*) MO -- MALAYSIA (*) MY MAL nnnnn town
88990 KOTA KINABALU
MALDIVES MV -- town nn-nn MALE' 20-05 MONGOLIA (*) MN MGL nnnnnn town-zone 210152 ULAANBAATAR-52 MYANMAR (*) MM BUR town, nnnnn YANGON, 11181 NEPAL NP -- town nnnnn KATHMANDU 44601 NORTH KOREA KP -- town PYONGYANG PAKISTAN PK PK town-nnnnn ISLAMABAD-44000 PHILIPPINES PH RP nnnn town 1050 MANILA SINGAPORE SG SGP SINGAPORE nnnnnn SINGAPORE 408600 SRI LANKA (*) LK CL nnnnn town 00100 COLOMBO TAIWAN TW -- town nnnnn TAIPEI 10636 THAILAND TH T town nnnnn BANGKOK 10150 VIETNAM VN -- town nnnnn HANOI 10000
Don't mix them up. The Peoples Republic of China is the big one. The Republic of China (ROC) is the little one, also known as Taiwan or (a long time ago) Formosa (from when it was a Portuguese colony).
The USPS IMM lists only the short names, CHINA and TAIWAN. It does not recognize Peoples Republic or Republic as part of the country name. This appears to be a general rule (which is proved by several exceptions).
The Peoples Republic of China has provinces like Shanxi, and address are written as in the examples below, which I have seen on actual letters. The full form is town, province postcode but it appears to be common practice to omit the province for big cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
Wuhan, Hubei CHINA (postal code unknown) Taiyuan, Shanxi CHINA (ditto) Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027 CHINA (full address line) Beijing 100081 CHINA (big city) Shanghai 200052 CHINA (ditto)
Republic of China addresses go like this:
Taipei 10636 TAIWAN Hsin-Chu 31015 TAIWAN
Note that there was a big "spelling reform" (for Romanization of Chinese names) in Peoples China in 1979, but not in Taiwan. Thus Peoples China uses Pinyin transcription, and the ROC uses Wade-Giles. Some examples:
New (Pinyin) Old (Wade-Giles) Beijing Peking Sichuan Szechuan Mao Zedong Mao Tse Tung Yijing I-Ching
Native (Han) scripts also differ; Peoples China uses a simplified form, Taiwan uses the traditional form. It should be noted that Chinese (Han) writing is mostly language-independent, and therefore can be used all over China, where dozens of languages are spoken (to name just a few: Buyei, Gan, Hakka, Jinyu, Guanhua (Mandarin), Min Nan, Xiang, Yue (Cantonese), Hmong, Yi, Zhuang, Korean, Mongolean, Tibetan). However, Romanized transcriptions are based on a particular language such as Mandarin, and therefore lack the same degree of universality.
The Provinces and Autonomous Regions of Peoples China are listed in the following table, as they are used in addresses. Provinces are in regular type; autonomous regions are shown in italics. The Pinyin spelling is given on the left with the traditional English form on the right (often Wade-Giles, but not always). Use the Pinyin form.
Pinyin Traditional Pinyin Traditional Anhui Anhwei Jilin Kirin Beijing Peking Liaoning Liaoning Fujian Fukien Nei Mongol Inner Mongolia Gansu Kansu Ningxia Hui Ningsia Hui Guangdong Kwantung Qinghai Tsinghai Guangxi Zhuang Kwangsi Chuang Shaanxi Shensi Guizhou Kweichow Shandong Shantung Hainan Hainan Shanghai Shanghai Hebei Hopeh Shanxi Shansi Heilongjiang Heilungkiang Sichuan Szechuan Henan Honan Tianjin Tientsin Hubei Hupei Xinjiang Uygur Sinkiang Uighur Hunan Hunan Xizang Tibet Jiangsu Kiansu Yunnan Yunnan Jiangxi Kiangsi Zhejiang Chekiang
For postal purposes, Tibet (བོད) is a province of China called Xizang, but this is a touchy political issue.
Hong Kong (Xianggang) became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the Peoples Republic of China July 1, 1997, but addressing conventions have not changed. Here's a sample Hong Kong address:
(Name) (Company) 10/F Tower One, Cheung Sha Wan Plaza Kowloon HONG KONG
Hong Kong is still listed in the USPS IMM, and in fact (as of January 2003) Hong Kong Post still lists its own address as:
HongkongPost Headquarters 2 Connaught Place Central HONG KONG
Similarly for Macao (Macau, Aomen). According to the IMM, mail from the USA is still addressed to MACAO.
China http://baldersnatch.abfn.org/~emichelson/postcode.html China http://chinapost.gov.cn/english/ Taiwan http://www.post.gov.tw/e0-6-1.htm Hong Kong http://www.hongkongpost.com/ Macao http://www.adminet.com/world/mo/ Macao http://dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/Macau/Government/ Shanghai http://www.sta.net.cn/
Singapore is a bit unusual in that it is a city that is also a country. And it has postal codes. (Vatican City is another such city/country.) Logically we would write Singapore addresses like this:
Person's Name Dept of Info Systems and Computer Science National University of Singapore Lower Kent Ridge Road SINGAPORE 119081
But the USPS does not want postal codes on the country line, so instead we pretend that Singapore is the city name as well as the country name:
Lower Kent Ridge Road Singapore 119081 SINGAPORE
Singapore postal codes were changed from 4 to 6 digits in 1995. All the street signs also had to be changed, since they had 4-digit postcodes on them. Under the new system, each building in Singapore has its own unique postcode.
Addresses in India have city lines like "town postalcode". The postal code (PIN, Postal Index Number) has six digits with a space in the middle:
HYDERABAD 500 032 BANGALORE 560 012
India Post recommends using BLOCK CAPITAL letters for the postal town. The state names are not used. According to Yateendra Joshi of New Delhi, "State names are totally redundant and are not required in the address at all. The post code and the delivery post office go together, as in Hyderabad 500 032 or Bangalore 560 012. Nothing but a space, ideally a dash, should come between the two. If you need to specify the state, it should come after the postal code, as in Hyderabad 500 032 Andhra Pradesh (or AP)." This was explained in more detail at the Maharashtra Postal Circle site (now vanished), which showed contradictory examples such as these:
Shri Govind Singh Advocate 35 Mandir Marg NEW DELHI 110 001 The Executive Engineer Public Health Engineering Division- 1 Public office Building Museum Road THIRUVANAMTHPURAM Kerala 695 033 Smt. Lakshmi Ramudu 21, Temple Street BUKKAPATNAM PO Anantapur District Andhra Pradesh 515 144 Modern Engineering Company Post Box 3254 CHENNAI Tamil Nadu 600 002
Of course when addressing mail to India from the USA, write INDIA as the final line. For the record, India has the following states (postal abbreviation shown):
AP Andhra Pradesh AR Arunachal Pradesh AS Assam BR Bihar ?? Chhattisgarh GOA Goa GUJ Gujarat HP Himachal Pradesh HR Haryana JK Jammu and Kashmir ?? Jharkhand KRN Karnataka KER Kerala MP Madhya Pradesh
MAH Maharashtra MNP Manipur MEG Meghalaya MIZ Mizoram NLD Nagaland OR Orissa PU Punjab RAJ Rajasthan SKM Sikkim TN Tamil Nadu TRP Tripura UP Uttar Pradesh ?? Uttaranchal WB West Bengal
Plus the following union territories:
AN Andaman and Nicobar Islands CHD Chandigarh DNH Dadra and Nagar Haveli DD Daman and Diu DEL Delhi LKP Lakshadweep PDY Pondicherry
Here is a table of countries in the geographic Middle East (the Arabian Peninsula east of the Bosporus, south of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan (which are listed in the Former USSR section), plus Iran, but not including Egypt, which is listed in the Africa section because most of it is on the African continent), showing the USPS name for each country, the ISO and Car codes (as in the table for Europe), the City Line format (L stands for an uppercase letter, n stands for a numeric digit, italic words such as town are to be replaced appropriately, and punctuation and non-italic characters are literal), and a sample City Line taken, in most cases, from the Universal Postal Union. For long and other forms of the country names, see the Index. Links from country names are to postal authorities, if known, otherwise to other postal information pages for the country.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example BAHRAIN (*) BH BRN nnn town 317 AL-MANAMAH IRAN (*) IR IR town nnnnn nnnnn TEHRAN 12345 67890 IRAQ IQ IRQ town BAGHDAD ISRAEL IL IL nnnnn town 61002 TEL-AVIV JORDAN JO HKJ town nnnnn AMMAN 11937 KUWAIT KW KWT nnnnn town 54551 KUWAIT LEBANON (*) LB RL town nnnn nnnn RIAS EL SOLH BEIRUT 1107 2810 OMAN OM -- nnn town 133 MUSCAT PALESTINIAN TERRITORY (*) PS -- town GAZA CITY QATAR QA QA town DOHA SAUDI ARABIA SA SA town nnnnn RIYADH 11187 SYRIA (*) SY SYR nnnn town 0100 DAMASCUS TURKEY (*) TR TR nnnnn town 06101 ANKARA UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (*) AE UAE box
P.O. BOX 111
YEMEN YE YEM town SANA'A
تهران خیابان آزادی، خیابان خوش شمالی کوچهی گلافشان، پلاک ۱۲، شبقهی ۲ آقای کامران شفیعی کد پستی ۱۲۳۴۵۶۷۸۹۰ IRAN
Iranian addresses are written in "major to minor" order, town at the top, followed by street address, then addressee. The postal code is important because there are many cases of duplicate street names in the same city, even a few duplicate building numbers in the same street. 10 digit postcodes are needed to identify the correct location in such cases.
