ABCs of Mailing

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Last updated: 2018-01-15

IMPORTANT UPDATES
Last Updated Date
Description
Location
January 15, 2018
Updated density factor for Expedited Parcel mailings from 6,000 to 5,000.

1

What are the ABCs of Mailing?

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ABCs of Mailing guides you through the steps to help ensure your mail arrives at its final destination.

Plan your mailing by...
 
Package...
 
Your results
  • choosing an appropriate service
  • accurately calculating weights and measurements
  • supplying proper documentation
  • safely
  • securely
  • met delivery deadlines
  • stayed within budget parameters

Products and services are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the General Terms and Conditions.

1.1

Steps for Mailing with Canada Post

  1. Ensure the item is acceptable for mailing
  2. Package and Wrap the Item
  3. Address the Item
  4. Shipping Charges and Weight
  5. Prepare the Documentation
  6. Pay for the Item
  7. Deposit the Item

For contract customers, refer to the appropriate Customer Guide at canadapost.ca/postalservices.

1.2

Ensure the item is acceptable for mailing

The customer has the responsibility of ensuring that the contents meet all current applicable requirements and the item(s) can be shipped under Canadian legislation, including but not limited to the:

Resource
links
Criminal Code
Canada Post Corporation Act
Non-Mailable Matter Regulations
Tobacco Act
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
International Air Transport Association
International Civil Aviation Organization
General Terms and Conditions
Canada Postal Guide

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.

Prohibitions or restrictions on the acceptance of certain articles for mailing may apply (refer to Non-mailable Matter, International Destination Listing and Customs Requirements of the Canada Postal Guide).

2

Package and Wrap the Item

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Careful preparation and packaging helps ensure safe and secure delivery of items. Customers may visit canadapost.ca/shop to purchase packaging and wrapping materials.

When packing your item...
1
Choose an outer container
The container must be sturdy enough to protect the item being mailed (cardboard box, metal tins). Customers who deposit unpackaged items (not of a size or shape suitable for wrapping such as, pails, tires, etc.) must pay an Unpackaged Items Surcharge. Containers that have been previously used for restricted items or non-mailable matter must not be reused for mailing other goods unless they are re wrapped to cover all information that refers to restricted items or non-mailable matter. See Non-mailable Matter for more information.
2
Packaging material
Surround the item with cushioning material (bubble wrap, foam, paper).
3
Sealing material
It is recommended that you use packaging tape (ensure to reinforce all seams with tape).
NOTE:
Two boxes or more cannot be strapped, taped or bound together by any other means and be deposited as a single item or multi-pieces.
4
Shipping label
Ensure you use the appropriate service label. The label must be properly completed and visible, affixed flat and wrinkle-free to the largest side of the item.

Common allergen items such as peanuts, sesame seeds, tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts) or eggs are to be packaged properly and labelled to minimize the potential for allergic reactions.

NOTE:
A surcharge will be applied to mailing tubes that are cylindrical in shape. The surcharge does not apply to items shipped using Priority™ Worldwide, Small Packet™ and Tracked Packet™ services.

2.1

Suggestions for how to package and wrap items

The following suggestions are examples only and do not guarantee safe delivery of items.

Items
Outer packaging
Packing material
Markings
Fragile items
(e.g. china)
Choose a rigid, good quality, corrugated cardboard box.
Tape all seams with reinforced tape.
Wrap or secure item using:
  • bubble wrap
  • tissue paper
  • newspaper
  • destination address, return address and the word “FRAGILE” on the top and on one side.
Perishable items
(e.g. fruit)
Choose a rigid, good quality, corrugated cardboard box.
Tape all seams with reinforced tape.
Wrap or secure item using:
  • bubble wrap
  • tissue paper
  • newspaper
  • destination address, return address and the word “PERISHABLE” on the top and on one side.
Crushable items
(e.g. art prints)
Choose a triangular shaped outer packaging. (a surcharge will be applied to mailing tubes that are cylindrical in shape).
Tape all seams with reinforced tape.
Wrap or secure item by:
  • rolling item around a rigid cylindar
  • place into a triangular package
 
