I use a virtual mail box in the USA and I need to have them forward a letter to me on the Island of Saba in the Caribbean. It's part of the Netherlands. What country name should I use so the US Postal Service sends it to the right place? If I say "Netherlands," I'm afraid it'll get mis-sent to Europe, but Saba isn't a country. I've seen several different answers online (Dutch Antillies, Netherlands Caribbean, others) but I can't figure out what the official one would be for the USPS

1 Answer 1


The USPS advises you to address such mail to the "country" of "Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba". So you should probably address your mail as something like:

Mx. X.
[local street or box number]

The current pandemic is making worldwide logistics troublesome, and this is probably not a destination to which the USPS sends a lot of mail even during normal times, so it might take a bit of time for your mail to arrive, and it is even possible it gets lost entirely in the bowels of some postal office somewhere in the world. You might want to test with some non-critical correspondence if possible.

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    If the OP is mailing from the USA, following the guidelines/suggestions of USPS is key. All USPS needs to do is get it out of the country to Saba. Local post in Saba likely don't care what you put, as they don't need that information. Local post looks at the local address Jan 30, 2021 at 3:32
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    @DavidSupportsMonica I just spent more time than I should have looking on the USPS website, and all I found was "The last line of the address must show only the country name, written in full (no abbreviations) and in capital letters." I don't believe, however, that they really want the last line of the address to be UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND.
    – phoog
    Jan 30, 2021 at 19:08
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    @DavidSupportsMonica "special municipality": so that's how they're translating it. The Dutch term is openbaar lichaam, which literally means "public body." The word for municipality is different (gemeente, being I suppose a calque of French commune), but "public body" is so unspecific and liable to misunderstanding that I could never think of what to call these entities in English.
    – phoog
    Jan 30, 2021 at 19:30
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    @phoog The reference page I previously consulted is probably in the Royal Mail's webpages about formatting UK addresses. In our case, the correct address format (here anonymized) was Ms. Z, 111 Whatever St., Belfast BT6 5AH, County Antrim, UK. (We never expand "UK.") Saba turns out to be a "Special Municipality" of the Netherlands, but as mlc advises, the USPS considers it to be within the "country" of "Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba," likely a de facto local post operation. I'd address OP's letters to "Mr. X, (local address, street, or box), Saba, BONAIRE, SINT EUSTATIUS, AND SABA." Jan 30, 2021 at 19:33
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    @DavidSupportsMonica and phoog, thanks, I've expanded and clarified my answer a bit based on your feedback.
    – mlc
    Jan 30, 2021 at 20:31

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