A table of countries of continental Africa and nearby island nations follows, showing the USPS name for each country, the ISO and Car codes (as in the table for Europe; these codes do not seem to be used in African postal addresses), the City Line format (L stands for an uppercase letter, n stands for a numeric digit, italic words such as town are to be replaced appropriately, and punctuation and non-italic characters are literal), and a sample City Line taken, in most cases, from the Universal Postal Union. For long and other forms of the country names, see the Index. Links from country names are to postal authorities, if known.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example ALGERIA DZ DZ nnnnn town 16027 ALGIERS ANGOLA AO -- town LUANDA BENIN BJ DY nn BP nnnn
03 BP 1000
BOTSWANA BW RB town GABORONE BURKINA FASO BF -- town nn OUAGADOUGOU 01 BURUNDI BI RU town BUJUMBURA CAMEROON CM CAM town YAOUNDE CAPE VERDE CV -- nnnn town
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CF RCA town BANGUI CHAD TD TCH town NDJAMENA COMOROS KM -- town MORONI DJIBOUTI DJ -- town DJIBOUTI CÔTE D'IVOIRE (*) CI CI BP nn.. town zone BP 37 ABIDJAN 06 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO CD RCB town zone KINSHASA 1 EGYPT EG ET town
EQUATORIAL GUINEA GQ -- town MALABO ERITREA ER -- town ASMARA ETHIOPIA ET ETH nnnn town 1000 ADDIS ABABA GABON GA GA nn town zone 05 TCHIBANGA 01 GAMBIA GM WAG town BANJUL GHANA GH GH town ACCRA GUINEA GN RG town CONAKRY GUINEA-BISSAU GW -- nnnn town 1011 BISSAU KENYA KE EAK town
LESOTHO LS LS town nnn MASERU 100 LIBERIA LR LB nnnn town zone 1000 MONROVIA 10 LIBYA LY LAR town TRIPOLI MADAGASCAR MG RM nnn town 101 ANTANANARIVO MALAWI MW MW town BLANTYRE MALI ML RMM town BAMAKO MAURITANIA MR RIM town NOUAKCHOTT MAURITIUS MU MS nnnLLnnn
MAYOTTE YT -- nnnnn town 97610 DZAOUDZI MOROCCO MA MA nnnnn town 20050 CASABLANCA MOZAMBIQUE MZ MOC nnnnn town 00300 MAPUTO NAMIBIA NA NAM town WINDHOEK NIGER NE RN nnnn town 8001 NIAMEY NIGERIA NG WAN town nnnnnn ABUJA 900001 REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO CG -- town BRAZZAVILLE REUNION (*) RE -- nnnnn town 97410 SAINT PIERRE RWANDA RW RWA town KIGALI SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE ST -- town RIBEIRA AFONSO SENEGAL SN SN town DAKAR SEYCHELLES SC SY town MAHE SIERRA LEONE SL WAL town FREETOWN SOMALIA SO SO town MOGADISHU SOUTH AFRICA ZA ZA town
SUDAN SD SUD nnnn
SWAZILAND SZ -- town
TANZANIA TZ EAT town DAR ES SALAAM TOGO TG TG town LOME TUNISIA TN TN nnnn town 1030 TUNIS UGANDA UG EAU town KAMPALA WESTERN SAHARA EH -- (Address through Morocco) ZAMBIA ZM RNR nnnnn town 10101 LUSAKA ZIMBABWE ZW ZW town HARARE
Do not write AFRICA next to or under the country name.
According to the Universal Postal Union, the following African countries write the postal code on a line by itself: BENIN, CAPE VERDE, EGYPT, KENYA, MAURITIUS, SOUTH AFRICA, SUDAN, and SWAZILAND, as shown in the table. This is OK with the USPS, but in case it conflicts with your record-keeping or database requirements, it is probably OK to include the postal code in the City Line.
Dr E.W. Lisse
PO Box 1684
Dr E.W. Lisse
Oshakati State Hospital
Private Bag X5501
Quiz Question 2: If a person from Nigeria is a Nigerian, then what is someone from Niger?
The following table shows localities in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that are listed in the USPS International Mail Manual as primary destinations. Those which lack an ISO code are not listed in ISO 3166, and therefore are not countries by the ISO's definition, but some that have codes (e.g. French Polynesia, New Caledonia) are not countries either, but parts or dependencies of other countries such as France. See INDEX for full and other country names.
Not listed are the following United States territories and possessions, which are addressed as if they were states of the USA: Baker Island, Eastern Island, Guam, Howland Island, Koror, Manua Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Midway, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Pago Pago, Palau, Saipan, and Tinian.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City Line Example ASCENSION -- -- town
AZORES -- -- nnnn-nnn town 9500-310 PONTA DELGADA CANARY ISLANDS -- -- nnnnn town - island 35008 Las Palmas - Gran Canaria FIJI FJ FJI town SUVA FRENCH POLYNESIA PF -- nnnnn town - island 98714 PAPEETE - TAHITI KIRIBATI KI -- town, island BAIRIKI, TARAWA NAURU NR -- district DISTRICT YAREN DISTRICT NEW CALEDONIA NC -- nnnnn town 98841 NOUMEA CEDEX PAPUA NEW GUINEA PG PNG town nnn province BOROKO 111 NCD PITCAIRN ISLAND PN -- post-office-box P.O. BOX N SAINT HELENA -- -- town
SOLOMON ISLANDS SB -- town HONIARA SOUTH GEORGIA GS -- town
TONGA TO -- town NUKU'ALOFA TRISTAN DA CUNHA -- -- town EDINBURGH TUVALU TV -- town FUNAFUTI VANUATU VU -- town PORT VILA WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS WF -- nnnnn town 98600 UVEA WESTERN SAMOA WS WS town APIA
Don't write SOUTH PACIFIC, SOUTH ATLANTIC, or any similar hints under the country name (despite advice to the contrary from addressees in those localities).
