Royal Mail issue swap-out scheme reminder


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27 January 2023
Royal Mail have once again reminded customers to ‘use up or swap out’ their non-barcoded definitive stamps, whilst re-confirming that customers have until 31 July to use up their old non-barcoded definitive stamps following the introduction of a six-month grace period.

The change of deadline from 31 January to the end of July means that customers can use old-style stamps as normal until 31 July when non-barcoded stamps will no longer be valid and liable to a surcharge.

The stamp team at Royal Mail are also keen to remind customers that even after the new 31 July deadline, they can still swap non-barcoded stamps for barcoded stamps through Royal Mail’s Swap Out scheme.

The Swap Out scheme opened on 31 March 2022, and there is currently no end date as to when customers should swap their non-barcoded stamps by.

Matthew Parkes, Managing Director, Stamps and Collectibles, said: ‘We don’t want any of our customers to be out of pocket. In order to give our customers even more time to use up any remaining non-barcoded stamps, we introduced six-month grace period starting from the original deadline of January 31, 2023, where non-barcoded definitive stamps will still be delivered as normal.

‘We continue to encourage customers to check their purses, wallets and drawers to find and use their non-barcoded Definitive stamps before the final deadline of 31 July. But even if they miss this date, there is currently no time limit on customers swapping their non-barcoded stamps for barcoded stamps via our free Swap Out scheme.’

As reported previously, the move is part of the Company’s extensive and ongoing modernisation drive and will allow the unique barcodes to ‘facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers’.

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Stamps eligible for the Swap Out scheme are the regular 1st and 2nd class ‘everyday’ definitive stamps, and all other values, featuring the profile of Her Late Queen Elizabeth.

Non-barcoded Christmas and other special stamps with pictures on continue to be valid for postage and should not be submitted for swap out. Customers only need to swap out the ‘everyday’ stamps featuring the profile of Her Late Queen Elizabeth.

Stamps that have already been used for postage will not be accepted on the Swap Out scheme.

Visit the Royal Mail website at to download a swap-out form. Customers who do not have access to a printer can instead complete a web form and request a form be posted to them.

Other ways to swap stamps include:

  • contacting Royal Mail’s Customer Experience team by telephone on 03457 740740 and requesting a form be posted to them
  • by visiting one of more than 1,200 local delivery office Customer Service Points, where they can pick up a form in person; from Post Office branches nationwide.