Wednesday 5 October 2011

Horizon Label Codes September 2011

There's not much detail about the new reasons for the new coding on Horizon labels yet. There is an extra letter after the Royal Mail line, and an extra number after the Postage Paid line.  The following noted so far:

Airmail (within the EU) International Signed for - Royal Mail h / Postage Paid 4
Special Delivery between 2kg - 10kg (ie £22.70 rate) - Royal Mail y / Postage Paid 4
Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed* (ie £9.24 rate) - Royal Mail y / Postage Paid 6

1st Class Recorded Letter 1L Royal Mail b    Postage Paid 4
1st Class Recorded Packet in 251-500g price band (£3.25)- Royal Mail.d / POSTAGE PAID UK.4
1st Class Packet (£1.96 or £2.48) - Royal Mail d / Postage Paid 4
1st Class Large Letter (£1.46) - Royal Mail c / Postage Paid
2nd Class Packet - Royal Mail g / Postage Paid
2nd Class Packet (101-250g) - £1.72 - Royal Mail.g / Postage Paid UK  4
2nd Class Packet (501-750g) Recorded - £3.38 - Royal Mail.g / Postage Paid UK 4
If there is any pattern at all it is that, as far as I know, all the above except SDSG* are exempt from VAT, so that maybe code 4.  Saturday Guaranteed SD is standard rated for VAT (which might explain code 6). 
The alpha code doesn't change according to the weight, and is unaffected by the recorded signed for option.

Please let us know what codes you get on the labels! - ian at

Thanks to Sam (1st 1PK rsf), Jon (1PK, 1LL), Mike (1L rsf), Melvyn (2PK), and Chris (2PK and 2PK rsf) for their reports.


  1. 1st character maps to the indicia, second to the VAT rate/carrier.

  2. There is now a comprehensive article about this at Brian's site

    At first sight, the codes seem incredibly over-complex.

    The service code seems wholly redundant as there is already a service code (for example SD for Special Delivery) on the label. The two sets of codes seem to match one for one.

    If the purpose is to account for the amount of VAT, the second code seems excessively obscure and complex too. Why not just add a line to the label saying "includes £x.xx VAT" and do away with both codes?

    I expect I'm missing the point ...

  3. Thanks Ian, I glimpsed Brian's in passing but didn't study it while I've been away.

    Does seem odd if what you say is all there is to it.


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