Friday, January 01, 2016

New proportional postal rates in France

Today, Friday January 1st 2016, La Poste's postal rates rises again in France and the overseas départements, and the overseas collectivities where La Poste still serviced them while they issued their own stamps (Saint Pierre and Miquelon and the Southern and Antarctic Lands).
One of the last ill franked up to 50 gram letter of France with two up to 20 gram green letter stamps. This was a bad habit costing some cents to senders unable to weight their letters.
The French postal operator decided to follow the European trend. The most common one is to have less weight levels, even if in France the 0-20 gram is kept and thus will increase a lot the cost of 20-50 gram letter.

But the main inspiration is the Belgian post, now bpost. On October 1st 2007, interior rates were proportionalised: you put as many points and stamps as needed depending the weight. One year later, January 2009, the point system was extended to European and worldwide mails, each system having its own point value. All Belgian stamps are concerned, even the philatelic program.

In France, the system was put around the two main definitive sort of stamps: the Marianne series and the twelve adhesive stamp booklets.

Tomorrow, first working day of the year (a non FDC January 1st cancel will be available tomorrow at the Carré d'Encre, the philatelic service shop in Paris), five new first rate Marianne stamps are issued to replaced the five up to 20 gram previous one.

No more written indicator, neither Belgian points... Just a blank space on the lower left corner. The color will be their service indicator:
- grey for the economic letter (écopli): one up to 20g (0,68 €), stick two for 20-100g, four for 100-250g ;
- green for the second class letter (green letter, 2 day delivery): 0,70 € the stamp ;
- red for the first class (priority letter, 1 day delivery): 0,80 € ;
- blue for European Union-Switzerland-Lichetenstein-San Marino-Vatican: 1 euro ;
- violet for Worldwide mail: 1,25 euro.
NewsduPhospho put it graphically this way.

Note that, economic tradition, all 0-20 gram letter to French Overseas cost as much as the national rates. Above, there is a 10g airmail supplement independent from the national rates.

All rates available to individual clients are available there on a pdf. The new stamps presented in the January issue of Phil'info webmagazine here.

You'll note that the first illustrated adhesive booklet of the year (Minerals) just bore the indicator "Priority letter", no more weight limit.

Former weight indicator stamps over 20 grams are still valid for what's written on them or, if add-up stamps needed at their 2015 value (hmm... postal rate puzzles for the collectors and the exhibition judges).

The commemorative program is not concerned and will continue to keep face value in euro currency.

On the philatelic side, considering the New Year's Resolution time, this change can help some to voluntarily put a stop in their definitive collections at December 31st 2015, plus the late 50g stamp use.

Others, perhaps inspired by Richard Rucklin's introduction articles in Timbres magazine since last September, will begin a specialisation into definitive stamp printing, use, varieties and oddities, etc. starting January 1st 2016.

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