Harmonised Labelling

As part of INTERCONNECT, IPC worked together with its member posts to develop and implement a harmonised labelling solution, ensuring uniformity based on the existing standard UPU S10 barcode, using a set of standardised address elements, icons and layouts.

The presence of multiple labels and barcodes on letter packages and parcels has long complicated and slowed down the handling and distribution process of international deliveries. The new label presents significant improvements for e-retailers and consumers, by reducing over labelling while also improving track and trace, quality and transit times, and facilitating delivery.

The harmonised labelling service was rolled out as of September 2015; at the moment four posts have started using the harmonised label.label

One standard label

  • The harmonised label was designed and developed to enable postal operators to optimise the end-to-end processing of international letter packages and parcels. 
  • The single standardised item identifier to appear on the label is the standard UPU S10 barcode.
  • Different variants of harmonised labels have been designed to cover requirements concerning letter package labels, parcel labels, and labels with integrated postal forms CN22 or CN23 to facilitate customs clearance.
The harmonised label contains following elements:
  • Dedicated header section to include post- and product-specific information
  • Optional section to include e-seller’s specific elements (barcode, instructions,…) for operational needs
  • Dedicated sender and receiver section that uses standardised address data elements
  • Dedicated section to include relevant operational instructions, represented by standardised symbols:

label icons

  • Dedicated section to include the UPU S10 barcode

Harmonised Labelling IT service 

In September 2015, IPC rolled out the Harmonised Label IT Service to support INTERCONNECT participants that chose not to implement the full technical capability to create the Harmonised Label in-house. 

The Harmonised Labelling Service was developed as a simple printer service that translates the data elements, received through an incoming XML request, into a fully compliant harmonised label that is send back to the requester as a PDF file. The service is conceived as an intelligent service that evaluates the data received and produces the correct label type with or without an optional customs form.

The Harmonised Labelling Service is part of IPC’s data platform, which delivers all data services for IPC’s members and customers.