  • destination address, return address and the word “FRAGILE” on the top and on one side.
Long items
(e.g. umbrellas)
Choose a rigid, good quality:
  • cardboard box
  • triangular shaped outer packaging
Tape all seams with reinforced tape.
Wrap or secure item by:
  • placing in a rigid box
  • place into a triangular package
 
  • destination address and return address on the top and on one side.
Sharp items
(e.g. garden shears)
Choose a rigid, good quality, corrugated cardboard box.
Tape all seams with reinforced tape.
Wrap or secure item using:
  • bubble wrap
  • tissue paper
  • newspaper
Tightly roll newspaper around the blades and secure with reinforced tape (100 mm beyond the tip)
  • destination address, return address and the word “HANDLE WITH CARE” on the top and on one side.
Liquids, liquefiable substances and powders
Choose a leak proof container made of:
  • metal
  • heavy cardboard
  • styrofoam
Tape all seams with reinforced tape.
Wrap or secure item:
  • placing inner container (bottle) into outer container
  • surround inner container with absorbent material
Screw-type covers should have rubber or cork washers.
  • destination address, return address and the word “FRAGILE” and “KEEP FROM HEAT” (if appropriate) on the top and at least one side.
Latex paint and tubes of artist’s paint
-
Metal containers with friction lids that mechanically seal the lids, must be fastened with metal rings to prevent accidental removal of the lids during transit.
 
A separate container must be used to ship each four-litre can. Four one-litre cans of latex paint can be shipped in one container but each can must be separated by durable separators.
-
Magnetic tapes
-
Must be protected from being accidentally erased by wrapping the items in lead foil
  • marked with the words “MAGNETIC TAPE”.
Scented items
-
Must be sealed to prevent the scent from escaping - this includes samples.
 
Perfumes and toiletries with an alcohol base are considered dangerous goods (flammable liquids) and are therefore prohibited from the mail stream. See Non-mailable Matter for more information.
-

2.2

Requirements for how to package and wrap specific items

2.2.1

Eggs (unfertilized)

Acceptable service
Priority, Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel
(COD service option is not available)

All items are mailed at the customer’s risk.

Must be...
  • individually wrapped and protected, using enough cushioning material and wrapping to stop the eggs from hitting each other or the outer container
  • enclosed in a clean, strong and rigid box
  • sealed tightly and marked “EGGS”.

Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website at inspection.gc.ca for additional information.

2.2.2

Hatching eggs (fertilized eggs)

Hatching eggs (broiler hatching eggs) are treated as live animals. Prior to mailing, review the Hatchery Exclusion Regulations, as a Permit to Operate a Hatchery may be required. All items are mailed at the customer’s risk.

Available Services
Between
Expectant Delivery
Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel
(by Surface only)
March 1 and October 31
Within 3 business day*
(excludes weekends and statutory holidays)
*
It is highly recommended to deposit your shipment at one of our facilities either on Monday or Tuesday.

The shipment must be within local or regional boundaries. Typically defined as:

  • local - where the destination city/town is the same as the originating city/town
  • regional - where the destination is to an adjacent province.

Refer to canadapost.ca/deliverytool for destinations that are achievable within a 3-day expectant delivery.

NOTE:
Delivery standards are subject to change without notice.

When shipping hatching eggs, the following packaging requirements must be met:

Must be...
Must not...
  • individually wrapped and protected, using enough cushioning material and wrapping to stop the eggs from hitting each other or the outer container
  • enclosed in a clean, strong and rigid box
  • registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations. A copy of the “Permit to Operate a Hatchery” issued to the customer by the CFIA must be provided for Canada Post’s records in order for the customer to be granted a contract to ship day-old chicks and hatching eggs.
  • be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).

The box is sealed tightly and marked “HATCHING EGGS - LIVE ANIMAL”. Canada Post strongly recommends that the customer place a noticeable label on each package stating:

 
“HATCHING EGGS. THIS SIDE UP. HANDLE WITH SPECIAL CARE. DO NOT PLACE IN MAIL BAG OR COVER WITH OTHER MAIL MATTER. DO NOT PLACE NEAR HOT PIPES, STOVES OR RADIATORS. DO NOT EXPOSE TO COLD WINDS OR HOT SUN. PLEASE PROTECT FROM EXTREMES OF HEAT OR COLD. PLEASE DISPATCH AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AND DELIVER TO THE ADDRESSEE PROMPTLY ON ARRIVAL AT OFFICE OF DESTINATION.”

