Read also: ANDORRA - French Post. Variable rate stamps (Spanish version only)
From July 1992 and up to September 1996, before the appearance of the 'Green mountain' ATM with the inscription "PRINCIPAT D'ANDORRA", an unique situation in the recent world-wide history of the mail took place. For more than 4 years the franking balances installed in Andorra issued ATMs (real stamps) using an adhesive paper with the legend "CORREOS - ESPAÑA" (Post - Spain), identical to those being used in the Spanish post offices.
This strange situation was possible because of the special and unique character of the postal service in Andorra. It's an small independent country, but the postal service is shared by the Spanish Post, (treating Andorra as a dependent office of Lleida), and the French Post, having also their own post offices.
During this period thermal types 1 to 7 of Spain were used; The ATMs and the shipments thus franked, are recognized solely by the number of the machine printed on the ATM and the postmark information.
Exact dates for the periods of use for the papers and the franking balances are unknown, but we can have a reference:
During the last months of 1992 a new variety of the same paper, manufactured by F.N.M.T., was used.
These franking labels initially were considered to be for the immediate franking of the shipments deposited in the post office. The customer could not take them away, and the ATMs were issued by the balance without the basis siliconated paper and were to be used immediately on the shipment.
In the first months of 1993 some modifications to balance 1002 were made. The new configuration printed asterisks (for security) before the face value and the balance were able to issue ATMs with or without a date. in the first case -this was the theory-, the ATMs or stamps were used for immediate franking and would not require any type of postmark. The ATMs without the date could be taken away by the customer and used as a normal franking at anytime.
The exact date of these modifications is not known, but the first ATMs know without a date were issued in March 1993.
During the next few years the other designs were used, although the exact periods of use of each design and in which balance(s) is not known.
From the summer of 1996 and during the next months the remaining Spanish rolls that remained in the post office were used, in some cases at the same time as the new model inscribed Principat d'Andorra.
ATMs of Spanish issues with postmark dates later than September 1996 can be found, most of them coming from the strips issued for sale in the other post offices of Andorra, without their own franking balances.
© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created in 1999 and last updated: 24.01.06 . English edition rewritted by S. Goodman (04.06.05)