What Is Priority?
Priority™ service is the fastest delivery service for time-sensitive items. The Priority™ service is available to consumers and VentureOne cardholders. This service is also available with an Agreement, Contract customers must consult their Parcel Services Customer Guide for information.
The service provides guaranteed next day* on-time delivery for local, regional and national, between most major urban centres. Priority™ items must be shipped in Canada for delivery in Canada.
Customers can ship any item by Priority™ service, provided the item:
- meets the size and weight specifications for this service
- is properly prepared and packaged
- does not contain any prohibited mail or a dangerous good.
Prepaid products are flat-priced, postage-included envelopes, in regional and national formats, which are purchased in advance and used as required. They can be dropped at any post office or in a Priority drop box if no additional options are required.
Prepaid envelopes can be ordered by calling 1-888-550-6333.
Any item is considered unacceptable if:
- it is or contains any dangerous substance or article prohibited by law or defined as a dangerous good
(see Non-mailable Matter for more information or refer to the Non-mailable Matter Regulations or the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act).
- it does not meet the size and weight specifications for this service
- it may soil, taint or damage mail or mail equipment, expose a person to danger or emit offensive odours
- it contains food perishables or live animals that do not meet applicable shipping requirements
- it is improperly prepared or insecurely packed or wrapped.
The customer has the responsibility of ensuring that the contents of an item can be shipped under Canadian legislation, including but not limited to the Criminal Code, the Canada Post Corporation Act (including, in particular, the Non-Mailable Matter Regulations), the Tobacco Act, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations, the IATA (International Air Transport Association) or the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Dangerous Goods Regulations and all applicable laws.
Canada Post will not deliver offensive articles that contain sexually explicit material, any information relating to bookmakers, pool-setting, betting or wagering or unlawful schemes, or any item related to schemes to defraud the public.
Restrictions change from time to time, therefore the customer must ensure the contents meet all current applicable requirements. For more information on unacceptable items, visit Non-mailable Matter
Size and Weight
Each Priority™ item must meet the size and weight specifications.
Girth = (height x 2) + (width x 2)
Individual items deposited weighing over 22.7 kg must bear an Overweight Parcels sticker (33-086-456).
An Oversize charge applies if an item exceeds 1 m in any dimension (length, width or height). If the weight is not recorded on the shipping documentation, the greater of the volumetric weight, actual weight or a standard “default” weight of 5 kg will be applied. If the dimensions and weight of any returned parcel cannot be determined, Canada Post reserves the right to charge based on a default weight of 1 kg for Parcel Services Shipping Within Canada and 750 g for prepaid envelopes. For an odd-shaped non-rectangular item, measurements are taken at the widest points. Weight and measurement are governed by the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations and its Terms and Conditions. Visit www.mc.ic.gc.ca for details.
Size and weight - Prepaid products
Size and weight - Prepaid products
How we define “Regional” and “National”
Regional: For use between points within the same region (e.g.: Vancouver to Winnipeg).
National: For use between regions within Canada (e.g.: Vancouver to Halifax).
To obtain information on pricing*:
Table 4 lists the acceptable proofs of payment for Priority items. Some restrictions or conditions may apply.
Priority proofs of payment
Table 5 lists the acceptable methods of payment for Priority items. Some restrictions or conditions may apply.
Priority methods of payment
For more information, see Paying For Your Mailing.
Delivery Standards at a Glance
The delivery standards for the Priority service are guaranteed. Some exceptions apply.
Priority delivery standards
For more information, visit Delivery Standards of the Canada Postal Guide under Section 4.1. For a list of Major Urban Centres and Non-Major Urban Centres, visit Delivery Standards of the Canada Postal Guide under Section 4 “Parcel Services Domestic” Table 11.
A feature is something that is provided as part of the basic service. The available features are described below.
On-time Delivery Guarantee
Canada Post offers replacement service or credit equivalent to the shipping charges, if the sender’s shipment is not delivered on time, as measured against the published delivery standards, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions. See Terms and Conditions at canadapost.ca/generalterms for more information.
Tracking and Delivery Confirmation
Canada Post has deployed systems and capabilities throughout the delivery network to scan barcodes and track parcels at the following stages of delivery:
- When a shipping label is created electronically using Canada Post’s Electronic Shipping Tools (EST) system.
- When an item is picked up from the customer’s location by Canada Post or dropped off at a Canada Post site.
- When the item is sorted in a major Canada Post facility.
- When the item approaches the final stages of the delivery process and is sent « Out for Delivery » with our delivery agents.
- When the item is ready to be picked up at one of Canada Post’s facilities for large volume receivers.
- When the item is successfully delivered or is deemed Undeliverable / Return to Sender.
