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Last day to use non-barcoded stamps

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Today, Monday 31st July, is the last day that any standard non-barcoded stamps can be used to post items. After Monday, customers sending mail with these stamps risk the recipient being given a surcharge of £1.10. However, commemorative and non-barcoded Christmas stamps will still be valid.

People can swap their old stamps for barcoded stamps through Royal Mail's Swap Out scheme, where there is no deadline for exchange.

Royal Mail said: "A leaflet with a form [for the Swap Out scheme] was delivered to every household recently, but customers can also print out a form from our website; call our Customer Experience team to order one; or pick one up at a local Royal Mail delivery office or Post Office."

The deadline for using the old stamps was extended from 31 January as more time was required for users, Royal Mail said.

After Monday, Royal Mail says a £1.10 surcharge fee will be applied to mail sent using non-barcoded stamps. Those receiving mail sent using non-barcoded stamps will be given a "Fee to Pay"' card telling them they must pay a surcharge before the item can be delivered.

Those stamps eligible for swapping are the regular 1st and 2nd Class "everyday" stamps, featuring the profile of the late Queen Elizabeth.

As non-barcoded Christmas and other special stamps with pictures on continue to be valid for postage, they should not be submitted for swapping. Stamps that have already been used for postage will not be accepted for the swap out scheme.

Customers who print off a Swap Out scheme form can address an envelope to: Freepost SWAP OUT. No other address details are needed, the firm said. More information on the Royal Mail Swap Out Scheme can be found on the Royal Mail website.


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