UPU EAD App makes postal data exchange easy, secure & affordable

Stéphane Herrmann and Nelson Centeio

During their transformation from a network distributing correspondence (letters) to a network distributing goods (parcels and small packets), Posts are facing increased competition and smaller profit margins. The exchange of data is critical to maintaining a competitive quality of service; however, electronic advance data (EAD) compliance can be costly. UPU is working to facilitate that data exchange in an efficient yet affordable way through its EAD Customs Declaration Mobile App.

The key to EAD compliance is collecting good quality data and submitting it to an item’s destination Post as soon as possible. However, organizing this data in an efficient, secure and cost-effective way can be challenging for the Post of origin. For this reason, the UPU’s Postal Technology Centre (PTC), which manages and coordinates the UPU’s telematics and technological activities, has developed a number of tools available to help posts capture and transfer reliable, quality data to partners across the postal network.

One of the latest technologies developed by the PTC is the EAD Customs Declaration App, which is available through the Apple and Google Play stores and provides postal customers and MSMEs an easy means to input any Customs information related to their postal item before sending. This then helps ensure the Post can capture all required data to ensure timely Customs clearance.

The process is simple: when the customer hands over the mail item to the Post of origin, the Post can call the draft directly from the CDS database, or scan the QR code on the mobile device of the sender, and retrieve all information for validation before sending.

The benefits of using the App are evident across the supply chain. Having an application right in the palm of their hand saves the customer precious time when depositing their item at the post office. The sending Post also minimizes time spent with each customer in order to key in the necessary data. As a result, Customs receives good quality data monitored and validated within the App itself.

With the App and the other technical tools provided by the PTC, Posts can better organize to reduce their compliance costs. In addition, such technologies contribute to modernizing and digitizing the full postal supply chain from end to end, offering to customers an experience that is competitive with other logistics networks.

In addition to this, it also ensures that data is safeguarded through the PTC’s secured Post*Net network. With the EAD App, Posts and their customers can be sure that their personal data is protected from end-to-end.

These benefits were recently recognized by the World Summit on the Information Society, which awarded the App as a champion project during its 2022 conference in Geneva.

A postal perspective: Correios Cabo Verde

The EAD Customs Declaration Mobile App helps post offices in the process of digital transformation and diversification, like Correios Cabo Verde, transform their operational models and processes, as well as helping them develop a new way of interacting with their customers.

According to our experience, the EAD App has helped optimize the end-to-end digital supply chain process, improve partner relationship management and increase the effectiveness of our service. It has also helped us implement paperless transactions between the Post and Customs, increase transparency by ensuring all items are handled the same way, and given us more control throughout the shipping process. This digital tool has also helped us improve our enforcement of and reduction of tax evasion as all transactions are recorded digitally. This digital mechanism has also led to cost reductions and improved our statistics.

We cannot forget another crucial benefit of implementing this App: security. The EAD App has helped to prevent security gaps, ensuring a secure postal supply chain through built-in mechanisms that help control prohibited and restricted goods before they enter the postal stream.

The App is a great contribution to the development of e-commerce worldwide.

See how Correios Cabo Verde is using the UPU’s EAD

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