BPA Expertising Ltd

WHAT TO DO when sending items

Forms required - NONE       Deposit required - NONE

A covering letter, with a credit card number will suffice.


Some people send us a stamp, with a piece of paper on which is written their name and address, and a note saying 'Please expertise.'   This is OK.   However, Mr Nice Guy says 'Herewith Bermuda SG120d, unused.  Please expertise.'                         (If you have bought the item at auction, it can be helpful to include the name and date of the sale, and the lot number.)


As from the UK, plus the following:

1.  Write our VAT number (321 6330 02) on the outside of the envelope.

2.  Describe the contents as 'Items for expertisation - not a trade export/import - value unknown until expertised.'

3.  Best not to call the contents 'Stamps'  as it seems to make some carriers nervous.

4.  DON'T state a value for the items, inside or outside the envelope.  Until it is expertised, nobody knows the value.

Send material by Special Delivery, or by Recorded Delivery if your insurance company are happy with that.      

All submissions are acknowledged by post, fax or e-mail.   If you have not heard from us within 7 days (UK) or a couple of weeks (overseas), it may be as well to check with us.


About BPA Expertising

The BPA Expert Committee was formed some seventy years ago.   That first Committee was formed exclusively of those who earned their living through stamps - 'professional' philatelists - who gave their time for nothing.   Now, in 2009, nothing has changed, save the quantity of stamps to be expertised and the amount of time given without remuneration.

The original aim was to provide collectors with the opinions of those whose daily work was the handling of stamps, and whose practical experience of the forgers' and repairers' devilry was, in consequence, inevitably superior even to the most knowledgeable amateur. Again, nothing has changed.


If you have not submitted before, then either: send a credit card number or, wait for us to send you a pro-forma invoice when the item is ready.   Don't send a 'deposit' cheque - the thought is appreciated, but it is never for the right amount and only leads to unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing, and cheques for amounts like £2.87.

CREDIT CARDS: We accept payments by Visa or Mastercard, adding the Card company's charge to us (currently 2.4%) to the invoice total.   Given the cost of cheques, envelopes, postage, etc., not to mention the time involved with us writing to you, you to us and us posting the item, credit cards are undoubtedly the convenient option.

PAYMENTS FROM OVERSEAS: We accept, as well as credit card payments:

1. Cheques in sterling payable in London.   2. Cheques in other currencies - allow at least '£10.00 for conversion costs.


Anonymity: The identity of the person submitting an item is never divulged to the Committee.   Other provenance however, other evidence, other opinions, can be helpful and should always be presented when submitting items.

Time taken: Shortest possible, consistent with accuracy.   Allow a minimum of 4-5 weeks.   If you want to ring and find out what's happening, please do - it won't speed things up any but, if it makes you feel more relaxed, go ahead.   If an auction house is chasing you, tell them that we have the item and give them our  number.


The BPA do NOT expertise:

1.    'Varnish' inks       2. 'Albino' varieties     3. Bisects - unless on cover    

4.    Great Britain: the LOW value (½d-1s) Edward VII and George V shades listed only in the SG Spec. Catalogue.   (All Part 1 shades ARE expertised)     5. 'Treasury Roulettes' - unless on cover.    

6.   Australia: The Perforated 'OS' issues     7.   New Zealand: The 'OPSO' issues - unless on cover     8.   Falkland Is: 1921-28 Prussian Blue, SG76c    9.  Canada: SG63a    10.   Straits: SG64c


But they DO expertise:

1. The low value (½d-1s) Edward VII and George V shades listed in the SG Part 1 catalogue. 

2. The Specialised shades of all other areas of G.B    (QV Surface Printed, George V Seahorses, etc)     3. Certain varieties not listed by SG     4. Pre-stamp covers     In fact most things philatelic,  except items 1-10






Stamps or other philatelic items submitted to BPA Expertising Ltd are at owner's sole risk and neither the Company , the Secretary, nor the members of the members of the Expert Committee can accept liability, either collective or individual, for loss or damage however caused.



v Neither the Company nor the members of the Expert Committee can accept any liability, either collective or individual, for    any opinion expressed.

v The Catalogues used to describe items will be the current editions of Stanley Gibbons publications.

v If the Committee is asked to re-examine an item on which an opinion has already been expressed, a second charge may be made.   Such re-examination may only be requested by the item's original submitter.  Re-submission by any other person will normally be treated as a fresh submission.

v The Committee does not issue duplicate Certificates.   If a replacement Certificate is required, the item must be resubmitted.