The Pacific islands are sometimes assigned to three groups: MELANESIA (Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji), MICRONESIA (the Federated States of Micronesia -- Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap -- plus Guam, Palau, Saipan, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati), and POLYNESIA (Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Hawaiʻi, Cook Island, etc, and by some accounts New Zealand). The three groups together are known as OCEANIA. These classifications have nothing to do with postal addressing and should not be used in postal addresses.
New Caledonia and Tahiti are Overseas Territories of France, not Overseas Departments, and are slightly more autonomous. Hence the fact that they have their own postal administrations from La Poste, and issue their own stamps -- French postcodes are comparatively recent introductions. They even have their own currency, the French Pacific Franc.
King George, You Have Mail!
Where to find the most confusing addresses on earth...
What should be the name of this section? THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (as it was once labeled), while technically correct if IRELAND is taken as the name of the country and not the island, can easily be misconstrued. THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND would not be correct since there is no country whose name is REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ÉIRE is correct (two non-overlapping countries) but it contains a mixture of languages. Hence BRITAIN AND IRELAND (two non-overlapping islands) -- perhaps not quite adequate either since it might not encompass the various associated outlying islands.
Let's begin by reviewing the terminology:
Here's a summary table for the Islands of Britain and Ireland, the Crown Dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. The notation and formats used are the very latest recommended by Royal Mail (except Ireland, which has nothing to do with Royal Mail). As always, links are to the appropriate postal authorities. British Antarctic Territory is not included because "you can't get there from here" (the USPS does not recognize it as a destination). Similarly for the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia, etc), Akrotiri and Dhekelia (on Cyprus), etc. I imagine the way send mail to these locations would be through ENGLAND.
USPS Name ISO Car City Line Format City and Country Line Example ALDERNEY GB GBA island
ANGUILLA AI -- town THE VALLEY
ASCENSION ?? -- town
TWO BOATS VILLAGE
BERMUDA BM -- town LL nn Hamilton HM 12
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS VG -- town, island Road Town, Tortola
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
CAYMAN ISLANDS KY -- town
Grand Cayman Island
ENGLAND GB GB town
FALKLAND ISLANDS FK -- town
GIBRALTAR GI -- town IRISH TOWN
GUERNSEY GB GBG town
ST. PETER PORT
ISLE OF MAN GB GBM town
ISLE OF MAN
IRELAND IE IRL town, Co. county Tuam, Co. Galway JERSEY GB GBJ town
MONTSERRAT MS -- town OLD TOWNE
NORTHERN IRELAND GB GB town
PITCAIRN ISLAND PN -- post-office-box P.O. BOX N
SARK GB GBG island
SCOTLAND GB GB town
SAINT HELENA SH -- town
SOUTH GEORGIA GS -- town
TRISTAN DA CUNHA -- -- town EDINBURGH
TRISTAN DA CUNHA
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS TC -- town Providenciales
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
WALES GB GB town
Mail to England proper, by the definition above, is sent to ENGLAND. Traditional English addresses tend to have lots of parts that we are not used to seeing, like:
Person's Name Eden Cottage May's Green, Harpsden Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 4AJ ENGLAND
Eden Cottage (Name of House) is in May's Green, which is a Hamlet (or in Royal Mail terminology, a Double Dependent Locality Name: a collection of 5-20 houses) in the Village of Harpsden, which is served by the Postal Town, Henley, which is on the river Thames, in the County of Oxfordshire (CLICK HERE for a table of counties), and the Post Code is RG9 4AJ. The postal town should be written in uppercase and, as noted above, current practice seems to favor omitting the county, since counties are a moving target anyway. (It's difficult for Americans to comprehend the constant reshuffling of British counties, given the immutability of our own states, not to mention the fanatical cultural nationalism surrounding statehood :-) (Apparently, it is also difficult for some Britons.)
Recently Royal Mail (the British postal service) has been updating its addressing standards and recommendations. The Royal Mail website includes an "Address Management" page (referenced below) that summarizes the new format. Since it is a web page, it is likely to disappear at any moment, so I've taken the liberty of reproducing its summary table, titled "What Is a Correct Postal Address?":
Information Required? Example Name of addressee (Title, initials, surname) As applicable Mr. A. Smith Company/organization As applicable Acme Plc Building name Yes (except if it has a number) Acme House Number of building and name of street or road Yes 3 High Street Additional locality information Yes (only where similar road name exists within a post town area) Hedle end Post town (capital letters) Yes SOUTHAMPTON County A County address isn't required, provided the post town and postcode are included. Hampshire Postcode (capital letters) Yes SO32 4NG
Thus the example address given previously should now be written like this:
Person's Name Eden Cottage May's Green, Harpsden HENLEY-ON-THAMES RG9 4AJ ENGLAND
A source at Royal Mail comments as follows: "Your 'what is a correct postal address?' is a good find. In fact, I could be pedantic and point out that it's possible to have two levels of street information, and two levels of additional locality information. It's even possible to have two levels of building name, but that's rare indeed! All this might amount to information overload, but if you want the definitive list of bits that make up an address as far as Royal Mail is concerned, it goes:
Item Remarks Name details In fact Royal Mail takes no interest in the name and keeps no record on its address database Organisation Name Department Name Name of Building Possibly two lines thereof Building Number and name of street or road There can be two street names, one so-called 'secondary thoroughfare' which, if present, comes first) Additional locality names (possibly two thereof, each on its own line) Post Town ALL UPPERCASE County Royal Mail doesn't recommend the use of county, and in addresses from Royal Mail including the database extracts we sell it is never used. Postcode ALL UPPERCASE Country ALL UPPERCASE
"There is also a different format of address when there is a PO Box. In such cases it is:
Item Remarks Name details Organisation Name Department Name PO Box nnnnnn Post Town ALL UPPERCASE Postcode ALL UPPERCASE Country ALL UPPERCASE
"In both cases, the only mandatory elements of the address are Post Town and Postcode. Of course without some sort of street or PO Box details the address is incomplete and some of them must be present, but the rules for valid combinations are exceptionally complicated - as you imply with your wonderful 'where to find the most confusing addresses on earth' introduction."
Royal Mail's recommendation to omit the county from the address is not without controversy; some Britons prefer to keep it, and in fact insist on doing so.
The UK postcode system is shared by England, Scotland, Wales, the Crown Dependencies, and certain of the Overseas Territories. UK postcodes follow these patterns (L = Letter, N = Digit):
LN NLL LLN NLL LNN NLL LLNN NLL LLNL NLL
Note that all start with a letter, have at least one digit in the first part, and all end with a space and then NLL. These are the rules, and the following are the exceptions that prove them:
GIR 0AA Postcode for a national bank conceived in the 1960s/1970s called GiroBank. SAN TA1 Postcode for Father Christmas at Reindeerland. ASCN 1ZZ Ascension Island BIQQ 1ZZ British Antarctic Territory FIQQ 1ZZ Falkland Islands. STHL 1ZZ Saint Helena. SIQQ 1ZZ South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Here are some sample city lines using traditional English addressing (i.e. before about 2001, when counties were included in the address):
London WC2R 1JP (no need for a county) Manchester M27 2OO (no need for a county) Oxford OX2 7DE (no need for a county) Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ (full form) Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF (full form) Coventry, West Midlands CV6 5RW (full form) Hayle, Cornwall TR27 4LN (full form) Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 1PW (full form) Harpenden, Herts AL5 1PW (abbreviated) Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG4 3AJ (full form) Nottingham, Notts NG4 3AJ (abbreviated)
These are now rendered with the postal town in uppercase, the county omitted, and the postcode on its own line:
LONDON COLCHESTER HAYLE WC2R 1JP CO4 3SQ TR27 4LN MANCHESTER CANTERBURY HARPENDEN M27 2OO CT2 7NF AL5 1PW OXFORD COVENTRY NOTTINGHAM OX2 7DE CV6 5RW NG4 3AJ
Here is your secret decoder ring for UK postal codes, courtesy of "George D" (which by now might be slightly obsolete).
