Standards are necessary for effective postal operations and to interconnect the global postal network.
The UPU's Standards Board develops technical standards and EDI messaging specifications that facilitate the exchange of operational information between postal operators.
It also coordinates UPU standardization initiatives with those of other international standardization bodies, and works closely with postal operators, customers, suppliers and many international organizations to this end.
The Standards Board also ensures that coherent standards are developed in areas such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and mail encoding.
Documents & Publications
All standards that have reached a particular stage within the Standards Approval Process are published in either the UPU Technical Standards or the UPU EDI Messaging Standards publication.
A listing of all published standards together with a very brief overview of their content can be found in the Catalogue of UPU standards.
Many standards refer to code lists published in the standards code list management system (SCMS).
22.12.2020This is a catalogue of UPU standards. It contains a short description of each published standard.
Updated: 7 October 2020
25.02.2020This document details information on the standards development process.
Updated: 28 June 2017
This document defines a number of terms, acronyms, symbols and abbreviations which are used in other UPU standards.
Updated: 26 February 2014
06.07.2020Standards status from SB 2020.2
Updated: 28 May 2020
UPU Technical Standards
The UPU Technical Standards publication gives an overview of all technical standards in the area of telematics that have been adopted through the UPU's standards approval process. It is produced and maintained by the Standards Board of the Postal Operations Council, and is constantly updated with the latest detailed specifications of all technical UPU standards.
The UPU Technical Standards publication includes:
- Bar code symbology standards (postal items, postal receptacles)
- Identification/codification standards (airports, air carriers, countries, offices of exchange, postal consignments, postal despatches, postal receptacles, postal items, item tracking events)
- Overview of EDI messages standards (format of message exchange, standard messages for consignments, despatches, items and transport)
- Standards for document exchange (word processing document exchange)
25.02.2020Form to order UPU Technical Standards.
25.02.2020S9 defines the 29-character identifier that uniquely identifies a postal receptacle.
S10 provides the specification for 13-character item identifiers for universal use.
Survey: postal items14.09.2020Survey on designated operators’ preferences in relation to postal item identifiers
To be returned before 2-November 2020
S34 defines the mechanism for registering IMPCs, for the allocation of IMPC codes and for update and publication of code list 108.
25.02.2020Updated: 13 February 2020
UPU EDI Messaging Standards
The UPU EDI Messaging Standards publication contains a detailed description of the standard EDI messages that have been adopted through the UPU's standards approval process. It is produced and maintained by the Standards Board of the Postal Operations Council.
The UPU EDI Messaging Standards publication contains the following information:
- An overview of all defined EDI messages, with descriptions of the logical sequence of and the interaction that exists between the various EDI messages
- Detailed descriptions of all existing EDI messages, including:
- Postal item tracking messages
- Postal dispatch pre-advice/response messages
- Postal consignment pre-advice/response messages
- Carrier consignment pre-advice/response messages
- A complete Logical Data Model, giving a structured overview of all information elements that can be exchanged through EDI, including definitions and lists of allowed values for every individual data element
25.02.2020This document provides general information about postal EDI exchanges. It begins with basic details and progresses into more sophisticated concepts. It also describes common practices in EDI exchanges.
Date of this version: 9 April 2013
25.02.2020Form to order UPU EDI messaging standards.
22.12.2020Updated: 28 May 2020
International mail processing centres
International mail processing centres (IMPCs) are mail processing facilities that have significance for the processing of inter-operator mail, either because they generate or receive dispatches or because they act as transit centres for mail exchanged between other IMPCs. Each IMPC has a well-defined physical location, is operated by or under the responsibility of a single organization, and handles a specific set of mail flows.
Please refer to UPU Technical Standard S34 for detailed information.
The Standards Code List Management System (SCMS) provides for the maintenance (creation, modification or closure) of IMPC codes and related information.
SCMS user guide18.05.2020This is a general user guide to the Standards Code List Management System (SCMS) which provides for the maintenance and dissemination of all UPU code lists.
SCMS – International Mail Processing Centre (IMPC) codes – User guide18.05.2020
This user guide is specifically explains how to request the creation, modification or deletion of IMPC code registrations.
Mail subclasses and handling classes: purpose and usage06.07.2020The purpose of this document is to describe and clarify the current situation both for mail subclasses and handling classes.
Nesting of small packets in PREDES18.05.2020This document sets out the processes to enable the nesting of small packet item identifiers in a PREDES message.
This list helps designated operators wishing to upgrade PREDES and EMSEVT to the latest versions communicate the upgrade date to partners. It is refreshed weekly. See UPU circular 2018/093.
Last update: 16 July 2020
25.02.2020This tool checks the validity of an S10, 13-character identifier by calculating the check digit in character position 11.
25.02.2020S18 ID-tagging of letter mail items.
PATDL is defined according to the W3C XML Schema specification and is used to formally express address rendering rules.
25.02.2020S48 Postal-4i: 4-state symbology and its user for the encoding of data on postal items.
25.02.2020Last update: 28 May 2020
06.07.2020M30 Electronic Data Interchange between postal handling organisations
M33 ITMATT V1
M42 eVN - Electronic verification notes
M43 CUSITM V1.0 and M44 CUSRSP V1.0
M45 REFDIS V1 and M46 REFACK V1.0
M52 ITMATT V2
M53 ITMREF V1 - Item referral
M54 REFRSP V1 - Referral response
M85 Data dictionary for messages based on UPU standard M30
S57 Statement of mailing submission
CEN TS 15523
Last update: 28 May 2020
Request form for mailing lists regarding updates to standard code lists. Please tick the code list(s) you are interested in:
By submitting this form, you will be kept up-to-date of modifications made to the UPU standard code lists that you have selected. The updates will be sent to you via e-mail to the address you have indicated above.