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Documentation

You must:

  • Apply proper shipping labels to the item
  • Include complete order documentation (manifest, bill of lading) with the item

You should produce all shipping labels according to our manufacturing specifications. Labels must be compliant with our specifications. These specifications exist to make sure that we can scan barcodes and that we can process items using our mechanized sorting equipment.

Some services don’t need labels or documentation. For more information, consult the proper service in the Canada Postal Guide. If mailing outside of Canada, see our International destination listing tool and Customs requirements

Please note: If you have a standing contract with Canada Post, you should also refer to the Terms and Conditions of your contract. 

Affixing the shipping label to your item

The shipping label must be visible and affixed flat and wrinkle-free to the largest side of the item.

You must not wrap the shipping label around the edges of the item or apply it in any manner that makes it difficult to scan the barcode.

For more examples, see How to use our shipping labels.

Please note:

  • For items smaller than the shipping label, wrapping the label around the edges is acceptable as long as you apply both the barcode and address section flat and they don’t wrap.
  • Avoid placing the label over a seam or box closure.
  • Don’t cover the label with strapping or reflective material such as tape.
  • For prepaid products specifically, make sure you apply labels straight, flat, and wrinkle-free in the area shown on the back of the envelope.
  • You must affix labels for cylindrical tubes lengthwise so that the sides of the barcode point towards the ends of the tube. This is to help with barcode scanning. The delivery guarantee doesn’t apply to cylindrical mailing tubes. We highly recommend the use of triangular or rectangular mailing tubes.
  • When using our manual labels, make sure that no stickers or markings are on the 2D barcodes found in the corners of the “To” section. This could prevent our equipment from reading them properly. You must also remove the tear-away customer receipt.

Barcoded shipping labels

You can print your own shipping label (if you use an online shipping tool or shipping system) or bring your item to the post office to get a barcoded shipping label.

Alternatively, we offer barcoded prepaid envelopes and flat rate boxes that can be purchased online or at a post office.

Affix the shipping label to the item, ensuring that:

  • You apply the label to the item as described in the section above
  • The label isn’t covered with reflective material (tape)
  • The barcode is of good quality so that postal equipment can read it

Please note:

  • You can insert the label (and if applicable other shipping documentation) into a plastic pouch (labelope). You can get labelopes by contacting Customer Service 1-866-607-6301. Fees may apply.
  • You must not use a Business Reply Mail™ address for Parcel services.
  • We only accept Canada Post approved barcoded shipping labels for Parcel shipments. You can order approved barcoded labels through the Online Business Centre or by calling Customer Service at 1-866-607-6301.

Order (bill of lading)

Bills of lading are only available with overprinted customer information by calling Customer Service at 1-866-607-6301. Domestic bills of lading aren’t needed when using manifests and shipping labels. You must deposit an item with a bill of lading at a retail post office or commercial deposit centre.

See How to complete a bill of lading (BOL) for detailed instructions on how to complete an order (bill of lading).

Additional documentation

Additional documentation for contract customers and Solutions for Small Business cardholders:

Order (manifest)

You must prepare an order (manifest or bill of lading), unless you use EST online. You can create shipping information and send it using EST. We need your customer number and the agreement number on all orders. For prepaid products, a manifest isn’t needed unless the quantity shipped is to be considered for your scheduled pickup weekly volume, or if you select additional options.

You may prepare an order electronically using:

  • Electronic Shipping Tools (EST)
  • Snap Ship
  • An approved shipping system developed by a third-party
  • A shipping system you develop
  • Manually using a hard copy order provided by us

Also, you may deposit items (other than Priority™) processed with online shipping tools into a street letter box if they fit. The shipping label generated by the online shipping tools acts as the manifest and will indicate “NO MANIFEST REQUIRED”. So, these shipping labels may allow for street letter box deposit for specific products.

You must provide two printed copies of the order (manifest) prepared electronically, or the original of a manually prepared order (manifest or bill of lading).

You must provide these with every parcel order at the time of induction (pickup or deposit) to either an authorized Canada Post:

  • Representative at a postal facility approved by us

    or

  • Driver for customers who have scheduled pickup

All items on an order form are subject to verification by us. 

This includes verification of:

  • Weight
  • Volumetric equivalent of actual weight
  • Quantity
  • Product type

If you don’t complete and submit all the documents we require for a shipment, or if the documents are incorrect or incomplete for any reason, the items of the shipment may, at our discretion, be:

  • Returned to you at your expense to make them compliant
  • Processed and charged at the next or most appropriate product or service category, where available, and/or made subject to an additional administrative surcharge
  • Refused for shipping

Order (bulk manifest)

You can use the bulk manifest (33-086-565) for:

  • Prepaid products with options
  • U.S. and International items

For prepaid products, enter the total quantity shipped in box J of the bulk manifest.

You can’t use bulk manifest for COD items.

Customs documentation

All mail containing merchandise destined for outside of Canada must have a customs declaration form. The customs declaration forms part of the Canada Post shipping label and also includes the address and sender names and addresses.