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Non barcode stamps cut off date confusion

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I would appreciate a clear date on when I have to use my Royal Mail non barcode stamps by. The Post Office say 31st Jan, they are advertising on the likes of LBC and their franking on mail BUT Martin Lewis has suggested that they have done a U-turn on this: moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/11/nonbarcoded-stamps-summer-2023-delay-royal-mail/ Many media outlets have also reported this like the Guardian, Independent and many, many more. I have also read that the 31 Jan deadline is correct but there is a six month grace period for old stamps - how confusing is that?

So what is the truth and how long do I have?

BTW, I did send £200 worth of stamps back on the Swapout scheme but both times they came back the very next day! I decided to use them rather than lose them!
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  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 15,205 Forumite
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    Local post office said July to me when I went in to swap a book of stamps.
    Life in the slow lane
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,190 Forumite
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    edited 4 January 2023 at 1:44PM
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    The cut off is 31 Jan as planned ......... but .......... no action will be taken / surcharge applied for a grace period of 6 months from 31 Jan.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 13,103 Forumite
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    I have also read that the 31 Jan deadline is correct but there is a six month grace period for old stamps - how confusing is that?
    That's my understanding (just as a general consumer, not as an expert of any kind).
    If you think about it you can't have a hard cut-off, there has to be a grace period, as it's the recipient who is going to have to pay up if the postage is deemed invalid, and with the current strikes and backlogs, without a reasonable grace period a stamp that was valid when posted could be invalid by the time it reaches the destination.
  • smudgersnuts
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    Cheers for the answer - Will that apply to overseas mail too? (I've been using multiple stamps up on all mail).
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,790 Forumite
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    I would appreciate a clear date on when I have to use my Royal Mail non barcode stamps by. The Post Office say 31st Jan, they are advertising on the likes of LBC and their franking on mail BUT Martin Lewis has suggested that they have done a U-turn on this: moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/11/nonbarcoded-stamps-summer-2023-delay-royal-mail/ Many media outlets have also reported this like the Guardian, Independent and many, many more. I have also read that the 31 Jan deadline is correct but there is a six month grace period for old stamps - how confusing is that?

    So what is the truth and how long do I have?

    BTW, I did send £200 worth of stamps back on the Swapout scheme but both times they came back the very next day! I decided to use them rather than lose them!
    Also just to be clear the Post Office and Royal Mail are seperate. The people who put the wrting on the franking over stamps is Royal Mail and they decide whether their stamps are valid.
    Post Office just operate counters selling Royal Mail and other services.
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,560 Forumite
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    Cheers for the answer - Will that apply to overseas mail too? (I've been using multiple stamps up on all mail).
    That's a good question.  I don't know the answer...   Presumably it must be checked before it leaves the country and at that point RM could return to sender (if sender is identified).   Expecting the postal service of another country to collect the excess and then return that to RM would be rather complex.
    I need to think of something new here...
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,190 Forumite
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    edited 5 January 2023 at 12:37PM
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    What happens if I use a non-barcoded stamp after 31 January 2023?

     
    Mail posted with non-barcoded Definitive stamps after 31 January 2023, will for the first 6 month be delivered as normal, no surcharge will be raised. After this 6 month grace period, an item with a non-barcoded stamp would be treated as if there is insufficient postage. Any item that has insufficient postage is subject to a surcharge. Surcharge fees can be found on our website.

    https://www.royalmail.com/sending/barcoded-stamps?iid=HP_M2_3_BARCODEDSTAMPS

    And for the other question that is always being asked
    When does the Stamp Swap Out Scheme end / when do I need to swap out my non-barcoded stamps by?

     
    It’s fine to keep using non-barcoded stamps as postage up until 31 January 2023. You can swap out your stamps any time from 31 March 2022 onwards — there is currently no end date as to when you need to swap out your non-barcoded stamps by.



  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,963 Forumite
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    I have sent stamps off for swap out a few days ago, and heard nothing further.  I assume that it takes a while. 

    Incidentally, I took photos of the form and stamps, just in case.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,560 Forumite
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    GDB2222 said:
    I have sent stamps off for swap out a few days ago, and heard nothing further.  I assume that it takes a while. 

    Incidentally, I took photos of the form and stamps, just in case.
    It takes 2- 3 weeks when things are working.   With strikes - could be more.   Keeping a photo is a good move as there have been slip-ups by RM.
    I need to think of something new here...
  • Monkey2K
    Monkey2K Posts: 6 Forumite
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    edited 10 January 2023 at 10:02AM
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    I understand that the the 'use by deadline' has been extended from 31st January 2023 to 31st July 2023 but has the deadline for exchanging or swapping otu old stamps been extended too?
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