I am trying to import data into postgres. Data fields are comma separated, strings may contain commas, in which case those are escaped:

Data structure:

create table v (a varchar);

Data file:


Import command (run under Linux from bash)

cat data.csv | psql -d database -c "copy v (a) from stdin with delimiter ',' escape '\\' CSV header"


ERROR:  extra data after last expected column

I've been fighting and google against this problem for quite a few hours and do not understand what I am doing wrong?

2 Answers 2



cat data.csv | psql -d database -c "copy v (a) from stdin with delimiter ',' escape '\' quote '''' CSV header"

You don't need to escape the escape character when specifying it. QUOTE defaults to double-quote so you need to pass that.

  • It doesn't work for me. I don't have problem with single or doble quotes. Data already comes with some escaped commas this way \, so the COPY is not to take it as a separator. I am using ESCAPE '\' in the command line but it doesn't work.
    – Guasqueño
    Jan 5, 2023 at 14:06

I my case I made it work by removing the CSV parameter and consequently the ESCAPE '\' parameter, since the file was not really a CSV file with doble quotes. The escaping was done without me specifying any escaping parameter. The default is probably the backslash. So, my final command is like this:

psql -d mydatabase -c "\COPY myDBtable FROM 'myfile.csv' DELIMITER ',' "

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