EDI 180 - Return Merchandise Authorization

What is EDI 180? The EDI 180 document, known as the Return Merchandise Authorization and Notification, is used during the returns process between retailers and suppliers. It serves multiple purposes, including requests and authorizations for returns.

EDI Documents

EDI 180 format

This transaction set can include details such as requests for returns, shipping information, return notifications, notifications of consumer returns and authorization of returns. It’s designed to facilitate the return process, improve inventory accuracy and enhance the efficiency of communication between trading partners.

The EDI 180 format by SPS Commerce

Here’s a brief overview of the format based on the X12 Transaction Set specifications:


Beginning section

  • ISA: Interchange control header
  • GS: Functional group header
  • ST: Transaction set header
  • BGN: Beginning segment

Details section

  • RDR: Return discrepancy reason
  • PRF: Purchase order reference
  • SAC: Service, promotion, allowance or charge information (used multiple times for various charges or allowances)

Carrier & code section

  • TD1: Carrier details (quantity and weight)
  • LM: Code source information
  • LQ: Industry code

Closing section

  • SE: Transaction set trailer
  • GE: Functional group trailer
  • IEA: Interchange control trailer

How is the EDI 180 used?

The EDI 180 document is primarily used for:

Requesting and authorizing returns:
Retailers or buyers send an EDI 180 to suppliers to request permission to return merchandise. It includes reasons for the return, such as item defects or incorrect shipments.
Notification of returns:
It serves as a notification to suppliers that merchandise is being returned. This can be initiated by the buyer or in response to a supplier’s authorization.
Communication of return instructions:
The EDI 180 can include instructions for the return, including how and where to send the merchandise back.
It provides a formal record of the communication and authorization process related to returns.

Benefits of using an an EDI 180 Return Merchandise Authorization

The implementation of EDI 180 benefits the supply chain in several ways, including:



Automating the return process reduces manual paperwork and associated errors, speeding up the entire process.


It provides both parties with clear visibility into the returns process, including reasons for returns and the status of return authorizations.

Inventory management:

By quickly processing returns, companies can more accurately manage inventory levels, potentially restocking items faster or addressing quality issues.

Cost reduction:

Improved efficiency and accuracy in handling returns can lead to cost savings, from reduced labor costs to minimizing losses from unsellable returned goods.

Customer satisfaction:

A streamlined returns process can improve the customer experience, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.


In some industries or with certain trading partnerships, using an EDI 180 may be a compliance requirement, ensuring standardized communication.

Common issues regarding EDI 180

Human errors and missing fields

Do you encounter incomplete data that prevents or delays the quotation process from moving forward?

Older format issues

Some older formats of EDI (EDIFACT or IMP) were not created for humans to read and understand them, therefore catching and fixing errors can be challenging.

Automate EDI 180 with Full-Service EDI from SPS Commerce

Managing ongoing EDI tasks can be complex and time-consuming. SPS communicates directly with your trading partners to manage connectivity, setup, requirements, updates and support efforts. SPS also takes ownership of understanding your trading partner requirements and making map changes.

Full-service EDI providers like SPS Commerce deliver EDI technology and associated staffing resources responsible for customizing, optimizing and operating your EDI solution. SPS communicates directly with your trading partners to manage connectivity, setup, requirements, updates and support efforts. SPS also takes ownership of understanding your trading partner requirements and making map changes.

A full-service provider, like SPS Commerce, has an expert team that handles ongoing management of your EDI solution. The SPS team actively manages 9,000 changes from retailers each year. SPS Fulfillment proactively monitors and optimizes your solution to prevent errors and minimize data entry.

Interested in learning more about our EDI solution?

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