ABCs of Mailing
What Are the ABCs of Mailing
To help ensure that mail reaches its destination safely, securely and according to the service selected, customers should plan their entire mailing. Planning a mailing includes choosing an appropriate service, accurately calculating weights and measurements and supplying proper documentation. This guide includes a roster of information to help customers meet their delivery deadlines and budget parameters.
Online Shipping Applications
Canada Post has developed innovative online tools and resources to make it easier for customers to prepare, pay for and send their items.
Consumers and Solutions for Small Business cardholders
The Ship-in-a-click service allows customers to purchase and pay for Canada Post shipping services online using most major credit cards (VISA, MASTERCARD and American Express). Customers using the Ship-in-a-click service can print a shipping label from their personal computer and deposit their item in a street letter box (Priority™ must be deposited at a post office), where size permits, or at a post office. Some restrictions and conditions apply. The following services are available for purchase online:
Visit canadapost.ca/shipinaclick for more information.
Priority™ must be deposited at a post office.
eBay Online Shipping Tool™
The eBay Online Shipping tool gives eBay sellers direct access to Canada Post's shipping services and allows them to create, purchase and print shipping labels through eBay.ca. Canada Post services offered on the eBay Online Shipping tool include:
- Regular Parcel™
- Expedited Parcel™
- Xpresspost™ – USA
- Expedited Parcel™ – USA
- Tracked Packet™ – USA
- Xpresspost™ – International
- Tracked Packet™ – International
- Small Packet™ (USA and International)
Visit ebay.ca/canadapost for information on the eBay Online Shipping tool.
Canada Post Snap Ship™
Snap Ship is a simplified electronic shipping tool exclusively for Solutions for Small Business (SfSB) customers to prepare shipments and print shipping labels anywhere they have access to a printer.
Visit canadapost.ca/snapship for more information.
Contract customers and Solutions for Small Business cardholders
Electronic Shipping Tools (EST)
The EST software is free of charge and can be accessed through the Business segment of the Canada Post website at canadapost.ca/newuser. Customers must register once in the Business segment of the website to access the EST. For technical enquiries, customers can call the Technical Help Line at 1-800-277-4799.
Canada Post Web Services offer shipping solutions that are easy to integrate, customize and use from the Merchants’ website or platform. Benefits in using Canada Post Web Services include:
- Online stores and eCommerce site
Provide real-time, accurate shipping prices, choice of delivery options and visibility of shipments to the shopper right from your online website.
- Product fulfillment
Integrate with shipping information to create labels, verify for availability pickup and more, without the need to
- Customer support
Integrate estimates and tracking capabilities into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems so contact centre agents can access information and prices.
- Returns management
Enable quick and easy generation of labels for product returns and repairs to provide a hassle-free returns experience for shoppers.
Visit canadapost.ca/webservices for more information on Canada Post web services.
Steps for Mailing with Canada Post
In order to help ensure that items arrive at their final destination safely, securely and economically, refer to the specific guide for the type of service being used while keeping in mind the following checklist:
- Ensure the item is acceptable for mailing
- Package and wrap the item
- Address the item
- Shipping charges and weight
- Prepare the documentation
- Pay for the Item
- Deposit the Item
Ensure the item is acceptable for mailing
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.
Some items cannot be insured or otherwise covered for loss or damage. These items are sent at the sender’s risk. Refer to the General Terms and Conditions at canadapost.ca/generalterms
for information on liability coverage.
Items must be packaged in such a way that the scent or liquid cannot be released from its container as a result of normal postal handling. 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.
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
Package and wrap the item
Careful preparation and packaging helps ensure safe and secure delivery of items. Customers may visit canadapost.ca/shop to purchase packaging and wrapping materials.
Packing and wrapping methods may vary according to the item to be mailed. When packing your item:
- Choose an outer container (cardboard box, metal tins) that is sturdy enough to protect the item being mailed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Surround the item with cushioning material (bubble wrap, foam, paper) so that the item does not shift within the outer container.
- As sealing material, we recommend using packaging tape. Ensure to reinforce all seams with tape.
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.
