Royal Mail are adding barcodes on postage stamps and announced what stamps can be send in to be swapped for barcoded stamps.
‘The move is part of the Company’s extensive and ongoing modernisation drive and will allow the unique barcodes to facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers.’ Source
What are barcoded stamps used for?
The postal group is moving to barcoded stamps as part of its modernisation drive, which will allow customers to access added security features and new services. The development will let customers watch and share videos by scanning the barcoded stamps in the Royal Mail app.
They are allowing plenty of notice time about this change and any non-barcoded stamps will still be valid until 31 January 2023. If not able to use all on hand stamps by that date, it is possible to swap them out for new barcoded ones.
For most people that will mean they have time to use up any of the old stamps they have before that date and you don’t need to swap anything out.
If you have too many stamps to use them up before this date you can exchange them for new barcoded ones through Royal Mail’s ‘Swap Out’ scheme.
Examples of stamps eligible for Swap Out
Examples of stamps unnecessary to Swap Out
What stamps shouldn’t I send in for swap out?
Most stamps are being barcoded — but not all stamps.
Special Issue stamps that are produced as one offs to commemorate an event as we are not adding barcodes to these types of stamps so non-barcoded versions remain valid for postage after 31 January 2023.
Christmas Stamps: although we are adding barcodes to Christmas Stamps — non-barcoded Christmas Stamps will remain valid as postage after 31 January 2023 — so there is no need to swap them out.
Any stamps which are pre-decimalisation are not eligible for swap out — as they don’t have a postage value.
In real life
My dear friend Iain McEwan, from Kirkconnell, Sanquhar in Scotland alerted me to this news with the following commentary:
“What goes up must come down,” people used to say, but thisclearly does not apply to rising prices, to inflation .. ..
Our postage stamps are changing .. .. and not just their price !
A new ‘definitive’ stamp from Royal Mail – they describe it as
‘barcoded’, although the Code at the side is like a QR Code .. ..
I have already exchanged my stamps for the new ones, by
sending them to the office at Tallents House, Edinburgh –
where the Philatelic Bureau is, I think ! 🙂
Until next, happy stamping!
PS: Check out some of these philatelic ressources.