Following the lead set by other countries worldwide, Royal Mail has conducted a complete overhaul of the pricing structure for inland letters and on 21 August will introduce pricing based on size as well as weight.
"Pricing in Proportion" will split 'letters' into three types: letters, large letters, and packets. While the price of sending a standard item will not change, from 21 August items that exceed 240mm length, 165 mm width, 5mm thickness and 100g in weight will be charged as Large Letters. The upper limit for Large Letters will be 353mm long, 250mm wide, 25mm thick and 100g weight. Items above these size limits will be treated as packets. This new pricing structure better reflects the actual cost of handling these items as they are too large to be sorted by machines. The weight limit for standard letters will rise from 60g to 100g.
New Large Letter 1st and 2nd class definitive stamps will be introduced from 1 August, and 1st and 2nd Class definitives for standard letters will be redesigned with a new larger service indicator. The picture below shows the actual stamps.
Prices of Large Letter stamps have now been announced by Royal Mail, see the new price table for other weight steps - click here to see it in a new window.
One way that Royal Mail is publicising PIP is by changing the wording on booklets & sheets of self-adhesive 1st & 2nd class stamps. As the contents have not changed we have not produced first day covers, but we can supply the new booklets.
The issue programme is as follows: Updates in blue 25 April - PIP information on retail booklets of 6 x 1st, 12 x 1st & 12 x 2nd. 16 May - Business sheets of 100 x 1st and 100 x 2nd issued with PIP information on top panel. 17 July - PIP information on retail booklet of 6 x 1st pictorial definitives first issued in October 2005.
The new PIP stamps will be issued from 1 August as shown below. First Day Covers will be produced for these stamps - more details later. 1 August - sheet issues by De La Rue in new designs: 1st (32p) and 2nd (23p) small letters definitives in sheets, 1st class with 2 phosphor bands and 2nd class with centre band as expected. 1st (44p) and 2nd (37p) large letters definitives in sheets, both 1st & 2nd class with 2 phosphor bands, issued in sheets of 100, 5x20; plus two additional Machin definitives in existing design, 14p salmon-pink and 12p dark turquoise, both with 2 phosphor bands. (These colour descriptions may equate to the earlier 25p and 20p stamps.) The 12p stamp will be used to upgrade 1st class large letters from the small letter rate, and the 14p stamp serves the same purpose for 2nd class. A presentation pack will be available containing all 6 new stamps.
15 August - 1st & 2nd large letter stamps in self-adhesive books of 4 by Walsall Security Print, 2nd class coil - conventional gum, printer not yet known; First Day Covers for booklet and coil stamps will be available.
12 September - 1st & 2nd class letter PIP in self-adhesive books of 12 and 1st class letter PIP in self-adhesive books of 6; 1st & 2nd class letter PIP self-adhesive Business Sheets of 100, all by Walsall Security Print - First Day Covers will be available; changed from 5 September, and 15 August.
* Pre-release. The 15 August Large Letter booklets were distributed to many POs with the 1 August sheet stamps, so it is not surprising that some booklets were placed on sale on the earlier date. We have reports from Chester, but also the early distribution to a non-trade customer by the Philatelic Bureau.
On the other hand we have had reports from Sussex of a PO selling the fdc and only 4 stamps, suggesting that the Standard Letter stamps should not yet be on sale!
The implications for FDCs are being assessed, and our first thoughts are that 3 FDCs will be the minimum: 1 August - set of 6 sheet stamps, 1st & 2nd both sizes, plus 12p & 14p; 15 August* - pair of Large Letter self-adhesive stamps and 2nd class coil strip; possibly also booklet panes of 4 on FDC(s). * Whilst it is logical to collect 'Large Letter' stamps on Large FDCs we will only produce these on request. The size would be 250x175mm. 12 September - pair of self-adhesive 'Letter' stamps. We are assuming that the stamps in booklets of 6/12 will not be appreciably different to those in sheets of 100, but we hope to have the stamps far enough in advance to establish any differences in time to report them here before the issue date.
Norvic Philatelics has produced a specially designed limited edition PIP cover which will be used for all dates.
||Norvic FDC||PO FDC see below|
Set of 6 stamps as shown above
(a) 1st & 2nd Large Letter singles on FDC
|(b) coil strip of 4 (if vertical) or 5** (if horizontal) 2nd class
|(c) - coil strip and 1st & 2nd singles [(a) + (b)] on one cover
|12 September (self-adhesive)
(d) 1st & 2nd class Letter SA singles from books*
|(e) 1st & 2nd class Letter SA singles from business sheets
|(f) 4 stamps on one cover [(d) + (e)]
|* If 1st class ex books of 6 and ex books of 12 are appreciably different both will be used, so (d) will be 1st from 6, 1st from 12 & 2nd from 12, and (f) will have 5 stamps|
|15 August and 12 September doubled
|1st & 2nd Large Letter plus coil (item c above) postmarked 15 August PLUS 1st & 2nd class Letter self-adhesive (d above) postmarked 12 Sept**|
Also available: Mint stamps: Basic set of 10 stamps (6 as shown plus self-adhesive singles) - £3.95 Presentation Pack (excludes self-adhesive stamps) - £2.95 15 August: 1st & 2nd class Large Letter booklets - £4.25 15 August: Coil strip of 5 x 2nd class - £1.70 12 September: Set of 3 booklets - £10.00 12 September: Pair of Business Sheets - £60.00 Postage and packing is extra in all cases. Please order from our online shop.
These special postmarks are available on the day of issue: more will be added if any are announced. (These may not be to scale.) If no postmarks are announced for the later date(s) we will use the Windsor postmark E4680 on our FDCs.
|Ref FD627 - Official Bureau FDI 'Scottish Coat of Arms' postmark||Ref FD628 - Official Windsor 'English Coat of Arms' postmark||Ref FD628n - Official Windsor non-pictorial FDI postmark||Ref E4680 - Windsor Castle, Royal Mail permanent handstamp||Ref M10145 - Pricing in Proportion, New Market Way, Birmingham|
|No extra postmarks were announced in the Postmark Bulletin of 21 July, which is the last one before the 1 August stamps are issued. Any Postmarks for the later issues will be added here as they are announced. E4680 can be used for any date.|
| Ref L10140
Pricing in Proportion, The Strand, London
| Ref L10141
Pricing in Proportion, London EC1
| Ref M10146
Stoke on Trent, Machin Definitives
| Ref W10152
Pricing in Proportion, The Mail Coach Bristol
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This page updated 2 August 2006
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To be decided
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