Counter Printed Stamps

Counter printed stamps are put on the envelopes by the postal clerk directly at the counter which distinguishes them from  meters applied by the customers.
In general the postal counter postage labels carry a date. Therefore they are not cancelled by a circular date stamp.

First trial

First trials with postage labels date back to the mid of the 1960s. At the parcel post counters at the Port Moresby, Rabaul and at Madang post office so-called cash-register machines were used. These machines did not work as expected. That is why they were put out of service. Hence only very few usages are known.

Port Moresby
Rabaul purple
Rabaul red
Port Moresby 09.05.1968
Port Moresby 11.01.1969

Second trial

Since January 1995 renewed efforts were made with regards to counter-printed postage labels. For this purpose the machines produced by the Australian company Hytech were put to use. In English-language trade journals the labels were known as PVI-labels (postal validation imprint) or CPS (counter printed stamps).

Basically the labels may be sorted according to three stamp designs and two different types of paper.

bird of paradise logo
Post logo
without logo

As a specialty a security paper with butterfly print and security thread with hologramme was used. With this paper no prints of the bird of paradise logo are known.

Post logo
without logo

The prints with logo come with five lines of print which have the following meaning:

  1. number of town in combination with a continuous control number
  2. date of use
  3. time and machine number
  4. value imprint
  5. country name

The first and third line are of specific interest.

The first two digits in the first line identify the place of use. The following 6 digits are the control number. As can be seen from the few examples known only a few hundred prints per machine were produced..

places of use

the first two digits correspond to the following places

11Boroko12Pt. Moresby21Alotau
28Mount Hagen41





machine numbers

The machine numbers of line three have four digits. So far numbers between 3397 and 3603 have been recorded:




This example from Kimbe points to three additional varieties:

  • Registered with registration number
  • additional marking PAR AVION
  • three diagonal bars

This line system is not always applied. In the prints without logo, where the country name has three lines, some information is missing.

In the first case time and date are printed. Therefore the place of use is not visible. In the second case there is no date. Instead the line with the place of use is given - 28 Mount Hagen. The printing number must be wrongly set as there are only very few examples known from Mount Hagen.

The most common case where counter printed postage labels were used, is additional frankings on mail that was underpaid when handed in at the counter.

 All machines are out of order meanwhile. Usages after 1998 are not known.

Post logo
bird od paradise logo
Post logo
without logo