Monday, July 13, 2009


I was explaining the "PAQUEBOT " MAIL system to a young collector yesterday. For those of you who are not familiar with this term a short explanation would be in order. Under century old UPU regulations, vessels arriving at a foreign port can deposit mail posted in international waters bearing stamps of the country, which the ship belongs to or is maintained by. This special arrangement applies for mail posted at the first port of call in each country. Mail posted at subsequent ports must be franked with stamps of the country being visited. Ship mail posted under this scheme should be marked with the French word "Paquebot" and the stamps cancelled with a distinctive postmark to indicate treatment as "Paquebot" mail. Mail must be clearly identifiable as from a particular vessel and is handed to the Post Office by the ships purser or shipping company agent as soon as the ship arrives. This type of mail is seldom seen and accordingly is regarded as very collectable by maritime postal history and ship stamp collectors. However, the lad shook his head but was far from understanding what I was saying. Unfortunately, I did not have an example of PAQUEBOT cancelled stamped cover which would have surely helped. I therefore, request anyone who has such a specimen may kindly send me a scan of it to so that I can post it on this blog for the benefit of others including myself. Thank you.

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