Bureau D'études Des Postes Et Télécommunications D'outre-mer - Actions in The Postal Sector

Actions in The Postal Sector

The BEPTOM help to install, maintain and regulate postal networks included the creation of postage stamps if the territories and countries asked for it. If they kept the choice of the subjects depicted on stamps, the BEPTOM brought the necessary expertise: French stamp designers and engravers and the French Post' printer plant, the Imprimerie des timbres-poste et des valeurs fiduciaires.

The Agence des timbres-poste d'outre-mer (ATPOM, Overseas Postage Stamp Agency), located avenue de la Bourdonnais in Paris, sold the stamps to collectors. It was a continuous activity started by the Minister of Colonies in the 1894, then at the Pavillon de Flore in the Louvre Palace, and after at different addresses: 10 rue du Mont-Thabor, rue Vaneau and 80 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. African post offices promoted their philately at low cost because the French philatelic press and stamp dealers contacted directly the ATPOM.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the oversea territories and African countries' post offices were inform of the project to close the BEPTOM. La Poste postage stamp agency, the Postage Stamp and Philately National Service, proposed its printing service to the Overseas collectivities, its subsidiaries in Mayotte and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and the independent public postal operators in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis-et-Futuna.

In Africa, BEPTOM helped post offices took two ways on the market of postage stamp creation: either they hired printers to print their philatelic program, or they gave an agency the contract of creating, printing and selling this program. Depending on the countries' financial possibilities and need in postage stamps for their interior market, some kept a controlled policy of stamp issues like Mali that hired reputed printers like Courvoisier and the Tunisian post. Others lost control of their issuing policy like Burkina Faso: agencies proposed on the philatelic market lots of stamps without any thematical links to the country. From the creation of the WADP Numbering System (WNS) and the discovery of illegal stamps, never ordered by the countries they bore the name, former BEPTOM helped countries in Francophone Africa had retook charge of their philatelic programs.

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