TAIWAN - ATM issues 2013

ROCUPEX '13 - Presidential Office Building, Taipei

After the excesses of recent years, it seems that the ATM issue policy of Chunghwa Post has been 'moderated' -up to a point- in the last 2-3 years, with one general annual ATM release, and another for special and temporary occasions such as the national philatelic exhibition. However, the imprints with different colours continues, although more controlled.

The first ATM issue of 2013 marks the celebration of ROCUPEX'13, the National Philatelic Exhibition. This major philatelic event was held at the Postal Museum in Taipei, from August 23rd to 27th, 2013 (2013 is the 102nd year since the founding of the Republic of China or Taiwan).

The new ATM issue, possibly one of the most beautiful so far, features the Presidential Office Building, in Taipei (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 900 rolls of 1,000 labels.

The composition includes the name of the issue, in Chinese characters, in the upper left corner. Although barely visible, because of the design, each label has a unique pre-printed serial number in the bottom left corner (AOG0899 in the upper image). This 7-digit code is made up of 3 letters, identifying the roll, and 4 for the label. Then there is the logo, name of the postal operator and country, in the bottom right corner.

The Taipei Presidential Office Building was designed by the Japanese architect Uheiji Nagano. It was built between 1912 and 1919, during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, as the office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. The building was restored after World War II, and it houses the Office of the President of the Republic of China, since 1950.

The ROCUPEX'13 issue was available, from August 23rd 2013, from the 72 Innovision vending machines (076 to 147), in service, in post offices across the country.
In addition, during the philatelic exhibition, Chunghwa Post installed a temporary post office in the Postal Museum with 5 Innovision distributors, numbers 100, 101, 102, 103 & 106 (right image). These machines used 3 different ink colours over the 5 days of the event, according to the table below, providing in total, 15 different combinations of colour - machine number.

  100 101 102 103 106
23.08.2013 magenta  green magenta  green black
24.08.2013 black magenta  green magenta  green
25.08.2013 green black magenta  green magenta   
26.08.2013 magenta green black magenta  green
27.08.2013 green magenta    green black magenta  

This ATM release attracted many visitors and collectors, who waited in line for hours, to access the vending machines for the 5 minutes allowed for each person.

Chunghwa Post released the usual pictorial first day cover, and other commemorative material.
Special folders contain two sets of 8 values​​, with the different combinations of colour imprints and machine numbers, as well as the strange gold and silver sheetlet with two images of the ATM issued by the machine 102 (images below)
First day cover, and details of the special postmark used during the first day (black), and the ROCUPEX'13 postal mark (magenta).

2013. The Spiritual Snake postage label ... and the yellow rubber duck

After the first issue illustrated with the Auspicious Dragon, released on June 2012 (see article >, also published in VARIABLE 26), Chunghwa Post dedicated, in 2013, a new ATM issue to the Chinese zodiac animals signs, the spiritual snake.

The year of the snake began on February 10th 2013, according to the Chinese calendar. The snake is considered a sacred animal, protector, positive and the bearer of good luck. It is also associated with wisdom.

The design is by Delta Design Corporation. From the Chunghwa Post information - 'The spirited paper-cut snake is expressively rendered with bright colours, and complemented by gold coins and ingots, symbolizing the overflow of great fortune and auspiciousness'.
The rolls of gummed labels were manufactured by the French company Cartor Security Printing. The total production run was 900 rolls each of 1,000 labels

All preprinted labels have a unique serial number pre-printed in the bottom left corner (AEB0803 in the upper image). This 7-digit code is made up of 3 letters, identifying the roll, and 4 for the label. Then there is the logo, and the name of the postal operator and country, in the bottom right corner.

The Chinese zodiac is a topic profusely used by many postal administrations as a stamp subject. Regarding the ATM issues, the Hong Kong philatelic service released, in the '80s & '90s, annual issues of Frama type ATMs dedicated to the Chinese zodiac animals, and Macau has dedicated, in 2013, an ATM issue on the same subject - the year of the snake (see article >, also published in VARIABLE 29).

The 'spiritual snake' issue was available, from October 18th 2013, at all the Innovision vending machines in service (numbers 076 to 147) installed across the country, except for the machine number 97, which was out of service.
On the date of issue, all the distributors printed on the ATMs using black ink, except machine number 102, installed in the Taipei Postal Museum (right picture
To promote the new issue, this sole distributor issued magenta printed ATMs for just seven hours, with 5 minutes per customer.

Chunghwa Post released a pictorial first day cover, and two special first day postmarks in the Tainan (left) and Taipei Sanchong (right) post offices.

Along with the ATM issue, Chunghwa Post also released 20,000 commemorative folders holding 4 ATMs for international mail (NT$ 9-13-15-17), printed in black or magenta colour, a set of 2 stamps with a souvenir sheet, issued in late 2012, and a specimen label.

  This label is identical in design to the ATM issue, 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.

At the date of writing this article (January 2014), three temporary special imprints, plus the special imprint used in the Taipei Postal Museum, were produced using this design, during the weeks following the date of issue. The story is at least funny ... and disquieting.

One of the floating giant rubber ducks, by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, arrived in Taiwan in September 2013. These 'duckies' are inflatable sculptures of different sizes. Since 2007, they have visited major port cities around the world. The duck visiting Taiwan was 18 meters high, and was docked at the port of Kaohsiung City (right picture) until October 20th, when the duck carried on with its journey, floating northward.

But, what does the giant duck have to do with the spiritual snake ?

The next stop was the Sinwu Township docklands, in Taoyuan County, where the giant duck arrived on October 26th. To mark this unique visit, Chunghwa Post set up a temporary post office in a group of tents in front of the monumental sculpture (images below), where visitors could get the new ATM printed with green ink.
To do this, they installed Innovision distributor number 112 in the temporary post office. They also released a special folder with green printed ATMs, in a limited edition of 2,000 units.
Up to three special pictorial postmarks were available during the visit, all them commemorating the distinguished visitor.

After several weeks in Taoyuan, the yellow rubber duck continued its journey to the port of Keelung, in the north of the country. The 'duckie' arrived on December 21st 2013, just in time to be the main attraction during the New Year celebrations (right image).

Again, to commemorate the arrival of the friendly visitor, a magenta cartridge was installed, in December 21st, at Innovision distributor 111 installed in the city post office (Aisan Keelung Rd. P.O.) (pictures). A pictorial postmark was also prepared.
As with the other special imprints, many collectors went to the post office, attracted by this temporary issue.

Unfortunately, for reasons still unknown (maybe the snake bit the 'duckie' ?), the duck burst in the afternoon of December 31st, just a few hours before the start of the new year.

The last special imprint was released on the occasion of the SOGO New Year Exhibition, held from December 28th to January 1st 2014, at the SOGO shopping centre, in Zhongli, Taoyuan County. Chunghwa Post set up a new temporary post office, again equipped with the Innovision 112 (image below), but in this case the ATMs were printed using a blue-violet cartridge.
Three different pictorial postmarks, with different dates, were also available

The organizers put on sale another 2,000 commemorative folders, including ATMs printed in a blue-violet colour.
As before, dozens of collectors waited for hours for their turn in front of the sole vending machine, where they had just 6 minutes to purchase their needs.

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This page was created in September 2013
and last updated:  16.01.14 . English edition last rewritten by S. Goodman (16.01.2014)