Connect with us


Royal Mail suspends fines for counterfeit stamps after Chinese surge



Royal Mail has confirmed that stamp prices will rise again, marking the fourth increase in the past two years for first-class letter postage.

Royal Mail has announced a temporary suspension of the £5 fines imposed on those receiving mail containing counterfeit stamps, in response to concerns about the increase in counterfeit stamps, particularly from China.

Reports indicate that the move to a barcode-based system has led to an increase in the number of fraudulent stamps, prompting complaints from customers who were penalized for unwittingly collecting mail containing counterfeit stamps.

To tackle this problem, Royal Mail is introducing measures such as the development of a new counterfeit stamp scanner in its app, which will allow customers to verify the authenticity of barcodes. In addition, stickers will be placed on items with counterfeit stamps to warn recipients, and efforts will be intensified to charge senders of items with counterfeit stamps instead of recipients.

Fraudulent stamps from China have been a major source of complaints, with accusations of economic warfare arising from the alleged influx of millions of counterfeits into Britain. The problem was exacerbated following the switch to barcoded stamps last July, with small retailers reportedly unknowingly purchasing counterfeits in large quantities.

In response to the concerns, Royal Mail is strengthening its efforts, including adding an independent expert to verify the authenticity of stamps and strengthening partnerships with retailers and online marketplaces to combat the sale of counterfeit stamps. Despite reports of Chinese suppliers offering to print fake Royal Mail stamps, the Chinese embassy in London has dismissed the claims as ‘absurd’.

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer of Royal Mail, said: “The combination of new barcoded stamps with extra security features and Royal Mail actively working with retailers, online marketplaces and law enforcement authorities has led to a 90 per cent reduction in the number of counterfeit stamps. We want our customers to be able to buy stamps with confidence and always recommend that customers only buy stamps from post offices and other reputable retailers, and not to buy stamps online unless from the official Royal Mail store.”