World Stamps

Postal changes in Denmark make stamps issued before Jan. 1, 2024, invalid on domestic mail

Jan 2, 2024, 8 AM

By Christer Brunström

The Danish Parliament recently passed new postal legislation that will have serious repercussions for stamp collectors, the general letter-writing public and businesses who use the postal service to deliver their letters or products.

Beginning Jan. 1, only stamps inscribed “INDLAND” (domestic) are valid on mail to addresses in Denmark because the face value of such stamps now also includes a 25 percent value-added tax.

Because a value-added tax is not included in the price of stamps issued prior to Jan. 1, those stamps can no longer be used on inland (domestic) letters.

Beginning in 2024, new Danish stamps for foreign destinations will have the word “UDLAND” (abroad) in the design.

On Jan. 2, Postnord Denmark issued its first stamps inscribed “INDLAND” (denominated 25 kroner) and “UDLAND” (50kr).

Postnord Denmark introduced new postage rates for domestic and international mail on Jan. 1.

Domestic rates for letters and postcards are 25kr up to 100 grams, 50kr up to 250 grams, and 75kr up to 2,000 grams.

The rates for mail to foreign destinations are similar: 50kr, 100kr and 150kr for items weighing 100 grams, 250 grams and 2,000 grams, respectively.

Under the new rates, it would cost the equivalent of more than US$7.25 to mail a 100-gram postcard from Copenhagen to Sweden.

Danish mail items sent to international destinations must be inscribed “PRIORITAIRE” (priority) or have such a label added.

All Danish stamps issued before the end of 2023 remain valid on mail to foreign countries during 2024 because they do not include a value-added tax that the customer would have paid at the time of purchase.

However, according to Postnord, all Danish stamps issued before Jan. 1 will no longer be valid for postage on letters to foreign destinations after Dec. 31, 2024.

“Letters to addressees abroad, the Faroes and Greenland should be marked PRIORITAIRE. Stamps to foreign destinations are inscribed ‘UDLAND’. Stamps issued before 1 January 2024 can be used until the end of 2024,” Postnord said.

Stamps inscribed INDLAND cannot be used on mail to foreign destinations, and UNDLAND stamps can’t be used on mail to domestic addresses.

In addition, Postnord Denmark’s universal postal service obligation in Denmark came to an end on Jan. 1. Notice of that substantial change was announced in a Nov. 30, 2023, Postnord press release.

“Exceptions apply to mail for small islands and visually impaired people, and international mail, for which procurement processes will be carried out,” Postnord said.

These are drastic changes that undoubtedly will reduce mail volumes even further.

Postnord Denmark pledges to deliver a letter within five working days. This probably means that it only offers one weekly delivery of mail to Danish households unless one pays a much higher fee for quicker delivery.

In Denmark, digitization has been extremely rapid and has affected all segments of society, including postal services.

Email and mobile phones are extremely useful means of communication, and it now seems that traditional postal services are unable to match those digital competitors.

Diminishing mail volumes will result in even higher rates and slower delivery times. Denmark and the other Nordic nations are examples of those developments.

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