What does Porto zahlt Empfänger mean in German? Does the envelope need a stamp?

I periodically get letters through the mail in Austria that require some type of form completing and returning.

Usually they are from the Austrian government, local Viennese authorities, or companies like the one that provides my gas and electricity.

Most of the time, I can complete the information online but, sometimes, it becomes too much hassle and I end up having to mail it.

At that point, as my German skills are still abysmal, I sometimes find myself wondering “What does Porto zahlt Empfänger mean?”

And “Do I have to put a stamp on the envelope before I shove it in the mail box or not?

If you are as clueless as I sometimes am, here is what you need to know about the term ‘Porto zahlt Empfänger‘ when it is printed on an envelope in Austria that you need to mail.

The translation for Porto zahlt Empfänger into English means ‘Postage is paid by the recipient’.

You will usually find the term printed in the box where the stamp is supposed to go (see photo above) and, no, you do not need to put a stamp on it as the company/organization you are mailing it to will pay the postage for you.

In other words, no long lines at a Vienna post office just to mail something back to Wien Energie.

Nice, eh?

About Michelle Topham

I'm a journalist, and the founder of Oh My Vienna. I have been living in Vienna since 2016 as an immigrant, because 'expat' is just a fancy word that means exactly that.