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.I'm not sure it is still true (in 2004) that the USPS does not care about different destinations within a big country.
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.
person's name) at the top, proceeding to the most general (largest) item (i.e. This order is not necessarily used in other countries (e.g.
Iran, Russia), but since we are sending mail from the USA, it might be safer to use it in all cases because our own postal service must process the address first.
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.