Postage stamps and postal history of Hong Kong

Hong Kong formerly produced postage stamps with the name "Hong Kong", with the face of the reigning monarchs of the United Kingdom, or with the royal symbols (e.g. "E.R."). After the Hong Kong's transfer of sovereignty to China, stamps are now issued with the name "Hong Kong, China". British Hong Kong postage stamps are no longer valid for prepayment of postage or repurchased by the Post Office.

The postal system in Hong Kong began in 1841 when the Royal Mail established an office in the region. Merchants were trading in Hong Kong at the two sides of Victoria Harbour for some years before the establishment of the British possession in 1842. They had complained about the absence of proper postal services and therefore the Postal Department was established.

On 8 December 1862, the Office isssued the first set of Hong Kong postal stamps. Before that, only British soldiers in Hong Kong could use British stamps while other local residents did not have any.

Until the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, BFPO 1 was the address for British forces serving in the former colony. When sending mail from the UK to a member of HM Forces serving overseas, the sender must address it to the appropriate BFPO number, and not to the country in which that person is based. BFPO1 addressed mail was charged at the inland UK rate.

References

* Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
* Stuart Rossiter & John Flower: "The Stamp Atlas"
* Webb, F. W. (1961) "The Philatelic and Postal History of Hong Kong and the Treaty Ports of China and Japan", The Royal Philatelic Society London

External links

* [http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/home.html Encyclopaedia of Postal History]


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