UPU launches new Address Verification API

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has launched a new Address Verification Application Programme Interface (API) developed specifically for the postal industry and its stakeholders to ensure address data quality for trusted deliveries.


It is an easy and ready-to-incorporate solution to acquire address data at the point-of-address input and to check address data against the UPU’s worldwide POST*CODE DataBase.

The API is the result of the hard work of the UPU’s Postal Operations Directorate’s Addressing Solutions department. “In addition to checking address components against the POST*CODE DataBase, it also checks against derivative databases, such as postal addressing systems, the standardized address format description and knowledge center information, such as postcode length and postcode format,” explains Luc Hauss, Addressing Solutions manager.

The POST*CODE DataBase, which includes information from 192 member countries and 38 territories, is updated quarterly and updates are dispatched to the UPU’s licensees via a file transfer protocol platform.

The Address Verification API complements the UPU’s existing application programming interfaces, which are currently available for international address input and international address verification at postcode and locality level or both. “Twenty years of expertise have gone into developing UPU’s APIs, which incorporate the comprehensive ‘must have’ postal address file reference data,” Hauss adds.

The API uses the knowledge acquired through the development of the UPU’s S42 international postal address components and templates standard (the ISO 19160-4). “S42, which was developed with experts from the Postal Operations Council and its Addressing Group, comprises a generic list of address elements used in the UPU member countries, and a package of country-specific templates telling users how to transform address elements into an accurately formatted address,” explains Piotr Piotrowski, manager of Addressing Standards, IT and Data Products, UPU.

“In other words, a country defining its S42 templates provides precise information about its address elements and formats. This can then be incorporated into software programs to manage addresses,” Piotrowski adds.

According to Hauss, the development of the new API is a prime example of the continuation of the UPU’s Addressing Solutions activities to serve the postal sector, customers and all postal partners. “With the UPU’s current postal reference data, our users – the top 1,000 businesses worldwide, including leading software providers – will find a ready-to-use complementary solution to enhance their current services. They can access our new API or incorporate our existing API tools as a library. Furthermore, our one-stop address [email protected] also remains at their service,” he explains.

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