- Ensure the proper shipping label for the service is used. The shipping label must be properly completed, is visible, affixed flat and wrinkle-free to the largest side of the item.
It is important to ensure that there is no confusion about the identity of the contents of packages being mailed. For example, boxes and other types of packaging 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 in a manner to cover all information that refers to restricted items or non-mailable matter.
See Non-mailable Matter
for more information.
Mailing to the U.S.A. or an International destination
The United States, among many countries, have begun the enforcement of the international phytosanitary standard for regulated wood packaging material (WPM) (e.g. crates, boxes, and pieces of wood used as supports or bracing). Most WPM must be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with the Guidelines and stamped with an approved international mark certifying that treatment. Visit the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures website at http://www.ispm15.com/start.htm for complete details.
The customer must ensure the packaging and wrapping meet all current applicable requirements of the international destination (see the International Destination Listing at canadapost.ca/internationallistings).
Suggestions for how to package and wrap items
The following suggestions are examples only and do not guarantee safe delivery of items.
Dry colouring powders, for example aniline blue, must be placed in a leak-proof metal box. This box must be placed in a strong metal, wooden or cardboard outer box and have enough absorbent material between the containers to prevent leakage of the contents.
Dry non-colouring powders must be placed in a strong durable leak-proof metal, wood or cardboard container protected to keep from moisture. This inner box must be placed in an outer container made of metal, wood or cardboard.
Fatty substances that do not easily liquefy must be put in a leak-proof bag or box (e.g. plastic) and placed in a strong outer container of wood or metal. If the item easily liquefies, package or wrap the item as a liquid or liquefiable substance.
Film containers must be strong enough to prevent loss or damage to the contents.
Latex paint and tubes of artist’s paint must be packaged according to the specifications for liquids. 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 and marking the item “MAGNETIC TAPE”.
Scented items (including samples) must be sealed to prevent the scent from escaping.
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.
Requirements for how to package and wrap specific items
Eggs (unfertilized eggs)
Eggs can be shipped within Canada using the following services: Priority, Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel. All items are mailed at the customer’s risk.
- eggs must be individually wrapped and protected, using enough cushioning material and wrapping to stop the eggs from hitting each other or the outer container
- must be 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.
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.
It is highly recommended to deposit your shipment at one of our facilities either on Monday or Tuesday.
To determine if the destination is achievable within a 3-day expectant delivery, consult the canadapost.ca/deliverytool or the Delivery Standards within the Canada Postal Guide or at a post office. Some exceptions may apply.
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 OR the destination is within the same province as the originating province (e.g.: from Rolling Hills AB - TOJ to Viking AB - T0B)
- regional - where the destination is to an adjacent province (e.g.: from Rosenorth MB - ROG to Regina SK - S4T)
Hatching eggs must not be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).
Delivery standards are subject to change without notice.
When shipping hatching eggs, the following packaging requirements must be met:
- The eggs must be individually wrapped and protected, using enough cushioning material and wrapping to stop the eggs from hitting each other or the outer container
- Must be enclosed in a clean, strong and rigid box
- 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).
Live day-old chicks
Live day-old chicks must be shipped by surface using Expedited Parcel (COD service option is not available) with the designated article number 8731 on the manual Manifest. All items are mailed at the customer’s risk.
- live day-old chicks must be free from disease
- may be mailed within Canada, from March 1st to October 31st, provided the mailer has entered into an Agreement with Canada Post (regardless of the volume shipped) prior to mailing and has met Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations including the following:
- hatcheries must be registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Hatchery Program. 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
- live day-old chicks can only be shipped if they can be delivered within 36 hours from the time of mailing
- chicks must be properly prepared for mailing (i.e., the boxes used by a hatchery for the marketing of chicks must be clean and strong, provide adequate ventilation for the chicks and have new chick box pads).
- must not be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices).
- 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 have its own address label.
Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website at inspection.gc.ca for additional information.
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.
Liquid and dry patient specimens (human or animal)
Liquid and Dry Patient Specimens are mailable within Canada through the Priority™, Xpresspost™, Expedited Parcel™, Regular Parcel™, Lettermail™ and Business Reply Mail™ services.
