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After this date, stamps without a barcode will not be valid for postage meaning people have 100 days left to use the “everyday” stamps with the late Queen’s profile. Royal Mail is urging Britons to use them as soon as possible.
Therefore, the regular 1st and 2nd Class stamps that feature the profile of the late Queen Elizabeth with no barcode will no longer be valid after January 31.
The Royal Mail introduced barcode stamps in February with the aim to improve security, make the postal service more efficient and open up possibilities for “new innovative services”.
The change also reflects people’s familiarity with QR codes using their smartphones nowadays, especially after their widespread during the Covid pandemic.
The barcodes also allow people to watch videos, search for information and send birthday messages to others.
The physical stamps are connected with an identical digital one through the Royal Mail app.
When they were released, customers could scan the barcode to watch a video featuring Shaun the Sheep, which was exclusively created for Royal Mail.
People can now choose the video that the recipient will see when they receive an item in the mail.
All of this can be done by scanning the barcodes on the stamps using the Royal Mail app.
In an announcement on its website, the Royal Mail explained: “Know where your old stamps are? Use them up by January 31, 2023, or swap them out.
“We’re adding barcodes to our regular stamps. After January 31, 2023, regular stamps without a barcode will no longer be valid. You can either use up these stamps before this deadline or swap them for the new barcoded ones.
“The stamps that are changing are the stamps that will be very familiar to you. They feature the profile of Her Late Majesty The Queen on a plain-coloured background.
“The barcodes will enable exciting new services by connecting physical stamps to the digital world through the Royal Mail app which you can download.”
People can swap out up to £200 worth of non-barcoded stamps by completing the Stamp Swap Out form which can be found on the Royal Mail website.
“To swap out your stamps, simply complete one of our Stamp Swap Out forms and send it back to us along with your non-barcoded stamps,” Royal Mail said.
The step-by-step process for doing this can be found on the website. Royal Mail hopes customers will be able to use their non-barcode stamps this Christmas after they announced the change on social media and sent leaflets to homes across the UK.
Those who don’t have a chance to use the old stamps by the deadline will be able to exchange them for new ones free of charge.
However, they explained Britons will be able to use the themed, commemorative and non-barcoded Christmas stamps after January 31, 2023.
Therefore, special stamps with pictures, as well as non-barcoded Christmas stamps, will continue to be valid for postage and people don’t need to exchange these.
It should be noted that the Royal Mail will not exchange stamps that have already been used for postage.
The Royal Mail announcement is not connected to the change of monarch and more details on the launch of stamps with King Charles’ profile will be made soon after consultation with the Royal Household.
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