Morocco  (Royaume du Maroc)

Also in Morocco, anywhere in the world the post offices diversify more and more their product range, and the queues and the waiting times grows at same time than the services.
In order to offer a fast service to the customers reaching the post offices just to frank its shipments, mainly tourists, the Morocco Post (at that time called Barid Al-Maghrib) decided to fit its main post offices with automatic vending machine stamps or ATMs.

The first tender for the acquisition of 4 new ATM vending machines was announced in July 2003, and the winner was the French company Amiel Electronix.

The 4 machines were given in January 2004; they are 2 vending machines model SIMA 6002 and 2 of model SIMA 6004.

Model 6002 includes a monochrome LCD screen and lateral buttons for the product selection. Model SIMA 6004 incorporates a 15'' touch screen, colour VGA TFT.
Both models are fitted with an electronic scale and it's possible to get a variable rate stamp or ATM according to the weight, destination and type of the shipment.

On March 18th the vending machines were fully tested and accepted by Morocco Post.

Amiel ATM vending machine . Image: J. P. Raynal

Until end of year Barid Al-Maghrib looked for a manufacturer for the sticky labels to use in the new machines, and also the prefranked covers. Also they trained the people in charge of the maintenance in each post office.

In January 28th, 2005 they put into service the 2 vending machines Amiel SIMA 6004 in the post offices of Casablanca - Centre de TRI and Rabat RP (image).

For this new ATM issue, take much more as a postal than a philatelic item, there was not any type of prior official notice, nor was issued any First Day cover or commemorative postmark.
In fact, the first information about this new issue reached the specialized collectors several months later; there no exists real First Day Covers, all them were postmarked much later.

The other 2 vending machines SIMA 6002 were installed at the end of February and April 2005 in the main post offices of Marrakech and Agadir, respectively.

In the Amiel machines it is possible to obtain ATMs with the different programmed franking values.
The Philatelic Service propose 3-values sets with the most common postage rates: 2.50, 6.00 and 6.50 DH (See postal rates).

After the request of the user, the Amiel machines issue a receipt in thermal paper (right).

The first paper used in the Amiel vending machines shows the Bab Chellah in Rabat, after the design of Hiddane Abdelahaq - BAM.

The printing of the face value is mechanical, matrix printing on black colour. (At least) one machine, initially installed in Casablanca, used a blue / violet ink cartridge (lower image).

The labels were manufactured by the local Société TECHPACK of Casablanca in self-adhesive paper, and sizes 52 x 34 mm. (55 x 36 mm. with the rear paper).
The total printing was 500.000 labels.

Chellah, also known like Sella or Chella, was a Phoenician seaport and a Roman independent city. It was abandoned during several centuries, until sultan Abou Youssouf chose the place to build a royal necropolis in 13th century.
Sultan Abou Al Hassan finished the construction of the wall in 1339 and also the Bab (door) Chellah, the subject of the ATM issue, magnificently decorated and flanked by two octagonal towers.
Chellah is currently, along with the Mohammed V mausoleum, one of the main tourist sights in Rabat.

In the inner enclosure the buildings are in ruins and the vegetation cover the area. The calm is only altered with the continuous bill-clattering of the colony of thousands of storks that live there, a really amazing spectacle.

The Moroccan Philatelic Service has issued in the last years some stamps showing the "Doors of Morocco".
Among others, in February 2002 they issued a stamp dedicated to Bab Chellah; the image is the origin of the design used in the ATM issue.

Maximum card - Bab Chellah

Barid Al-Maghrib changes to Poste Maroc.

On September 15th, 2005 they presented the new image of the Morocco Post; the old Barid Al-Maghrib gave way to the Poste Maroc, with new logo and graphical image.

At the end of 2005 the 4 Amiel vending machines were replaced by the new NewVision - ProPostal machines.
The Amiel machines were removed to update with the new image of Poste Maroc, and also to make a modification in the software to include the tax applicable to the national-inland shipments (TVA). This information will be printed on the receipts.

Once carried out these changes, the 4 Amiel vending machines will be installed again in some main post offices.

The NewVision - ProPostal vending machines

Barid Al-Maghrib announced in September 2004 a new public tender for the acquisition of 10 new ATM vending machines with scale (Tender nr. 142/2004 DAL).
The tender was gave to Wincor Nixdorf Maroc in February 2005, by a total of 3.561.720,00 DH.

Wincor Nixdorf is distributor of the machines manufactured by the well-known Portuguese company NewVision.
They have a good establishment and organization in all the country, and they presented to the tender the model ProPostal 1500, with a 12'' touch screen, scale and an additional unit for the sale of prefranked covers and stamps booklets.
The payment is possible with coins and banknotes.

The new machines includes the new logo of Poste Maroc.

The 10 new ATM vending machines were set up in the main post offices of the country:

Agadir Ppal.   Meknès Ppal. MSM000000420
Casablanca Ppal. MSM000000421 Oujda Ppal.  
Fès Ppal.   Rabat Ppal. MSM000000412
Marrakech Ppal. MSM000000418 Settat Ppal. MSM000000413
Marrakech Médina MSM000000416 Tanger Ppal. MSM000000415
Like the Amiel ones, in these vending machines its possible to obtain ATMs only according to the programmed franking values, based on the weight, destination and type of shipment.
But in this case, the face value printing on the labels and receipts is thermal type.

The minimum face value that can be obtained is 1.40 DH, corresponding to the tariff for an inland brochure, up to 5 g.

The operation is very easy. Through the touch screen the customer it's guided according to the following sequence of screens:

- Welcome screen and selection of language among 4 options: French, Arab, English or Spanish.