For additional information, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website for Import Reference Document (As referenced in the Health of Animals Regulations).

2.2.3

Live day-old chicks

The mailer must enter into an Agreement with Canada Post (regardless of the volume shipped) prior to the mailing.

Acceptable service
Between
Delivery time
Expedited Parcel
(COD service option is not available)
March 1st and October 31st
Must be delivered within 36 hours
from the time of mailing

All items are mailed at the customer’s risk and:

Must be...
Must not...
  • free from disease
  • properly prepared for mailing (the boxes used by a hatchery for the marketing of chicks must be clean and strong)
  • registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations. A copy of the “Permit to Operate a Hatchery” issued to the customer by the CFIA must be provided for Canada Post’s records in order for the customer to be granted a contract to ship day-old chicks and hatching eggs.
  • require food, water or attention during handling in the mail
  • be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).

Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website at inspection.gc.ca for additional information.

Additional requirements for “Live day-old chicks”
  • The manual Manifest must bear the designated article number 8731.
  • Canada Post strongly recommends that the customer place a noticeable label on each package stating:

“LIVE DAY-OLD CHICKS. THIS SIDE UP. HANDLE WITH SPECIAL CARE. DO NOT WATER OR FEED IN TRANSIT. DO NOT PLACE IN MAIL BAG OR COVER WITH OTHER MAIL MATTER. DO NOT PLACE NEAR HOT PIPES, STOVES OR RADIATORS. DO NOT EXPOSE TO COLD WINDS OR HOT SUN. PLEASE PROTECT FROM EXTREMES OF HEAT OR COLD. PLEASE DISPATCH AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AND DELIVER TO THE ADDRESSEE PROMPTLY ON ARRIVAL AT OFFICE OF DESTINATION.”

  • An exception has been made to accommodate the shipment of day-old chicks, no more than 4 boxes may be strapped together and the dimensions must not exceed our specifications. Each box must provide adequate ventilation for the chicks, have new chick box pads and have its own address label.
NOTE:
Shipments cannot be counted towards the customer’s total volume for their Parcel Agreement commitment. These particular shipments are considered an independent offering and are subject to their own volume commitments and prices.

2.2.4

Live small cold-blooded non-poisonous animal specimens

Acceptable services
Between
Delivery time
Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel
April 1st and October 31st
Must be within 3 consecutive days
(excludes weekends and statutory holidays)

All items are mailed at the customer’s risk and no coverage for loss or damages is available for this type of mail.

Examples of acceptable creatures
Examples of unacceptable creatures
  • worms
  • frogs
  • salamanders
  • lizards
  • snails
  • tadpoles
  • snakes
  • turtles
  • baby alligators
  • caimans
  • any warm-blooded animals

Live small cold-blooded non-poisonous animal specimens requirements:

Must be...
Must not...
  • free from disease
  • less than 25 cm in size
  • clearly identified with the notation “LIVE SMALL COLD-BLOODED NON-POISONOUS ANIMAL SPECIMEN”
  • dropped off at a Canada Post facility.
  • require food, water or attention during handling in the mail
  • emit obnoxious odours
  • be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).

Visit the Health of Animals Regulations at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for additional information.

2.2.5

Liquid and dry patient specimens (human or animal)

Acceptable service
Priority, Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel, Regular Parcel (COD service option is not available)
Lettermail™ and Business Reply Mail™ services

All items are mailed at the customer’s risk.

Acceptable
Unacceptable
Specimens that are being tested for cancer cells or something similar are acceptable.
Biological specimens being tested for a contagious pathogen such as HIV or the flu virus are unacceptable cannot be mailed under any circumstances.

Patient specimens (human or animal) that have a minimal likelihood of containing infectious pathogens must be packaged appropriately to further minimize the risk of exposure.

