International Shipping Address – Format and Examples

How to write an international address when shipping abroad

When shipping internationally, accurately formatting the address is crucial to ensure your package reaches its global destination without any hitches. Explore our guide on international address formats for seamless delivery across borders.

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How to write an international address?

When addressing international mail, following a clear and standardised format ensures your envelope or package navigates the global postal system without delay. The information for the international addresses should be written in 4 to 5 lines.

To correctly write an international shipping address, you should follow this format:

  1. Recipient details. Full name or company name.
  2. Street name and house number or post office box number.
  3. Postcode and town/city.
    Other principal subdivisions optional (province, state, county etc.)
  4. Country. Write the name in English.

Guidelines for addressing international mail

When preparing to ship international mail, following a few universal guidelines can significantly increase the chances of your shipment reaching its destination without delay. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Use capital letters: Write the entire address in capital letters. This improves legibility and reduces the risk of misinterpretation by postal workers worldwide.
  • Limit lines: Aim to fit the address within 5 lines to maintain clarity. If a country-specific format requires more details, try to abbreviate without losing essential information.
  • Arabic numerals: Always use Arabic numerals (0-9) for numbers, ensuring universal understanding across postal systems.
  • Roman letters: Stick to the Roman alphabet (A-Z) for all parts of the address, avoiding characters from other scripts even if they are commonly used in the destination country.
  • Include return address: Always provide your return address in the top left corner of the package or envelope, also in capital letters.
  • Country name: Write the destination country’s name in full and in capital letters on the last line of the address. It should be in English to ensure international postal systems can process it.
  • Check local formats: Before finalizing the address, verify if the destination country has specific requirements, such as the position of the postal code or use of province names, and adjust accordingly.

Address formats for specific countries

Navigate the world of international shipping with ease, with our comprehensive guides on country-specific address formats.

Check the address pages below for specific information about each country.

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International shipping: country-specific address nuances

Each country has unique rules for mail addressing, impacting international shipping efficiency. Understanding these nuances is crucial for successful delivery.

Check the list below for intriguing examples and ensure your mail is correctly formatted:

  • In the United Arabic Emirates (UAE), addresses can sometimes include a post box number and the emirate instead of a street address, since home delivery is not as common outside of major cities.
  • When shipping to Mexico, you must add the quarter’s name under the street name.
  • Addresses in Brazil must include the neighbourhood in addition to the city and state. The postal code, placed before the city name, is crucial for accurate delivery due to the vastness of the country and the similarity of street names across different areas.
  • In Japan, addresses are structured in a large-to-small format, starting with the postal code, then the prefecture, city, sub-area, block number, and finally the building number.
  • Addresses in South Korea have transitioned to a system based on street names and building numbers, moving away from the older land-lot-based system. However, both might be used interchangeably.
  • When shipping parcels to Australia, it’s important to include the state or territory abbreviation after the city and before the postal code.


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