Royal Mail stamps deadline: Clock ticking on non-barcoded stamps with just days left to use - how to exchange

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People have been warned that non-barcoded stamps will not be valid in the very near future - here how to exchange

The clock is ticking on non-barcoded Royal Mail stamps, with just a couple of days to use up the old style we’ve come to know and love. As of Monday (31 July), they will no longer be accepted with customers facing a surcharge of £1.10 for using them.

Royal Mail has advised customers with old stamps that won’t be used before the deadline, to exchange them for the new style through Royal Mail’s Swap Out scheme - there is no deadline for exchanging. The company says to print off a Swap Out scheme form and address the envelope to: Freepost SWAP OUT. No other address details are needed.

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Royal Mail has also stated that commemorative and non-barcoded Christmas stamps will still be valid and should not be submitted for swapping. A spokesperson for the postal service 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."

Royal Mail has been planning to phase out classic stamps for yearsRoyal Mail has been planning to phase out classic stamps for years
Royal Mail has been planning to phase out classic stamps for years | Getty Images

Royal Mail said the deadline for using the old stamps was extended earlier this year from 31 January. However, after Monday (31 July) the £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.

Barcoded stamps were originally introduced in February last year to make deliveries more efficient  and improve security. Matthew Parkes, managing director of Stamps and Collectibles at Royal Mail, said that the move was part of the company’s ongoing modernisation drive and will enable "added security features" and "pave the way for innovative services for customers in the future”.

The move is part of Royal Mail’s long-term plan to scan the QR code, which can be scanned with the Royal Mail app, allowing them to watch videos and send birthday messages to each other. The Royal Mail website states: "The barcodes will enable exciting new services by connecting physical stamps to the digital world through the Royal Mail app”.

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