Country codes in the mail service

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Country codes in the letter service, officially country codes and country abbreviations for the post in Germany and Austria, otherwise sometimes also nationality symbols , indicated thedestination country of a mail item to thenational postal services affiliated withthe Universal Postal Union . They were a necessary part of the standardized address for cross-border correspondence and, in accordance with DIN 5008 (old version), hadto be written infront of the postcode . A country code consisted of a maximum of three letters. Its use has not been recommended since the late 1990s.

Present and Future

The efforts to standardize the postal address internationally have not yet been completed, but the view has now taken hold of replacing the country code with the full country name in capital letters in English or French in the last line of the address (see also DIN-5008 - EDP-compatible address field ). The German Post (country name also in German allowed) and the Austrian Post require it even. The background to this new regulation introduced at the end of the 1990s is the repeated confusion of the country codes with components of postcodes, which in some countries also contain letters, as well as the fact that the country codes were handled inconsistently (one to three-digit codes for nationality codes in vehicle traffic and the two-digit ISO codes according to ISO 3166-1 ALPHA-2 ). A more important reason was that Post was regularly mistakenly e.g. B. was sent to Australia and Fiji (especially, but not only, if the country codes were used without country names), as z. B. Postal workers in the USA know these countries much better than Austria or Austria and Suomi or Fin (n) land and often do not know the country codes.

Individual evidence

  1. addressing. (PDF) June 3, 2009, accessed on February 17, 2019 .
  2. Layout design according to ÖNORM A 1080. (PDF) November 21, 2005, accessed on February 17, 2019 .
  3. ÖNORM A 1080 . 2007.
  4. DIN 5008 . Field for letterhead, p. 34 (70 pp., ).
  5. Universal Postal Union: List of websites of the postal administrations (sorted by country) (English). Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  6. Universal Postal Union: Format of an international address (English, pdf)
  7. ^ Address correctly, Deutsche Post
  8. Shipping information, Austrian Post