The IPC Harmonised Label aims to avoid the over-labelling of inbound postal items and enhance cross-border deliveries by streamlining operations. The over-labelled postal items received from origin posts are not only a waste and inefficient, but leads to the presence of multiple labels and barcodes on packets and parcels. This in turn means a lack of uniformity in the presentation of postal items on delivery, which leads to inefficiencies in the operational processes and does not contribute to a positive customer experience.

How does it work?

The IPC Harmonised Label ensures uniformity, using a set of standardised address elements, icons and layouts based on the existing standard barcode. It also aims to reduce over-labelling and facilitate delivery across various postal networks. The IPC Harmonised Labelling service enables members to print the label in an easy way.

Different variants of the IPC Harmonised Label have been designed to cover requirements concerning letter package and parcel labels, and labels with integrated postal forms CN22 or CN23 to facilitate customs clearance.


The IPC Harmonised Label was designed and developed to:

  • Enable postal operators to optimise the end-to-end processing of international letter packets and parcels
  • Provide significant improvements for e-retailers and consumers
  • Improve track and trace, quality and transit times

Components of the Harmonised Label

The IPC Harmonised Label contains the following elements:

  • Dedicated header section to include post- and product-specific information
  • Optional section to include e-seller’s specific elements (barcode, instructions, etc.) for operational needs
  • Dedicated sender and receiver section that uses standardised address data elements
  • Dedicated section to include relevant operational instructions, represented by standardised symbols
  • Dedicated section to include the UPU S10 barcode

Harmonised Labelling Service

In September 2015, IPC rolled out the Harmonised Label Service to support INTERCONNECT participants that chose not to implement the full technical capability to create the Harmonised Label in-house.

The Harmonised Labelling Service was developed as a simple printer service that translates the data elements, received through an incoming XML request, into a fully compliant Harmonised Label that is sent back as a PDF file. The service is conceived as an intelligent service that evaluates the data received and produces the correct label type with or without an optional customs form. The Harmonised Labelling Service is part of IPC’s data platform, which delivers all data services for IPC’s members and customers.

More information

To find out more about the IPC Harmonised Labelling Service, contact us at