Greg Boettcher offers a list of initial letter(s) of British postal codes in CSV format, which in all but 7 cases pinpoint the postal district. In the exceptional cases postal districts straddle the England/Wales or England/Scotland boundary; for these you have to consult the more detailed information at the end of the table. The fields are: British postal code, Main sorting office, Region. The table (version of 9 April 2003) is HERE.
There are a couple of exceptions worth mentioning. London postal codes have starting letters which use the points of the compass (eg N4 6BQ for an address in the north of the city or SW1 4AB for one in the south-west). Also, what the post office calls large users have their own postcodes - mainly organisations which get 50+ items of mail per day - although these look like normal postcodes. (End quote from George D)
Mark Brader adds, "There are 8 of these, but not the eight 45-degree points. S and NE are not used (and those codes were given to Sheffield and Newcastle instead); EC and WC (east/west central) are used."
Ben Watson adds, "The reason London postcodes 'areas' are based on points of the compass is not because the city is so large, but because postally, London has been divided this way for well over a hundred years. Around London, you can see that some of the very old street name signs have NW or whatever after or below the street name (modern London street signs state the full postal district - eg. NW1)."
Mark Brader observes that "the system has been extended twice -- from the original NW to NW1 in the first half of the 20th century, then to NW1 1AB in the second half as your other submitters have mentioned. Some of the street signs with 'NW1' would date from before there were postal codes."
Ben Watson continues, "As an aside, the numbering of districts within a postal area (at least in London) looks illogical, as NW1 may not be adjacent to NW2. However, there some sort of logic behind it! The district of the main office in an area is always 1, then the rest of the numbers were assigned sequentially to an alphabetically ordered list of the rest of the districts in the area..
"Related to this, another assumption of mine is that the reason the UK national postcode system is somewhat weird is that when they introduced postcodes across the country in the sixties, they basically adopted the London system as-is (or as-was) and expanded it across rest of the country."
Which is confirmed by Hugh Dunne: "When British postal codes were first introduced, they only covered London and were of the form W1, SE9, etc -- but this was in the 1800s. Thus 'London W1', although seen in literature, is archaic and should not be encountered in modern addresses."
Mark Brader states, however, that "This is wrong. There were no numbers back then. The term for notations like 'London NW1' and 'New York 22', where the coded part is meaningful only with respect to the particular city, is 'postal zone', not 'postal code'. In some places when postal codes were introduced they were designed to incorporate the existing postal zones, such as London. I believe some other UK cities had numbered postal zones and these became the numerical part of the postal code, e.g. Birmingham 2 would now have B2 as the first part of all its codes, but this is partly only my conjecture [Ken Westmoreland says this is correct: "Interestingly, in UK phone directories for Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, it is common to see the old zones used in addresses- previously they did have the full postcode; hence St Mary's University College in Belfast would be listed as 191 Falls Road, 12, not BT12 6FE."]. Similarly, I believe New York 22, N.Y. became NEW YORK NY 10022 [true but only for Manhattan]; I don't know about other US cities with postal zones. In Canada, all postal zones were obsoleted when postal codes came into use."
The British armed forces have their own mail delivery system and addressing conventions (British Forces Post Office), just as the US armed forces do (APO, FPO). See the links below.
Bernard Treves Brown adds (in April 2003) that "You might care to note that the post office has invented 'Virtual Post Towns'; thus my address is:
(street address omitted) Whaley Bridge HIGH PEAK Derbys SK23 7JG
"I use the old style, including the county, since HIGH PEAK will not appear on any list of towns, and you would need a detailed atlas to find Whaley Bridge. The postcode indicates that mail is delivered via Stockport, and indeed up to 6 years ago the HIGH PEAK line replaced STOCKPORT in the address. Since Stockport is some 17 miles away (different county &c.&c.) this regularly caused confusion. In HIGH PEAK we now use the name of an area, not the name of a large settlement. I say 'an area' because to everyone except the post office HIGH PEAK includes a number of large towns like Buxton and Glossop which are their own post towns."
Here are some links to Royal Mail and other official websites. Most of the links that were here before are defunct or have turned into commercials; c'est la Web. Starting in April 2003, the Royal Mail website began to require registration and login for some services (perhaps to restrict the number of address/postcode queries), and also to employ popup ads.
Site Login Required Verified Royal Mail Yes 2003-06-20 Royal Mail No 2003-06-20 Address Management: What Is a Correct Postal Address? No 2003-06-20 Address Management: Postcode Address File (database) No 2003-06-20 Postcode/Address lookup Yes 2003-06-20 British Forces Post Office. No 2003-06-20 Street Maps No 2003-06-20 Association of British Counties ("Saving our Shires") No 2003-07-29 UK Counties Table No (local)
Quiz Question 3: What is the Flag of England?
Scotland and Wales are separate countries within the United Kingdom, on the island of Britain. They use UK postal codes. You can write SCOTLAND or WALES as the bottom line of the address, since these are country names recognized by the USPS (Authority: IMM Issues 23-28, July 2000 - January 2003).
According to Finlay Smith, "Scottish postal codes are based on postal towns: EH (Edinburgh) G (Glasgow) IV (Inverness) AB (Aberdeen) PH (Perth) PA (Paisley) KW (Kirkwall) DG (Dumfries) TD (Tweeddale) FK (Falkirk) and HS (Harris), which cover the whole of Scotland except a small part near the border which has a CA (Carlisle) postcode which annoys the locals (especially when they shut the local sorting office and their mail started to be franked with a Carlisle frank). These regions can cover vast areas and are not necessarily close to the named town." (Scotland also includes the Outer Hebrides, which also have UK postal codes.)
Ken Westmoreland adds, "Berwick-upon-Tweed in England is covered by the Scottish postcode area TD, much to the annoyance of locals there."
Although Scotland and Wales have counties just like England does (e.g. Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire, West Lothian, etc, in Scotland), we don't necessarily write them. They are not essential for addressing, and in Scotland especially, using a county name might do more harm than good, since there are old and new county names and boundaries and much confusion about which town is in which county. From Chris Cooke in Scotland:
"The big thing to realise about counties is that in 1974, most English and Welsh counties were changed, and Scottish and Northern Irish counties were abolished completely. The Northern Ireland counties were later reinstated I think, but Scotland remained divided into "regions" (yeuch) until 1996, when they were all abolished and the counties reinstated - but with different boundaries to the pre-1974 ones! England kept its counties throughout, but in 1974 and 1987 (?) and 1996 there were quite a few changes."
As to Wales, Alan Perry reported in July 2001, "There was yet another change to county names in Wales [in 1994]; places like Gwynedd and South Glamorgan etc no longer exist! The former 8 counties have been replaced by 22 county borough councils (and a few newly-named county councils)". Addressing conventions from the Royal Mail Postal Address Book for Wales indicates addresses should be:
name of street name of town name of county borough council post code
name of street name of town name of county council post code
Alan says, "Most folk use the full address for a county borough but often leave out the county council name in the second case. I don't know why." I suspect, however, that this information is dated -- I can't find any material on this at the Royal Mail site, which makes sense now that counties have been "deprecated".
Quiz Question 4: Who is the queen of Scotland?
These include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey, where the cows come from, Sark and Alderney). None of these are part of the UK, but all of them are British Islands (strictly defined). According to IMM, the country names are CHANNEL ISLANDS and ISLE OF MAN.
