Miscellaneous from October 2022

Marci Jarvis (USA) could provide additional information related to the Tiger Forum joint issue from September 5, 2022. Indeed, Laos issued two stamps representing felines (Clouded leopard and Asian golden cat) but no tiger, however with the forum logo. These two stamps became also available in a special souvenir sheet which is illustrated with a tiger and a cub. Stamps in panes and souvenir sheets are available as perforated and imperforated. The date of issue of the Laos stamps is September 1, 2022. In the meantime, we are still missing information from Nepal stamps related to the Tiger forum.

Don Birschel (USA) provided the illustrations of the stamps issued by Cambodia, which, on the contrary to what was reported so far, bear the logo of the forum, in both stamps and souvenir sheet, . These stamps were issued on September 22, 2022.

Med Achour Ali Ahmed (Algeria) reported that the Algeria Post, next to the UPU World Post Day stamp from October 9, 2022 created also a Postage Meter Imprint with the same topic. However, he noticed that the design contains two hashtag addresses that are erroneous. Hashtags are reference words that allow to find all the information that was exchanged using this specific word. However, to be usable, they need to follow precise rules in particular no white space is allowed. In order to separate words, if this is needed, at least a dash or underscore dash has to be used. This rule applies for latin and arabic characters and both hashtags represented in the meter print are wrong and unusable. Corrected hastags are represented here, below the imprint.

Rindert Paalman (The Netherlands) reported the decision taken during the PostEurop General Assembly in Dublin on 5 October 2022. A common design will be used on all 2023 Europa stamps (probably to be released in May 2023) on the theme “PEACE – the highest value of humanity”. 29 entries were submitted for the design competition and 44 postal companies participated in the voting. The winning motif is the one submitted by Luxembourg : “The New Peace Symbol”.

From Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore), a question related to stamps issued by Mongolia on May 19, 2022 and Japan, souvenir sheet with 10 stamps released on June 15, 2022. The topic refers to the 50th anniversary of relationship. As dates of issue are different, design are different and none of the postal administrations are refering to any collaboration in producing these items, we have to consider that these stamps are just celebrating the same event, but these stamps cannot be considered as joint.

From Cesar Ittmann (the Netherlands), reporting about the stamps celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Commission. EAU began its operations on February 2, 2012, but the treaty was signed only on May 29, 2014. The five involved countries participated to this issue with different designs, but four of them were released on the same date of issue: Armenia (August 25, 2022), Belarus (August 26, 2022), Kazakhstan (August 26, 2022), Kyrgyzstan (August 26, 2022) and Russia (July 29, 2022). On this basis, this issue has to be reported as a parallel joint issue [P1] under the entry code [P20220826]. The 5th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty (and not operation initiation) was celebrated by the same five countries on August 9, 2019 with identical stamps showing the flags of the countries . It was described in the catalogue under [T20190809].

World Post Day 2022 (2)

October 9, 2022, day at which the UPU organized a common issue at the occasion of the World Post Day, was a Sunday. This is not the best day for launching a stamp and we preferred waiting a few days to collect a maximum of information around this issue in order to include also stamps that were released after this official date. We were not disappointed and we received a lot of additional information from our friends Kenneth Sequeira (Dubai), Ali Ahmed Med Achour (Algeria), Don Birschel (USA), Enzo Cafaro (Italy), Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore) and others. Thanks to all of them.

So far (the list is probably not complete), the countries having issued stamps with the UPU design include the followings: Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Egypt, Fiji (September 22, release date, but official FDC dated October 9), Russia (October 7), Serbia (October 7), Sri Lanka, , Syria (1 stamp, 1 souvenir sheet), Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey. All these countries have issued one single stamp at the date of October 9, 2022, except otherwise stated.

Algeria (October 9, 2022) participated as well but adapted the design.

Romania – SMOM 2022

With one stamp representing firefighters in action, removing snow, and the other one showing Ukrainian refugees arriving in Romania and welcomed by local volunteers, Romania and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) celebrated on September 16, 2022, 90 years of relationship. SMOM conducts diplomatic relations with 112 countries, among which Romania, and the European Union and its stamps are recognized by 57 postal administrations. However, for example, SMOM does not have bilateral diplomatic relationship with China, or the United States.

Unfortunately, as SMOM is not recognized by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), even if these stamps look like a Twin issue and the words “Joint issues” appear on all stamps, this issue will be filed in the category Non-approved [NR].

This situation is quite difficult to handle and it is not our role to decide which country have to be collected by whom. It must be a personal decision to include SMOM in ones own collection or not. After having written that, it was interesting to explore both the UPU and SMOM web sites to get more details about recognition and consequences. Interestingly, in the list of non-recognized countries, one counts also, among others, Kosovo (which mail is routed through Serbia) and Taiwan (mail routed through Japan or the USA). Palestine has an observer status with mail routed through Jordan, while a series of other smaller countries are not members of the UPU, but issue stamps, and their post is routed through an UPU member state, e.g., Andorra (through France or Spain), Marschall, Micronesia, Palau (through USA), SMOM (through Italy), Northern Cyprus (through Turkey), … A full updated list is provided by Wikipedia under the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Universal_Postal_Union.

We will continue reporting about stamps from all these countries and leave each collector define if it should belong to his own collection, but we will also continue mentioning the official situation for each country. In our particular case, we will have to update some issues and to add some comments for some of the above mentionned countries in the catalogue pages (use of grey color instead of black and itamlics characters).

There is a last point that needs to be mentionned in this specific issue. We do not have yet details about the printing runs of SMOM stamps (they should however remain small), but we got the figures for Romania. This country issued 2 stamps in sheets of 32 stamps ([8×4]) and sheetlets of 5 stamps ([3×2] including one label). Only 2×5,120 stamps were issued in sheets, meaning only 160 sheets were printed for each stamp, while only 2×530 sheetlets were printed. On top of this, Romania issued a folder containing an imperforate souvenir sheet with both stamps at only 292 samples! This is not the way to help collectors completing there collection, another reason not to recognize this issue as a true joint issue.

World Post Day 2022

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) released a proposal to all their members to issue a stamp with common design at the occasion of the next World Post Day on October 9, 2022. The UPU is providing the design based on the theme ‘Post for Planet’ and all information regarding the possible associated products are provided in a full description post (stamp design in the 6 official languages – see below, templates for 6-, 8-, 9-, 10-, 12- and 20- stamps sheets, first day covers, cancellations, phone apps and even T-shirts, …).

More than 200 postal administrations could in theory participate, but with this quite short notice (earliest information is dated June 2, 2022), there are great chances that the number of participants will remain quite limited. In 2020, a similar attempt was made with the “Family Remittance” stamps [B20200716] which resulted in a single independent country participating in 2020 (Bulgaria) and another one in 2022 (Bosnia Herzegovina). A series of stamps were issued later by countries for which the philatelic program is not controled by the administration, but by a professional dealer (Stamperija). If this is again the case, this issue will also be considered as an omnibus non-approved joint issue (borrowed design). Let us wait until October 9, 2022 to see if some countries, and how many, are seriously interested.