We report on the detection of HCO+ and 12CO emission in the rotational transition J = 1–0 in the vicinity of the shock front at the southern border of the supernova remnant RCW 103, where previous infrared observations suggest an interaction with a molecular cloud. The observations were carried out with the Australian Millimeter Radiotelescope at Mopra. We observed a depletion of HCO+ behind the supernova shock front. In addition, we studied the interstellar medium over an extended region towards RCW 103 based on archival λ 21 cm Hı line observations from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and the Parkes Telescope. No atomic gas was observed in emission in coincidence with the molecular feature. This absence was interpreted in terms of self-absorption processes.