Primary and Secondary receptacle
Outer packaging
  • a leak-proof container
  • adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use
  • one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm x 100 mm
  • must be marked “EXEMPT HUMAN SPECIMEN” or “EXEMPT ANIMAL SPECIMEN”.
  • sufficient absorbent material to be placed between the primary and secondary receptacle.
NOTE:
When multiple fragile primary receptacles are placed in a single secondary receptacle, they must be either individually wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them.

See International Air Transport Association [IATA] Dangerous Goods Regulations outlined in the IATA Document - Classification of Infection Substances for further packaging requirements.

If you wish to determine whether your envelope / packaging meets our shipping guidelines...
Submit a sample of the packaging for testing.
CANADA POST
MAIL STANDARDS AND TESTING
NATIONAL EQUIPMENT ENGINEERING
2701 RIVERSIDE DR SUITE N0625
OTTAWA ON  K1A 0B1

2.2.6

Parasites, leeches and insects

Acceptable Services
Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel

All items are mailed at the customer’s risk and:

Must be...
Must not...
  • free from disease
  • mailed in safe and secure boxes
  • easily identifiable.
  • be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).

Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website at inspection.gc.ca for additional information.

2.2.7

Bees

Acceptable service
Priority, Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel
(COD service option is not available)

All items are mailed at the customer’s risk and:

Must be...
  • free from disease
  • packaged in a safe and secure box or tube that is covered with a fine mesh screen, as per industry standards, to prevent breakage or leakage during transit and handling
  • easily identifiable on the container.
NOTE:
No coverage for loss or damages is available for this type of mail.

Additional information can be found at:

Resource
Link
Int’l Air Transportation Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

In addition, for:

Honey bees (colonies)
Acceptable services
Between
Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel
March 1st and October 31st
Queen bees and their attendants (maximum of eight)
Acceptable services
Between
Priority
April 1st and October 31st
Must be...
Must not...
  • easily identifiable on the container (label with “QUEEN BEES AND ATTENDANTS”).
  • contain honey within the container
  • be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).

2.2.8

Cremated remains

 
Acceptable Services
Within Canada
Priority, Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel and Regular Parcel
U.S.A. and International
Priority Worldwide, Xpresspost - USA, Xpresspost - International, Expedited Parcel - USA, Tracked Packet - USA and Tracked Packet - International.
NOTE:
Prohibitions or restrictions may apply when shipping internationally. Customers are responsible for ensuring their mail item is acceptable in the destination country. Please refer to the International Destination Listing for further details.

Human and animal cremated remains are permitted to be mailed provided:

Requirement for...
Must be...
Destination and return address
  • correct and complete.
Inner container
  • packed in a sealed container (urn or otherwise) and placed inside an outer container.
NOTE:
Breakable inner receptacles must be protected with adequate packing material.
Outer container
  • a durable sift-proof outer container.
Documentation
  • accompanied by a certificate of cremation issued by the appropriate authority which must be enclosed in a plastic envelope and attached securely to the top of the parcel.

2.2.9

Batteries

As a general rule, most batteries such as AA, AAA, C and D used in consumer electronic products can be accepted for shipping. ALL SHIPMENTS OF BATTERIES MUST COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING:

  • Battery and cell terminals must always be protected to prevent short circuit. Customers can do this by covering the terminals with an insulating material (e.g., by using electrical tape or enclosing each battery separately in a plastic bag) or by shipping in original manufacturer packaging.
  • The contents must be shipped in strong and rigid outer packaging which can withstand normal conditions of transport.
  • Batteries MUST NOT be damaged, defective or recalled, or transported for the purposes of recycling or disposal.
  • Batteries/equipment must be equipped with an effective means of preventing accidental activation.
  • Equipment must be packaged in a way to prevent movement of the cells/batteries and avoid breakage under normal conditions of transport/handling.

Lithium Batteries

For the most part, lithium cells and batteries used to power electronics such as music storage devices, cameras, cellular devices and laptops would meet the required conditions. However, lithium powered vehicles, such as hoverboards, self-balancing boards/wheels, electric bicycles and wheelchair batteries, are NOT acceptable.

Categories
Lithium Cell
Lithium Battery
A single encased unit consisting of one positive and one negative electrode that exhibits a voltage differential across the two terminals (such as an AA battery).
A lithium battery is one or more cells electrically connected (such as a laptop battery).

