The lack of a user-friendly solution for consumers to return their items prevents many from shopping cross-border.

How does it work?

The IPC Returns Service provided through the IPC Common Return Platform (CRP) responds to the need of e-retailers and customers for an easy-to-use return process for cross-border e-commerce items. It offers e-retailers a priority postage-paid international return service for their customers, either in the parcel or accessible through the internet.

IPC’s CRP enables postal operators to collaborate on returning cross-border parcels to e-retailers. It allows e-customers in the country of destination to return goods to e-sellers in country of origin of the goods, free of charge.

For the e-customers: either the e-retailer provides the e-customer with a return label or the e-customer has to request it. Once the e-customer has the label, all that is needed is to drop the unwanted purchase at a post office or indicated facility together with the dedicated CRP label provided by the e-seller.

For the postal operators: the CRP is based on a double barcode label, one for the accepting or despatching post and the other for the authorising post receiving the returned parcel. The labels are generated by IPC in a direct interface with authorising posts using the system.

The service allows authorised returns to be accepted at postal counters without payment, and then returned through the postal network to the e-retailer, which authorised the return.

IPC’s CRP serves several international postal products including EPG, KPG, PRIME, EMS, UPU Parcels and INTERCONNECT. The CRP also supports the provision of customs’ documentation when applicable.


  • Enables postal operators to increase parcel volumes
  • Allows e-retailers to respond to customer needs
  • Avoids over-labelling
  • Provides cross-border customers with the same service that they receive domestically

A simple returns system for cross-border e-commerce

If the delivered item does not include a pre-printed return label, the following process applies for cross-border returns through the IPC CRP.


Dedicated monitoring, reporting and track & trace

E-retailers and e-customers can easily obtain track and trace data on the returned parcel via their post website. Moreover, IPC offers dedicated performance and billing reporting capabilities for CRP items to posts involved as well as a customer service for inquiries if needed.

More information

To know more about the IPC Returns Service, contact us via e-mail at