Customers must apply the following directives when designing their package:
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 (see International Air Transport Association [IATA] Dangerous Goods Regulations outlined in the IATA Document - Classification of Infection Substances for packaging requirements). Specimens being tested for a contagious pathogen such as HIV or the flu virus are unacceptable. Specimens that are being tested for cancer cells or something similar are acceptable. Exempt human or animal specimens must be packaged and marked according to the following:
- a leak-proof primary receptacle
- a leak-proof secondary packaging; and
- an outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use, and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm x 100 mm.
For liquids, absorbent material in sufficient quantity to absorb the entire contents must be placed between the primary receptacle and the secondary packaging.This is done so that, during transport, any release or leak of a liquid substance will not reach the outer packaging and will not compromise the integrity of the cushioning material. When multiple fragile primary receptacles are placed in a single secondary packaging, they must be either individually wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them.
The item must be marked “EXEMPT HUMAN SPECIMEN” or “EXEMPT ANIMAL SPECIMEN”, as appropriate.
If the customer wishes to determine whether their envelope/packaging meets Canada Post’s shipping guidelines, they may submit a sample of the packaging to the following address for testing:
MAIL STANDARDS AND TESTING
NATIONAL EQUIPMENT ENGINEERING
2701 RIVERSIDE DR SUITE N0625
OTTAWA ON K1A 0B1
Biological specimens that are infectious or contain pathogen cannot be mailed under any circumstances.
Live small cold-blooded non-poisonous animal specimens
Live small cold-blooded non-poisonous animal specimens are mailable within Canada between April 1st and October 31st via Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel services. All items are mailed at the customer’s risk. No coverage for loss or damages is available for this type of mail.
- live small cold-blooded non-poisonous animal specimens must be free from disease
- must not be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices)
- all shipments must be clearly identified with the notation “LIVE SMALL COLD-BLOODED NON-POISONOUS ANIMAL SPECIMEN”
- must be dropped off at a Canada Post facility
- must only be mailed if the expected delivery time is within three consecutive business days (excludes weekends and statutory holidays)
- must be less than 25 cm in size
- must not require food, water or attention during handling in the mail
- must not emit obnoxious odours (examples of accepted creatures are: worms, frogs, salamanders, lizards, snails and tadpoles)
Snakes, turtles, baby alligators and caimans are not acceptable, nor any warm-blooded animals.
Visit the Health of Animals Regulations at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for additional information.
Parasites, leeches and insects
Parasites, leeches and insects must be mailed by surface via Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel services. All items are mailed at the customer’s risk.
- parasites, leeches and insects must be free from disease
- must be mailed in safe and secure boxes
- the contents must be easily identifiable on the box
- must not 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.
Bees are mailable within Canada through Priority, Xpresspost, Expedited Parcel and Regular Parcel services. All items are mailed at the customer’s risk. No coverage for loss or damage is available for this type of mailing.
- bees must be free from disease
- must be 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
- the contents must be easily identifiable on the container
Visit the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations website at iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/live-animals/Pages/index.aspx or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website at inspection.gc.ca for additional information.
In addition, for:
Honey bees (colonies)
Honey bees (colonies) can only be shipped between March 1st and October 31st by surface using the Regular Parcel service or Expedited Parcel service.
Queen bees and their attendants
Queen bees and their attendants (maximum of eight) can only be shipped between April 1st and October 31st by Priority™ service.
- queen bees and their attendants must not be shipped to remote locations in Canada (for a list locations, see Air Stage offices)
- the contents must be easily identifiable on the container (label with “QUEEN BEES AND ATTENDANTS”)
- no honey is permitted to travel in the container with the queen bee and her attendants.
Human and animal cremated remains are permitted to be mailed provided:
- they are shipped using a trackable parcel service.
- the destination and return address information is correct and complete.
- they are packed in a sealed container (urn or otherwise) and placed inside a durable sift-proof outer container. Breakable inner receptacles must be protected with adequate packing material.
- they are 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.
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.
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.
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.
- All lithium batteries must meet conditions outlined in Schedule 2, Special Provision 34 of the Transportation 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).