Additional requirements:

  • All lithium batteries must meet conditions outlined in Schedule 2, Special Provision 34 of the Transporation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.
  • Lithium batteries alone or those packed with (not installed in) equipment, or more than 4 cells or 2 batteries installed in equipment are only accepted on domestic ground transport. These are not acceptable for transport in the air or for any destination outside of Canada.*
  • Check the International Destinations Listing to ensure that the international destination accepts devices with lithium batteries installed.
  • A Customs Declaration form must be fully completed and the content of the package must be properly declared (U.S. & International only).
NOTE:
Portable charging devices must follow the acceptance requirements for “Batteries on their own” in Table 1.
Table 1: Acceptance Requirements
Description of Content
Label & Document
Required
Domestic
U.S.A. & International
Air*
Surface*
Parcels only
Installed in Equipment (Max. of 4 cells or 2 batteries)
No
Installed in Equipment (More than 4 cells or 2 batteries)
Yes (see Figure 1)
Not Accepted**
Not Accepted
Packed with, not installed in Equipment
Yes (see Figure 1)
Not Accepted**
Not Accepted
Batteries on their own
Yes (see Figure 1)
Not Accepted**
Not Accepted
*
For Air services, refer to Priority, Xpresspost and Lettermail; for Surface services, refer to Expedited Parcel, Regular Parcel, Personalized Mail, Publications Mail or Neighbourhood Mail at Postal Services information.
**
For contract customers and Solutions for Small Business, an expanded battery acceptance program is available. Please contact your sales representative or call Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333 for more details.
***
Must not be shipped to remote Air Stage locations in Canada, for a complete list of locations, please visit the Air Stage Office List.
Figure 1: Lithium Battery Mark
The lithium battery handling label has been revised for global use and is known as the lithium battery mark. The label must fit on one side of the package.
New Lithium Battery Mark
Lithium Battery Handling Label
The lithium battery handling label can continue to be used until January 1, 2019.

3

Address the Item

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To avoid unnecessary delays in delivery of your mail items, follow these addressing guidelines:

  • the address should ideally be printed in uppercase
  • there should be two spaces between the province or territory and the Postal Code.
  • Postal CodesOM should be printed in upper case with the first three elements separated from the last three by one space. Do not use hyphens. If the Postal Code is not formatted in this manner, the mail may be delayed.

Visit Addressing Guidelines for addressing details, tables of abbreviations and symbols.

4

Shipping Charges and Weight

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Preparing your shipping documentation

You must declare each item's actual weight on the shipment Order or manifest at the time of shipping. You may also include the item's dimensions (length x width x height) or the volumetric equivalent of its actual weight (see How to cube an item and calculate the volumetric equivalent of its actual weight).

It is your responsibility to ensure that your declarations are accurate.

Our right to audit

Canada Post may audit any or all of your declarations. Should we do so, we will use only measuring devices approved for use in trade by Measurement Canada.

NOTE:
When an item is cubed, the dimensions provided are the dimensions of the smallest hexahedron (six-sided box) within which the item can be contained.

How we charge

Whether or not we audit your declarations, we may in our sole discretion charge the base price:

  • On the basis of your declaration,
  • On the basis of our audit; or
  • Where your declaration is missing or for whatever reason unusable, on the basis of a default weight of 5 kg (11 lb.).

Where we charge the base price on the basis of our audit, price adjustments will appear on your next or a subsequent invoice.

If you do not complete and submit all the documents for a shipment, as required, or if the documents are inaccurate or incomplete for any reason, the items of the shipment may, at the discretion of Canada Post:

  • be returned to you at your expense to make them compliant;
  • be processed and charged at the next or most appropriate product or service category, where available;
  • be subject to a surcharge;
  • be refused for shipping.

In addition to the base price, we also apply surcharges. See section 6.7 for further details or visit canadapost.ca/prices.

How we calculate base price for shipping your item

The base price1 for shipping your item is based on the greater of the item's actual weight and volumetric equivalent of actual weight within the prescribed weight and size limits of the specific product offering used, as indicated on the price sheets provided.


