Berne, 14 January 2002
International Bureau Circular 15
Russian Federation - Illegal issues of postage stamps
The postal administration of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION asks me to inform you of the following:
''As a member of the Universal Postal Union, the postal administration of the Russian Federation issues postage stamps in accordance with the provisions of the Universal Postal Convention and the Letter Post Regulations.
"However, there has recently appeared on world philatelic markets a large number of illicit stamp issues distributed on behalf of official territorial entities of the Russian Federation. These issues feature 'fashionable' subjects such as political figures, sports celebrities, Hollywood movie stars, etc.
"The postal administration of the Russian Federation draws your attention to the fact that the regions on whose behalf these stamps have been issued form an integral part of the Russian Federation and that, according to the provisions of the UPU Regulations and Russian Federation legislation, they are not authorized to issue postage stamps independently (the list of these regions appears in the annex). All stamps issued on behalf of official territorial entities of the Russian Federation must therefore be regarded as illegal. They have no connection with the Post and cannot be used as an official means of indicating prepayment of postage.
"These forged stamps are being issued by anonymous private companies operating outside Russia and have no direct connection with the official territorial entities of the Russian Federation.
"The distribution of illegal postage stamps does serious moral and economic harm to the Russian Federation, discredits the Russian postal service in the eyes of the world philatelic community and encourages collectors to avoid buying not only illegal but also perfectly legal stamp issues."
K J S McKEOWN
List of regions of the Russian Federation on whose behalf illegal stamps have been issued