EN 14142-1:2011

Postal services - Address databases - Part 1: Components of postal addresses

Publication date:   Sep 21, 2011

General information

99.60 Withdrawal effective   Dec 13, 2017


CEN/TC 331 Postal services

European Norm

03.240   Postal services



Language in which you want to receive the document.


This European Standard provides a dictionary of the possible ) components of postal addresses, together with examples of and constraints on their use.
This European Standard defines three hierarchical levels of postal address component:
- segments, such as addressee specification, which correspond to major logical portions of a postal address;
- constructs, such as organisation identification, which group elements within segments into units which are meaningful for human interpretation;
- elements, such as organisation name or legal status, which correspond to the lowest level of constructs, i.e. those which are not themselves made up of subordinate elements, though they may be sub-divided for technical purposes.
To cover multiple occurrences and locations of elements in an address, and to be able where necessary to work with sub-divisions of element content, the standard defines a fourth level:
- element sub-types, such as door type or door indicator, representing parts of conceptual elements, such as door, for database storage or to facilitate presentation, or representing multiple instances of conceptual elements for use in defining address element structures or templates.
NOTE The underlying point is that elements are conceptual whereas sub-types are defined to meet technical needs such as template construction, rendition requirements, accurate representation of address instances, and matching to postal database fields.
This European Standard further provides a methodology for the specification of postal address templates, which stipulate how a postal address is to be written, including the order in which postal address elements are to appear, required and optional elements, and the presentation or rendition of the elements, subject to constraints on the space available for that task. Languages suitable for human comprehension and computer processing of postal address templates are defined and described.
It also defines a number of useful terms, such as delivery address, forwarding address, mailee and mail originator. By providing a standard dictionary of postal address components, this European Standard is expected to greatly facilitate the formal description of actual address representations and the definition of procedures for mapping between them.
In practice, many address representations, whether in computer databases, in electronic messages or in printed or written form, combine several of the postal address components defined herein into single fields or lines. ) Considerable intelligence may be required in mapping between different representations, particularly where these are subject to a degree of ambiguity. )
This European Standard does not specify the length or value range of components.
This European Standard does not cover the topic of data protection. Users of this European Standard are nevertheless reminded that the storage and exchange of personal data are subject to legislation in many countries. This European Standard may be applied only to the extent that this is compliant with such legislation.

Related legislation

Legislation related to this standard


Common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service


Life cycle


EN 14142-1:2003


EN 14142-1:2011
99.60 Withdrawal effective
Dec 13, 2017


EN ISO 19160-4:2017