APO Address

I am in the U.S. and have specified foreign only. I received an address to send a card to an APO address as follows: APO, AE 09606-0027 USA. That is U.S forces in Africa. As you can see, USA is stated as the country.

Unlike U.S. possessions like Puerto Rico, APO AE is not listed on the Postcrossing list of country codes. And an APO is not a specific geographical area like a U.S. possession. It is a military convention to conceal the actual geographic location of the service member. I inquired of Postcrossing contact why I would receive such an address but got no response. So what is the explanation.

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How long ago did you send the message? The staff is small, so it migt take some time to get an answer. But I’m sure @meiadeleite or @paulo or someone else will answer you.


Without knowing the account, I imagine it is because the account is marked as being in Africa, which it is, but the address is in the US because the Army forwards it. They may have been given special permission to do it this way, as they really are in Africa, but are not allowed to give out any local address.


Well, I guess as their location is in Africa, they are listed with that country even if their mail is to an US base and forwarded by USPS. Technically it’s not within the same country (as Postcrossing defines it).

Look at the profile of that person and see what ISO code the outgoing cards have. I bet it’s not US-xxx


I think it would be a lovely thing to send a card to someone serving so far away from home. And I would hate to think they would miss the opportunity to receive cards. I hope you are still planning to send them a card, even if the address is confusing.


Two things wrong with this suggestion: If you draw an address, you should send a card, and you’re not allowed to share people’s addresses with other people.

I don’t really see the problem here, anyway. It’s not like the other person gets your address, unless you give it to them, so just send the card! They’re not gonna show up on your doorstep.


In fact, one of the reasons that we are allowed to choose to not send to our own country, is security: some people might feel uncomfortable that someone in their country has their address.
As I understand it, this recipient is in the army and physically somewhere in the world, but the card gets sent to somewhere in the USA to be forwarded ? (I’ve never heard of APO but this I gathered from messages in this thread). So I guess that would be why it’s not considered same country? Interesting case though.

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It not a US address.

You drew an address, you are required to send a postcard.


I also have a APO but live in the UK. I actually live off base in England, but all of my mail goes to the APO. Therefore my flag is set as living in the UK. It could be the same situation. Either way, I’m not sure why you’d be upset to send to the “US” - it’s cheaper for you anyway :woman_shrugging:t3:


Why aren’t you just happy to receive an address in Africa, but you only have to pay demotic postage for your card which will (most likely) be reliably delivered?

In my years in postcrossing, I have seen only very few APO profiles. Users are registered in the country they currently live in, but they can only receive mail over the base and therefore have the US address.


@elikoa APOs are actually really cool! We have a United States Post Office on the military base, so all “APO” mail is sent directly to that office, which is why it’s a “US address”! We can also buy US stamps, and mail packages from there just like a “normal” post office in the states!


The addressee is not an African nor an ex pat living in Africa. Why are you trying to change the subject from what I posted?

I know I “drew the address.” It is not a county code listed in Postcrossing. It IS a U.S. address. It has a U.S. zip code and a USA in the address. What part of that don’t people understand?

You will likely not face this situation again for a very long time, if ever. My advice is to just send it and move on.


Hey! Military vet here. I had an APO (APO for Army and Air Force) address when I lived in Okinawa, Japan. My APO address read “APO AP” -Army Post Office Armed Forces Pacific.
The reason for the APO address is not always to conceal the location of the service member. When a US base is in a foreign country, that base is considered “US Territory”. Therefore, the address wouldn’t have the country- but instead would have the APO/FPO etc. depending on base. You’ll also see an abbreviation for the location- in your case “AE” which is the area of the world the base resides (AE being Europe). It is still travelling to/from those countries, however, it is being sent to/from a US territory within that country. Also- postage should be cheaper and more than likely the person you are sending to may not actually have a physical address as they probably live in dorms and would have to pick up their mail from the APO regardless.


I am asking for an explanation, and my question is legitimate.

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People in this thread do understand that. But the person is physically in another country, it is registered in that country by Postcrossing, not in the US. Therefore “Same country” does not apply, even if the address is somehow US. It’s not that complicated…

I looked up the APO code and it’s Sicily, Italy (doesn’t matter if it’s the real one or not… just using it as an example). When the person uses Postcrossing, the member will be located in Italy, not in the US. So it is an “Italian Postcrosser”, sending with IT-xxx ID, regardless of it being an APO address. It’s still in Italy.


In my opinion it’s not a glitch. If that person for example lives in Italy and is receiving their mail via APO it’s still not a domestic US address because the addressee is logged in in Italy.
Not too complicated, isn’t it :blush:


I don’t see why these recipients aren’t the same as “expats” living and working in another country?


No, I don’t think so. The location of an user is determined by the country they’re registered in and not by the address.

You receive an address and you send a card to that address afterwards. It’s that simple.