Thursday, February 23, 2012

Estonia 1991-93: Inflation, rates and franking

On 1st of January, 1991 new postal rates were implemented in Estonian Soviet Republic. Postal rates went higher considerably, cost of inland regular letter rose from previous 5 kopecks to 15 kopecks (3x raise) and inland registered letter from 10 kopecks to 65 (6,5x raise). With this new price list Estonian SSR separated from a large Soviet postal service and a new, independent postal area was created, which was administrated by government office Eesti Post.

But the use of Soviet stamps and stationery was continued because own stamps and other postal items (for example stationery) were lacking. Larger rates soon created a deficite of stamps. Envelopes, Soviet produced stationery were in satisfactory quantities
at first but their franking was only 5 kopecks. Many older stationery were used with 4 kopecks nominal and also new Soviet stationery with 7 kopecks rates. Cut outs (squares) of additional stationery were used to get together proper rates.
Also handmade envelopes were used.

Next raise of rates came in 1st of July, 1991. Inland regular and registered letter rates were raised each by another 5 kopecks.
Estonia became independent in 20th of August 1991 and from this period onwards, cooperation with USSR, meaning no additional stamps of stationery of USSR were received.
In 1st of October 1991 first set of Estonian stamps were issued, with two additional stamps to this set issued in 1st of November.

In total, eleven stamps with different nominations were issued in 1991. But they were not available enough in Post Offices, although large printing numbers were large (26 440 000 total). Larger nominations were deficite.

Before new year, in 15th of December 1991 rates to foreign destinations were raised. And another change in addition - from the 1st January of 1992, all Soviet stamps and stationery became INVALID. All of this created problems and confusion.

To be continued ...

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