Mail: what does the mention “CEDEX” mean on a postal address?

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In France, around 8.7 billion letters are exchanged each year, according to Statista data for 2019.

Every day, many French people take the direction of the post office to have their letters franked. For these to be properly routed, there are a few rules to follow on the envelope.

The address entered, written on the right, must mention the surname and first name of the recipient, or of the entity when it is a “legal person”, the number and the name of the street, postcode and city.

But sometimes, it is also necessary to add the mention “CEDEX” on the envelope. This is the case, for example, of mail-order sales exchanges, or letters addressed to certain institutions. This code, which consists of 5 digits, must be mentioned on the last line of the address, in capital letters.

But what does this curious acronym mean? CEDEX, for “Corporate Mail with Exceptional Distribution”, is often attached to a postal address, when it belongs to a company or organization that has subscribed to a specific subscription, invalidates the magazine Ça M’intrigue.

In concrete terms, this means that exchanges intended for this entity will be given priority by the postal services: the delays will generally be shorter than in normal times.

The CEDEX has been used since the end of the 1960s by La Poste.

It is sometimes accompanied by a “BP” number, for “post office box”.

The five digits of the CEDEX break down like this:

The media specifies that the CEDEX should not be confused with the CIDEX (Individual Mail with Exceptional Distribution), its equivalent for individuals.