- When a delivery attempt is made, but the recipient is not available to accept the delivery, a Delivery Notice Card is left indicating where the item can be picked up.
- When a Final Delivery Notice Card is issued if the item has not been picked up at the post office.
- When an item is not deliverable because it was shipped to an incorrect address, or the recipient refused to accept the delivery, or the item is unclaimed at a post office, the shipment will be returned to the sender or sent to the Undeliverable Mail Office.
- When the shipper has made an error made in the postal delivery address, Canada Post will attempt to correct the error and have the item delivered, in the event that Canada Post is unable to determine the correct delivery address, the item will be returned to the sender.
- When Canada Post has made an error in the transportation of the item causing a possible delay.
- When Canada Post is experiencing circumstances beyond its control causing a possible delay of the delivery. force majeurs scans will be made in the event of:
- severe weather/natural disasters such as major snow storm, ice, unplowed streets, extreme heat, cold weather, tornado or hurricane
- transportation delays
- power outage in the public grid.
Most Parcel Services include up to $100 Liability Coverage, including Prepaid Products. The availability and the limits of Liability Coverage may vary according to the nature of the items being shipped. Exceptions and conditions apply. See Limitation of Liability and Guarantee at canadapost.ca/generalterms for more information.
By purchasing the signature option (a no-charge option for the Priority™ service), customers will ensure that a personal hand-off of the item occurs at delivery, and that there is proof of this activity. The name of the person signing is recorded as well as the signature. Signature must be selected at the time of shipping to ensure it is properly captured and linked to the unique tracking number.
If the addressee refuses to give their signature, the delivery agent indicate “SIGNATURE REFUSED” for item-tracking purposes. Before the item can be handed over, the delivery agent will capture the first initial and last name of the customer. This process varies for items shipped by Xpresspost™ Certified; if the addressee refuses to sign for the item, the Xpresspost Certified item will be sent back to the original shipper (Return to Sender).
When the signature is collected at the door: When someone answers the door, the delivery agent will collect the signature and the signatory name, and hand off the item. Signature items will not be delivered to children. If there is no answer at the door, the delivery agent will leave a Delivery Notice Card in the addressee’s mail receptacle that directs the addressee to the designated post office to pick up the item.
When the signature is collected at the post office: Only the addressee or their authorized representative can pick up an item with Signature at the post office.
The addressee must present one valid piece of government-issued photo identification that indicates the same address as on the item. Visit canadapost.ca/postalguide under Policies for details.
If an individual is picking up an item addressed to another individual, they must present one valid piece of government-issued photo identification and one of the following:
- a Delivery Notice document signed by the addressee with the printed name of the individual authorized to pick up the item; or
- a legal document demonstrating their authority to act on behalf of the other individual, for example, power of attorney, appointment as trustee; or
- a letter of authorization.
If a co-habitant is picking up a parcel at the post office on behalf of someone living at the same address, one valid piece of government-issued photo identification with the same address as the address on the item will be required. If the piece of identification does not indicate the address, proof of residence will be required (e.g. a utility bill).
On-Demand Pickup service is available to VentureOne cardholders.
There is no minimum volume requirement when arranging a Canada Post On-Demand Pickup. On-Demand Pickup is a no-charge option. Pickups can be arranged up to five business days in advance or on the same business day, provided the request is made before the local call-in cut-off time.
Third-Party On-Demand Pickup
Third-Party On-Demand Pickup service is available to VentureOne cardholders.
Third-Party On-Demand Pickup allows customers to authorize a Canada Post pickup at a third party location or alternate address. Customers can arrange for the additional pickup locations themselves or provide their seven-digit Canada Post customer number to their third-party, authorizing the third-party to arrange for On-Demand Pickup service.
To arrange an On-Demand Pickup or Third-Party On-Demand Pickup, customers may contact Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333. Visit canadapost.ca/pickup
for areas where Canada Post offers pickup services and for call-in cut-off times.
Items are returned to the sender when:
- the item is refused or unclaimed by the addressee
- the delivery address is incomplete or does not exist
- the addressee is no longer at the address
- an improper shipping label has been applied
- the item’s dimensions or weight exceeds the maximum allowed.
Items that cannot be delivered will be returned to the sender for a fee, payable by the sender. Where the item bears postage stamp(s) or meter impression denoting the original amount of postage, the item will be returned for an amount equal to the original postage, less any option fee, using the postage due process. Where the Customer Number is located on the item, the item will be returned and the Customer will be invoiced an amount equal to the original fee paid less any option fee.
An option is a service enhancement which is not included automatically as part of the basic service. The customer must select the option by checking a box or affixing an additional label or sticker. Most options are available for an additional fee. The available options are described below.
