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Bosnia and Herzegovina – BH Pošta

08 May 2020

COVID-19 Awareness (Postal Tax Stamps)

Bosnia and Herzegovina BH Pošta: COVID-19 Awareness (postal tax stamps), 8 May 2020. Images from private collection.

Technical Specifications:

Issued on: 2020-05-08
Colors: Multicolor
Emission: Postal Tax
Perforation: Imperforate
Printing: Offset lithography
Denominations: 0.20 KM, 0.50 KM (Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible marks)

“Red Cross response to COVID-19”
Stamps issued by the Red Cross Society of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The 0.20 KM stamp was mandatory on all domestic letters mailed May 8-15 (in cooperation with the post office).
The 0.50 KM stamp was sold by Red Cross workers to civilians on the street to raise funds.
All proceeds from the sale of both stamps go to the Red Cross Society.
May 8 is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

Postal Tax Stamp:

A Postal tax stamp refers to a stamp which raises revenue for charity or war related projects. Postal tax stamps are similar to semi-postals, except their use is mandatory instead of voluntary. They are used to show payment of a compulsory tax on mailing letters and parcels. The taxes often go to a charitable institution or fund.

The postal tax stamp originated in Spain and Portugal. Many Balkan nations and some Latin American nations have been the most prolific issuers of postal tax stamps. There are no postal tax stamps in the United States.

Three Postal Administrations

Since independence in 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had three postal authorities corresponding with the ethnic and administrative division of the country. Stamps are issued by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Post (BH Pošta, Sarajevo), Croatian Posts (Hrvatska pošta Mostar, Mostar), and Serbian Posts (Pošte Srpske, Banja Luka). In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stamps issued by BH Pošta (the areas controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995) and HP Mostar (the areas controlled by the Croatian Defence Council in 1995) are valid while in Republika Srpska stamps issued by the Pošte Srpske are valid.

BH Pošta stamps were first issued 27 October 1993, inscribed Republika Bosna i Hercegovina; since 1996 the inscriptions have read just Bosna i Hercegovina. The currency was the Bosnia and Herzegovina dinar until 1 October 1998, replaced by the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark.

HP Mostar has issued stamps since 12 May 1993. Initially the stamps were inscribed Bosna i Hercegovina / Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna, or abbreviated HR Herceg-Bosna. From 1996, the stamps bear the inscription Bosna i Hercegovina, but with a different logo than BH Pošta. The currency was initially the Croatian kuna, and from 1999 the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark. Since 2011, both postal authorities have used the double label Bosna i Hercegovina / Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine (sometimes abbreviated as FBiH), maintaining different logos and areas of use.

Pošte Srpske in Banja Luka started to issue stamps on 26 October 1992. The stamps first had the inscription Republika Srpska, and the currency was the Yugoslav dinar until 24 December 1992. Since 15 July 2003, the stamps bear the double inscription Bosna i Hercegovina / Republika Srpska. The stamps of Republika Srpska usually use the Cyrillic script, so the label reads Рeпублиҝa Српска.

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