"Postage Paid Stationery - Symbol Policy and Procedure
"PPI designs which are used on official stationery are not valid if cut out or detached from the cover, label or form on which they are printed. Similarly any post paid design, without a monetary value if cut out or detached from the stationery for which it is intended, is not valid for postage.
"Any item found to have been posted in this manner from 1 August 2012 will be subject to our revenue protection process and will be pulled from the mail stream and a fee assigned to the item for collection at the local Delivery Office in the form of a surcharge."
When I originally drafted this blog entry I decided that there was a certain ambiguity in the announcement. So I checked with Royal Mail and have been told that:
“No Cut-outs are valid for postage, Revenue Protection teams are instructed to take such items aside and surcharge as appropriate”.
Which isn't anything like the same thing. The original statement says "without a monetary value"; the 'clarification' says something quiet different.
We all make mistakes, but if you are going to make what amounts to a definitive policy change statement, it makes sense to double-check that it says what you mean it to say, and to get it right!
We will, of course, be interested to see any surcharged - or indeed unsurcharged - mail which bears cut-outs. I have some old 3p postcards which I might use, in their entirety, on a larger item. Not a cut-out, so should be OK.