04.11.2016 - PostNL withdraws its regular dated handstamps

(rh/filatelie) It’s not unusual to hear Dutch stamp collectors complain about the quality of the cancellations that they encounter on their domestic mail. According to Kees Verhulst, author of a regular column in Holland’s largest stamp magazine ‘Filatelie’ called ‘Nederlandse stempels’, there will soon be an end to those complaints. That may sound positive, but it is far from that. With effect from the first of January 2017, the Dutch postal service, PostNL, will withdraw all regular handstamps that are currently in use on the Dutch post offices. The reason, according to PostNL, is ‘process simplification’. All post offices will have to turn in their hand stamps on the aforementioned date. It means that no post office in the Netherlands will have the possibility to cancel mail that they take in. The same applies to PostNL's P.O. box service and its so-calledbusiness locations.
With effect from 1 January 2017, mail that is posted in a Dutch post office will be cancelled only in one of the sorting facilities of PostNL. This will be done with the same metal rollers stamps that are detested by most stamp collectors. The stamp collector’s service ‘CollectClub’ will continue to offer used stamps that are cancelled with a dated handstamp that shows the text 'DEN HAAG COLLECT CLUB. Furthermore collectors will be able to obtain special postmarks and handstamps when philatelic events take place.
So, complaints about the 'normal' cancellations on Dutch domestic mail will soon fall silent, just because these cancellations will cease to exist! According to ‘Filatelie’, the post’s decision will turn out to be an unmitigated disaster for a hobby that offers its adepts so much fun.