Ken Westmoreland reports: The Channel Islands and Isle of Man didn't have their own postal administrations until the late 1960s, when the UK let them set up their own ones. Previously they were covered by the UK's GPO, just as Puerto Rico, USVI, etc, are still covered by the USPS. Guernsey now has blue pillar boxes, the only British territory I know that does. Hence they didn't become part of the UK postcode system until the early 1990s. Channel Islands and Isle of Man postcodes begin as follows:
JE Jersey GY Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark IM Isle of Man
Here is a sample Isle of Man address:
Communications Commission Winchester Court Second Avenue ONCHAN IM9 5DS ISLE OF MAN
and a sample Channel Islands address -- note in this case both the town and the island must be included:
Cheshire Guernsey Ltd 2/3 Rue du Pré ST PETER PORT GUERNSEY GY1 3NZ CHANNEL ISLANDS
More on the Isle of Man from Michael T Farnsworth (who lives there):
We do indeed tend to refer to the Isle of Man as being within the British Isles. Although unfortunately in these days of internet ordering and fill in boxes I find myself needing to go with an address like:More info on the Crown Dependencies (all links OK as of 20 June 2003):
16 Woodbourne Sq Address DOUGLAS City IM1 4DB Postal Code ISLE OF MAN USPS Country Name
(Original address modified for mailing from the USA - ed.) Rather annoying, but some people (eg Network Solutions Inc) have been known to turn Isle of Man into IM when sending a letter. A letter I never got as a result, so it is better to play it safe.
The other difficulty is that with the Isle of Man administrating its own postcodes they aren't sold as part of the default database and some UK websites refuse to recognise them as valid as a result.
Jersey Government http://www.gov.je Jersey Post http://www.jerseypost.com/home.html Guernsey Government http://www.gov.gg Guernsey Tourist Board http://www.guernseytouristboard.com/ Guernsey Post http://www.guernseypost.com/ Isle of Man Government http://www.gov.im Isle of Man Post http://www.iompostoffice.com/ Isle of Man Guide http://www.iomguide.com/ Isle of Man Tourism http://www.isle-of-man.com/
Residents of the Falkland Islands now have a postcode similar in format to those used in the UK. The new postcode is expected to help reduce delays in the direction of mail to the Islands. (Islanders have also found that many shopping websites refuse orders without a postcode.)
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 Falklands mail, Falkirk in Scotland. The postcode should also make on-line shopping easier for Falklands residents, given that most Internet-purchasing services require a post or zip code before transactions can be completed. 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 Saint Helena and Ascension Island, have had postcodes since March 2002. The project was created with the help of the International Division of Royal Mail and the Universal Postal Union in Berne, Switzerland.
To summarize, the following territories or dependencies have postcodes:
The others don't and therefore have their own addressing conventions, or lack of them. Here's an example of each kind:
Falkland Islands FIQQ 1ZZ South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands SIQQ 1ZZ British Antarctic Territory BIQQ 1ZZ Saint Helena STHL 1ZZ Ascension Island ASCN 1ZZ
Upland Goose Hotel 20/22 Ross Road STANLEY FIQQ 1ZZ FALKLAND ISLANDS Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce 1 Gibraltar Plaza P.O. Box 758 Imossi House 1/5 Irish Town GIBRALTAR
The Falklands are also claimed by Argentina, who call them the Malvinas, as are South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; a war was fought over these islands in 1982. About 2200 people live in the Falklands, plus lots of penguins. Gibraltar is claimed by Spain and negotiations are presently underway as to its future.
Note that "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" is called simply SOUTH GEORGIA by the USPS (and apparently is treated as a synonym for Falklands, which is some 1300km distant). The USPS does not recognize the British Antarctic Territory as a destination at all.
The UK also has British Forces Post Office (BFPO) numbers. Gibraltar is BFPO 52, used when addressing armed forces personnel.
Quiz Question 5: Which countries have a picture of the Queen on their money?
Like England, Scotland, and Wales, Northern Ireland is a country of the UK that uses UK postal codes.
Northern Ireland has six counties. County names can be included, as in the country of Ireland (next section), in which case the word "County" (abbreviated "Co.") appears before the county name in the address. The county name is optional, however; usually just the postal town and postal code are sufficient, provided the postal code is on the city line.
Even though Northern Ireland is part of the UK, you should write its name as if it were its own country, rather than writing UNITED KINGDOM, to avoid offending those who oppose its current status (NORTHERN IRELAND can be offensive too, but this is the designation used in the USPS International Mail Manual so at least it gets US mail delivered to the right part of the island).
BELFAST BT6 9HQ CRAIGAVON, CO. ARMAGH BT67 0EY
The counties of Northern Ireland are Down, Antrim, Armagh, Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh (6) plus Belfast as a County Borough. Derry -- the city -- is the principal town in Co. Londonderry but until recently it was also called Londonderry. Since the removal of "London" is a political issue an apolitical vernacular compromise name is now Stroke City (as in Derry / Londonderry).
David Gowdy writes (Oct 2000), "Rural townland names predate modern postal thinking. In Fermanagh for many years the Council refused to allocate roadnames or postcodes and insisted in retaining these traditional names. Naturally these townlands also had little relationship to the road layout, and houses had no actual numbers -- the address was like:
Mr William Jones Ballysomething (Bally meaning Townland of....) Kesh (the nearest main village) Co. Fermanagh
"This approach supposes that the postman knows the people rather than their address, which would have been the case in low population rural areas until the 1950's."
Counties are a much stronger and clearer concept in Ireland than in Britain; it is not clear to me the degree to which county names have been expunged from Northern Ireland addresses, as they have been elsewhere in the UK.
Ireland is an independent country completely separate from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Never write UNITED KINGDOM on an Irish address. For the country of Ireland, use, simply:
According to the Irish constitution, "The name of the state shall be Éire or, in the English Language, Ireland" (another form is Éirinn). We use the English-language name, as we do for all other countries, so our post office will recognize it (in fact, the USPS IMM lists EIRE as an alternative name but it lacks the accent so is mispelled). Note that there is no country called the Republic of Ireland; that name was once used, but was abolished long ago; now it is the name of a football team. I have received every assurance that mail addressed to IRELAND is always delivered, even if it should somehow arrive at London or Belfast, rather than Dublin or Cobh. (I don't know, however, what would happen to mail addressed to, say, BELFAST, IRELAND.)
Ireland has no postal codes (but Dublin has postal zones). The lack of postal codes makes Ireland unique among European countries.
The Irish postal authority is called An Post. Its supervisory body, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), has written a proposal to introduce a postal code system, which in January 2003 was in the comment stage. In May 2003, it appears that An Post has signed a deal with GeoDirectory for an automated sorting and delivery system based on numeric map coordinates and address identifiers. According to the FAQ "GeoDirectory was jointly developed by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland in order to meet the needs of Irish businesses for a standardised address and location database. Both An Post and OSi are also using GeoDirectory for internal purposes." As far as I can tell, the GeoDirectory scheme does not affect how Irish addresses are written.
Traditionally, and for the present, an Irish city line looks like this:
town, Co. name-of-county
(where "Co." means "County"), or for Dublin:
Dublin postal zones are numbers 1-24 (odd numbers north of the River Liffey and even ones on the south), plus a special one, "6W". Examples:
Galway (no county needed) Dublin 4 (no county needed) Dublin 6W (no county needed) Athlone, Co. Westmeath Bandon, Co. Cork Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny Cobh, Co. Cork Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Monivea, Co. Galway Shannon Airport, Co. Clare Tipperary Town (*)
(*) Tipperary Town means "Tipperary, County Tipperary".
The 26 counties of Ireland are:
Carlow Galway Limerick Offaly Wexford Cavan Kerry Longford Roscommon Wicklow Clare Kildare Louth Sligo Cork Kilkenny Mayo Tipperary Donegal Laois Meath Waterford Dublin Leitrim Monaghan Westmeath
The following list is keyed to the names in the USPS International Mail Manual (IMM). The ISO column shows the ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 Code Element (which is also the Internet top-level domain, except GB, which is replaced by UK on the Internet). The third column shows full, native-script, alternative, and/or former names. Former names are in italics. While the IMM allows two or more names for certain countries (e.g. Netherlands and Holland; Taiwan and Formosa; Malaysia and Malaya, Iran and Persia), we should always use the same (and most current) name for each country, since country names can be used as database keys. Links from country names are to the relevant section of this document, where you can find postal code format, address information, examples, stories, and further links.
