Undeliverable Mail

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Last updated: 2015-01-12


What Is Undeliverable Mail?

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Undeliverable Mail is mail that, for any cause, cannot be delivered to the addressee.


When is mail considered undeliverable?

Mail is considered undeliverable if:

  • it does not display a complete and valid address
  • it is addressed to a non-existent address
  • the addressee has moved without providing a Mail Forwarding request or the request has expired
  • it is refused by the addressee
  • it is refused by the addressee, bears a return address, and is refused by the sender
  • the addressee refuses to pay postage due charges
  • it is prohibited by law
  • it is an item found loose in the mail
  • it is an empty wrapper or carton.

Contract customers must consult their Customer Guide at canadapost.ca/customerguides to obtain detailed information on when mail will be treated as undeliverable for a particular service.


What happens to undeliverable mail?

Each item will be opened and if it is determined that the item:

  • has no obvious value, it will be destroyed
  • contains merchandise with value and a forwarding address can be found, the item will be priced as required and forwarded to either the sender or addressee. If an address cannot be found, the item will be sold (or otherwise disposed of) by Canada Post and the proceeds deposited to the credit of Canada Post
  • contains cash, the money will be deposited to the credit of Canada Post. If a forwarding address can be found, the cash will be converted to a postal Money Order, the item will be priced as required and forwarded to either the sender or addressee
  • has contents that are prohibited by law, the item will be disposed of or turned over to the appropriate policing agency.

Undeliverable items that originate in the United States or other countries will be returned to the Undeliverable Mail Office of the country of origin.

All customer enquiries concerning undeliverable mail must be directed to Customer Service at 1-800-267-1177.


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