In the announcement of new issues we try to make clear which are (in our perception) real and non-real stamps. We do that by grouping them in categories, like Official issues, Personalised stamps, Private issues and Foot-note issues. Especially the last catagory often gives room for discussion.
Offical issues are without exception all issues from countries that are listed in the UPU site World Numbering System (www.wnsstamps.post) of the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP), a part of the U.P.U.
Personalised stamps are off course stamps with a personal image on the stamp or the tab next to it, that can be ordered at the various postal services.
Private issues are stamps that are used by the various private post organizations for delivery of their post.
With the Foot-note issues the situation is different. In the 70-ies there were several countries, regions and states that, often under the wings of agents and traders, issued a huge number of stamps with the only intention to fill the public treasury. At that time we called these Harmful issues, and the states Robbery states, and separate catalogues of these countries existed.
Nowadays the governements of especially African states sell the rights to issue stamps
to agencies which shower a flood of stamps, often "packed" in blocks, over our heads. During a long period these items were not listed in the regular catalogues, but now the big money wins and we find them back in the Michel and other reference works. But the shower of issues is so heavy that it looks like there is another robbery going on, of our money, using our drive to be and stay "complete". Because many people see our judgment as decisive for collecting, we want to give a note to this kind of issues as warning. And this has thus become "Foot-note issue".
Judging whether something earns a Foot-note is done by looking to the issuing policy of a country. If the country uses an agency for its stamp issues, we look to the number of issues per year and whether the stamp values represent the usual postal tarifs. When there are many issues which are comparable in design but with different themes, the alarm bells really start to jingle. This is easy to check by visiting a few internet sales sites.
Within the U.P.U. there are guidelines which, amongst others, state that an issue must have a relation with the issuing country. To me it does not seem that for instance a series from Central African Republic with Elvis Presley containing a motorcycle stamp obeys this rule. This issue is thus not regarded to be "Wrong", but it will be called a Foot-note issue.
By the way, when a country issues a set of blocks with a Gold Wing motorcycle I simply buy it. Thus don't have scruples to put them in your albums if you just like them.
Hans de Kloet
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