Service and efficiency improvements can be achieved if origin postal operators send electronic data on international postal items to destination postal operators, ahead of despatching them. This data can be used by the destination post for operational tracking, customs clearance, and the provision of postal services. Postal operators also need to agree on the conditions for exchanging and processing shared electronic customs data. Moreover, in the context of increasingly strict data protection regulations worldwide, postal operators must comply with the latest applicable regulations. Joining a multilateral agreement reduces the administrative burdens for postal operators, which bilateral agreements would require.

How does it work?

At the request of several posts to provide a multilateral data sharing framework, initially for customs data exchange, IPC launched the first global Data Sharing Agreement (DSA), known as DSA 1, in 2015.

With the advent of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), IPC coordinated the drafting of the second global DSA, known as DSA 2, in 2018, which supports GDPR compliance. Both DSA 1 and DSA 2 remain active and in force, with continued expansion, and high interest in both agreements. As of this update, DSA 1 has over 70 postal operators, and DSA 2 has over 20 posts using the service.

The DSAs set the conditions related to the electronic exchange of customs and postal service data, including:

  • Technical specifications and message standards to be used
  • Postal service data to be captured and exchanged
  • Product(s) for which data will be sent and/or received
  • Channel(s) and physical locations at which data will be captured for outbound items
  • Policy regarding the timing of creation of the electronic messages to the EDI network
  • Other details related to the electronic exchange of personal data

By signing the DSA 1 and/or DSA 2, postal operators commit to implementing and upholding these conditions and standards.

Benefits

  • Participating posts can enter into one or both multilateral agreements covering dozens of operators across the globe, including most leading operators, instead of having to negotiate bilateral agreements with individual operators
  • Open to all designated postal operators
  • Full transparency as all signed documentation is shared between participants
  • Clear and formalised ITMATT standards implemented by participating post

Support

Joining either or both DSAs is simple. The basic steps are to submit a request to join, be invited by a current signatory post, and complete and submit the completed and signed DSA (DSA 1 and/or DSA 2).

More information

For more information about the Data Sharing Agreement, including about how to join, please contact Inter-Operator-DSA@ipc.be.