Paquebot Cachets & Cancels

1/03/2012     General

A popular collecting topic, becoming increasingly less common due to the rapid increase in Airmail services, and in modern times usually of 'philatelic' origin.

Initially introduced by the UPU in 1891, and further refined in 1924, the rules for using the 'Paquebot' cachet or postmark basically state that any post mailed on the high seas may be franked using the stamps and rate of the country of origin of the vessel, and will be accepted and carried forward by the postal service of any port at which the mail is then handed over. This system leads to the regular occurrence of stamps from one country being found with the postmarks of another cancelling them.

The exception to the rule is that any post mailed on a vessel in port, either at the beginning or end of the journey, or at any intermediary port of call, has to be franked with the issues of the country in question, and using their rates of postage.

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