Does any country REQUIRE you to use a certain stamp for mailing?

Many of us who love beautiful stamps know that you can use a variety of stamps to add up to or exceed the current rate for sending a postcard. You are NOT required to use the basic International stamp that your country issues.

This means, for example, that instead of using the Round Global USA stamp, US Postcrossers can use a variety of Forever or other stamps to add up to the current rate to send a postcard: $1.50.

I know this to be true in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, and Australia. (Same goes with domestic postcards too - you don’t have to use the postcard stamp, as long as your postage adds up to the current amount.)

But I started to wonder: are there any countries where you are required to use a single basic stamp for mailing International cards and letters? Or are there special stipulations related to using stamps that “add up”?

Thanks in advance!


Some more examples of my stamp combinations, primarily on official cards.

The USPS does not require that you use the domestic postcard stamp for domestic postcards, and the USPS does not require you to use the international stamp for international postcards.


All mail from Cyprus has to come with a refugee stamp (0.02 euro).


Any restrictions in Ukraine.

But generally people are too lazy to pick stamps, they not interested at all what is glued to their mailings - I mean regular senders, not PCsers :slight_smile:

Here is another problem. Some operators (post office workers) did not know rates and send cards like mails :slight_smile: Also some of them assure that you can use only letters nominal (A, U, F, L, T and others) and cannot use digit nominal (4.8 UAH 8 UAH, 9 UAH, 15 UAH and others).
It’s funny :rofl: they’re working not in the right place :laughing:


Goes for Finland as well. You can use an international stamp (globe, priority), a domestic stamp + a 0,20 €-stamp to make your combination priority, a domestic stamp (Finland’s map or former 1st or 2nd class, this is international economy) or euro-value stamps in sufficient amount.


I don’t know if you saw my post above, but those were almost all Official cards :wink:

And the ones I post here, they were all official cards - World Insects (and other Arthropods) Postcard List - #14 by adriennefriend :wink:

I take the time to add multiple stamps to 99% of my officials :blush:

I honestly think there would be more people doing it IF they didn’t think they HAD to use the International/Airmail stamp.

I think the problem is mostly awareness more than anything else. Especially if they are new to the hobby or stamps, when they go to the post office, they ask to send an international postcard, they are always going to be sold what is easiest and most convenient: the single stamp.

It’s actually even pretty affordable to use multiple stamps in the US, especially if you already have them around from purchasing them years ago! Today, if you buy an International stamp, it’s definitely going to cost you $1.50. But if you spent .41 cents each on Forever stamps when they came out in 2007, or in any year since when they were at a lower price, you can use them at the current rate.

And as an added bonus, the cards look nice :smiley:


In Belgium they have a really weird way of counting postage, they basically have 3 rates: Belgium, Europe and World, so they don’t have any value on them, which is the same as a lot of countries like the Netherlands, but in Belgium if you buy 5 of 10 stamps, you pay less per stamp, which is nice but this makes it really confusing as to what a stamp is actually worth in euro’s if you, for instance, want to combine two Belgium stamps to send a postcard internationally. Bpost employees have even told me before that you have to use the stamp for the destination it is designed for.


Thank you so much for your reply, @Regndroppar ! :blush:

I recently got some beautiful stamps from Finland. How many of these, or what combination, would you need to use to send a postcard to me in the US? Any example combination would be fine, I am simply curious!

Thank you again! :sun_behind_rain_cloud:

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Thank you so much for sharing, Daan @dlagerwaard ! I am really glad you spoke up on behalf of Belgium, because I’ve had a specific question about your country. I’m absolutely enamored of the Spider Splendor stamps that came out recently. I was arranging a swap with a Belgian Postcrosser and asked (very politely, not a demand!) about these. She said she couldn’t use them because they are for domestic use only. Is that the case? Could she have used them in combination with other stamps, or are they forbidden? Is this an example of another awareness issue about stamps?


Hi Adrienne, thanks for your message! Actually I am not from Belgium, I live in the Netherlands but I travel there a lot so that is why I am quite familiar with their postal service.

I actually have the exact stamps you have here with the spiders, I have a subscription with Bpost so I get the new issues in the mail. If you want, we can arrange a swap, just send me a PM as I will be in Belgium next week. Let me know!


Just PMed you, thank you so much! :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:

For the benefit of others who might be reading along, is it possible to send a postcard from Belgium to the US (or any other country that Belgium mails) with these stamps used as postage?

I have done it before without any issues, using two domestic stamps and have also received plenty of mail from other Postcrossers like that. Also, note that there are two types of domestic stamps in Belgium, most will be the standard non-prior type which I am talking about here, but there is also the prior type, they say prior and have a barcode on the side, I wouldn’t use these for international mail though because they are really expensive and I think that is not allowed because it confuses the machines.

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Oh, we have something like that here in Ukraine.

Nominalled (letters amount like H, T, D, V/U, L, M, F, X, N, C, G, R, Z/A, W, P…) increased at least twice already… So if you bought it earlier you’ve got a profit :grin:

But older issues of stamps is often cutiest than nowadays stamps. But due to LOW nominals in UAH you should to use many of them, and then there are no space for writing left…
Dilemma, huh :laughing:

And another problem is that some older issues is still selling officially, but its price… makes me mad :slight_smile:
Stamp sheet with 12*2 UAH (24 UAH in total) costs 108 UAH (9 UAH for one stamp), and when this stamp is glued, it still costs 2 UAH for a postage purpose :rofl:

Also we don’t have bulk price for stamps. For example , if you buy 1 - you pay 12 UAH, if you buy 1000 - you pay 12000 UAH…

Welcome to a Real World, Neo :joy:


Fascinating!! Thank you so much for taking the time to explain! :blush::heart:


In Italy it is convenient to use stamps that do not combine, since it is very difficult to find stamps with small denominations here :pensive:. In post office you can buy stamps for Italy or Europe and other distant countries (with special zone B, B1 or B2). Stamps with different denominations are sold only in special philatelic post office or online.


Here in Canada as long as it adds up to the correct post price you can.mix and match.

I try and do that when sending postcards so the recipient can have a variation of stamps. :blush::postbox:

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Here in Germany we don’t have special stamps for special purposes. So all stamps that have € value can be used freely in any way and combination you like. But old stamps that have still DM value only (there are stamps which have both DM and € value they are still valid) are not valid anymore.

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Only the three stamps with text “1 luokka/klass” are still valid. (They are an older version of our “forever” stamps, newer ones have a picture symbol [snowflake, map, globe] on them). 1st class is worth the current domestic rate and can be used alone as “international economy” or combined with 0,20 cnts stamp as “international priority”. The other stamps with monetary value printed on them are no longer valid. Our currency changed on January 1st, 2002 and we were allowed to use stamps with Finnish Mark value till the end of 2011. Now we can only use stamps with Euro value or any of the “forever” stamps.


To answer the question, there is no international stamp here for use.

We have 1st local (currently worth 31 cents) and 2nd local (currently worth 38 cents)

International postage is 80 cents at the moment.
Some pairings of mine include 60 + 20, 50 + 1st local, 70 + 5 + 5.
Occasionally I go with the single 80

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In Italy it is possible to use all the stamps issued since 1967. It is therefore possible to combine stamps by doing the sum of their face value and the important thing is to reach (or at most even exceed) the rate necessary for the shipment you wish to send. A particular type of stamp is therefore not mandatory.

Based on my experience, in Cyprus, for any shipment it is necessary to add the €0.02 Refugee stamp in addition to the stamps to reach the rate.