Postage Due Stamps – A Preview
Postage due is a term used for mail sent with insufficient Postage . Postage Due stamps is a stamp added to an underpaid piece of mail to indicate the extra postage due.
Since the creation of Postal Systems this problem of not paying correct postage existed however with the advent of postage stamps people made their own decisions about how much postage to pay without consulting the postage clerk. While in some countries such underpaid mail was returned to sender -in some countries the clerk was authorised to write something like “Due 3 Cents”- but this was subject to misuse .
In 1874 after the establishment of UPU this problem was addressed and a method to indicate postage due by letter “T” handstamped “T” and various combinations continued to be used in various countries.
The Problem was solved by France in 1859 by issuance of official Postage Due stamps affixed at delivery before being dispatched to recipients. Some countries used regular stamps also.They were sometimes not affixed to individual letters but to bulk mail wrappers or to the top letter on wrapper.
A number of countries issued postage used stamps with inscription such as “Postage Due” , “Porto” etc. A number of countries have discontinued the use of Postage due stamps . Britain issued theirs in 1914 continued the same design till 1970 and discontinued in 2000. USA terminated its use in 1986.
This field of Philately is also unique as postally used “Postage Due Stamps ” with date cancellations ,wrappers etc make interesting collection.Some postal administrations sold mint stamps, FDCS,etc to Philatelists which are also available for study and collection.