WHITE:  White Certificates are issued for items considered genuine, bear the signatures of three Committee Members and a photograph of the item described.

PINK:  Pink Certificates are issued for items considered to be forged, faked, repaired, etc.; they too bear three signatures and a photograph.

BUFF: Buff `Short'  Certificates/Forms are issued - at the discretion of the Committee - for items which cannot be given White or Pink Certificates, e.g. where an  item  is of nominal  value, in poor condition,  or where circumstances render it impossible to give an accurate opinion.



SINGLE CERTIFICATE: White or Pink (Genuine or Forged) - catalogue value up to £1,250   ...... £35.00

Genuine item, catalogue value over £1,250.......................2% of catalogue value

COVERS and BLOCKS: White or Pink (Genuine or Forged) - catalogue value up to £1,500   ...... £30.00

SET* CERTIFICATE: White or Pink (All genuine or all forged) - catalogue value up to £4,250 ...... £120.00

Genuine set, catalogue value over £4,250.......................2% of catalogue value

SHORT CERTIFICATE (Common or damaged stamp - issued at the discretion of the Committee) ...... £20.00

*A single Certificate for a complete set of 4 or more items, all used, or all unused.   The Committee reserves the right to charge surcharged or overprinted sets as single items, or as groups, as appropriate.   Where sets are found to contain both genuine and forged stamps, Certificates will be issued and charges made at the discretion of the Chairman of the Expert Committee.

v Charges for stamps not listed in the Catalogue, or the value of which is greatly enhanced when on cover or in multiples, or for stamps which are genuine but repaired - will be assessed by the Chairman of the Committee.

v If no opinion can be expressed, there will be no charge other than return postage.

v The right will be reserved to charge extra for items involving extensive research and enquiry but, whenever practical the Expert Committee Secretary will obtain the submitter's approval prior to the incurring of additional expense.

v GB `Official' stamps: These items may be subject to a surcharge of £17.50 for the use of specialist equipment.

The surcharge for 'use of specialist equipment' has been £5.00 per stamp since 1977 (plus £1 towards postage costs).   The owner of the said equipment has (sadly but understandably) bowed to commercial good sense and increased the price to us per stamp to £15.00.   We will continue to subsidise the Special Delivery postage costs by adding only £2.50 to this figure.

v In the absence of instructions to the contrary, all submitted items will be returned by Special Delivery or (overseas) International Recorded Delivery + Swiftair, the cost of such postage, packing, etc., being charged to the submitter. 

v V.A.T.:  All invoices, except those relating to items received direct from and returned direct to submitters outside the E.U., will be subject to Value Added Tax at the current rate.   Invoices for items received from submitters resident in E.U. countries (other than the United Kingdom), who are registered philatelic traders and who have furnished BPAE Ltd with their registration numbers, will not attract V.A.T.


BPA Expertising Ltd., PO Box 1141, Guildford, Surrey GU5 0WR, England

Tel: 0483 890199          E-mail: sec@bpaexpertising.org            Fax: 01483 890598

Chairman: G. Bodily

Expert Committee Chairman: J. Taylor  Directors: A Claridge Dr P. Kinns A.F. Norris I. Shapiro    Secretary: A. Myer

Registered No. 1360185 England    V.A.T. Registration No. 321 6330 02    BPA Expertising Educational Charity   Reg. Charity No. 1012050