Thursday 11 November 2021

New Machin - reprint of underused 2nd class datamatrix business sheet

When the innovative 2nd class business sheet stamp with datamatrix code was issued on 23 March Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: 

'This initiative will see Royal Mail become one of the first postal authorities in the world to add unique barcodes to stamps. By doing this, we are looking to transform the humble stamp so that we can offer our customers even more convenient, new services in the future.

2nd class definitive with datamatrix code from business sheet 2021.


The sheets in this trial have only been supplied through Royal Mail's website and that of Viking DirectSo far we have had no reports of any being used commercially other than by stamp dealers and collectors, so quite how this trial is going for Royal Mail is anybody's guess.

Nonetheless we have a report that a recent purchase from Viking has the year code M21L rather than the original M20L.  We don't have a picture confirming that yet, but

Apologies for the earlier error - these never were printed with M20L code.  I must be getting old, losing track of what happened earlier this year.   The original ones were printed in 2010, this is probably the first of the new year.

This may not be the only reprint, and I'll be interested to report a list of dates; the interpreted datamatrix code shows a printing date of 040121:

QR-code reader interpretation of M21L 2nd class business sheet suggesting printing date of 04/01/21. 

And if anybody can show one of ANY of these stamps, old or new, on commerical usage cover, we will be delighted to show it!  Evidence of date and user is required.

UPDATE 15 November.  Our original supplies were dated 231120; LP has now reported 211120 which is surprising as I don't think anybody else has reported a pre-23rd date.  Image awaited.


  1. This Stamp when issued on 23/03/2021, and had the year code M21L. The only thing that has apparently changed is the date interpreted on the datamatrix code as the printing date. It never had M20L in the iridescent background. This is just a reprint.

    1. Thank you Chris; brain freeze time. I've amended the posting above.

  2. Hi Ian/John - Bill Pipe used one with M21L in his most recent catalogue mail out to me, can email you a picture I've captured on my phone where the light angle shows the code if you tell me which email to send to? Jeremy

  3. My SBP2i copy shows a print date of 02/11/2020:

    JGB S11231017031044363180006602112001

    My SBP2u copy shows 23/11/2020 as reported elsewhere.

    Incidentally, the MBPC listings also show these dates (together with 04/01/2021 as reported above).

    All this of course assumes that we are interpreting the code correctly.



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