1
While the lowest base price for most services corresponds to the lowest actual weight or volumetric equivalent of actual weight of 0.750, some exceptions may apply; and where the greater of actual weight and volumetric equivalent of actual weight exceeds 0.750, base price will in all cases be determined by rounding the actual weight and volumetric equivalent of actual weight to the nearest 0.500.

To confirm the base price for shipping your item, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Calculate the item's actual weight and the volumetric equivalent of its actual weight.
  2. Take the greater of these two numbers.
  3. Refer to our price sheets and find the base price associated with that number.

How to cube an item and calculate the volumetric equivalent of its actual weight

Step 1: Measure the item's dimensions

Measure your item's length, width and height where these dimensions are greatest. Measure items of irregular shape in the same manner.

Your item's largest dimensions are the dimensions of the smallest box within which the item can be contained.

Step 2: Cube the item

Calculate the item's cube by multiplying its length, width and height, as measured in step 1.

Your item's cube, or cubic volume, is the amount of space it occupies as if it were contained in the smallest box referred to in step 1.

Step 3: Calculate the volumetric equivalent of the item's actual weight

Calculate the item's volumetric equivalent of its actual weight by dividing its cube, or cubic volume, as measured in step 2 by a density factor.

The formula we use to calculate the volumetric equivalent of the item's actual weight is

Cubic volume ÷ density factor = volumetric equivalent actual weight.

The density factor is a number that reflects the fact that items weighing a certain amount are generally of a certain size or volume:

  • We apply a density factor of 5,000 to Priority, Xpresspost and Expedited services, as well as all U.S. and international services (excluding Tracked Packet and Small Packet)
  • We apply a density factor of 6,000 for the Regular Parcel service
NOTE:
Volumetric equivalent of actual weight is not a unit of measure, a mass or a volume. It is a tool developed according to an industry standard of typical parcel densities that help to calculate a more accurate shipping price for an item's weight and the space it occupies in a truck or an airplane.

Example 1

An item measures 100 cm x 60 cm x 20 cm with an actual weight of 8 kg. Based on the parcel's dimensions, its volume is 120,000 cm3. If it were shipped using Xpresspost service, a density factor of 5,000 would apply resulting in a volumetric equivalent of actual weight of 24.

Because the volumetric equivalent of actual weight of 24 is greater than the actual weight of 8 kg, the correct shipping charge is based on volumetric equivalent of 24.

Example 2

An item measures 100 cm x 60 cm x 20 cm with an actual weight of 26 kg. Based on the parcel's dimensions, its volume is 120,000 cm3. If it were shipped using Regular Parcel service, a density factor of 6,000 would apply resulting in a volumetric equivalent of actual weight of 20.

Because the actual weight is greater than the volumetric equivalent of actual weight, the correct shipping charge is based on actual weight of 26 kg.

5

Prepare the Documentation

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Proper shipping labels must be applied to the item and completed Order documentation (i.e. Manifest, Bill of Lading) must accompany the item. All shipping labels should be produced according to Canada Post’s manufacturing specifications and should be compliant at all times. These specifications exist to ensure that barcodes can be scanned and that items can be processed using our mechanized sorting equipment.

Some services do not require labels or documentation. For more information, consult the appropriate service in the Canada Postal Guide, if mailing outside of Canada, see International Destination Listing and Customs Requirements.

NOTE:
For contract customers, refer to the appropriate Customer Guide at canadapost.ca/postalservices.

5.1

Affixing the shipping label to your item

  • The shipping label must be visible and affixed flat and wrinkle-free to the largest side of the item; it must not wrap around the edges of the item or be applied in any manner that makes it difficult to scan the barcode. For more examples, visit canadapost.ca/shippinglabels
NOTE:
For items smaller than the shipping label, wrapping the label around the edges is acceptable as long as both, the barcode and address section are applied flat and do not wrap.
  • Avoid placing the label over a seam or box closure
  • Do not cover the label with strapping or reflective material such as tape
  • For prepaid products specifically, ensure labels are applied straight, flat and wrinkle-free within the area indicated at on the back of the envelope
  • Labels for cylindrical tubes must be affixed lengthwise so that the sides of the barcode point towards the ends of the tube in order to facilitate barcode scanning. The delivery guarantee does not apply to cylindrical mailing tubes. The use of triangular or rectangular mailing tubes is highly recommended.

