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Daily Record
Daily Record
Nicola Roy

Royal Mail stamp deadline 10-day warning and important 'grace period'

Certain Royal Mail stamps will no longer be used at the end of January, as the postal company is introducing new ones into circulation.

From January 31, old stamps with just the Queen's head on them will be replaced by new stamps with a barcode attached as well.

Despite this deadline of January 31, Royal Mail has confirmed a 'grace period' of six months will follow, so people can still send their mail with the old stamps and won't face any problems with delivery.

The postal company said: "The deadline for non-barcoded stamps remains 31 January 2023 and we continue to encourage our customers to use their stamps up before then.

"What we have announced is a 'grace period' of six months, during which time if non-barcoded definitive stamps are used, they will be delivered as normal and not subject to a surcharge."

The new stamps have a barcode on them (Royal Mail/PA Wire)

This brings the true deadline back to July 31 2023, but people are still urged to use or swap their old stamps before that day comes.

A Swap-Out scheme has also been introduced, where customers can exchange their stamps for the new ones free of charge.

To take part, you need to fill out a Stamp Swap Out form and send it to Royal Mail along with your old stamps. The process for this depends on how many old stamps you have.

If you've got less than £200 worth, print out this Swap Out form and fill it in. Then, send it back to Royal Mail free of charge, along with your stamps, by writing on the envelope Freepost SWAP OUT. No other address details or postcode are needed.

If you've got more than £200 worth of old stamps, print and fill out this Swap Out form. Royal Mail recommends sending this and your non-barcoded stamps back to us via a secure service with suitable cover. The address to send to is:

Royal Mail
Swap Out
Tallents House
21 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9PB

And if you don't have a printer, you can request a Stamp Swap Out form to be posted to you by completing this form online.

At the moment, there isn't a deadline in place for the Swap Out scheme.

Matthew Parkes, managing director for stamps and collectibles, said: "Royal Mail is transitioning to digital, barcoded stamps in order to provide new and innovative future services for our customers. In order to give our customers even more time to use up any remaining non-barcoded stamps, we have decided to introduce a six-month grace period starting from the original deadline of January 31 2023 where non-barcoded definitive stamps will still be delivered as normal.

"To make things even easier for our customers, we have also agreed with Post Office to include swap out forms alongside freepost envelopes in Post Office branches. This means that customers will be able to fill out a form, insert it into a freepost envelope with any remaining non-barcoded stamps and hand it over for posting in a Post Office branch."

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