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Author Topic: IRC Question  (Read 1162 times)

Posts: 103


« on: October 24, 2012, 09:36:22 AM »

Why am I getting IRCs stamped for a country that differs from the destination I need to send the QSL back to? For example, I received a QSL from a Russian station, the IRC was for Japan (stamped).

Will the USPS honor stamped IRCs if the destination country is not the same as that indicated on the IRC?


Posts: 3956

« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 09:53:46 AM »

The IRC is stamped in the lower left block, WHEN AND WHEREVER PURCHASED.  When redeemed, it is stamped in the lower right block, wherever it is redeemed, basically CANCELING the IRC.  

If you received an IRC stamped either in the lower right box or both, it is considered canceled and has NO value.  Hope this helps.

The country where it was purchased makes no difference. If it has not been canceled, it is good for whatever country you send it to, IF they accept IRCs.
Some say IRCs sent from NA have to have a NA purchase stamp, but not according to the rules.  You might get an IRC from an Italian ham, and if you send it a Japanese ham, for him to redeem and send you his card, it should be OK.

73, Gene AF3Y
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 09:57:18 AM by AF3Y » Logged

Posts: 103


« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 10:03:02 AM »

Thanks for the clarification.  I'm amazed how many EU ops send me IRC that aren't stamped at all!

Posts: 2925


« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 12:04:04 PM »

What Gene said, but with one clarification. Italy seems to be the outlier. I've had this told to me by a number of hams now (at least 4 or 5), that the continent of origin does, in fact, matter to Italian postal clerks. If it's a European-originated IRC they won't redeem it for air mail to North America, and a North American IRC won't be enough for a card to Japan.

Some countries do not postmark the IRC in the lower-left block upon issue; these are still valid. So long as nothing is in the lower-right block the coupon is valid until its expiration date. (in the current case, Dec. 2013).
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.

Posts: 266

« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 01:34:43 PM »

I buy IRC's in bulk from domestic qsl managers, they are from a huge variety of countries...properly stamped by the issuing post office. When I send an IRC, it will hardly ever be a G'land IRC.

Additionally, the IRC's I receive from other radio amateurs around the world simply get sent out again, and plenty of those are not from their country, so are clearly recycled.

Italy is the only country that I know of that is funny as far as continental origin. So there is no real justification for anyone else to refuse IRC's that are not from the sender's country of origin.

As a sidenote, the United Kingdom post office is no longer selling IRC's.... though it will redeem them as per UPU regulations. But the feeling is that UPU will not insist upon members even redeeming them in the future. IRC's will be disappearing.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 01:43:11 PM by M0TTB » Logged


Posts: 3956

« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 04:08:39 PM »

Per the above and from

Phil, G3SWH, has received the following info from the Royal Mail: "Due to declining international mail volumes and electronic substitution, customer demand for International Reply Coupons has been falling dramatically over the last few years.

"Overall sales of International Reply Coupons have been very low indeed - on average just 4 per annum bought from each Post Office branch. Therefore, it was no longer commercially viable to maintain the sale of coupons and Royal Mail has taken the decision to withdraw them from sale.
"International Reply Coupons have not been withdrawn globally from sale. Under UPU regulations Royal Mail through Post Office Counters is obliged to redeem International Reply Coupons presented having been purchased overseas, but we are not obliged to sell them. However, I can confirm that customers have up to December 2013 to redeem IRCs."
Phil states, "This seems to be much more in line with the Royal Mail's responsibilities under their UPU membership. Looks like they're safe until 31st December 2013. It may be that the UPU will change their rules after that date (which would be no bad thing IMHO)."
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