Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 TAAF Stamps

I received some stamps from LaPoste the other day which included the first "batch" of TAAF stamps for 2009. They always release most of their TAAF stamps for the year on January 1 and then another issue at the end of every quarter for the rest of the year.

I love collecting stamps from the Antarctic colonies, particularly TAAF. I just wish it was a little easier to get them. You can't buy them online from LaPoste. Unless you're in France and can't buy them in person. you have to do it through their catalog which is published every quarter. A simple email will get this sent to you. I think you can fax in your order but I've never tried. So every quarter (which is usually how often I buy stamps from France) I'm filling out an order form and mailing it over there. Sometime it takes up to a month to process. But the stamps are packed well (free shipping for orders over 40 euro) and are sent by registered mail. Of course, knowing a bit of French helps but the order form is multi-lingual. The catalog is not though.

The only problem I find with the catalogs is that they don't always print images for every stamp from the territories (St Pierre & Miquelon, Monaco, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Mayotta, French Andorra) so sometimes you just have to know what you want. And just because it isn't in the catalog doesn't mean they don't have any stock remaining. When it comes to the territories, because they only devote a few pages to them, they typically only feature the latest issues. That certainly doesn't mean you can't take a chance something not in the catalog though.

I recently discovered LaPoste makes their monthly philatelic news publication, Philinfo, available online (just click "Philinfo en ligne" in the side bar then the image of the Philinfo magazine that appears on the right). All you need to do is register to gain access to it. It includes information about all the stamps and philatelic products to be issued in that month. Only problem is, they don't appear to make previous months available. And you can't download it.

NOTE: You must now pay a subscription fee to view Philinfo online

These are some of my favorite stamps from January 2009 TAAF issues:

TAAF 2009:Pétrels
TAAF 2009:Algologie - Biologie des espèces