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Current Stamp Issuing Entities?

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Posted 05/27/2021   12:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add dbuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Approximately how many entities/countries currently issue postage stamps? Any suggestions on how to find a list would be appreciated.
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Posted 05/27/2021   12:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 05/27/2021   6:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have you tried to search this forum? There are several posts here addressing your question.


Peter
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Posted 05/27/2021   6:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Today there are 192 countries in the Universal Postal Union. https://www.upu.int/en/Universal-Po...er-Countries

Membership in the UPU is automatic if a UN member country or 2/3rds of UPU countries approve the entrance of a non-UN member country.

You need UPU membership to send mail outside of your borders (stamps must comply) or for delivery from UPU members. For example circa WWII, Nepal was not a member nation and some mail in and out was carrier by British couriers via the ambassador. Most mail was returned to UPU country senders from India as unmailable due to lack of postal service or some such language (I don't have my examples of returned mail handy).

No UPU membership needed for a mail service just within a country region nor if someone wishes to start their own local-post services. Local post non-UPU areas include Lundy Island where the British GPO stopped contract postal service in 1927 giving rise to the Lundy local post which issues its own stamps.
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Posted 05/27/2021   7:45 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Iceland is a member, but has reportedly stopped issuing stamps. There are a few other countries that have not issued stamps in some time, but have not officially announced they are never going to issue any more.
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Posted 05/27/2021   9:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add APS-ISWSC Member to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eyeonwall: Iceland apparently believes that, with declining consumption, they have enough inventory for the future ...
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Posted 05/28/2021   06:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
You need UPU membership to send mail outside of your borders (stamps must comply) or for delivery from UPU members.


There are some non-UPU stamp issuing entities that have bilateral agreements with a limited number of UPU countries. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) is not a UPU member but issues postage stamps. The stamps are not listed in the Scott catalogue, and are not recognized by the US. However, the SMOM has entered into postal agreements with 50+ countries, so that the stamps are recognized on mail between the SMOM and those individual countries. So, if you are in Rome, you can mail a letter to these countries with SMOM stamps from a SMOM mail box.
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Posted 05/28/2021   12:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The stamps are not listed in the Scott catalogue, and are not recognized by the US. However, the SMOM has entered into postal agreements with 50+ countries, so that the stamps are recognized on mail between the SMOM and those individual countries.


Still just a local post arrangement and not official UPU approved mail carriage. The Juan De Fuca Despatch Carrier Service, Victoria, B.C., Canada to Port Angeles, Wa, USA, is an example between Canada and the USA. Moved real mail but not UPU involved. Scott does not list local posts and as such the non-appearance of the SMOM is consistent.

Then there are times where a country is a UPU member but due to internal disruption, the stamps had not been properly handled to be recognized for international validity. One instance produced interesting postal history with mixed franking during the Mexican Revolution circa 1913-1914 (and generally 1910-1920) between Mexico and the USA. More recently the alpha bit stamps of the USA (A,B,C, etc) did not always meet UPU regulations and while valid domestically, were not necessarily accepted for international mailing.
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Posted 05/28/2021   12:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Still just a local post arrangement and not official UPU approved mail carriage.


As I said, SMOM is not a member of the UPU, but it has negotiated postal treaties with over 50 countries. I think a letter from Rome to Canada is a bit more than a "local post" - I think it is closer to something the UN post office, or the Vatican. I'm not arguing that the SMOM is a "real" country
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Posted 05/28/2021   2:52 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The OP did not mention 'country' and instead used the term 'stamp issuing entity'.

Every single 'stamp issuing entity' thread we have had (and there have been a LOT) has resulted in much debate and sometimes even heated discussions. The topic is obviously a moving target even if we could successfully define 'stamp issuing entity'. A few years ago I built a database that included 'stamp issuing entities' along with dates and the evolutionary relationships between them. It turned into a massive project which I eventually gave up on after pouring a lot of hours into it; I recall thinking that it would be a life long project that would never really be finished.
Don
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Posted 05/28/2021   8:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A local post is a mail service that operates only within a limited geographical area, typically a city or a single transportation route. Historically, some local posts have been operated by governments...

Malta to each country is one contract each and likely one route to each country. "Local post" is not a 'put-down' but differentiates the mail carriage from official UPU services.


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Posted 05/28/2021   10:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I guess I'm not being clear. The SMOM is not the government of the island of Malta - it is the Knights of Malta in exile in Rome where they have a few buildings with extra-territorial status.

