Antarctic

There are no inhabitants of the Antarctic continent, however, there are many countries that have bases there. Some of these countries issue stamps for the bases they occupy. Which may also include several islands within the Arctic Circle.

The main entities in this area are:

  • AAT: Australian Antarctic Territory. With several bases, Australia has been issuing stamps for its territory since 1957.
  • BAT: British Antarctic Territory. First issues were in 1963
  • FID: Falkland Island Dependencies. The islands if South Georgia, South Shetlands, South Orkneys and Graham Land. Issues for these territories ceased in 1945  they were amalgamated for a while. However after 1963 South Georgia was resurrected to cover some of these territories limited postal needs. A complicated story.
  • FAT: French Antarctic Territory, also known as French Southern and Antarctic Territories encompasses both their territory on the Antarctic continent as well as several Arctic islands in the southern Indian ocean.
  • Ross Dependency: This is New Zealand’s territory which also began a postal service in 1957. However, earlier designations of New Zealand issues include King Edward VII Land and Victoria Land.

The countries listed are the main continuous postal administrations in the region. However, there are many more countries that operate bases here. They have also issued occasional stamps commemorating their bases and their various research activities.

These countries include, China, Russia, Argentine, Chili, Belgium and Japan, to name to most active. None of these have instituted a postal regime as described above.

Collecting Antarctic issues can be either done by selecting various postal administrations in the region and collecting them as “countries”. Alternatively, the area can be collected also as a “Theme”, that is anything relating to Antarctica. Many who do so prefer the term “Polar” collecting as they would not distinguish between Antarctic or Arctic collecting, the latter may include Greenland, Faroe islands and even Iceland

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