Origin postal operators send electronic data on international postal items to destination postal operators, ahead of despatching them. This advance data can be used by the destination post for operational tracking, customs clearance, and the provision of postal services. Postal operators exchanging such electronic data also agree on standards for, and the handling of, shared customs data.

In 2015, IPC set up a multilateral agreement as a framework for posts who exchange electronic customs data to be able to rely on partner posts to maintain personal data privacy and ensure ITMATT information is used only for purposes directly linked to border clearance for postal items. This Data Sharing Agreement, formally titled the “Agreement for the Electronic Exchange of Customs Data” and now known as “DSA 1”, significantly contributes to improving postal services and efficiency.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which entered into force in 2018, increased the data protection requirements for posts sending personal private data outside of the EU/EEA. EU/EEA posts must ensure the personal data they hold and send to postal partners are processed securely and in accordance with GDPR.

To help posts meet GDPR requirements a new multilateral agreement has been developed. This new Data Sharing Agreement, formally titled the “Agreement for the Electronic Exchange of Postal Service Data” and now known as “DSA 2”, is in force and active since 05 October 2018, alongside DSA 1.

Participation in the new agreement, DSA 2, as well as DSA 1, is increasing. At time of publication DSA 2 counted 11 signatory posts, while DSA 1 has 54 signatory posts, with more expected to join soon. Interest in both agreements remains high. The agreements are open to all operators worldwide. Postal operators can obtain more information about the DSAs including how to join DSA 1 and DSA 2 by contacting [email protected].