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9.1.5. Addresses in the Member States: specific characteristics

Postal codes, Eircode and country codes

The following table describes precisely the structure of the codes to be used in all Member States.

Country Postal code/
Eircode (1)
Country code Comments
Belgium 4 figures    
Bulgaria 4 figures    
Czechia 5 figures   There is a space between the third and fourth figures. There are two spaces between the postal code and the town name.
Denmark 4 figures    
Germany 5 figures   Never use a country code (D- or DE-) in front of the postal code. Doing so could lead to a delay of mail being sorted by machine.
Estonia 5 figures    
Ireland 7 alphanumeric characters (Eircode)   Add, if possible, the code for the sector in Dublin.
The Eircode must be placed on a separate line, above the country name.
Greece 5 figures   There is a space between the third and fourth figures.
Spain 5 figures   Insert the name of the province after the town name, on a separate line – see the list on the UPU websitePDF.
France 5 figures    
Croatia 5 figures HR The postal code must be preceded by ‘HR-’
Italy 5 figures   Insert the abbreviation for the province after the town name – see the list on the UPU websitePDF.
Cyprus 4 figures    
Latvia 4 figures
(to the right)
LV The postal code must be preceded by ‘LV-’. It is situated to the right of the town name, from which it is separated by a comma.
Lithuania 5 figures LT The postal code must be preceded by ‘LT-’
Luxembourg 4 figures L The postal code must be preceded by ‘L-’
Hungary 4 figures   The street name must be placed under the town name. The postal code must be placed on a separate line, above the country name.
Malta 3 letters +
4 figures
  The postal code must be placed under the town name, with a space between the letters and figures.
Netherlands 4 figures +
2 letters
  There is a space between the figures and letters. There are two spaces between the postal code and the town name.
Austria 4 figures    
Poland 5 figures   There is a hyphen between the second and third figures.
Portugal 7 figures   There is a hyphen between the fourth and fifth figures.
Romania 6 figures    
Slovenia 4 figures SI The postal code must be preceded by ‘SI-’.
Slovakia 5 figures   There is a space between the third and fourth figures.
Finland 5 figures FI The postal code must be preceded by ‘FI-’ (or by ‘AX-’ for the Åland Islands).
Sweden 5 figures SE The postal code must be preceded by ‘SE-’. There is a space between the third and fourth figures.
(1)
Unless indicated otherwise, the postal code appears to the left of the town name. It is used to define a group of addresses. On the other hand, the Eircode, launched in Ireland in July 2015, is a unique code assigned to each residential and business address.
NB:
For practical reasons (synoptism in all linguistic versions) the list is in protocol order.

Other observations

Some Member States (Belgium, Ireland, Malta and Finland) have two or more official languages that are used as working languages in the European Union institutions. (Although Cyprus has Greek and Turkish as official languages, only Greek is used as a working language in the European Union institutions.) Note that for Belgium, by virtue of an agreement with the Belgian authorities, the multilingual address format does not include the German version. For each of these Member States, two official languages are used when writing addresses in multilingual format: French and Dutch for Belgium; Irish and English for Ireland; Maltese and English for Malta; and Finnish and Swedish for Finland.

Distinct characters must be taken into account in some countries (Bulgaria, Greece/Cyprus).

The writing of addresses for a destination in one of the countries of these two groups depends on the language(s) of the publication and on whether it is a unilingual or multilingual work.

Addresses for a destination in Belgium, Ireland, Malta or Finland
Unilingual works
Works in one of the official languages of the destination country: in principle, addresses are in that language only.
Works in another language of the EU: addresses are in both official languages of the destination country (as for multilingual works).
Multilingual works

Addresses are given in both official languages of the destination country.

Addresses for a destination in Bulgaria, Greece or Cyprus
Unilingual works
Works in Bulgarian or Greek: the addresses are in the language of the publication but the town and country names are added in English.
Works in the other languages of the EU: addresses are in Roman characters (with a transliteration if necessary,e.g. of the street name).
Multilingual works

Addresses are given in Bulgarian/Greek and the town and country names are added in English. The complete address is also given in Roman characters (English transcription).

Last updated: 1.2.2020
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