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The UPU Illegals

Issues falsely claimed to have been issued by theĀ Haitian postal service

In days gone by, the nefarious attempted to defraud collectors by altering existing stamps to make them appear as more valuable varieties and errors. In the 19th century, philately was plagued by a lack of information and many claims of "new" discoveries turned out to be nothing more than the work of a unscrupulous dealer and a nearby firm with easy access to a printing press. Many of these forgeries, fakes, and fantasies are now considered quite collectable.

Due to a variety of circumstances, at present, new Haitian issues are not often released. The lack of new issues flowing from Haiti onto the worldwide philatelic marketplace has proved too tempting for some. A number of fantasy issues are being marketed claiming to be from Haiti. Aptly termed "Album Weeds" by writers in the late 19th Century, these modern releases bear none of the charm of the old attempts, but have a similar goal - separating the collector from their money. The items seen appear to be primarily topical in nature. They are colorful, come in unused or "used" condition (CTO) with a fraudulent, printed cancel purporting to be from Haiti.

While it is not the policy of this Society to advise collectors what they should or should not collect, we do wish to make certain that the philatelic community realizes these colorful issues are nothing more than privately-produced gummed or ungummed labels which were never sanctioned by Haitian postal authorities. The vast majority have never seen the shores of Haiti, but they have been denounced by the Haitian authorities to the Universal Postal Union, which has termed them as "illegals", that is, items produced without authorization, claiming to be something that they are not.

The dissemination of these labels has been widespread in the stamp collecting hobby. So that you may better recognize these when you come across such offers by sellers who are not aware of the original source of such material, we will report the illegals tracked to date. Additional items will be added as they become available.

1964

  • 'Cuba Libre' surcharges in Spanish, labeled as being produced in 1964, on three then current low face value Haitian issues from the early 1960's. Released in values of 4, 8, and 13 centavos. The production of each value included double surcharges and double surcharges, with one being inverted.

2005

  • Firefighters - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • London 2012 Olympic Games - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form.
  • Jules Verne and Dinosaurs - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Pope John Paul II - three sheetlets, each containing multiples of two different designs of the same value per sheet, and two smaller sheetlets containing multiple examples of one design bearing the same value. Each of the five sheetlet styles was available in English, French, Polish and Latin and was released in perforate and imperforate condition. The three larger sheetlets have designs with face values of 8, 10, or 15 Gdes depending upon the sheet, while the small sheetlets have designs showing a face value of either 20 or 30 Gdes depending upon the sheet
  • Pope John Paul II (In Memory of) - one sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Pope Benedict XVI - three sheetlets, each containing multiples of two different designs of the same value per sheet, and two smaller sheetlets containing single examples of two different designs bearing the same value. Each of the five sheetlet styles was available in English, French, Spanish and Italian and was released in perforate and imperforate condition. The three larger sheetlets have designs with face values of 8, 10, or 15 Gdes depending upon the sheet, while the small sheetlets have designs showing a face value of 25 Gdes each.
  • Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Scouting, Lighthouses and Sea Life - two sheetlets containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Albert Einstein and Aircraft of World War II - two sheetlets containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • The Women of Alphonse Mucha - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • 2006 Torino Olympics - Chess - two sheetlets containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Scouting and Prehistoric Art - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Scouting and Caribbean Birds - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Scouting and Tropical Butterflies - sheetlet containing 4 values (35 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form

2006

  • The Ferrari Series - four sheetlets, each containing 4 values (30 Gdes) of differing designs, released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Chess - a sheetlet picturing a 19th Century Swiss chess set with 1 value (100 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Chess - a sheetlet picturing a 20th Century French chess set with 1 value (100 Gdes), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Owls - two sheetlets, each with a different design (100 Gdes each), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Legendary Space Craft - four sheetlets, each containing a different design (100 Gdes each), released in perforate and imperforate form
  • Deaths in Space Exploration - one sheetlet containing 2 values (60 Gdes each), released in perforate and imperforate form

2007

  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Games - one silk sheetlet picturing the five Beijing Olympic mascots and alternating label designs on a row, the pattern being repeated four times, for a total of 24 values at 10 Gdes each.
  • Beijing 2008 Olympics Games - Four small sheetlets, each printed on paper, picturing the Olympic mascots and a label, but with a design indicator in each border, for a total of 24 values at 6 Gdes each. Each sheetlet was released in perforate and imperforate form.
  • Beijing 2008 Olympics Games - Two paper souvenir sheets, one bearing the five Olympic mascots and a large value featuring the Potala Palace, the other bearing five scenes from China and the Potala Palace view. Each of the six values per sheet bears a value of 10 Gdes. Both sheets were released in perforate and imperforate form.
  • Beijing 2008 Olympics Games - A souvenir sheet with a plastic coating to give it a three-dimensional effect. Like one of its paper counterparts, it pictures the five Olympic mascots and the Potala Palace, 6 values in all, each at 10 Gdes. Released in perforate and imperforate form.

