TAIWAN - ATM issues 2012

2012, the Auspicious Dragon postage label

According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which began on January 23rd 2012 and ends on February 9th 2013. In Chinese mythology, the dragon is a magical and legendary creature, and represents nobility and auspiciousness. It is therefore a very good subject that Chunghwa Post, the Taiwanese postal administration, has used as the subject of a new ATM design.

The design is by the Highlight Creative Co., Ltd., and shows a dragon flying and playing with a ball, over floating clouds.
The rolls of gummed paper labels, for this design, are manufactured by the French Cartor Security Printing company, who replaced the previous manufacturer, Joh. Enschedé Security Print.

As with previous issues, each label has a unique pre-printed dark blue serial number in the bottom left corner (ABG0915 in the upper image). This 7-digit code is made up of 3 letters, identifying the roll, and 4 numbers for the label. In the bottom right corner there is the logo and name of the postal operator, in Chinese, and the country.
Bearing in mind the interest that this subject was likely to arouse among collectors, the production run was increased to 1,300,000 labels.
The new auspicious dragon issue was available, starting on June 18th 2012, from the 72 Innovision postage label vending machines (numbers 076 to 147) installed at the Postal Museum, in Taipei, and post offices across the country.

In normal use, these machines use black ink cartridges for the printing of the face value and machine number on the labels. So all the ATMs issued in the first day had the face value printed in black except those from distributor number 101, installed in the Taipei Xinyi post office (right picture). To encourage and promote the new edition, this sole distributor issued magenta printed ATMs (image below, left) for just five hours on the afternoon of June 18th, with 3 minutes per -auspicious- visitor.

The first day cover of the issue, also designed by the Highlight Creative Co. Ltd., and details of the two special first day postmarks.

Along with the ATM issue, Chunghwa Post released 20,000 commemorative folders. The folio includes 4 ATMs with the set values for international mail (NT$ 9-13-15-17), printed in black or magenta. A set of two stamps and a souvenir sheet of the New Year's Greeting postage stamps (issued in 2011), and a specimen label. Another similar label was included in the folders released in 2009 for the special issue celebrating the First anniversary of the Cross-strait direct mail services (see article >>>, also published in VARIABLE 16).

To arouse interest among collectors, a special gummed label was included in the commemorative folders. This label, identical in design, is numbered, but has no face value. It is a sample label, with only the word SPECIMEN, in Chinese characters, printed in red ink in the centre of the label.

As usual, some temporary special imprints were also produced using this design, during the weeks following the date of issue. These temporary offices were open only for a few hours, when visitors could usually get a special postmark, a commemorative folder, and which offered one or more postage label vending machines fitted with blue-violet, green or magenta ink cartridges. Because of the issuing conditions, only a small, limited number of collectors were able to use the equipment, for only a few minutes each and, therefore, quantities are very limited ... and therefore valued.

As with previous issues, we are especially critical of this issue policy, that is repeated year after year. The rest of this article only deals, briefly, with the first temporary issues of this design, produced using the 3 special colours.

The first was produced on the morning of Saturday June 23rd, in the Zhongli Longtan post office.
The Innovision distributor installed in the post office (number 114, left), issued ATMs with a green imprint.
After a long queue, visitors had only 3 minutes to use the machine. A special postmark and a commemorative folder were also available.

The second special imprint was used on July 28th. In this case there were 3 vending machines installed in two different post offices, all of them printing in blue-violet ink. Vending machines 084 and 116, were installed in the Hsinchu Wuchang St. post office (images below), and the new distributor, number 142, was installed at the Guanxi post office.

The Taipei 2012 international philatelic invitational exhibition was held from August 9th to 13th, in the Postal Museum. There were a temporary post office with different daily pictorial postmarks, and also 3 Innovision vending machines - 100, 101 & 102, which provided the black and magenta imprint colours for the 5 days of the event, according to the table below.

  100 101 102
9.08.2012 magenta  magenta  black
10.08.2012 black black magenta 
11.08.2012 magenta  magenta  black
12.08.2012 black black magenta 
13.08.2012  9:00-12:30 magenta  magenta  black
12:30-16:00 black black magenta 

Vending machine number 101 already issued this ATM design, and printed using the special magenta colour, for a few hours of the first day. Long queues of collectors formed in front of the machines during these 5 days, especially for those issuing magenta ATMs.
Each visitor could use the distributor for just three minutes, after a long wait lasting up to 4 hours !

ROCUPEX '12 - Fongshan Longshan Temple

From October 11th to 16th 2012, the national stamp exhibition - ROCUPEX'12 was held at the Fongshan Junior High School, in south west Taiwan.

To mark this major national philatelic event, Chunghwa Post released a special ATM issue featuring the Fongshan Longshan Temple, which was built in the eighteenth century and is one of the main attractions of this city (see maximum card below).
The design is by the Up Creative Design and Advertising Corporation, and the rolls of gummed labels were manufactured by Joh. Enschedé Security Print. The total production was 1,300.000 labels.

As with previous issues, each label has a unique pre-printed serial number in the bottom left corner (AIE0664 in the upper image). This 7-digit code is made up of 3 letters, identifying the roll, and 4 numbers for the label. At the bottom centre of the label, is the name of the temple, in Chinese, and the logo and the name of the postal operator, and the country, is in the bottom right corner.
For the first time, at the end of the roll, there is a red preprinted line appearing on the back of the last labels.

The new Fongshan Longshan Temple issue was available, from October 11th 2012, from the 72 Innovision vending machines (numbers 076 to 147), in service, in post offices across the country.
In addition, during ROCUPEX '12, Chunghwa Post installed a temporary post office in the exhibition venue. There were 4 Innovision distributors, numbers 077, 088, 99 & 101 - which provided 3 different imprint colours over the 6 days of the event, according to the table below, providing in total, 12 different combinations of colour - machine number.

  077 088 99 101
11.10.2012 magenta magenta green green
12.10.2012 green green magenta magenta
13.10.2012 black magenta  green green
14.10.2012 magenta black green magenta    
15.10.2012 magenta   green black green
16.10.2012 green  magenta  magenta black 

As usual, Chunghwa Post prepared a pictorial first day cover and commemorative folders, for this issue (images below), with different combinations of machine numbers, face values and colour imprints.
First day cover, and details of the special postmark (in black) and postal marks (magenta) used at ROCUPEX '12.

Up to the last revision date of this article (March 2013) there had been no special imprints of this design in blue-violet.

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This page was created in August 2012
and last updated:  28.03.13 . English edition last rewritten by S. Goodman (27.03.2013)