Service and efficiency improvements can be achieved if origin postal operators send electronic data on international postal items to destination postal operators, ahead of despatching them. This advance data can be used by the destination post for operational tracking, customs clearance, and the provision of postal services. Postal operators also need to agree on standards for, and the handling of, shared customs data. Moreover, in the context of increasingly strict data protection regulations worldwide, postal operators must comply with the latest regulations.

How does it work?

At the request of several posts to provide a multilateral framework, initially for customs data exchange, IPC launched the Data Sharing Agreement (DSA). The agreement sets the conditions related to the electronic exchange of postal service data, including:

  • Technical specifications and message standards to be used
  • Postal service data to be captured and exchanged
  • Product(s) for which data will be sent and/or received
  • Channel(s) and physical locations at which data will be captured for outbound items
  • Policy regarding the timing of creation of the electronic messages to the EDI network
  • Other details related to the electronic exchange of personal data

By signing the DSA, postal operators commit to implementing and upholding these conditions and standards.


  • Participating posts can enter into a multilateral agreement covering over 45 operators across the globe, including most leading operators, instead of having to negotiate bilateral agreements with dozens of other postal operators
  • Open to all designated postal operators
  • Full transparency as all signed documentation is shared between participants
  • Clear and formalised ITMATT standards implemented by participating post

More information

For more information about the Data Sharing Agreement, including about how to join, please contact