Customers can help with mail

Christmas is the time of year most people are looking for mail and the Cayman Islands Postal Service would like for customers to help us to help you in reducing the return to sender issues, especially this time of year.

“Expectations are high this time of year and as such CIPS would like to remind the community that every line on your address is important to local or international postal administrations,” Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said.

“By following correct mail-addressing procedures, you can assist the Cayman Islands Postal Service to cut down on the returned to sender mail,” she said.

The main cause for return-to-sender mail is using street addresses instead of post office box numbers, Ms Glasgow said.

She also noted that customers use the wrong postcode for the addressee. “Your postcode is, in all likelihood, different from the postcode of the person to whom you’re sending mail,” she said. “So before addressing the envelope, check to make sure you’re using the correct postcode. If it’s incorrect, we have to return it to you.”

The correct way to address local mail is:

Snow Smith

P.O. Box 1340

Grand Cayman KY1-1503

If the mail is coming from overseas, it should be:

Snow Smith

P.O. Box 1340

Grand Cayman KY1-1503


To make sure your mail is correctly addressed, start with the last line – the country of destination. While it is not important to include “CAYMAN ISLANDS” on local mail, it is important to tell your overseas family, friends and business associates to have “CAYMAN ISLANDS” – in capital letters – on the mail they are sending to you. The reason for this is that most of the world’s mail is sorted by machines.

Another important note is that British West Indies has not existed geographically for many years. “Mail with this prefix could be delivered anywhere, and that means delays,” Ms Glasgow pointed out.

The next line of the address should be the name of the island and postcode. The Cayman Islands has three island designates: ‘KY1” for Grand Cayman; “KY2” for Cayman Brac; and “KY3” for Little Cayman.

Ms Glasgow said the four-digit number following the “KY” designator – for example, “KY1-1000” – signifies the Airport Post Office. The CIPS has 15 post offices and the four-digit number specifies the correct section, in the correct post office. “It is also important to stress that only two post offices, Airport and Seven Mile Beach, have unique numbering systems. Hence the reason for either a postcode or a suffix that matches the post box number and post office,” Ms Glasgow said.

The third lineup on the envelope or mailing label should be the post-office box number, because CIPS’s delivery system is to post-office boxes only. The Cayman Islands does not have home delivery. If there is no post office box, then the item will be “returned to sender.”

Members of the public are reminded to educate their families, friends and business associates overseas or locally on CIPS’ correct format for addressing mail. For more information, call 949-2474; log onto and click on the addressing guide; or drop by any district post office for an addressing guide and postcode chart.

Customers can help

If a customer finds a piece of mail in his or her box that has the correct box number, but is addressed to a person who does not receive mail at that box, that customer should write on the envelope “unknown” or “not at this box,” and return it to the counter personnel.

Savannah and Seven Mile Beach Post Office have special mail drops – “Oops not mine,” to which customers can drop misdirected mail.

Alternatively – although this is not encouraged – you can write clearly on the envelope what is wrong with the piece of mail (such as “unknown addressee”) and throw the item through your mail box (it will land on the floor of the mailroom).

Remember, as long as a piece of mail has the post office box number on it, CIPS must, by law, put it in that box. It is against the law to throw away mail.

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