Belgium (II). Commemorative ATM issues (2006 - ...)

Belgica'06  |  Premio Massari  |  Euro-Phila 2007  |  Frutas  |  Luxphila 2008


A month after the closing of España 06 - Exposición Mundial de Filatelia, held in Malaga, a new World Philatelic Exhibition opened its doors, in this case in Brussels.

BELGICA 2006 –The World Championship of Youth Philately, was held from the 16th to the 20th November 2006 in exhibition halls 11 and 12 of the "Heysel Parc des Expositions", in Brussels.

The exhibition was organized by Pro-Post, the association for the development of philately, formed by the Royal Belgian Philatelic Federation (Fédération Royale des Cercles Philatéliques de Belgique), the Chamber of Belgian Stamp Dealers (Chambre Professionnelle Belge des Négociants en Timbres-poste) and the Belgian Post Office (La Poste), with the sponsorship of the International Philatelic Federation (FIP).

On the occasion of the Exhibition, La Poste decided to release 2 new commemorative ATM issues that could be obtained from the 2 automatic vending machines (AMIEL model SIMA 1351 T) installed in the philatelic fair.
A further example of ATM issues just for collectors.

Both designs are manufactured on self-adhesive paper and sized 50 x 25 mm. (60 x 28 mm. with the waxed backing paper). The printing of the face value is mechanical using red ink.

The Amiel machines were programmed to issue ATMs with the 6 basic postal rates for a standard letter up to 50 g., and this therefore included all the complete button sets: 0,46 (minimum possible value) - 0,52 EUR (normal and priority domestic mail), 0,60 - 0,70 EUR (letters to European countries, normal and priority), and 0,65 - 0,80 EUR (letters to the rest of the world, both normal and priority mail).

The first commemorative design includes the logo of the Belgian post - La Poste on the left and the Philatelic Exhibition logo on the right.
The second design is dedicated to the artistic movement CoBrA, coinciding with the issue of a joint commemorative souvenir-sheet with Denmark.

CoBrA is the acronym of Copenhagen - Brussels - Amsterdam, the 3 cities of origin of the members of this artistic movement, founded in 1948.

The group was formed in Paris and was made up of different artists; Asger Jorn (Copenhagen), Joseph Noiret and Christian Dotremont (Brussels) and Constant, Corneille and Karel Appel (Amsterdam), grouped in a common language based on the nonexistence of rules and the spontaneity in its creations.
The movement CoBrA was dissolved in 1951 because of rivalries and internal disagreements, although its influence would mark the later work of many artists.
The symbol of this movement appearing in the ATM issue is a coiled serpent, in which Copenhagen is the head, Brussels the body and Amsterdam the tail.
During the Exhibition it was possible to obtain different commemorative postmarks of the daily stamps and souvenir-sheets issues.
In the image, the general Exhibition postmark.

Premio Massari - WETTEREN

The new ATM issue commemorates Wetteriana 2007, the Philatelic Exhibition held on March 24th and 25th in the Scheppersintituut of Wetteren.
In Wetteriana 2007 different philatelic events come together as a regional competitive exhibition, the celebration of 25 years of Themafila Wetteren and the 17th edition of Premio Massari, the international philatelic exhibition on the topic of music.

For the occasion, the Belgian post office, La Poste, released a new commemorative ATM design, that could be obtained from the AMIEL SIMA 1351 T automatic vending machine installed in the exhibition.

The ATMs are printed on self-adhesive paper with fluorescent fibres size 50 x 25 mm. (60 x 28 mm. with the white waxed backing paper). The printing of the face value required by the user is mechanical using red ink.
The new design is a work of the team MVTM - Myriam Voz & Thierry Martin. It's dedicated to the International Philatelic Exhibition on the music theme Premio Massari, and commemorates 100 years of Edward Grieg’s death.

The ATMs only exist with 6 values, corresponding to the basic postal rates for standard letters up to 50 g., and pre-programmed into the Amiel machine from the date of issue

0.46 EUR (minimum possible value, not-priority domestic mail),
0.52 EUR
(high-priority domestic mail),
0.70 EUR (letters to Europe countries, not priority),
0.75 EUR (letters to the rest of the world, not priority),
0.80 EUR (high-priority mail to Europe),
0.90 EUR (high-priority mail to the rest of the world).

Edvard Grieg was born in Bergen in 1843 and died in the same city in 1907. He was the most important Norwegian composer and pianist in the 19th century.
He composed many musical pieces, but is best known for his Piano and orchestra concerto in A minor (1868) and the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt (1875).

ATM with the commemorative postmark


The 2nd commemorative ATM issued in Belgium in 2007 is dedicated to the European philatelic exhibition, Europhila 2007, held at the Heilig-Hartcollege (HHC), in Maasmechelen, on September 1st and 2nd 2007.

