Monday, 7 February 2022

More barcoded definitives on 4 April 2022 - probably.

Following the patchy release of the new NVI definitives with datamatrix codes on 1 February, it is expected that more will follow on or about 4 April.

The date is "provisional and subject to change" according to Royal Mail, but they plan to issue stamps for the low- and high-value make-up stamps with datamatrix codes to replace the existing ones. This means 

1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2, £3 and £5.

This will enable them to eliminate all definitives without barcodes from 2023.

There is also an implication that there will be new airmail rates, to replace the £1.70, £3.45 and £4.20 stamps issued for airmail rates on 23 December 2020. These are expected on the same day, with the rates to take effect on 11 April.

An announcement about new postage rates is expected around 3 March.

UPDATE 1 March.

Royal Mail have confirmed in the March Philatelic Bulletin that the above stamps will be issued on 4 April, along with international airmail stamps in values £1.85, £2.55, £3.25 and £4.20.  These are the existing rates, apart from the £1.85 which is an increase from £1.70.

I could mock-up some barcoded versions of these as I did the £1 above (which is why there is no printed perforation) but I'll let you use your own imaginations until the actual images arrive.

The usual presentation pack and first day cover will be produced by Royal Mail, and the stamps will be distributed to their standing order customers as usual.



16 comments:

  1. I am awaiting for Royal Mail to tell us EXACTLY what decimal definitives and Xmas, we can return for exchange to the new bar coded stamps.
    Will it be all decimal definitives and Xmas back to 1971? & Booklets etc.?

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  2. Yes waiting too. I am particularly wondering about Regional issues, Machin or otherwise. I expect it will be a bit opaque ...

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  3. I thought I would scare them a little, I have been collecting for 40 years and sent them a complete list and asked if I could exchange them all. Haven’t had a reply yet. About 7500 Machins

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  4. Steve,
    You might have prompted Royal Mail to reassess their forthcoming ‘Swap Out’ scheme resulting in it just covering the two colours of Second Class and seven of First Class NVIs rather than all Machin definitives since 1971 !

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    1. I can imagine the amount they will receive for swop out will be high. They have to do something with an increasing number of stamps appearing as “off paper” on auction sites. I wouldn’t sell mine, maybe just some duplicates I have. Interesting times ahead. With Queen Elizabeth in her later years will probably see another change soon when she hands over the reigns

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  5. I have today received information from a contact at Royal Mail Group Ltd, 185 Farringdon Road, London, EC1A 1AA.
    as follows: Dear Robert,
    Thank you for your email and allowing me the time to look into your Post & Go query.

    You may have seen information regarding the new barcoded stamps we are now introducing to take place of the current stamps. As of 31st January 2023, current stamps including Post & Go will no longer be a valid form of postage. As such, we no longer produce Post & Go stamps I’m afraid.

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    1. I had the impression from another source that Post and Go would not be affected, another thing we will have to get clarification on. One source also says that Country definitives intheir present form will be invalid.

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    2. Logically - a country definitive should be invalidated the same way as a Machin definitive; the question is will there be a barcoded replacement version? If so, will you be able to specify these when you Swap Out?

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    3. It is my experience that few post offices in Wales or Scotland even know about country definitives, never mind have them in stock. Personally I think it unlikely that they will continue.

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    4. Recent exchanges on Twitter with Sub-POs:

      (England): We do actually have a few 1st Class, but it’s rare anybody wants them. They’re in sheets of 50. We have 29 I think at the moment and we’ve had them at least 2 years.

      (England): Same, I've had 10 2nd for about 18mths; We don't stock them as no local demand, but it is possible for us to order. We can order Welsh, Scottish and NI ones too.

      And on high values the same PO wrote: "We haven't been able to order £3 or £5 for a long time, £2 is def available though", while another wrote "We’ve only recently been able to order the £3 and £5!"

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    5. I get the chance to sort through the envelopes sent to a large tour operator, which a member of their staff drops off at my house several times a year. In a typical batch of envelopes there will be around 400 - 500 British postage stamps of one kind or another. There are never more than 2 or 3 country definitives and sometimes none at all, and the only English stamp I've found in the past year was a 2nd-class one of the older type without the white borders, which had probably been used by a collector.

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    6. I went on holiday to Wales in 2017 and had no trouble in buying Welsh NVI definitives. English NVIs at the time were harder to come by, but I managed to fine two post offices which had them. Since that year I have not been able to get English NVIs and have given up asking, but until about two years ago you could get the foreign postcard and foreign letter rate English stamps (eg £1:17) easily but no longer. Essentially country stamps have been phased out already so I doubt that new ones will appear. The next hot news will be whether we can still use the old ones up on letters indefinitely.

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  6. Out of interest, has there been any mention of what Royal Mail will do with all the older stamps they swap out? I think some other countries took the stamps cancelled them and then sold them onto collectors. Doubt Royal Mail will do this, but could recoup a small amount of money.

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    1. No: I don't think they will sell them back to collectors as VFU; I suspect there will be an energy-saving exercise as somebody will burn them and generate electricity for the grid. Should last a while!

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  7. https://www.ebay.com/itm/384743714265 reference for MBIL stamps on ebay

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  8. I've just received my March RMPB. In the new issues on the back page it shows the International Tariff values to be issued on 4 April as £1.85, £2.55, £3.25 and £4.20. This hints that the existing £1.70 rates (Europe to 100g, World to 20g) will increase to £1.85 but that the others might stay unchanged. Of course the reality might be more complicated.

    Also scheduled for 4 April are the low and high values as Ian lists in the blog.

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