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Special rules

for the expertising area of SBZ (soviet occupation zone)

This special supplement concerns:

• the stamp issues Michel Nos. 1-165, Bl. 1-5 and the related postal stationery items of the respective RPD and OPD,
• se-tenant stamps and sheets,
• postmasters’ s perforations or roulettes
• also prepayment in cash, emergency postmarks and emergency measures on the territory of the SBZ from 1 May 1945 to 31 October 1946

1. “Signing”

a. On the basis of the Michel specialised catalogue the following will be “signed” with expertising marks:

i. Types of paper
ii. Colour identification
iii. Watermarks
iv. Types of gum
v. Plate errors
vi. Empty fields in the sheet (not for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
vii. Perforation varieties
viii. Imperforate stamps

b. Different rules may also be agreed on request, insofar as they conform with the general expertising rules.

c. In the case of multiples, each individual stamp may have an expertising mark, preferably when the classification of multiples is easier or transitional colours are more easily identified within an sheet. For simple variants the type designation is adequate.

d. Stamps with partial impressions of postmarks – for example from multiples or pieces – may receive the “ECHT im Block geprüft” (GENUINE expertised in a multiple) marking in addition to the “signing”.

e. Single stamps which show only a partial impression of a postmark but which can clearly be identified may be marked if the postmark was used in the relevant place during the period of validity of the stamp, and can be classified as “contemporary”.

f. Stamps which are expertised are marked on the back. Marking is omitted if subsequent manipulation of an item cannot be excluded, for example if the item does not allow an identifiable “signing” (for example in the case of postcards).

g. Stamps can be individually marked on documents as in the first sentence of 1f. With simple variants, a suitable type marking is sufficient.

h. The separations of Michel Nos. 42-50, 66-71, 85-86, 116-123 that are not recognised as official are marked as “private perforation” or “private roulette”.

i. Used stamps with the ‘POL’ perfin of Halle may be marked with the additional note: “Pol”.

j. Stamps which are shown in the catalogue as having gum differences may be marked when used, if there is enough of the original gum to identify it. At least 50% of the gum surface is regarded as sufficient.

k. Partially perforated stamps may be expertised only in pairs or multiples that are imperforate between the impressions or show a wide sheet margin.

2. Photo-attestations, findings and short findings for covers

a. For high-value and rare items, photo attestations/findings are given; short findings for higher-value items. The same procedure is followed for covers.

b. Basically only photo-attestations or findings will be issued for miniature sheets of Thuringia (Blocks 1-4) and West Saxony (Block 5).

3. Postmark questions

In regard to the question of genuineness of the surcharged issues (Michel Nos. 87-89, 112-15, Bl. 4, 138-49)

We assume actual validity of these surcharge stamps up to 31 October 1946, the last date of general validity of all SBZ territory issues. Almost all the covers with these stamps were definitely carried even after 31 March 1946. Sale to collectors and also postmarking was done after 31 March 1946.

The above issues are therefore considered valid up to 31 March 1946 and are accordingly marked/attested.

4. Quality

Many issues in this expertising area were produced under difficult conditions and with the inferior materials of the time.

5. Miscellaneous

a. If items sent for expertising cannot be expertised in the submitted state, they may be returned so that they can be returned with a request to put them in an expertisable condition and to resubmit them.

b. The watermark expertising of stamps on cover is not always possible beyond doubt (Michel Nos. 90-91 or 162-65).

c. For all special requests, a supplement may be charged depending on the time spent. Any kind of special request requires the prior agreement of the expertiser.

d. Items for expertising that were used abroad are to be submitted to the competent territorial expertiser for postmark examination. With mixed frankings, the expertiser is responsible in whose area the cancellation falls.