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All USPS links in this page were converted to https in July 2017, but not every single one of them has been tested; if you find nonfunctional USPS (or any other) links, please let me know.

Abbreviations and Acronyms: order, with the most specific (smallest) item (e.g.

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 by UTF-8. Anybody 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). But for some countries, the UPU provides the only guidance available.

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Hence the sections labeled The 14 November 2000 edition adds links to postal authorities in many countries, which are recapitulated alphabetically (in English) in the INDEX at the end. Craig Hartnett (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rhodesia, Nyasaland). John Hagerson (Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam, Israel, Serbia, Egypt). Similarly, saying that a particular country is in Europe or Africa or Latin America or Asia or the Middle East can be controversial. There were no standard or recommended names for countries.

The edition adds ISO 3166-1 codes to the country list in Index; this is the familiar Internet top-level domain (TLD) for each country (in most cases), and these are also used on international mail containers, machine-readable passports, and in national currency identifiers. The February 2003 version is much expanded, including new tables and sections for Africa, the Mideast, Latin America, and with each country name in the Index linking back to the relevant section of the main document. Elizabeth Eggers, Ken Westmoreland, Ben Arnold, Derek Sivers, Andrew Kerkham (New Zealand). The situation has improved since then with the appearance of the USPS International Mail Manual (IMM), including an , first discovered (by me) in 2000, newly available in HTML so we can link directly to it and to sections of it.

I'm not sure it is still true (in 2004) that the USPS does not care about different destinations within a big country.

Recent editions of the IMM seem to imply otherwise, e.g.

by including long lists of cities in different countries, complete with postcodes. The line just above the country name shows the town, and sometimes the major subdivision of the country, known as the state, province, county, district, territory, land, shire, department, canton, prefecture, oblast, autonomous region, etc, depending on the country, and often a postal code to aid in automated sorting. Since the USPS does not read or care about this line (except in mail to Canada and, by some accounts, the UK), it can and should be formatted as required by the destination country. 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. 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.

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... for postal scanners, databases, forms, or window envelopes). Zsbán Ambrus reports (December 2016): For mail from abroad, the country name goes below that of course.

Thus within each country, the country name list must be well-known and standardized.

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.

All opinions and conclusions are those of the author (or the contributors or references cited). (Peter) Mazereeuw, John Robertson (the ex-Netherlands Antilles). Miikka-Markus Alhonen, Marco Cimarosti, Kent Karlsson, Celvin Niklas Jojakin Ruisdael, Hans Schievelkamp, Pete Russel, Doug Ewell, Philip Newton, Jim Brent, Christian Rosner, Howard Laker, Cassandra Phillips-Sears, Austin Knight, G.

Apologies for any inappropriate terminology, especially since this document aims to eradicate it. Herbke, Joshua Holman, George Rhoten, Jay Davis, Tom Richards, Malik Kalfane, Jean-Christophe Deschamps, Chris Morris, Bettina Morton, Gregg Lobdell, Paul Buhler, Steve Williamson, 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).

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.

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