Canada Post Debuts Permanent Stamp

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Canada Post has introduced a non-denominated stamp that will retain its value forever.

The Permanent stamp will be accepted at the basic domestic Lettermail rate within Canada, and it replaces next year's 52-cent domestic rate-definitive stamps, said Canada Post, Ottawa. Mailing a Permanent stamp outside of Canada will incur an additional fee. This is the first time such a stamp has been issued.

"The Permanent stamp will eliminate the need to purchase 1-cent stamps after a rate increase, doing away with the need for Canadians to worry about using up postage stamps before a rate increase takes effect," said Nicole Lemire, a Canada Post spokeswoman.

The Permanent stamp goes on sale at the current domestic rate of 51 cents (Canadian) Nov. 16. These stamps will be accepted at the 52-cent rate effective Jan. 15, when the basic Lettermail rate rises by 1 cent. Canada Post does not necessarily raise stamp prices every year.

Canada Post talked with consumers before launching the stamp and found that 70 percent liked the idea of a stamp that retained its value, Ms. Lemire said.

Canadians also can use up their stock of 51-cent stamps, which will be accepted next year at the 52-cent rate even after the Jan. 15 rate increase.

Britain, Finland, Israel, Belgium, France, Norway and Sweden are among the countries that sell value-retaining stamps. The U.S. Postal Service may get into the act. In its May 3 filing for an average 8.5 percent postal rate increase, the agency seeks permission to issue a non-denominated First Class forever stamp to hedge against future rate increases. The stamp would be good for 1-ounce single-piece First Class Mail pieces.

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