Portable charging devices must follow the acceptance requirements for “Batteries on their own” in Table 1.
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
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.
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.
Shipping charges and weight
Base price of your item
The base price1 for shipping an item is set out on Canada Post price sheets available to the customer. These price sheets show the base price according to the item's Actual Weight (AW) and a corresponding Volumetric Equivalent of Actual Weight (VE). See "How to calculate the Volumetric Equivalent of Actual Weight" in this section.
It is the customer's obligation to declare an item's actual weight on the shipment order or manifest at the time of shipping. The customer may also declare the item's dimensions or its volumetric equivalent of actual weight. It is the customer's sole responsibility to ensure its declarations are accurate.
Canada Post reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to re-weigh and/or measure the dimensions and calculate the volumetric equivalent of actual weight of any item. When auditing the customer's declaration, Canada Post uses only measuring devices approved for use in trade by Measurement Canada. When an item is cubed, the dimensions provided are the dimensions of the smallest box within which the item can be contained.
Determining your Base Price and Total Shipping Charges
Canada Post determines the base price, within the prescribed weight and size limits of the specific product offering, of the greater of an item's actual weight or its volumetric equivalent of actual weight.
The base price for an item, along with charges for options selected, applicable surcharges, additional fees and taxes, comprise the total shipping charges for the item and will appear on the customer's invoice or receipt.
The invoice or receipt will set out price adjustments for all items where Canada Post charges the base price on an actual weight or on a volumetric equivalent of actual weight, other than as declared by the customer.
Where the customer makes no declaration or if its declaration is for whatever reason unusable or unavailable, Canada Post charges for a default weight of 5 kg (11 lb.).
Customers that do not complete and submit all the documents necessary for the service, when required, or if the documents submitted are not accurate, the items contained in those shipments may, at the discretion of Canada Post:
- be returned to the sender at the customer's expense, to be made compliant by the customer, where possible;
- be processed and charged at the next or most appropriate product or service category, where available;
- be subject to a surcharge; or
- be refused for mailing.
How to calculate the Volumetric Equivalent of Actual Weight (VE)
The volumetric equivalent of actual weight of an item is the item's volume divided by a density factor.
Volume ÷ Density Factor = Volumetric Equivalent Actual Weight (VE).
Volume is calculated by multiplying the item's length x width x height measured where the dimensions are greatest (as if the item fit into a box with six sides.)
A density factor of 6,000 (when measuring in cm) or 166 (when measuring in inches) is applicable to items shipped using Expedited Parcel or Regular Parcel. For Priority, Xpresspost, and all U.S. and International services (excluding Tracked Packet and Small Packet), use a density factor of 5,000 (when measuring in cm) or 139 (when measuring in inches). Using these density factors reflects Canada Post's experience that an item of these densities will weigh approximately one kilogram.
An item measuring 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 cubic centimetres. If it were shipped using Xpresspost service, a density factor of 5,000 would apply resulting in a volumetric equivalent of actual weight of 24.0.
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.
An item measuring 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 cubic centimetres. 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 20.0.
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.
Volumetric equivalent of actual weight is not a unit of measure or a mass or a volume. It is a tool developed from long industry experience of typical parcel densities that allows more accurate pricing of an item given its weight and the space it occupies in a truck or an airplane.
Prepare the documentation
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.
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
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.
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.
Labelopes can be obtained by contacting Customer Service 1-888-550-6333.
A Business Reply Mail address must not be used for Parcel services.
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.
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).
Additional documentation for contract customers and Solutions for Small Business cardholders.
Customers must prepare an Order (Manifest or Bill of Lading), except when using EST online version [see Order (Bill of Lading)]. Shipping information can be created and transmitted using EST (see Electronic Shipping Tools (EST) for more information). 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.
All mail containing merchandise destined for outside of Canada must have a Customs Declaration form (see Section 1.1.1 of Customs Requirements. The Customs Declaration forms part of the Canada Post shipping label and also includes the address and sender names and addresses.
The methods of payment are indicated by the service used. Refer to the appropriate service.
Items may be deposited as indicated by the service used. Refer to the appropriate service.