World Stamps

Iceland Post to close its philatelic bureau

Aug 20, 2019, 4 PM
Iceland Post will issue a souvenir sheet of two stamps Sept. 12 to celebrate Icelandic Nature Day. The sheet features Eggert Petursson’s painting of the vegetation in Trollaskagi peninsula in northern Iceland.

by Denise McCarty

Iceland Post will close its stamp and philatelic department, Postphil, at the end of this year, according to a letter from Vilhajalmur Sigurdsson, head of Postphil.

Whether or not Iceland Post will continue to issue stamps may also be in question.

Sigurdsson’s letter was sent by email Aug. 20 to subscribers of Stamp News, Postphil’s bulletin announcing upcoming stamps to be issued Sept. 12 and Oct. 31, respectively.

In his letter, Sigurdsson said that after those stamps are issued “the department will be closed down for good and will stop serving stamp collectors, domestic and foreign, altogether.”

The closure is among Iceland Post’s recent cost-cutting measures. Other measures include layoffs.

According to an Aug. 20 press release on Iceland Post’s website, the number of full-time positions will be reduced by 80 this year.

Sigurdsson announced that he is leaving the employ of Iceland Post in September.

Iceland Post’s press release stated: “The layoffs are part of the necessary optimization measures aimed at ensuring the company’s sustainable operation and modernizing its operations.”

The press release also said: “Parallel to the dismissal, organizational changes will be undertaken to ensure that Iceland Post’s services are not compromised. These include merging or discontinuing divisions, as well as continuing work on simplifying the organizational structure of Islandsposten which will increase the efficiency of the company’s operations.”

As for the future of Iceland’s stamps, Sigurdsson said in his letter that while Iceland Post’s current management would prefer not to issue stamps, the decision to do so lies with its owner, the Icelandic state.

Sigurdsson wrote: “If the company must keep on issuing new stamps in 2020 and onward the number of new stamps will be very few each year and there will be no service for stamp collectors.

“According to [Iceland Post] CEO Mr. Birgir Jonsson this task of producing and issuing new stamps could be given to outside contractors.”

Jonsson became the CEO and managing director of Iceland Post in May.

The remaining 2019 new stamps from Iceland Post include the following issues on Sept. 12: single stamps for the 200th birth anniversary of folk tale collector Jon Arnason, the 100th anniversary of aviation in Iceland, the 100th anniversary of Icelandic Nurse’s Association and the Sepac theme of old residential houses; and a souvenir sheet of two stamps for Icelandic Nature Day.

On Oct. 31, Iceland Post will issue four stamps in its Icelandic Art series and two Christmas stamps.

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