Name to Use (USPS) ISO Other or Old Names (don't use, even if correct) AFGHANISTAN AF افغانستان, Afghānestān, Islamic State of Afghanistan ALBANIA AL Shqiperia, Republika e Shqipërisë, Republic of Albania ALDERNEY -- See: CHANNEL ISLANDS ALGERIA DZ الجزاير, al Jaza'ir, الجزائر, al-Jazairiya, الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, Al Jumhuriya Al Jaza'iriya Ad Dimuqratiya Ash Shabiya, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria AMERICAN SAMOA AS (Use USA address) (Also see WESTERN SAMOA) ANDORRA AD Principat d'Andorra, Andorra la Vella, Andorre-la-Vieille, Andorra la Vieja, Principality of Andorra ANGOLA AO República Popular de Angola, Republic of Angola ANGUILLA AI Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA AG ARGENTINA AR República Argentina, Argentine Republic ARMENIA AM Հայաստան (Hayastan), Հայաստանի Հանրապետութիւն (Hayastani Hanrabedut'yun), Republic of Armenia, Армения, Армянская ССР, Armenian SSR, Transcaucasian SSR ARUBA AW ASCENSION AC AUSTRALIA AU Commonwealth of Australia, "Oz", New Holland AUSTRIA AT (Republik) Österreich (Oesterreich), Republic of Austria AZERBAIJAN AZ Azərbaycan (Respublikası), Азәрбајҹан, Азербайджан, Azärbaycan, Азербайджанская ССР, Azerbaijani SSR, Transcaucasian SSR BAHAMAS BS (Commonwealth of) The Bahamas, Lucayas BAHRAIN BH البحرين, Al Bahrayn, دولة البحرين (Dawlat al Bahrayn), مملكة البحرين (Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn) Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Bahrain BANGLADESH BD গণ পরজাতনতরী বাংলাদেশ, Gaṇa Prajātantrī Bā̃lādesh, People's Republic of Bangladesh, East Pakistan BARBADOS BB BELARUS BY (Республика) Беларус, (Рэспублiка) Беларусь (Respublika Belarus), Republic of Belarus, Belorussia, Bielorussia, Byelorussia, Белорусская ССР, Belorussian SSR, White Russia BELGIUM BE (Koninkrijk) België, (Royaume de) Belgique, Kingdom of Belgium BELIZE BZ British Honduras BENIN BJ République du Bénin, Republic of Benin, Dahomey BERMUDA BM BHUTAN BT འབྲུག་ཡུལ། (Druk Yul), Kingdom of Bhutan BOLIVIA BO República de Bolivia, Republic of Bolivia BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BA (Federacije) Bosna (i) Hercegovina, Босна и Херцеговина, former Yugoslav republic BOTSWANA BW Botswanaland, Republic of Botswana, Bechuanaland BRAZIL BR (República Federativa do) Brasil, Federative Republic of Brazil BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS VG Tortola, Virgin Gorda BRUNEI DARRUSALAM BN نڬارا بروني دارالسلام, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Brunei BULGARIA BG Република България, Republic of Bulgaria, Народна Република България, People's Republic of Bulgaria BURKINA FASO BF Upper Volta, Haute Volta, French Sudan BURUNDI BI Republika y'Uburundi, Republic of Burundi, Urundi, German East Africa CAMBODIA KH ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា, (Preah Réachéanachâkr) Kâmpuchéa, Khmer Republic CAMEROON CM Camaroun, Republic of Cameroon, French Cameroon, Kamerun CANADA CA Dominion of Canada CANARY ISLANDS -- Las Islas Canarias CAPE VERDE CV (República de) Cabo Verde, Republic of Cape Verde CAYMAN ISLANDS KY CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CF République Centrafricaine, Bêafrîka, Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire CHAD TD (République du) Tchad, تشاد, Republic of Chad, French Equatorial Africa, French Kongo CHANNEL ISLANDS GB Used for addressing ALDERNEY, GUERNSEY, JERSEY, and SARK. CHILE CL República de Chile CHINA CN 中国 (Zhonghua, China), 中华人民共和国 (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo, Peoples Republic of China), Mainland China COLOMBIA CO República de Colombia, Republic of Colombia COMOROS KM جمهورية القمر الاتحادية الإسلامية, Jumhuriyat Al-Qumur Al-Ittihadiya Al-Islamiya, République Fédérale Islamique des Comores, Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros CONGO -- See: Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo COSTA RICA CR República de Costa Rica, Republic of Costa Rica CÔTE D'IVOIRE CI République de Côte d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast (1), French West Africa CROATIA HR Republika Hrvatska, Republic of Croatia, former Yugoslavia republic CUBA CU República de Cuba, Republic of Cuba CURACAO AN Curação (Address through NETHERLANDS ANTILLES) CYPRUS CY Κύπρος (Kýpros), Kıbrıs, Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία (Kypriakḗ Dēmokratía), Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti, Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cyprus). Also see: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. CZECH REPUBLIC CZ Česko, Česká republika, Czechia, Czech part of Former Czechoslovakia DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO CD République Démocratique du Congo, DROC, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaïre, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville DENMARK DK (Kongeriget) Danmark, Kingdom of Denmark DJIBOUTI DJ جيبوتي, (Territory of the) Afars and the Issars, French Somaliland DOMINICA DM Commonwealth of Dominica, Leeward Islands DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DO República Dominicana, Quisqueya ECUADOR EC República del Ecuador, Republic of Ecuador EAST TIMOR TL Repúblika Demokrátika Timor Lorosa'e, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, (Democratic Republic of) Timor-Leste, Portuguese Timor EGYPT EG جمهورية مصر العربية, Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah, مصر, Misr, Arab Republic of Egypt, United Arab Republic EL SALVADOR SV República de El Salvador, Republic of El Salvador ENGLAND GB United Kingdom, Great Britain, Britain, UK EQUATORIAL GUINEA GQ (República de) Guinea Ecuatorial, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Spanish Guinea, Guinea Española ERITREA ER ኤርትራ, إريتريا, Dewlet Eritrea, (Hagere) Eretra, State of Eritrea ESTONIA EE Eesti Vabariik, Republic of Estonia, Эстонская ССР, Estonian SSR ETHIOPIA ET ኢትዮጵያ, Ityopia, People's (or Federal) Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Abyssinia FALKLAND ISLANDS FK Malvinas FAROE ISLANDS FO Føroyar, Faeroe Islands FIJI FJ Viti, Republic of the Fiji Islands, Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti FINLAND FI Suomen Tasavalta, Suomi, Republic of Finland, Карело-Финской ССР (2) FRANCE FR République Française FRENCH GUIANA GF Department of Guiana, Guyane FRENCH POLYNESIA PF (Territoire de la) Polynésie Française, Borabora, Gambier, Hivaoa, Huahine, Marquesas, Moorea, Nukahiva, Raiatea, Rapa, Society Islands, Tahaa, Tahiti, Tuamotou, Tubai; Archipel des Marquises, Archipel des Tuamotu, Archipel des Tubuai, Îles du Vent, and Îles Sous-le-Vent; Oceania, French Oceania GABON GA Gabón, Gabonese Republic, République Gabonaise, French Equatorial Africa, French Kongo GAMBIA GM Republic of the Gambia, The Gambia GEORGIA GE საქართველო (Sak'art'velo), საქართველოს რესპუბლიკა (Sakartvelos Respublika), Republic of Georgia, Грузния, Грузинская ССР, Georgian SSR, Transcaucasian SSR GERMANY DE (Bundesrepublik) Deutschland, Federal Republic of Germany, Deutsche Demokratische Republik, East Germany, West Germany GHANA GH Republic of Ghana, Gold Coast GIBRALTAR GI GREECE GR Ελληνική Δημοκρατία (Ellinikì Dimokratìa), Ελλάς, (Ellas), Ελλάδα (Ellada), Hellenic