Wednesday 4 September 2019

Discontinuation of Royal Mail Signed For orange flash label for bulk mailers

Whilst this will not affect us - as far as we know - you may notice in future that you are asked to sign for parcels which do not have the traditional 'signed for' label.

According to Chris Dawson on Tamebay:
From the end of September, we’ll start to see the end of orange Signed For labels on our letters and parcels. Royal Mail are to discontinue the Orange Flash labels for Royal Mail Signed For 24 and Royal Mail 48 items.
We are already seeing a significant reduction in use of the labels for two reasons. Firstly with the growth of Royal Mail’s Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 product sets there has been an overall reduction in the number of Royal Mail Signed For items. Secondly, if you print labels with the Signed For service rather than a Signed For sticker the service will be often be incorporated into the postage label.
With the modernisation of Royal Mail seeing the tracking number for Signed for items incorporated into shipping labels, all the orange flash label really does is to be a visual indicator for Posties and consumers that this is an important item. The reality is that with 80,000 handsets rolled out to Posties, they’ll not only be prompted to collect a signature but will collect it electronically and in today’s world the visual reminder is no longer as important.
Royal Mail will be removing the need to use the orange Royal Mail Signed For label from their Terms & Conditions on the 30th of September 2019 and removing the need for customers to apply it when using Royal Mail Signed For as an add-on to Royal Mail 24 and 48. This should help to save you time in parcel preparation and save a few trees in the process. As well as the carbon footprint reduction, eliminating the orange flash stickers will also reduce the cost of production and distribution from the postage service.

I don't expect any change for non-business customers posting at Post Office counters although the production of the special Signed For NVI stamps may be reduced as more mail items are sent using other methods.

Did you know that if you send a parcel or large letter (over 100g I think) and pay all or part of the postage in cash with a Horizon label added, you can check delivery (but not progress) on Royal Mail's Track & Trace webpage?  For any item with a 2D barcode such as that shown below, your receipt will have a reference number - note that all 0 are zero.  Dashes are not entered, just the 16-digit number/letter string.  Thus you have proof of delivery, although not a signature.  I believe this also applies to items posted at a branch SSK which also have the 2D barcode (below right).


  1. If you post a ‘signed for’ letter in a post office you may get a Horizon label regardless of weight (especially in ‘Locals’) if they don’t or aren’t allowed to hold ‘signed for’ stamps.

    Letters posted using a Self Service Kiosks above 100g get these details applied on the receipt. Letters that are under 100g get the P&G size labels with the first part of the postcode printed on it, could that be replace with a 2D barcode?

    1. Only Large Letters and Parcels are required to have a 2D barcode so that they can be scanned on delivery. They don't need a signature although one may be asked for, and of course must be for RMSF & SD of course.

      I'm not sure whether under 100gr signed for letters (not large letters) would get a Horizon label. It never used to be possible for < 100g items to have Horizon labels.

    2. Ian,
      I'm not sure but think that in those Post Offices that no longer stock 'make up' stamps Horizon labels are used instead and so could be for any service or weight and for just a few pence.

    3. Ian,
      I'm not sure but think that in those Post Offices that no longer stock 'make up' stamps Horizon labels are used instead and so could be for any service or weight and for just a few pence.

    4. The discontinuation of the Orange Flash labels for Royal Mail Signed For reminds me that several years ago Amazon got dispensation for the Blue and Silver Special Delivery identification and that risked a signature not being obtained which is a serious matter for that service.


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