Thursday, 18 May 2017
Netherlands - Registered mail 2017
On 1 January 2017 the Netherlands postal company PostNL abolished all datestamps in the country. From this moment on it was no longer possible to go to a post office and get your stamps cancelled. Customers could still present registered letters or parcels with stamps on them, but the official way to obliterate those stamps was for the postal employee to take a pen and scratch the stamps. This of course caused an outcry among stamp collectors.
On the other side this meant there was a unique period in Dutch postal history, one I wanted to include in my envelope collection. I could of course take an envelope, a stamp and a pen, but in that case there would be no proof that the envelope was officially posted and delivered. The only way was to send myself a registered letter with stamps on it.
I took one of my standard collection envelopes and put exactly the amount needed on it. The tariff for registered mail national in 2017 is € 8,35 so that meant 9 national and 1 international stamps (9 x 0,78 + 1,33). The lady in the book store (we don't have real post offices anymore) took a marker and did as PostNL had instructed her to do. The registration sticker was too big (or my envelope too small) so a part of it ended up on the back of the envelope.
The proof of sending the envelope is the receipt with the address (deleted on the scan), time and date and the barcode number.
Fortunately the datestamps will return to the post offices from 1 June 2017 ending this historical period. Also fortunately I have the envelope to prove that this period really happened.
Date sent: 5 May 2017
Date postmark: -
Date received: 6 May 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 30