Republic, Ἑλλάς (Hellas) GREENLAND GL Kalaallit Nunaat GRENADA GD GUADELOUPE GP Département de la Guadeloupe (France), French West Indies GUAM GU (Use USA address) GUATEMALA GT República de Guatemala GUERNSEY GG Also see: CHANNEL ISLANDS GUINEA GN République de Guinée, Guinée, Republic of Guinea, French West Africa, French Guinea GUINEA-BISSAU GW República da Guine-Bissau, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Portuguese Guinea GUYANA GY Co-operative Republic of Guyana, British Guyana, British Guiana HAITI HT République d'Haïti, Republik Haïti, Republic of Haiti, Ayiti HONDURAS HN República de Honduras, Republic of Honduras HONG KONG HK 香港 (Xianggang), 中國香港 (China Hong Kong), 中華人民共和國香港特別行政區 (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China) HUNGARY HU Magyarország, Magyar Köztársaság, Republic of Hungary ICELAND IS (Lýðveldið) Ísland, Republic of Iceland INDIA IN भारत गणराजय, الهند, (Bhārat Gaṇarājya), Republic of India INDONESIA ID Republik Indonesia, Republic of Indonesia, Dutch/Netherlands East Indies IRAN IR جمهوری اسلامی ایران, Jomhūrīye Eslāmīye Īrān, Islamic Republic of Iran, Persia IRAQ IQ الجمهورية العراقية, Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah, العراق, Al Iraq, Republic of Iraq IRELAND IE Éire, Poblacht na hÉireann, Éirinn, Irland, Eire, Irish Free State, Republic of Ireland, Hibernia ISLE OF MAN IM Ellan Vannin ISRAEL IL إسرائيل, ישראל, Yisra'el, מדינת ישראל, Medinat Yisra'el, State of Israel, Palestine ITALY IT Italia, Repubblica Italiana, Italian Republic JAMAICA JM JAPAN JP 日本, Nihon (Koku), Nippon JERSEY JE Also see: CHANNEL ISLANDS JORDAN JO المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية, Al Mamlaka al Urduniya al Hashemiyah, الأردن, Al Urdun, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Trans-Jordan KAZAKHSTAN KZ Қазақстан Республикасы (Khazakhstan Respublikasy), Казахская Республика (Kazakhskaja Respublika), Qazaqstan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Казахская ССР, Kazakh SSR KENYA KE Republic of Kenya, British East Africa KIRIBATI KI Republic of Kiribati, Gilbert, Canton, and Christmas Islands KOREA KR 대한민국, Taehan Minguk, Republic of Korea, ROK, South Korea; Also see: North Korea KUWAIT KW دولة الكويت, Dawlat al Kuwayt, الكويت, Al Kuwayt, State of Kuwait KYRGYZSTAN KG Кыргызстан (Kyrgyzstan), Кыргыз Республикасы (Kyrgyz Respublikasy), Кыргызкая Республика (Kyrgyzskaja Respublika), Kyrgyz Republic, Киргизская ССР, Kyrgyz SSR LAOS LA ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນ ລາວ, Sāthālanalad Pasāthipatai Pasāson Lāw, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, French Indochina LATVIA LV Latvijas Republika, Latvija, Lettland, Republic of Latvia, Латвийская ССР, Latvian SSR LEBANON LB لبنان, Lubnan, الجمهورية اللبنانية, Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah, Liban, République Libanaise, Lebanese Republic LESOTHO LS Kingdom of Lesotho, Basutoland LIBERIA LR Republic of Liberia LIBYA LY ليبيا, الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الاشتراكية العظمى, Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah al Uzma, Socialist People's Libyan Arab Republic LIECHTENSTEIN LI Fürstentum Liechtenstein, Principality of Liechtenstein LITHUANIA LT Lietuva, Lietuvos Respublika, Republic of Lithuania, Литовская ССР, Lithuanian SSR LUXEMBOURG LU Grande-Duché de Luxembourg, Lëtzeburg, Luxemburg MACAO MO 澳門 (Aomen), 中國澳門 (China Macau), 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區 (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu, Macao Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China), Macau MACEDONIA MK (Република) Македонија; (Republika) Makedonija, Makedonia; поранешната Југословенска Република Македонија, (Former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia. MADAGASCAR MG République de Madagascar, Malagasy Republic MALAWI MW Dziko la Malaŵi, Republic of Malaŵi, Nyasaland, British Central Africa MALAYSIA MY Negara Malaysia, Persekutuan Tanah Malaysia, Federation of Malaysia, نڬارا مليسيا, Malaya MALDIVES MV ދިވެހި ރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރީޔާ, Dhivehi Rājjēge Jumhūriyyā, Dhivehi Raajje, Republic of Maldives MALI ML République de Mali, French Sudan MALTA MT Repubblika ta' Malta, Republic of Malta MARSHALL ISLANDS MH (Use USA address) MARTINIQUE MQ Département de la Martinique, Department of Martinique (France), French West Indies MAURITANIA MR موريتانيا, الجمهورية الإسلامية الموريتانية, Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah, Islamic and African Republic of Mauritania, French West Africa MAURITIUS MU Republic of Mauritius, Île de France MAYOTTE YT Comoros MEXICO MX México, Méjico, Estados Unidos Mexicanos MICRONESIA FM Federated States of Micronesia (FSM): Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae: Use USA address. MOLDOVA MD Republica Moldoveneasca, Moldavia, Republic of Moldova, Молдавская ССР, Moldavian SSR MONACO MC Principauté de Monaco MONGOLIA MN ᠮᠣᠨᠭᠣᠯ ᠤᠯᠰ, Монголия, монгол улс, Mongol Uls, Монгольская Народная Республика, Peoples Republic of Mongolia, Outer Mongolia MONTENEGRO -- Црна Гора, Crna Gora. See: SERBIA-MONTENEGRO. MONTSERRAT MS MOROCCO MA المغرب, Al Maghrib, المملكة المغربية, Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah, Kingdom of Morocco MOZAMBIQUE MZ (Republica de) Moçambique, Republic of Mozambique, Portuguese East Africa MYANMAR MM မ္ရန္မာ, (Pyidaungzu) Myanma Naingngandaw, Union of Myanmar, Burma NAMIBIA NA Republic of Namibia, South West Africa, German Southwest Africa NAURU NR Republic of Nauru NEPAL NP नेपाल अिधराजय, Nepāl Adhirājya, Kingdom of Nepal NETHERLANDS NL (Koninkrijk der) Nederland(en), Kingdom of the Netherlands, "Holland" NETHERLANDS ANTILLES AN De Nederlandse Antillen, Dutch West Indies NEW CALEDONIA NC (Territoire des) Nouvelle-Calédonie et dépendances Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies NEW ZEALAND NZ Aotearoa NICARAGUA NI República de Nicaragua NIGER NE République du Niger, Republic of (the) Niger, French Sudan NIGERIA NG Federal Republic of Nigeria NORTH KOREA KP 조선 민주주의 인민 공화국, Chŏson Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghuaguk, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK NORTHERN IRELAND GB United Kingdom, "Ulster" NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS MP (Use USA address) NORWAY NO (Kongeriket) Norge, (Kongeriket) Noreg, Kingdom of Norway OMAN OM سلطنة عمان, Salṯanah °Umān, Sultanate of Oman PAGO PAGO AS (See American Samoa) PAKISTAN PK اسلامى جمهوري پاکستا, Islami Jamhuriya e Pakistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan PALAU PW Belau (Use USA address) PALESTINIAN TERRITORY PS فلسطين, Falastin, السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية, Al-Sulta al-Watanieh al-Filistinieh, الأراضىالفلسطينية, Palestinian Territories, Palestinian National Authority, Palestine PANAMA PA (República de) Panamá PAPUA NEW GUINEA PG New Guinea, New Ireland, New Britain, New Hanover PARAGUAY PY República del Paraguay, Republic of Paraguay PERU PE (República del) Perú, Republic of Peru PHILIPPINES PH Philippine Islands, Republic of the Philippines, Republika ng Pilipinas PITCAIRN ISLAND PN POLAND PL (Rzeczpospolita) Polska, Republic of Poland PORTUGAL PT República Portuguesa PUERTO