Universal POST*CODE® DataBase
A world postcode database containing the postcodes of 192 member countries.
Use the POST*CODE® DataBase to look up, validate, cleanse or customize (by geographical region or country) addresses worldwide.
Our activities cover the collection, analysis and processing of international postal data with a view to improving the quality of international addressing and postcodes.
We develop tailor-made solutions for the cleansing, validation and standardization of international address files.
Universal POST*CODE® DataBase Product Sheet09.02.2020The world database of raw postcode data contains all available information on the postal addressing data of the 192 member countries of the UPU.
05.09.2023Updated: August 2023.
- Non-disclosure agreement
- Exhibits 1,2,3
- Data use declaration
05.09.20231. Updated data sets and update description
2. List of data sets and database volume
3. Territories, countries subdivisions and interrelated data sets
4. Territories, country subdivisions and interdependent data sets
5. Description of files
6. Description of the structure of folders on CD/FTP in the deliveries
Extracts from Universal POST*CODE® DataBase07.09.2023Updated: August 2023.
For additional samples, please contact us.
Addressing knowledge centre
Addressing practices differ essentially from country to country: there are more than 200 address formats in the world, 200 database structures and at least 20 language scripts are officially used to write addresses.
This diversity is very difficult to comply with when dealing with addressing at the international level. Our Addressing Knowledge Centre is designed to answer questions arising as a result of this variety and complexity.
It consists of three parts: Universal POST*CODE® DataBase-specific FAQs, General Addressing Issues and Thoroughfare Types and Abbreviations.
17.08.2022Update August 2019 - Where I can find the list of field lengths/types of the Universal POST*CODE® DataBase data? etc.
10.11.2022Update December 2021 - Where can I find lists of different types of thoroughfares, and their abbreviations used in different countries?
25.09.2023Update Sep.2023 - Which countries in the world have/do not have a postcode system?
Is there a standard that a country should follow when it does not adopt a postcode?
For any questions regarding POST*CODE® and addressing products, please contact:
P.O. Box 312
3000 BERNE 15
Postal Addressing Systems (PAS)
A proper addressing system guarantees speed and efficiency in the processing of postal items among UPU member countries (including their territories) and other non-member country territories (as exceptionally authorized by the Acts of the UPU or the decisions of its bodies). The information available on these pages allows you to:
- Prepare addresses in accordance with the standards of the designated operator of the country of destination;
- Obtain additional information on a country’s addressing system or postal operations;
- Check that a postcode is correctly structured, by checking the number and nature of its components;
- Verify that the elements comprising a postal address are written correctly.
Postal addressing systems in member countries and/or territories
Use this tool to ensure that your address is written correctly, and that Posts worldwide process your mail fast and efficiently.
Please select a country
13.12.2019For each country, a varying number of headings will be given, depending on the information available.
04.11.2020In addition to recommendations specific to each country, you will also find below rules and more general information on international addressing that apply to all countries.
Looking up a postcode
The postcode is the fundamental, essential element of an address. It is a key component of a postal addressing system.
A unique, universal identifier, it unambiguously identifies the addressee's locality and assists in the transmission and manual or automated sorting of mail items.
At present, around 130 countries use postcodes as part of their addressing systems.
To validate an international address, consult the websites of one of our partners.
To search for a postcode, consult the list of UPU designated operators' websites in the menu below.
List of sites by country
List of member countries and territories proposing this service.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Bulgaria (Rep.)
- Burkina Faso
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Finland (including the Åland Islands)
- Honduras (Rep.)
- Isle of Man
- Korea (Rep.)
- Montenegro (Rep.)
- New Zealand (including the Ross Dependency)
- North Macedonia
- Russian Federation
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saudi Arabia
- Serbia (Rep.)
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Timor-Leste (Dem. Rep.)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- United States of America
- Viet Nam
12.02.2020For proper dispatch and delivery, a full and accurate address for the recipient is vital.
With cross-border deliveries and different postal addressing systems from one country to the next, sound address management is a must.
We can advise companies and suggest a fix.
Your must-have address for support and guidance is: firstname.lastname@example.org
04.11.2020This software tool will guide you for easy address data entry or acquisition of international and country-specific addresses. It will facilitate your address data management as well as the standardized address rendition on your mail or parcels for trusted delivery.
Addressing S42 standard
The UPU has developed two addressing standards: S42 and S53.
Standard S42: International postal address components and templates
The S42 international addressing standard consists of two parts:
S42 part A defines:
- a set of postal address components used in worldwide addresses;
- languages for expressing address templates, i.e. formal descriptions of address formatting rules.
S42 part B:
- provides country-specific address templates. A country defining its S42 template provides precise information about its address elements and formatting rules.
- creates a library of templates that can be easily incorporated into computer systems for managing addresses.
Standard S 53: Exchange of name and address data
S53 facilitates exchange of name and address data between postal authorities, businesses, mailers and other organizations. It incorporates the S42 elements and templates.
26.02.2020The S42 international addressing standard comprises of a generic list of address elements (used in all UPU member countries) and country-specific templates that tell users how to transform address elements into an accurately formatted address.
Steps to create S42 template
This page outlines the process for creating a new template.
Country: submit sample
To launch its template development, the country contacts the S42 expert group by e-mail. The country's expert supplies a sample data set, which should consist of between 20 and 50 address examples representing all the address formats recommended by the postal operator.
Country and UPU: map addresses into elements
Each address in the sample needs to be mapped into S42 elements reflecting their use in the country. For example, mapping the address line "12 Main Street" involves dividing it into 3 parts: "12", "Main", and "Street", and linking them to appropriate address elements as follows: "12" – street number; "Main" – thoroughfare name; "Street" – thoroughfare type.
UPU: create a draft template based on mapped sample
On the basis of a mapped sample, the S42 expert group creates a template which is fed into a computer program known as a tester. This program reassembles each address from elements and checks the result against the submitted data. The test of the template is positive when all addresses from the sample have been assembled correctly.
Country: validate and approve template
At the end of the process, the country expert checks that:
- all addresses in the sample data set are properly formatted;
- the sample contains a sufficiently complete representation of formats recommended by the country; and
- the addresses are correctly mapped to S42 elements.
UPU: publish template and deliver certificate
The template developed through this process is published in the next version of standard S42, and the country that developed the template is presented with a “S42 certificate of recognition” during one of the annual Postal Operations Council or Council of Administration sessions.
S42 templates have been developed for the countries listed below.
For each S42 compliant country this web page provides access to standardized address format description (SAFD). The SAFD includes address formats, mapping of S42 elements to national elements specified by countries and metadata incorporated in the S42 template.
Access to XML S42 templates is provided for registered users only. See application form.
Please select a country
12.12.2019This spreadsheet is intended to assist in submitting the country specific address sample for S42 template test purpose. It lists the most popular address types and prompts country expert to provide address example of each type that is recommended in this country.
Application to access templates
By submitting this form, you will receive credentials to download XML S42 templates for compliant countries.
Registration allows us to send important notices on updates and additional resources and evaluate interest in the country templates.
Please note that fields marked with a star (*) are mandatory.
By submitting this form, you will receive credentials to download XML S42 templates.
For any questions regarding S42, please contact:
P.O. Box 312
3000 BERNE 15
+41 31 350 31 11