Royal Mail urged to investigate claims of Chinese-made fake stamps

Royal Mail has confirmed that stamp prices will rise again, marking the fourth increase in the past two years for first-class letter postage.

Reports have surfaced alleging that Chinese factories are producing counterfeit British stamps in large quantities, raising concerns about the integrity of the UK’s postal system and potential economic implications.

According to these reports, Chinese suppliers are offering to manufacture up to 1 million fake Royal Mail stamps per week, with some websites selling them in bulk. This has led to speculation about possible state involvement, with suggestions of “economic warfare” targeting the UK’s postal infrastructure.

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake has called on Royal Mail to investigate the allegations and prevent counterfeit stamps from entering circulation. There is recognition of the need to identify the source of these fake stamps and address any vulnerabilities in the supply chain. However, detecting counterfeit stamps has become increasingly challenging, as they have become more realistic, making it difficult even for experts at Royal Mail to distinguish them from genuine ones.

The presence of counterfeit stamps in the supply chain poses risks for retailers and consumers alike. Smaller shops and online marketplaces may unwittingly sell or purchase these fake stamps, leading to financial losses and potential legal consequences. Royal Mail acknowledges the problem and states that it is actively working to remove counterfeit stamps from circulation. This includes monitoring online marketplaces, collaborating with law enforcement agencies, and recovering counterfeit stamps with significant retail value.

However, the Chinese embassy in London has denied any state involvement in counterfeiting stamps, dismissing the claims as “absurd.” Instead, they emphasize the need for thorough investigation into the internal supply chain to address the issue. Despite this denial, concerns persist about the impact of counterfeit operations on the UK’s postal system and the need for concerted efforts to combat counterfeiting effectively.

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Royal Mail urged to investigate claims of Chinese-made fake stamps