Austrian Registered Post Rates, 1789 to today

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The research for the 'Anschluß article' has made it possible to provide a correct list of Austrian Registered Post Rates, including the Anschluβ period for which the rates normally given in the major catalogues cannot be justified. Note that these are surcharges, payable as well as the normal postage on the item. The currency abbreviations used are: Kr = Kreuzer; H = Heller; K = Kronen; Gr = Groschen; S = Schilling; Rpf = Reichspfennig; Eu = Euro. See the 'rates index' for details of the currencies themselves.

1.11.17896 Kr----CM (Conventions-Munze) currency
16.5.181512 Kr----
1.6.18174 Kr----
1.8.18426 Kr----
1.6.18503 Kr local; 6 Kr distant----
1.11.18585 Kr local; 10 Kr distant----ÖW (Oesterreichische Wahrung) currency
1.7.18755 Kr local; 10 Kr distant10 Kr
1.1.190025 H25 HNew Heller/Kronen currency
15.1.192060 H1 K(1.12.1919 in Kainbacher; 21.11.1919 in Wurth)
15.4.1920120 H2 K 
1.2.1921200 H = 2 K2 K 
1.8.19215 K10 K 
1.12.192110 K25 KInflation begins. No reduction in registration rate for 'reduced foreign rate' countries
1.5.192240 K75 K 
21.8.1922160 K300 K 
18.9.1922320 K600 K 
1.11.1922640 K1500 K 
1.8.19231000 K2000 K 
1.12.19232000 K3000 K 
1.12.19243000 K4000 K 
1.3.192530 Gr40 GrNew Groschen/Schilling currency
1.10.192530 Gr60 Gr 
1.9.193240 Gr70 Gr 
4.4.1938There was no change in the registration rates at the Anschluß date, contrary to the tables in Michel and ANK
8.7.193827 Rpf / 40 Gr47 Rpf / 70 GrSame rate, but restated in Rpf
1.8.193830 Rpf30 Rpf 
2.7.194530 RpfsuspendedService in Vienna and Lower Austria only; in other parts later.
1.11.194530 Grsuspended
26.6.194630 Gr100 GrMichel's 30 Gr foreign rate is wrong. Groschen/Schilling currency reintroduced.
1.9.19471 S1 S 40 
1.1.19501 S2 S 40 
1.9.19512 S3 S 40 
1.2.19602 S 503 S 40 
1.1.19674 S5 S 
1.1.19768 S10 S 
1.3.198110 S10 S 
1.2.198415 S15 S 
1.2.198617 S17 S 
1.1.199420 S20 S 
1.7.199725 S25 S 
1.1.200128 S28 S 
1.1.20022.03 Eu2.03 EuSame nominal rate but in Euro; conventionally written 2.03 Eu not 2 Eu 03.
1.6.20032.10 Eu2.10 Eu 
15.6.20102.10 Eu2.85 Eu 
1.11.20122.20 Eu2.85 Eu 

'Inland' also included Germany for most periods up to 1945. Individually-negotiated foreign rates existed even before 1850; the UPU rates are listed here. See Ferchenbauer for more pre-UPU detail.

The data above has been taken from Michel and cross-checked with several Austrian publications, and with members of Merkur Innsbruck. There is unanimity on all rates except the 1919/20 change and on those for 1938-1946. As explained above, and as shown in the tables reproduced in Dr Kainz article in Wurth III (1980), when in 1938 the Austrian system moved (in steps) over to the German, everything which was not explicitly changed remained unaltered. The registered rate is not in the 4th April list, so it remained as 40 Gr internal, 70 Gr foreign. In the 8th July list, this is restated in dual currency as 27 Rpf/ 40 Gr and 47 Rpf/ 70 Gr, the Rpf amounts being simply 2/3 of the Groschen, rounded up. It is not until the August list that the rate was changed to 30 Rpf, and following the normal German system it was the same for internal and foreign. The 30 Rpf inland & foreign rate shown in Michel & ANK for 4th April is wrong. Nor is there any record of the 30 Gr foreign rate which Michel gives for 1.1.1947; the 100 Gr rate of post-war 1946 remained in force.

Some 1938 examples follow. The rate calculations for the examples are worked out as follows:

The 1st rates period (13th March - 3rd April 1938)

No change from previous Austrian practices and rates. Only Austrian stamps valid.

The 2nd rates period (4th April - 31st July 1938)

The basic rates were calculated in Reichspfennig, payable by Rpf, or Groschen stamps at 1 Gr = 1 Rpf (or a mixture). The ancillary charges for all services not explicitly changed (eg express, airmail, registered, pneumatic) remained unaltered at the Austrian rate and were expressed in Groschen. They were payable by Groschen stamps, or Rpf at 1 Rpf = 1 Gr (or a mixture). Initially, all fractional amounts were ignored; later they were rounded up. So if 'too much' of one currency was affixed for its rate, the surplus was converted to the other. Examples:

(a): "excess Rpf". A registered inland letter is franked with 36 Rpf and 4 Gr stamps; deducting the letter rate of 12 Rpf from the 36 Rpf leaves 24 Rpf which is multiplied by 1 to make 36 Gr plus 4 Gr making a total of 40 Gr, the registration rate.

(b) "excess Groschen". A registered local letter is franked with 48 Gr and 3 Rpf stamps. Deducting the registration fee of 40 Gr from the 48 Gr leaves 8 Gr which is divided by 1 to make 5 Rpf plus 3 Rpf makes 8 Rpf, the local letter rate.

The 3rd rates period (1st August - 31st October 1938)

The German tariffs were now in force for all rates. They were payable by Rpf stamps, and/or Groschen stamps at 1 Gr=1 Rpf.

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©Andy Taylor. Last updated 25 Jan 2014