The issue could be purchased from the AMIEL SIMA 1351 T automatic vending machine installed in the exhibition, and also from La Poste - the Belgian philatelic service.

The design of the ATM is by Guillaume Broux and shows the 2 towers flanking the entrance to the Heilig-Hartcollege (Sacred Heart college) in Maasmechelen. This building is also the theme for one of the 3 stamps of the Tourism set issued on September 3rd (right image).

As with previous issues, the ATMs are printed on self-adhesive paper with luminescent fibres and are sized 50 x 25 mm.
The printing of the required face value by Amiel vending machine is mechanical, using red ink.
  There were no commemorative postmarks for this philatelic event.

This issue is especially unusual, because after the changes to postal rates on August 1st, and with the removal of the economic or non-priority mail option for domestic shipments, the minimum value, € 0.52, became the postage rate for a standard domestic letter up to 50 g. The other 4 basic postal rates programmed into the machines are retained: € 0.70, € 0.75 (Non priority mail to Europe and the rest of the world), € 0.80 and € 0.90 (high-priority mail to Europe and the rest of the world, respectively).
But it is also the last time the face value of a stamp for a domestic letter in Belgium was issued in Euros (see the next issue).


From October 1st 2007 the Belgian Post introduced a new and easy franking system for domestic mail. Instead of the face value being printed, the stamps (both traditional and ATM) have a symbol, the number 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7, within a circle. The value for each symbol follows a system of multiples. These are stamps with permanent validity, similar to the ones already in use in many other countries, such as Spain’s Tarifa A, that can be used at any future date with neither the need to know the current postal rates nor to add stamps to update the franking in case of increases in postage rates.

As for the ATMs and the values programmed in the Amiel vending machines, from October 1st 2007, the ATMs for domestic mail up to 50 g. will have the symbol in the center of the label, replacing the printed value of € 0,52. The rest of values programmed are for international mail and continue with values in EUR: € 0.70, € 0.75, € 0.80 and € 0.90.
After the changes to postal rates in Singapore (read article) and the test with virtual stamps in South Africa (read article), Belgium is the third country in the world issuing ATMs with permanent validity, for domestic mail.

On the occasion of the introduction of this new franking system, on September 29th 2007, the Belgian Post installed an Amiel vending machine in De Brouckère post office, Brussels (right image), which issued the first ATMs for domestic mail with this symbol, whilst also using a new self-adhesive postage label design.

Photo: E. van Caester

2 pictures of fruits (pears and raspberries) have been used for this issue, identical to this ones appearing in the booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps, for domestic mail, issued on October 1st and designed by Jean Libert - the first stamps issued with the new symbol .

Once again, the ATMs are printed on self-adhesive paper with luminescent fibres and are sized 50 x 25 mm.

The issue of both the ATMs and the booklet of self-adhesive stamps, was advanced by 2 days prior to the official first date of issue, on Saturday September 29th, in De Brouckère post office, Brussels. The Belgian philatelic service, sensitive to the bilingual needs of the country, prepared 2 first day postmarks, with different textual settings.


The only 2 ATM commemorative issues for Belgium in 2008 were released on the occasion of LUXPHILA 2008 – the National Philatelic Exhibition held from September 25th to 28th, in the WEX – the Wallonie Expo located in Marche-en-Famenne.

Both issues could be obtained from the two Amiel SIMA 1351 T automatic vending machines installed at the exhibition, next to the temporary post office, and also from the La Poste philatelic service.

The design is by MVTM - Myriam Voz and Thierry Martin. The franking value of the ATMs is printed with red ink on self-adhesive labels, sized 50 x 25 mm, having luminescent fibres, on a white waxed backing paper.
Photo: E. van Caester

The vending machines were programmed to issue only 4 basic postage value ATMs: 0.54 EUR – the rate for basic domestic priority mail up to 50 gm, represented by the symbol (see new franking system >>>), 1.08 EUR – the rate for a non-standardized domestic priority mail up to 100 gm with the symbol , 0.80 EUR – the postage rate for a priority letter to European countries up to 50 gm, and 0.90 EUR – the postage rate for a priority letter up to 50 gm to the rest of the world.

The design shows the coat of arms of the Belgian province of Luxembourg, the largest Belgian province, located in the southeast of the country.
Until 1831 the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the province formed a single state.

The second design commemorates the 50th anniversary of The Smurfs, the world famous Belgian comic series created by Peyo (Pierre Culliford) in 1958.

Different stamp issues were pre-released and sold during LUXPHILA 2008. Amongst them, a souvenir-sheet and a self-adhesive stamps booklet of domestic mail values devoted to The Smurfs ...

... and some commemorative postmarks for the daily presentations of stamps and souvenir-sheets; also one dedicated to these likeable blue characters.

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This page was created in December 2006
and last updated:  21.11.08 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (21.11.2008)