A postal code (known in many countries like a post code, postcode, otherwise ZIP code) is a series of letters and/or digits appended to a postal address to obtain sorting mailings. Once postal codes were introduced, different applications became possible. In February 2005, 117 of the190 fellow member countries of the Universal Postal Union had postal code systems. Countries that not have national systems include Ireland and Panama. Although Hong Kong and Macau are now Special Administrative Regions of China, all maintains its own long-established postal system, which does not start using postal codes for domestic mail, and no postal codes are assigned to Hong Kong and Macau. Mail between Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China is treated as international.

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