By email - Delivery Updates is a free option that allows customers to receive email notifications of item-tracking events as they occur. This option is available to all customers creating parcel Orders with Canada Post’s Electronic Shipping Tools (EST) or if “Track” is used at canadapost.ca. The customer may enter a total of four email addresses per shipment.
Delivery Updates tracking-event types include:
- Ship - Indicates that the shipment Order has been created and that the item has been given to Canada Post for delivery (only available when using EST).
- Exception - Notifies you of any unforeseen delivery interruptions (e.g. items that are returned to the sender or refused, items delayed due to circumstances beyond Canada Post’s control, addressing errors, transportation errors, etc.).
- Delivery - Indicates that the item has been delivered or that a Delivery Notice Card has been left with the addressee asking the addressee to pick up the item at a local post office. Where applicable, a signature image or signatory name is available to view online.
Online - Canada Post commits to providing a delivery scan event for every barcoded item that is successfully delivered or determined to be undeliverable and returned to the sender. This provides electronic confirmation of the delivery status. Upon delivery, or attempted delivery, the tracking number is scanned and the date and time are captured. This information is usually available immediately after delivery and no later than noon the next business day following delivery at canadapost.ca/track.
By phone - Through an automated phone response system by calling 1-800-500-6333.
Additional Liability Coverage
Available in increments of $100, up to a maximum of $5,000 for most shipments, including Prepaid Products, for a fee. All options must be selected at the time of shipping to ensure they are properly captured and linked to the unique tracking number. Certain exceptions apply. See General Terms and Conditions at canadapost.ca/generalterms for more information.
If you require a hard copy of the name and signature of the person who signed for the item, Canada Post offers this option online for free, or a copy can be sent to you for a fee, provided that the Signature option is selected at the time of shipping. The signature copy will be sent to you by your choice of Lettermail™ service or fax within three business days after the request. Visit canadapost.ca/support or call Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333.
Proof of Age (18 or 19)
Available for a fee to VentureOne cardholders who use a Canada Post-approved electronic shipping system. A “Proof of Age” photo identification must be provided at the time of delivery if the receiver appears to be less than 25 years of age. A signature will be obtained upon delivery. “PROOF OF AGE” must be indicated in the Attention box of the shipping label prior to deposit.
Age of majority by province or territory
Collect on Delivery (COD)
This service is available for a fee. COD allows an item to be shipped and delivered to the addressee, and an amount of money collected for the item from the addressee in the form of:
If the COD amount to be collected in cash is greater than $500, a Delivery Notice
card will be left for the addressee to pick up the item at the post office.
The sender assumes all risks associated with payment by cheque. Post-dated cheques will only be accepted when the sender applies the “POST-DATED CHEQUES ACCEPTED” sticker to the item.
For FedEx Ground and Purolator, cheques, certified cheques or money orders must be made payable to the original shipper (as indicated on the FedEx or Purolator shipping label).
The sender will specify the amount of money to be collected and the payment option. The amount collected is forwarded to the sender by Xpresspost™.
If the addressee cannot be located, fails or refuses to pay the COD amount, the item is returned to the sender but the COD service fee is not refunded. See the applicable COD Terms and Conditions at the back of the COD customer receipt (form# 33-086-397) for further information.
A COD item cannot be returned or refunded through Canada Post once it has been accepted by the addressee.
To cancel a Collect on Delivery charge, the sender must supply the post office administrator with a letter authorizing the cancellation or change to the Collect on Delivery amount and the mailing receipt. The sender must pay Canada Post for all expenses incurred by such changes. Should the addressee want a refund for a Collect on Delivery item, this must be arranged between the sender and the addressee. Items not ordered or requested by the addressee and collection of funds owing to the customer from a previous transaction are not eligible for COD service.
The hold period for COD items is 15 calendar days (30 calendar days for northern addresses). Once the holding period has expired, unclaimed COD items are deemed undeliverable and returned to the sender.
The COD service option is not available with prepaid products.
Flexible Delivery Options
The following flexible delivery options are available to VentureOne cardholders when using Canada Post’s Electronic Shipping Tools (EST) (excluding Ship-in-a-click™):
This option is available, free of charge, to customers who use a Canada Post-approved electronic shipping system (excluding Ship-in-a-click). The sender must add the notation “CARD FOR PICKUP” in the Attention box of the shipping label, to ensure that Canada Post does not deliver the item. Canada Post notifies the addressee that the item is to be picked up at the post office. The addressee will be required to show identification before the item is released.