- 3 product options: Stamps - ATMs (1), 10 stamps booklet (2) and prefranked covers (3).

1.- If the customer select the Stamps option, in the screen appears the list of the 9 postal zones in Morocco, by this order:

Morocco Arab countries
UMA countries Other countries of Asia
Other Africa countries France, Portugal and Spain
America Other countries of Europe

- For all the destinations, the following screen allows the selection of the shipment type:

Letter or postcard Small package *
Printed matter Book or brochure
* This option does not appear if the destination is Morocco.

- For any option, the following screen allows the selection of priority mail or reduced priority.

- Next step is the weight of the shipment, and this can be done by 2 options: To weigh or to insert the weight. If the first option is selected the shipment must be deposited on the scale. With the second option the weight must be introduced manually, through a touch keyboard appearing in the screen.

- Finally the customer introduces the number of stamps required in the screen keyboard and appears the total to pay, with the option to request for the receipt (always printed in French).

2. - If the customer selects the option of 10-stamps booklet, the machine offers the possibility to buy booklets with 10 self-adhesive stamps for inland postage (25 DH) or, depending on the machine, booklets of stamps for France, Portugal and Spain (60 DH) or postage to the rest of countries of Europe (65 DH).
Receipt and booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps of 6.00 DH.

In the cover of the booklet appears a pretty image of the Menara de Marrakech, similar to this one used for the ATM issue.

3. - If the customer selects the option for prefranked covers, the machine offers the possibility to buy a group of 10 covers (30 DH for inland-national shipments or 75 DH for international destinations) or single covers.
Prefranked cover for international priority mail, up to 20 g., and the receipt.

The cover and its franking are illustrated with images of the Moroccan cultural patrimony series.

During the first months into service, most of the vending machines had 2 common problems and sometimes they were out of service or restarted after some minutes: One of the problems appeared, sometimes, when the scale was used.
Some machines had also problems with the tractor feed.

Special printings.

After a restart or a power failure, the vending machines print and issue automatically a test printing on the receipt's thermal paper (size: 59 x 21 mm.), with the the headline and the foot of normal receipts only.

The adjust labels of these machines are specially rare and unknown. They are an internal test made by the maintenance technical, the machine print a fine frame around the label, with discontinuous horizontal lines, and a sequence of asterisks in the centre of the label.

The ATM issues NewVision - ProPostal

A series of 4 models of self-adhesive labels has ben manufactured to use on these new vending machines. Appropriate to the expected main users of these machines, it's a tourist series showing different national monuments in Fès, Marrakech, Meknès and Rabat.

Fès - Alkaraouiyine Marrakech - Menara
Meknès - Volubilis Rabat - Mausolée Mohammed V

The new labels are a design of M. Waguaf and have been also manufactured by Société TECHPACK of Casablanca, in self-adhesive thermal paper.
The labels sizes 52 x 34 mm. (55 x 38 mm. with the rear paper) and the printing is 125.000 labels per design.
The 4 designs does not appears continuous in the same roll, each roll includes only one design.

The first tests were made in Rabat in December 7th, 2005. This date can be considered as the first day of issue, but like the Amiel machines the first news about these new issues were known many weeks later, and do not exist real FDCs.

The pavilion of the Menara garden is one of the most repeated and suggestive images in Marrakech tourist brochures.
The garden was laid out in the 12th century by Almohads and it was used by different royal dynasties. The pavilion next to the pool for irrigation water was constructed in 1870.
The Menara garden is situated in the outskirts of Marrakech, and the immense garden of olive trees is nowadays a favourite leisure place among the locals. At dusk, the sunset transforms the pavilion and the pool into a magical place.
The great mosque and university of Alkaraouiyine (right) is situated in the labyrinthine Fès medina.

It was founded on second half of 9th century and enlarged in later centuries by different dynasties.
The Alkaraouiyine is one of the older and prestigious Muslim universities of the world.
The access is not allowed to the not-Muslims.
The Roman ruins of the city of Volubilis are about 30 km of Meknès and its another of the tourist highlights of the country. They were declared Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO in 1997 and they are also a very popular leisure place among the region inhabitants ... unfortunately, sometimes, for the ruins ...
The ATM issue reproduces faithfully the image of the Basilica from the Capitol. On the right, on the top of a capital column, it can be seen one of the storks living in the city.
The Mohammed V mausoleum contains the tombs of the grandfather and the father (Hassan II) of the current King of Morocco.
The building of white marble was completed in 1967 and it's a beautiful example of the Moroccan traditional style.

In the background can be seen the most famous monument of Rabat, the Hassan tower.
The construction was initiated in 1195 by Almohad sultan Yusuf Al-Mansur, whose dynasty build also the Giralda of Sevilla in Spain. The idea of the sultan was to build the greater and higher minaret of the Islamic world, but the death of sultan stopped the project and the brick tower remains unfinished.

Maximum cards collection

The postal rates in Morocco

There exists 9 different postal rate zones in Morocco, according to the following table.
The rates for the priority mail and for some destinations increase each 5 g. The complete set could include the 7 different franking values for the first step of weight, priority shipments up to 5 g.
Reduced or basic sets with the first 3 franking values are also considered.

Postal rates for priority mail, letters up to 5 g.
Morocco UMA countries * France, Portugal and Spain Other countries of Europe Other countries of Africa Arab countries America Other countries of Asia Oceania
2,50 DH 2,50 DH 6,00 DH 6,50 DH 6,50 DH 6,60 DH 6,70 DH 7,00 DH 7,50 DH
* UMA - Union of Arab Maghreb: Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia.

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This page was created in April 10th, 2005
and last updated:  24.05.06