5.1.1

Barcoded shipping labels

Customers using Ship-in-a-click™ can print their own shipping label. Otherwise customers must bring their items to the post office to obtain a barcoded shipping label.

Affix the address shipping label to the item, ensuring that all the following requirements are met:

  • the label must be affixed flat to the largest side of the item so as to ensure the barcode can be easily scanned
  • the label must not be covered with reflective material (i.e. tape) and must not be folded over an edge of the parcel
  • the label and if applicable other shipping documentation can be inserted into a plastic pouch (labelope)
  • barcode must be of good quality so that it can be read by postal equipment.
NOTE 1:
Labelopes can be obtained by contacting Customer Service 1-888-550-6333.
2:
A Business Reply Mail address must not be used for Parcel services.
3:
Only Canada Post approved barcoded shipping labels are acceptable for Parcel shipments. Approved barcoded labels can be ordered through the online Business Centre at canadapost.ca/obc or by calling Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333.

5.1.2

Order (Bill of Lading)

Orders (Bills of Lading) are available only with overprinted customer information by calling Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333. When using a domestic Bill of Lading, it is not necessary to use a Manifest or a shipping label, as a shipping label and Bill of Lading are one and the same.

Visit canadapost.ca/domesticbol for detailed instructions on how to complete an Order (Bill of Lading).

5.1.3

Additional documentation

Additional documentation for contract customers and Solutions for Small Business cardholders.

5.1.3.1
Order (Manifest)

Customers must prepare an Order (Manifest or Bill of Lading), except when using EST online version. Shipping information can be created and transmitted using EST. The customer number and the agreement number are required on all Orders. For prepaid products, a Manifest is not required unless the quantity shipped is to be considered for the customer’s scheduled pickup weekly volume, or if additional options are selected.

Customers may prepare an Order electronically, using EST, Snap Ship, an approved shipping system developed by a third-party or one that is developed by a customer or manually using a hard copy Order provided by Canada Post. Customers who electronically submit a Manifest and apply a Canada Post readable barcode to their mail items can benefit from a discount. Also, items (other than Priority™) processed with the online version of EST only, may be deposited into a street letter box if they fit. The shipping label generated by the online version of EST acts as the Manifest and will indicate “NO MANIFEST REQUIRED”. Therefore these shipping labels allow for street letter box deposit for specific products.

Two printed copies of the Order (Manifest) prepared electronically, or the original of a manually prepared Order (Manifest or Bill of Lading), must be provided with every parcel Order at the time of induction (pickup or deposit) to an authorized Canada Post representative at a postal facility approved by Canada Post or to an authorized Canada Post driver for customers who have scheduled pickup. All items on an Order form are subject to weight, volumetric equivalent of actual weight, quantity, product type and service option verification by Canada Post and will be adjusted as necessary. Mailings will only be accepted once proper documentation is completed and provided.

Order (Bulk Manifest)
The Bulk Manifest (33-086-565) can be used for:

  • prepaid products with options
  • U.S.A. and International items.

For prepaid products, enter the total quantity shipped in box J of the Bulk Manifest.

Bulk Manifest cannot be used for COD items.

For detailed instructions on how to complete a Bulk Manifest, visit canadapost.ca/bulkmanifest.

5.2

Customs documentation

All mail containing merchandise destined for outside of Canada must have a Customs Declaration form (see Section 1 of Customs Requirements. The Customs Declaration forms part of the Canada Post shipping label and also includes the address and sender names and addresses.

6

Pay for the Item

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The methods of payment are indicated by the service used. Refer to the appropriate service.

NOTE:
For contract customers, refer to the appropriate Customer Guide at canadapost.ca/postalservices under the “Paying and Terms” module.

7

Deposit the Item

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Items may be deposited as indicated by the service used. Refer to the appropriate service.

NOTE:
For contract customers, refer to the appropriate Customer Guide at canadapost.ca/postalservices under the “Depositing” module.
 



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Customer Service Glossary General Terms and Conditions Canada Post Corporation Act and Regulations