New International Reply Coupon Introduced
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has introduced the newest model of the International Reply Coupon (IRC): The Doha model -- so named for the 25th Universal Postal Congress that took place in Doha, Qatar in October 2012 -- will replace the current model, known as the Nairobi model. Although the US Postal Service (USPS) no longer sells IRCs, they are still available in other countries and post offices in the US are mandated to redeem them.
The Doha model IRC will go on sale on July 1, 2013. It is valid for exchange it until the end of 2017. The Nairobi model -- first issued on July 1, 2009 -- remains valid until December 31, 2013. IRCs are exchangeable in every UPU member country for stamps representing the minimum postage for an ordinary priority letter-post item or airmail letter sent abroad for a reply. According to the UPU, 120 postal systems around the world worldwide had issued more than four million Nairobi IRCs with a total value of approximately $5 million as of October 31, 2012.
Although postal systems are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for them to exchange the coupons. According to the UPU, if a postal system -- such as the USPS -- does not sell IRCs, it is possible to purchase them in a post office located in another country.
The Czech Republic won the UPU’s contest to design the new IRC, beating out 13 other countries. Czech artist and graphic designer Michal Sindelar designed the new IRC, whose design illustrates the theme “Water for Life.” This theme reflects the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation in 2013. -- Thanks to The Daily DX for some information