This option is available, free of charge, to customers who use a Canada Post-approved electronic shipping system (excluding Ship-in-a-click) and is only available for items that are usually delivered to the door. If no one answers the door, the delivery agent will look for an appropriate safe drop location. A Safe Drop Card, indicating the location of the safe drop, will be left in the addressee’s mail receptacle. If Safe Drop is not possible, a Delivery Notice Card will be left, and the item will be available for pickup at the designated post office. The sender must add the notation “LEAVE AT DOOR” in the Attention box of the shipping label.
This option is available, free of charge, to customers who use a Canada Post-approved electronic shipping system (excluding Ship-in-a-click). The sender must add the notation “DO NOT SAFE DROP” in the Attention box of the shipping label. If no one is available to accept the item when delivery is attempted, a Delivery Notice Card is left and the addressee must pick up the item at the post office.
Deliver to Post Office
Deliver to Post Office is a delivery option available through Canada Post's Web Services. The option allows the customers online consumers the choice to have their items(s) delivered using Xpresspost or Expedited Parcel services to a post office of their preference and convenience. Canada Post has an extensive network of secure post office facilities, which also makes this option ideal for high-value or temperature-sensitive items.
An automated email notification is issued to the addressee once the item is delivered to the post office, advising that the parcel is ready for pickup. If the item is not picked up after five days the addressee will receive a second email and a phone message reminding them to pick up the item.
The addressee or a representative will be asked to show one valid piece of government-issued photo identification at the post office for authentication. After 15 days, if the item has not been picked up, it will be returned to the originating address indicated on the shipping label.
The COD service option is not available with the Deliver to Post Office option.
Labels and Documentation Required
Items must bear a barcoded label or a barcoded label along with an identifier label, as well as the destination and return addresses.
Priority identifier label
All items must conform to the packaging requirements of Canada Post, and must not contain dangerous or prohibited materials. Items that are improperly packaged, labelled or that lack proper documentation may be subject to delay or may be refused and returned at the customer’s expense.
Customers who deposit unpackaged items (i.e. pails, tires, etc.) must pay an Unpackaged Items Surcharge.
The Oversize Surcharge and Unpackaged Items Surcharge are never combined. If a customer pays the Unpackaged Items Surcharge, then the Oversize Surcharge is waived and vice versa.
A surcharge will be applied to mailing tubes that are cylindrical in shape.
For specific packaging requirements, see ABCs of Mailing of the Canada Postal Guide.
All items must bear a legible mailing address and a Canadian return address including the correct Postal CodeOM, a Canada Post authorized barcode, proof of payment, and (if applicable) a service identifier. See Addressing Guidelines for more information.
If any addressing deficiency causes a delay in delivery of an item, the service guarantee will not apply.
The customer can deposit Priority™ items at any of the following locations:
- at a post office
- in a Priority drop box [prepaid products (provided that all selected options have been paid for) and items processed and fully paid (by credit card or postage meter) through Electronic Shipping Tools or Ship-in-a-click, if size permits]
- in a Priority vault box (available for customers who ship outside normal pickup hours).
For the purposes of the on-time delivery guarantee, items deposited after the last collection time specified on the street letter box are considered as being deposited on the next business day.
Canada Post provides the following options for the delivery of items:
- For apartment buildings, a delivery attempt will be made to the door. In buildings with an intercom, attempting to contact the customer using the intercom is considered a delivery attempt. In cases where the elevator is out of service, the delivery person will attempt delivery wherever physically possible, taking into consideration the employee’s safety and welfare; otherwise, a Delivery Notice Card2 will be left for the addressee.
- A Delivery Notice Card is used to show that the item is available for pickup at a nearby post office. A Final Notice Card will be sent to the addressee if the item has not been picked up after five calendar days. The item will be held at the post office for a total of 15 calendar days after which time it will be returned to the sender.
- In rural areas, a delivery attempt will be made at the door when the door is within 0.5 km of the line of travel. Otherwise a Delivery Notice Card2 will be left in the addressee’s mail receptacle.
- It is at Canada Post’s discretion to consider leaving the item in a Safe Drop location, provided that the item does not require the collection of funds or signature. For an apartment building, the item may be left with the building administration personnel. A Safe Drop Card, indicating the location of the Safe Drop, will be left in the addressee’s mail receptacle at the time of delivery.
- For a list of postal codes that are categorized as major urban centres, visit canadapost.ca/deliverystandards and refer to Section 4 - Table 11. This table shows the FSAs (forward sortation areas) or the first three characters of postal codes that correspond to major urban centres.
For items shipped with Regular Parcel service, where no Signature or Collection of Funds is required and the item does not fit in the mail receptacle, a Delivery Notice Card2
will be left in the mail receptacle, directing the addressee to their local post office to pick up the item.