🇨🇦 Canada Post -
30 January 2023 - Black history month, Chloe Cooley, early slave in Canada - 1 self-adhesive stamp issued in booklets of 6 stamps. Designed by Lime Design from an illustration by Rick Jacobsen. Rating:- ****.
🇯🇪 Jersey Post -
16 February 2023 - Post and Go, Jersey baby farm animals - se-tenant strip of 6 different self-adhesive stamps. Designed by Sabrina Luoni and digitally printed by Cartoe. Rating:- ****.
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone ?Stamperija -
2023 - International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People - 5 stamps produced in sheetlets of 20 stamps (4 horizontal strips of 5 se-tenant stamps), 1 miniature sheet containing 8 stamps (2 sets of 4 different stamps), 1 miniature sheet containing a single stamp, imperforate versions of the foregoing, 1 postcard (with Salpost logo) depicting 4 of the stamps on the obverse and 2 proof-style cards (1 depicting 4 different stamps and the other depicting the fifth stamp)
These items are offered for sale by an Algeria-based internet auction site dealer. Also on sale are many items from territories such as Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Djibouti, Togo and other countries whose modern philatelic product issuing is in the hands of Stamperija as is the case with Sierra Leone. The dealer also offers older stamps issued mainly by African Francophone territories which do not have a relationship with Stamperija. The products often are part of a ‘joint issue’ with other Stamperija clients on popular themes such as the COVID-19 pandemic and include not just basic stamps and miniature sheets but also postcards, proof-like items, sheetlets and booklets and so on. Most of the items are said to be ‘rare’ or issued in very limited numbers and they cost a lot of money to obtain them.
The stamps usually feature important subjects or have the appearance of being definitives but I find them to be dubious and I am highly suspicious that these represent just another ploy by Stamperija to boost its profits by producing what look like serious items of a more sophisticated quality than the multiple thematic miniature sheets which it normally produces and sells and thereby appealing to, or at least confusing, serious new issue collectors who may believe that they really do look like they were produced for genuine mail usage in the territories whose names are printed on them.
Of course, I may be wrong but at this stage I don’t think so. It has to be significant that the countries identified in the stamps are all Stamperija clients apart from occasional issues such as the highly expensive and limited edition COVID-19 set put out for South Sudan which was sold in that country for use on mail as reported by the South Sudan study group.
Until I see convincing evidence that these items are on active sale in Sierra Leone post offices for use by ordinary mail senders I shall continue to conclude that they are products emanating from Stamperija and will certainly not dream of spending any money on them.
Commonwealth countries and territories whose postal services are not known to have issued, or have had issued on their behalf, any legitimate postage stamps so far during 2023.
Two previous entities have been removed from the list - Mozambique which has no functioning postal service and therefore has no need of postage stamps and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands because it is not a real political entity and rarely has products released with its name printed on them. Any products inscribed Rarotonga will be counted with the products simply inscribed Cook Islands. Mozambique was excluded last year though part of the service seems to have been still functioning (though not too any great great degree and probably not ordinary mail services) but the service legally should have been fully wound up by December 2022. Any products emanating from Mozambique’s former ‘philatelic agent’, Stamperija, are clearly nonsensical in the absence of a postal service.
The year began therefore with 88 Commonwealth philatelic entities making up the list.
By the end of January, the following had not yet had any 2023 new issues produced by them or in their name -
Aitutaki Cook Islands
Alderney Bailiwick of Guernsey
Antigua and Barbuda
Australian Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australia
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Grenada Carriacou And Petite Martinique
Papua New Guinea
Penrhyn Cook Islands
St Vincent And The Grenadines
South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands
Trinidad And Tobago
Tristan Da Cunha
Turks And Caicos Islands
United Republic of Tanzania
These philatelic entities began 2023 in the listing but are known to have issued stamps during January -
British Antarctic Territory
British Virgin Islands
Christmas Island Australia
Isle Of Man
Norfolk Island Australia
Hence at the end of January, 69 of the 88 Commonwealth philatelic entities are not known to have issued or had issued on their behalf any legitimate postage stamps so far in 2023.