World Stamps

When mail volume dropped, Singapore raised rates dramatically

Sep 26, 2023, 11 AM
Singapore will increase the cost of postage Oct. 9 with a 20¢ jump for the first-class local rate. This nondenominated stamp (Scott 2089) was issued in 2021 for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

While most postal administrations have attempted gradual postage rate increases, Singapore’s post office, SingPost, is taking a different approach.

Starting Oct. 9, the cost to mail a first-class local letter in Singapore will increase from 31¢ to 51¢, and the second-class rate from 38¢ to 51¢.

SingPost issues nondenominated “1st Local” stamps that are similar to the United States forever stamps. But what happens when there is a dramatic rate increase? SingPost immediately paused sale of those nondenominated stamps at all of its postal outlets.

“Denominated postage labels can be purchased from post offices, SAM kiosks, vending machines and online ( during this period [Sept. 19-Oct. 8],” SingPost said on its website.

In addition, SingPost said, “The upcoming adjustments will also simplify the domestic postage rate structure for both Domestic Services and Domestic Bulk Mail services, including the elimination of the weight criteria, to make postal services more user-friendly and provide to greater convenience to our customers.”

To lessen the blow, SingPost said, “Starting from end-October 2023, SingPost will issue a 1st Local stamp booklet (of 10 stamps) to each household to help manage the postage increase.”

For postal history collectors, this period is ripe with opportunity to get some interesting uses, especially if one has family or friends living there.

After Canada Post announced a similar large rate increase — a jump from 63¢ to 85¢ — in 2013, it halted the sales of its nondenominated, permanent-rate stamps until March 2014. Denominated stamps were instead offered in the interim.

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