Postal Administrations Of The World

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Most countries maintain an agency or bureau through which they sell their recent and current postal issues direct to collectors or dealers. These issues can include mint or canceled-to-order stamps, first-day covers, postal stationery, postmarks and other items.

Each agency has its own set of regulations governing ordering instructions, acceptable methods of payment and deadline for ordering. Many bureaus and agencies offer standing-order accounts. A minimum deposit is usually required to open such an account. Unless otherwise stated, the monetary amounts given are in U.S. dollars.

Therefore, interested collectors should write to the desired agency to find out individual requirements and procedures.

Many countries' postal administrations produce philatelic bulletins detailing recent and/or upcoming postal issues. The administrations make these announcements available to interested collectors either for a nominal fee or for free.

Some countries do not sell their postal paper in small amounts direct to collectors. Rather they sell stamps and other items only in large quantities to dealers and wholesalers. The following listings include such information when known.

You should print or type your name and address clearly on all correspondence, especially to non-English-speaking nations, in order to prevent delays or nonreplies. Also, make sure to include the United States or the country in which you live as part of your address.

When sending inquiries or orders to a foreign country, it is best to use airmail. Surface mail can take several weeks to reach its destination.

Enclosure of two International Reply Coupons aids in facilitating a reply from many countries. IRCs are usually available at any post office in the United States and abroad.

The remittance of funds by personal check is always subject to collection or negotiation charges, thus reducing the actual payment value of said remittance. Collectors are advised not to send cash.

Currency exchange rates are omitted because of continual fluctuation. The latest exchange rates can be ascertained through a local banking establishment.

The addresses in the following listings are the bureaus' mailing addresses. A country's over-the-counter sales agency can be in a different section of the stipulated city or even in a different city altogether.

A listing of the agency or agencies that represent a country in the United States, plus other agents that represent a country in other parts of the world, is included in with a country's listing where applicable.

The information in the listings, including the telephone numbers, e-mail address and Internet addresses, were provided by the agencies. Linn's makes no guarantees about the accuracy of these numbers and addresses. Also, these numbers and addresses can change more frequently than mailing addresses. However, mailing addresses and agents in the United States can change as well.

Standard abbreviations used throughout this listing of postal agencies are as follows:

      BD = Bank Deposit.
      BPO = British Postal Order.
      CBC = Certified Bank Check.
      CDA = Certified Deposit Account.
      CTO = Canceled to Order.
      FDC = First Day Covers.
      IBD = International Bank Draft.
      IMO = International Money Order.
      IRC = International Reply Coupon.
      PC = Personal Check.
      SODA = Standing-Order Deposit Account.
      USMO = United States Money Order.
      USPSMO = U.S. Postal Service Money Order.

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