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TAIWAN. TAIPEI 2023 – 39th Asian International Stamp Exhibition

TAIPEI 2023 – the 39th Asian International Stamp Exhibition was finally held from August 11th to 15th 2023 at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 having been originally planned for 2020, postponed to 2021 and then to 2022.

The previous major international exhibition held in Taipei was PHILATAIPEI 2016, the World Stamp Championship Exhibition (see article, published in VARIABLE 43). Although not a world exhibition, TAIPEI 2023 was undoubtedly one of the biggest philatelic events held in 2023. The exhibition was organised by Chunghwa Post, Taiwan’s postal administration, in collaboration with the Chinese Taipei Philatelic Federation and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. A total of 26 countries and regions of the Asian Philatelic Federation participated in this exhibition.

Over the five days, the event attracted more than 180,000 visitors! … not all of them philatelists, of course, but interested in the variety of activities tailored to each of the themes of the day. A great celebration of philately, and as always perfectly promoted and organised by Chunghwa Post, but which at times was somewhat overwhelming due to the volume of the sound coming from the stage and the noisy crowds concentrated in certain areas.

On the commercial side, the exhibition included some 70 stands taken up by international postal administrations, specialist dealers and security printers. Among them, with issues directly related to our field of study, were Cartor Security Printers (article) and Spanish Post – Correos (article).

And, of course, the large Chunghwa Post stand, which was always crowded with long queues of local collectors wanting to purchase the many special philatelic products issued for the exhibition and to obtain the daily postmarks.

Chunghwa Post released a special label for this event, again dedicated to showcasing the country’s endemic fauna, in this case the Purple Crow Butterfly (Euploea tulliolus). This species stars in one of the most spectacular migrations in the world, with the Taiwanese government going so far as to close a highway to allow the butterflies safe passage on their northward migration.

The design is by Xu Wei, teacher and natural ecosystem painter. The design and composition includes the name in Chinese characters in the upper left hand corner. All labels have a unique serial number pre-printed in the bottom left hand corner (BIO0996 in the image). This 7-digit code is made up of 3 letters, identifying the roll and 4 digits for the label number. Then there is also the logo and the name of the postal administration and country in the bottom right hand corner.

The rolls of labels were manufactured by the Dutch company Joh. Enschede Security Print, which also had a stand at the exhibition. The total production run was 900,000 labels – 900 rolls of 1,000 labels.

This special issue was available from August 11th 2023 from the machines installed at the exhibition and also from the Innovision stamp vending machines still in operation, installed in post offices throughout the country. The codes of these machines range from 076 to 147.

During TAIPEI 2023, Chunghwa Post installed five kiosks at the exhibition venue, numbered 88, 99, 101, 112 & 139. All these machines were temporarily moved from their permanent locations in different post offices. Each customer was allowed to use the machine for six minutes, and always under the control of Chunghwa Post staff.

During the five-day event all the machines alternated between three different ink colour cartridges, black, blue and red, providing 15 different combinations of colour / machine number.


Chunghwa Post produced an illustrated cover and a special postcard for this issue. In the image below, the cover includes three stamps in the three colours available at the exhibition, with the first day postmarks in English and Chinese, and the exhibition postal mark in magenta.

Chunghwa Post sold three different types of postage label folios; each type with the five machine numbers and the three colours available at the exhibition. As a curiosity, some of the red stamps included in some folders had been printed by mistake or through carelessness with a magenta cartridge instead …

What’s more. Among the many special products for the event, Chunghwa Post produced a comprehensive information pack containing all the issues in stamp mounts. As can be seen in the images below, on the ‘Postage Label’ page they included three stamps with the face value of NT$20 printed in three different colours; blue a colour actually available at the exhibition, and magenta and green which were not! A total therefore of five colours.

And still related to this type of stamp issue, Chunghwa Post also sold the ‘The Chinese Zodiac Postage Label Folio’ containing stamps of the twelve issues dedicated to the animals of the Chinese zodiac issued between 2012 and 2023, all with different face values and printed in magenta, blue and green colours.

Finally, all visitors who purchased stamps and philatelic merchandise from the Chunghwa Post stand received a gift depending on the money spent. Among the gifts available were three folders of samples or SPECIMEN labels; with one or two labels of the ‘Purple Crow Butterfly’ special issue (images) or a strip of four labels of the ‘Bountiful Rabbit’ design.

(English edition rewritten by J. Gareze – January 2024)

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