RICO PR Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Borinquen, Borikén (Use USA address) QATAR QA قطر, دولة قطر, Dawlat Qatar, State of Qatar REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO CG République du Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Middle Congo, REUNION RE (Département de la) Réunion, Reunion Island ROMANIA RO România, Rumania, Roumania RUSSIA RU Россия (Rossiya, Rossija), Российская Федерация (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, Russian Federation), CIS, Soviet Union, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, СССР (USSR), Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика (РСФСР, RSFSR), Рус (Rus), Muscovy RWANDA RW Ruanda, Republika y'u Rwanda, German East Africa SAINT CROIX VI See: US VIRGIN ISLANDS SAINT HELENA SH SAINT JOHN VI See: US VIRGIN ISLANDS SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS KN Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, (Federation of) Saint Christopher and Nevis SAINT LUCIA LC SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON PM SAINT THOMAS VI See: US VIRGIN ISLANDS SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES VC SAN MARINO SM Repubblica di San Marino (inside Italy) SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE ST (República Democrática de) São Tomé e Príncipe, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe SARK -- See: CHANNEL ISLANDS SAUDI ARABIA SA السعودية, As Sa'udiya, المملكة العربية السعودية, Al Mamlaka Al Arabiya As Sa'udiya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia SCOTLAND GB United Kingdom, Great Britain, Alba, Caledonia SENEGAL SN République du Sénégal, French Sudan SERBIA-MONTENEGRO CS Државна заједница Србије и Црне Горе, Državna zajednica Srbije i Crne Gore (State Union of Serbia and Montenegro); Србија и Црна Гора, Srbija i Crna Gora (Serbia and Montenegro): Serbia (Србија), Montenegro (Црна Гора, Crna Gora), Kosovo (Косово), Vojvodina (Војводина); (Савезна Република) Југославија, (Savezna Republika) Jugoslavija, (Federal Republic of) Yugoslavia SEYCHELLES SC Republic of Seychelles SIERRA LEONE SL Republic of Sierra Leone SINGAPORE SG 新加坡共和国 (Xinjiapo Gongheguo), Republik Singapura, சிங்கப்பூரா குடியரசு (Ciŋkappūrā Kuṭiyaracu), Republic of Singapore SLOVAK REPUBLIC SK Slovenská republika, Slovensko, (Republic of) Slovakia. Czechoslovakia SLOVENIA SI (Republika) Slovenija, Republic of Slovenia, former Yugoslav republic SOLOMON ISLANDS SB British Solomon Islands SOMALIA SO الصومال, Somali Democratic Republic, Soomaaliya, Italian Somaliland SOUTH AFRICA ZA Republic of South Africa, (Republiek van) Suid-Afrika, Iriphabhuliki Igizimu Africa, Sewula Afrika, Afrika Borwa, Ningizimu Afrika, Afrika-Dzonga, Afurika Tshipembe, Mzantsi Afrika, Union of South Africa SOUTH GEORGIA GS South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands SPAIN ES (Reino de) España, Kingdom of Spain SRI LANKA LK ශෘිලංකා (Ṣrilãka), இலங்கை (Ilaŋkai), Sri Lanka Prajathanthrika Samajavadi Janarajaya, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Ceylon SUDAN SD السودان, As-Sudan, جمهورية السودان, Jumhuriyat As-Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan SURINAME SR Republiek Suriname, Republic of Suriname, Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana SWAZILAND SZ Umbuso weSwatini, Kingdom of Swaziland SWEDEN SE (Konungariket) Sverige, Kingdom of Sweden SWITZERLAND CH Schweiz, Suisse, Svizzera, Confœderatio Helvetica SYRIA SY سوريا, Suriya, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhuriya al-Arabiya as-Suriya, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Republic TAIWAN TW 臺灣 (Taiwan), 中華民國, 中华民国 (Zhonghua Minguo), Republic of China, ROC, Formosa TAJIKISTAN TJ Тоҷикистон, Таджикистан, تاجيكستان, Todhzikiston, Таджикская ССР, Tajik SSR TANZANIA TZ Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania, Tanganyika and Zanzibar THAILAND TH ประเทศไทย, Prathet Thai, Kingdom of Thailand, Siam TINIAN MP (See Northern Mariana Islands) TOGO TG République Togolaise, Togolese Republic, French Togoland TONGA TO Kingdom of Tonga, Friendly Islands TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO TT Republic of Trinidad and Tobago TRUK FM Chuuk (See Micronesia) TUNISIA TN تونس, Tunis, الجمهورية التونسية, Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah, Regency of Tunis TURKEY TR Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, Republic of Turkey TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS -- (Address through Turkey) TURKMENISTAN TM (Республика) Туркменистан (Respublika Turkmenistan), Türkmenistan, Türkmenistan Jumhuriyäti, Republic of Turkmenistan, Туркменская ССР, Turkmen SSR, Turkestan TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS TC TUVALU TV Ellice Islands UGANDA UG Republic of Uganda UKRAINE UA Україина (Ukrayina, Ukrajina), The Ukraine, Ukrainia, Ukrainian National Republic, Украинская ССР, Ukrainian SSR, CIS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AE الإمارات العربية المتحد, Al Imarat, دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة, Dawlat Al Imarat Al Arabiya Al Muttahida, Trucial Oman. The Emirates are: Abu Dhabi (أبو ظبي), Ajman (عجمان), Dubai (دبي), Fujairah (الفجيرة), Ras al-Khaimah (رأس الخيمة), Sharjah (الشارقة), and Umm al-Qaiwain (أم القيوين) UNITED KINGDOM GB See: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland URUGUAY UY República Oriental del Uruguay, ROU, (Eastern) Republic of Uruguay US VIRGIN ISLANDS VI (Use USA address) USA US United States, United States of America, EEUU, США USSR SU Союз Советских Социалистических Республик (СССР), Советский Союз, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Soviet Union. See: ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN, BELARUS, ESTONIA, GEORGIA, KAZAKHSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MOLDOVA, RUSSIA, TAJIKISTAN, TURKMENISTAN, UKRAINE, UZBEKISTAN. UZBEKISTAN UZ Ўзбекистон, Узбекистан, O'zbekiston (Respublikasi), Узбекская ССР, Uzbek SSR VANUATU VU Ripablik blong Vanuatu, Republic of Vanuatu, New Hebrides VATICAN CITY VA Holy See, Vaticanum, Santa Sede, (Stata della) Città del Vaticano VENEZUELA VE República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela VIETNAM VN Viet Nam, Cộng Hòa Xã Hội Chủ Nghĩa Việt Nam, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Indochina, Annam WALES GB Cymru, United Kingdom, Great Britain WALLIS AND FORTUNA ISLANDS WF WESTERN SAMOA WS (Independent State of) Samoa Also see: AMERICAN SAMOA WESTERN SAHARA EH Spanish Sahara, Spanish West Africa. Not recognized by USPS, address through Morocco. YEMEN YE اليمن, Al Yaman. الجمهورية اليمنية, Al-Jumhuriya Al-Yamaniya, Republic of Yemen YUGOSLAVIA YU (Федеративна Народна Република) Југославија (ФНРЈ); Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; Federated (or Federal) Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia; Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. See: SERBIA-MONTENEGRO (2). Also see: BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, CROATIA, MACEDONIA, SLOVENIA. ZAMBIA ZM Republic of Zambia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland ZIMBABWE ZW Republic of Zimbabwe, Southern Rhodesia
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