The last Icelandic postage stamps could be released in two years time. Iceland Post recently announced the decision to stop servicing postage stamp collectors due to heavy losses in recent years. The service, which has mainly been used by stamp collectors all over the world, will stop in 2020, RÚV reports.
Iceland Post is in the process of restructuring due to heavy operating losses in recent years. The staff members of the Philatelic Sales part of Iceland Post were among those who received a letter of resignation from the organization, as part of company-wide layoffs.
“Iceland Post has run an ambitious operation and postage stamp publication for decades,” said CEO Birgir Jónsson. “Now, the outlook for the company’s operational environment means that we cannot continue the publication. We’ve lost tens of millions each year on this operation. This is part of the rationalization measures which we’re in the middle of. Regrettably, we have to cut down there as we do in other departments.”
Collectors buying Icelandic postage stamps have led them spreading all over the world. Collector purchases have been the foundation for publishing new postage stamps in recent years, but dwindling sales have led to Iceland Post having had to reconsider the publication.
The publication of new postage stamps is prepared years in advance. The publication will be continued through next year, and maybe a little bit into 2021, to finish prior plans. According to Birgir, the publication will cease then and Iceland Post will rely on its sizable postage stamp stock. “We have a stock of stamps which will last for many years, and maybe until the last letter will be sent.” Birgir says that if the stamp stock finishes before the last letters and postcards will be sent, it is possible to re-print stamps.
Iceland Post’s exclusive right to distribute letters is void at the end of 2019. The company is now working on finalizing a service agreement with Icelandic authorities. Directors at Iceland Post state they are willing to continue publishing stamps if authorities consider stamps culturally important. They state, however, that the state will have to cover costs if the publication is to continue.