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Format: handmade HTML with accented or non-Roman characters encoded in UTF-8, properly announced to allow inclusion of text in many languages and scripts. Barthélemy; Diego García) Fridjon Gudjohnsen (Iceland). [ Next ] [ Top ] [ Contents ] [ Index ] [ Home ] 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.
For more information about UTF-8 CLICK HERE and HERE. have a good chance of working), and (b) as inoffensive as possible when addressing choices might be controversial.
For domestic mail (mail within the USA), we omit the country name.
For all other countries, we write the country name as the last line, by itself, in all CAPITAL LETTERS, with no accompanying notations such as postal codes, or hints as to which continent the country is on.
According to USPS officials that I interviewed in 2002: unless the country name is CANADA, the USPS does not read and does not care about anything that appears above it.
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. August 2006: The UPU's website has changed a lot since I wrote the previous paragraph.
Thus any document like this is doomed to decay over time if it's not constantly maintained. Feel free to report stale links, or send corrections, suggestions, or new information, by e-mail to Aleida Morel (Dominican Republic), Mari Carmen Fonseca, Juan Castro, Patrick Decker, Andrew Leonard, Beth Espy (México). Roberto Homs (Cuba), بهاء عبيدات / Baha Obeidat (Palestine), Felipe Zapata Roldán (Colombia), Josh Gross, Kevin Tarr (Costa Rica); Johnny Franco Arboine (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador); Craig Hartnett, Doug Ewell, Alexis Hunt (Canada), Irineu de Assis (Bolivia, Paraguay, and Colombia), Cord Wischhöfer, ISO 3166/MA-Secretariat (Europe & North Africa). The addressing recommendations for each country, which are found HERE, now have dates, and have more information (e.g.
We use country names consistently; they are listed in the Index.
In the USA and many other countries, postal sorting machines read and sort by the country name.