Code of Ethics
Precancel Stamp Society, Inc.
(adopted May 1, 2006)
The Precancel Stamp Society (the PSS) expects its members to adhere to the highest set of ethical standards with respect to precancel collecting. Membership in the Society is a privilege and is not a right.
This Code of Ethics has been duly adopted by the Board of Governors pursuant to the Bylaws of the Precancel Stamp Society and ratified by a majority of members voting thereon. All decisions and actions stemming from this Code of Ethics shall be taken by the Board of Governors at their sole discretion.
As a member of the Precancel Stamp Society:
1. I agree to support and to be governed by the Bylaws of the Precancel Stamp Society and such amendments hereto, and any such resolutions and policies as maybe duly adopted.
2. I agree to conduct myself so as to bring no reproach or discredit to the PSS, or to impair the prestige of membership therein, or to philately generally.
3. I agree neither to knowingly buy nor to knowingly sell philatelic items of which the ownership is questionable, and to report promptly to the proper authorities information I may have with respect to suspected stolen material.
4. I agree to promptly correct any error I may make in any philatelic transaction.
5. I agree to not knowingly sell, trade, produce, or advertise repaired, altered, forged or otherwise modified philatelic items unless that condition is clearly stated. I further agree not to knowingly produce any fake or counterfeit material and I agree that any known or suspected fake or counterfeit material that I advertise or trade shall be described as such.
6. I agree that collector-made precancels are an established and valid aspect of the precancel hobby and are both allowed by the PSS and specifically allowed by wording in the current USPS Domestic Mailing Manual (DMM). I understand that the PSS will conform to any future revisions in the USPS Domestic Mailing Manual (DMM) pertaining to the production of precancels. More specifically, I agree that:
a. PSS members may precancel only United States postage stamps issued after 1953 that can legally be used for first class or bulk mail. Such precanceling must take place at the post office holding the device. The device must not be removed from the post office, or used privately outside of post office oversight. Previously used stamps must never be precanceled. PSS members may keep, sell, and trade precanceled stamps they have created consistent with these rules, as well as all precanceled stamps created prior to the adoption of this code. PSS members using precanceled stamps on first class or bulk mailings must be valid permit holders.
b. The DMM specifically disallows the creation of philatelic oddities. The PSS interprets this to prohibit the creation of precancels with inverted, partial, or multiple strikes on electroplates. I acknowledge that the precancelation of postage due stamps and other stamps that cannot be used for first class or bulk mail is specifically disallowed by the current DMM, and agree to refrain from such conduct.
c. It is permissible for a PSS member to discover and create precancels at any post office and with any USPS device, consistent with the above rules. The PSS requires any PSS member creating a precancel using a device cataloging more than $1 in the current PSS Town and Type catalog, or a device not listed in the current PSS Town and Type catalog, to inform the Board of Governors that the device exists. The Board of Governors will inform the Catalog Committee of the discovered device. The PSS will list these devices in the Precancel Forum with a revised catalog price. Failure to inform the Board of Governors of such a device constitutes a violation of this code, and can result in expulsion from the PSS. It is not necessary to report new devices that have been listed in the PSS Forum.
7. (When originally submitted to the membership fora vote, there was no item 7 in the list due to a numbering error. Therefore, this report of the Code is given with numbering as it was approved.)
8. I agree that precancel devices which are in private hands will not be used to make precanceled stamps.
9. I agree that fantasy devices, that are not legitimate USPS precancel devices, used to make souvenirs for conventions, meetings, and other special occasions must be different enough from known bureau and local precancel devices that a knowledgeable collector would not be fooled into believing that the stamps created with these devices had a legitimate usage.
10. I agree to fulfill all philatelic contracts made by me, either orally or written, and to make prompt payments upon delivery, or to return promptly any item that is not satisfactory.
11. When exhibiting, I agree to display only material from my own collection or else to state clearly the provenance of the other material.
12. I agree that substitution or alteration of any philatelic materials in my custody out belonging to another party is a basic violation of this Code of Ethics.
13. I agree to bring suspected examples of violations of this Code of Ethics to the attention of the PSS Board of Governors.
14. I agree to conduct myself in accordance with accepted standards of morality and courtesy in all of my philatelic activities, whether or not specifically cited in this code.
15. If I am expelled by the PSS, the record thereof maybe published in the PSS Forum.
16. Proposed amendments to the Code of Ethics must be made in writing to the Board of Governors at least 90 days prior to the annual Convention. Said proposed amendments with the recommendation of the Board of Governors will be submitted to the entire membership for approval once annually prior to the annual meeting of the Society. Amendments must be approved by a majority of the membership voting. Final results of any balloting will be reported in the Precancel Forum.