Quote:
"Local post" is not a 'put-down' but differentiates the mail carriage from official UPU services.

You appear to be defining anything that is not "official UPU" mail carriage as a local post.
My point is simply that the SMOM stamps are accepted by treaty with 50+ other sovereign nations as payment of that county's postage. The Juan De Fuca locals that you mentioned above paid transit to the post office, but were not valid to pay the US postage to destination - they had to have valid US stamps to pay the letter to its US destination. That is true of any local post that I am aware of (other than stamps for delivery within a local area that did not go through the post office). On a letter mailed from Rome to Canada the SMOM stamps pay the letter to destination in Canada -- Canada, by treaty, accepts the SMOM stamps as payment of the Canadian postage and delivers the letter. It is a really odd situation, and I'm not aware of anything similar.
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Posted 05/29/2021   02:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Collect what you want and hopefully enjoy doing so.

My point is that there is simplicity in one organization, the UPU, handling the mailing rules (In peace and in war), otherwise just for the 192 UPU countries, there would be about 18528 individual mailing contracts needed. Likewise membership in the UPU is not difficult.

Malta (SMOM) has by your count 50 local post routes. It is, in no way part of the integrated worldwide mail service conducted by the UPU since 1874. The population (not membership) of SMOM is three citizens, far lower than the 28 in Lundy which requires a local post to connect it mail to the world.

The stamps of SMOM fall into the category definition of Cinderellas, as they are not issued by a governmental postal administration. Even Lundy is a local post yet, since 1929 some 350 Lundy stamps have been issued, many of them now very rare and highly collectible. Some 40,000 pieces of mail are sent from the island every year and Lundy is the oldest private postal service operating in the world today. Like SMOM the Lundy stamps are not valid throughout the world.


Quote:
You appear to be defining anything that is not "official UPU" mail carriage as a local post.


Spot on as that is how such is defined, not by me but by organized philately, as noted above. As to the 50 contracts you keep mentioning for the three citizens, they are with countries in which SMOM provides charitable work. Almost sounds like a pay to play arrangement in an attempt to gain more political acceptance. Perhaps someday it will be elevated from UN Observer status (since 1994) to full membership if circumstances arise to validate such change.

Edit: I need to come back and correct the number of individual mail contracts needed if the UPU did not supplant the need.

Since I am now here, I will address your quote from below
Quote:
I'm just saying that your initial statement is not entirely accurate.

Yes it is as applied to countries. SMOM is not a country, it is an organization, a collective, a religious association, a government in exile, what ever you wish to call it but as it has no territory, it is not a country and does not have borders outside of which to send mail. I gave cross border examples of local posts as a qualification of the UPU statement, and they are local post. Once outside of the narrow, small areas the local stamps are accepted by private agreement, they have no public validity (just private local recognition) in official governmental postal services anywhere else in the world.

By the way I used the term stamps meaning what is generally accepted as a Cinderella. SMOM also has issued aerogrammes and imprinted (postal stationery) I have no idea what to call them as they don't meet the Cinderella definition of "stamp" like.



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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 05/29/2021 7:56 pm
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Posted 05/29/2021   07:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You stated that:

Quote:
You need UPU membership to send mail outside of your borders (stamps must comply) or for delivery from UPU members.

I'm just saying that your initial statement is not entirely accurate.

SMOM is entirely philatelic. I don't collect SMOM, or any modern material for that matter. Yes, the SMOM agreements are probably a "pay to play arrangement." Yes, Scott considers the stamps to be Cinderellas, but they are listed in the Italian catalogs. SMOM is not a UPU member and the stamps are invalid for use to the majority of countries, including the US. I'm not saying that it is "part of the integrated worldwide mail service."

I'm just saying that you can use SMOM stamps to send mail (to some countries) outside its borders, paid to destination, and with the receiving country recognizing the stamps as payment of the receiving country's postage.

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Posted 05/29/2021   07:43 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my experience there are quite a few collectors who use the criteria; 'if there are covers that have gone through the mail stream' then they consider it a legitimate stamp issuing entity.

But as I previously stated, there are a number of other threads which argue/debate regarding the definition of 'stamp issuing entity' and like most of the philatelic nomenclature, there is little agreement or consistency. For a number of years I tried in vain to help educate but frankly I found it a waste of time. Threads like this make extra work for Mods with very little productive return, the debate/arguing can go on for page after page without anything being resolved and no one changing their minds.
Don
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Posted 05/29/2021   08:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Point taken Don - no more posts from me
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