2010

  • Haiti Earthquake - two sheetlets - one containing 8 different 25 Gdes designs and one label, the other featuring 6 designs of 15, 25, and 50 Gdes and two labels. Both sheets were released in perforate and imperforate form.

European Artists

  • Pieter de Hooch - twelve imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2000 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 Gdes)
  • Johannes Vermeer - twelve imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2000 (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 Gdes)
  • Jan Verkolje - seven imperforate sheetlets, each picturing two values, labeled as being produced in 2000 (5 and 10; 15 and 20; 25 and 30; 35 and 40; 45 and 50; 55 and 60; and a final one, 65 and 70, Gdes)
  • Dominique Ingres - twelve imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2009 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 Gdes)
  • Anton Mengs - fifteen imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2011 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 Gdes)
  • Heinrich Fuger - nine imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2011 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 Gdes)

2014

  • Comic Book/Animated Superheroes - fifty-five imperforate sheetlets picturing various characters, labeled as being produced in 2014. Each sheetlet contains one label of differing design, bearing its own denomination (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 150, 155, 160, 165, 170, 175, 180, 185, 190, 195, 200, 205, 210, 215, 220, 225, 230, 235, 240, 245, 250, 255, 260, 265, 270, and 275 Gdes. The combined face value of the fantasy sheets as a group is 7,700 Gdes.)

2015

  • Butterflies - sixteen imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2015 (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, and 85 Gdes)
  • Ferrari Vehicles - twelve imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2015. Each sheetlet contains one label of differing design, bearing its own denomination (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, and 120 Gdes).
  • Kawasaki Motorcycles - twelve imperforate sheetlets, labeled as being produced in 2015. Each sheetlet contains one label of differing design, bearing its own denomination (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, and 120 Gdes).
  • Harley Davidson Motorcycles - twelve imperforate sheetlets bearing four stamps each of various Harley Davidson models, 48 values in total at 5 Gdes each.
  • Warner Brothers 'Looney Tunes' Comic Characters - fifty-six stamp designs picturing various characters, released in the form of sixty-three imperforate sheetlets labeled as being produced in 2015. The sheetlets are divided into three groups. In the first group of twenty-eight sheetlets, each has a blue and white background and eight stamps comprised of two designs. In the second group of seven sheetlets, each has the same blue and white background, but each of the sheetlets has eight differing stamp designs. In the third group of twenty-eight sheetlets, each has a white background and just two stamp designs, each being different. The common stamp designs used throughout the three groups of sheetlets indicate face values of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, or 900 Gdes. The combined face value of the fantasy sheetlets totals 57,840 Gdes.

2016

  • Augusto Pinochet - twelve different stamp designs picturing various photographs of Augusto Pinochet, former President of Chile. Labeled as being produced in 2016, each has a face value of 1 Gde. Issued se-tenant in a perforated sheetlet format.

2017

  • Dinosaurs - four different stamp designs picturing drawings of dinosaurs The designs have face values of 1, 5, 9, and 11 Gdes. Issued se-tenant in a perforated sheetlet format.
  • Mushrooms - four different stamp designs picturing drawings of mushrooms. The designs have face values of 1, 5, 9, and 11 Gdes. Issued se-tenant in a perforated sheetlet format.

2018

  • Butterflies - four different stamp designs picturing drawings of butterflies. The designs have face values of 2, 4, 8, and 12 Gdes. Issued se-tenant in a perforated sheetlet format.
  • Bats - four different stamp designs picturing drawings of bats. The designs have face values of 2, 4, 8, and 12 Gdes. Issued se-tenant in a perforated sheetlet format.
  • Conquerors of Space - two souvenir sheets honoring space exploits achieved by the Soviet Union between 1957 and 1967. Each sheet features four perforated stamp designs. The eight differing designs in all have face values of 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12 Gdes.
  • 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation - one souvenir sheet honoring religious leaders involved in the Protestant Reformation. The sheet features five perforated stamp designs. The five differing designs in all have face values of 1, 3, 5, 10, and 12 Gdes.
  • John. F. Kennedy - one souvenir sheet honoring US President John F. Kennedy and the Apollo 11 mission. The sheet features four perforated stamp designs. The four differing designs in all have face values of 3, 5, 10, and 12 Gdes.

2019

  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games - six different stamp designs picturing graphic images of scenes from the Games, released in the form of six perforate sheetlets. Labeled as being produced in 2016, each sheetlet contains one label of differing design, bearing its own denomination (15, 20, 25, and 50 Gdes). In addition, a perforate sheetlet was released containing both the 25 and 50 Gdes designs, while a second composite perforate sheetlet bears the two 15 and two 20 Gdes designs.