Using BFPO addresses with BF Postcodes when sending items to British Forces based overseas

10/12/2015

British Forces are currently deployed all around the globe, engaged in a range of different operations in some challenging environments. As a result, this December, tens of thousands of our troops will be spending their Christmas overseas, away from their friends and families. Being faced with difficult and dangerous situations, far from home, places even greater significance on maintaining an important connection with the outside world and being able to buy things online such as a DVD, book or Christmas jumper, and access important services are simple ways in which organisations can help.

Through our work with the Ministry of Defence and the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) team, Royal Mail helps make ordering goods and services online easier through the supply of a BFPO address database. The database contains all overseas BFPO locations and links them to a specially created BF Postcode – similar in style to other UK Postcodes – which helps to accurately identify the location of the person placing an order and help with the routing of an item to BFPO destinations.

Many organisations already make it easy for Forces personnel and their families based abroad to shop online by using the BFPO Postcode Data in their address look-up solutions – or at least by making a manual address entry option available. As well as being altruistic, they recognise the commercial benefits and the value of goodwill. Whilst BFPO Postcode Data is not part of Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF), it can be easily extracted with it. The actual data is structured in a way that is very similar to PAF which makes it easy to incorporate into existing systems. There’s no charge for using the BFPO address database, it’s licensed on the same terms as PAF.

If you don’t currently utilise BFPO Postcode Data within your systems or solutions, speak to your PAF Solutions Providers today or download our Introduction to BFPO now and make a real difference to British troops abroad this Christmas.

Scott Childes

Data Supply Manager

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