Question about IRC

I want to order some international reply coupon. Theoretically every country in UPU should accept this coupon but as far as I know some members do not actually accept this. Do you guys know which countries accept this coupon in reality? Thank you

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Really? I didn’t know there were countries that don’t accept IRC.

Even Northern Cyprus, which is not a member of the UPU, accepts them.

Bostwana do not accept irc

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But it is a member of upu

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yes, that true. They have to but the truth is some members do not. I think UPU should work on that to solve this problem. some members are not accepting IRC. if they do not agree with the rule, why they are still in this group?

Those have not been available or used in the US for many years

Not accepted in Danmark.

You can take them to a post office in the UK in exchange for international stamps, but I imagine they would complain unless you went to a Crown Post Office - one run by Royal Mail itself rather than a subsidiary post office.

Royal Mail hasn’t sold them since 2011, and even before then I don’t think they were used by any great number of people.

Practically, it is like using any other awkward technicality that exists in the world. Sometimes it will get rejected not because it is not valid, but because it is so unusual and the education of staff is second to turning a profit.

Royal Mail decided to opt in to allowing the use of IRCs to still exchange stamps, but as it is a commercial product they can opt out at any point, as any business would be able to. Quote “participation is voluntary” (regarding the scheme):

In other words, just because a country is within the UPU doesn’t mean they will be accepted there.

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thank you but what about those oversea territories of the UK like British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Anguilla? is there any information about them?

If I recall right we had a thread going on about this last year or so, and it turned out that IRC are technically accepted but it is very difficult to use them as post office workers generally have no idea of how to process them / they don’t know about them. I tried to use one of these once long ago. Managed to buy one but never got to use it. In my opinion it is too big hassle to try to use them so I would attempt only if it was about something important and me and the receiver/sender both have time and patience to deal with the post office about it. IRC is like a relic from the past, forgotten but still somehow holding on.

So far that I know you can’t buy IRC in Sweden (PostNord stopped issuing them years ago) but you can technically use one. The problem might be that we don’t have actual post offices anymore, so if you go to your local post pick up place at grocery store with IRC, the chances are that you are just making some poor grocery store worker very confused.

OP Maybe ypu can ask to start a wiki or something on countries that do and accept them and who still sells them.

As the UPU reports “IRCs can be exchanged in any post office. All UPU member countries and territories are obliged to exchange IRCs” while, on the contrary, they are not obliged to sell them. If you are interested, here you can find the list of countries that should sell the current IRC series “Abidjan” which can be exchanged until 31.12.2025.
In Italy, from what I know and from my personal experience, IRCs can only be purchased in Philatelic Spaces which are special post offices used exclusively for the sale of stamps and other philatelic products and perhaps in some post offices that have a philatelic counter inside them. Regards the exchange of IRCs into stamps, I think that only Philatelic Spaces are able to do it. Consider that in Italy, to date, there are 10 Philatelic Spaces throughout Italy (Rome, Rome 1, Milan, Venice, Naples, Trieste, Genoa, Turin, Florence, Verona) while the Post Offices with philatelic counter are around 487 throughout Italy and the Post Offices without philatelic counter in which it should still be possible to buy stamps (at most it is not possible to choose the issue) are about 12.260 throughout Italy.

Anyway, I also think it could be really useful to open a kind of wiki based on the experience of the users of this forum, in order to have as much practical information as possible to help all those who rightly want to continue nowadays use this post tool. For example, being also a radio listener (SWL), I am aware that many radio amateurs operators and shortwave radio stations still use IRCs to request QSL cards (for those interested in this topic, you can find all the information here

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I think these were useful before credit cards; now if you want to buy something and have it shipped you can use a credit card and have the payment converted to the local currency. Or transfer money to someone using PayPal or some other service

Taiwan is not a member of UPU, but it is acceptable to exchange with Japan‘s IRC