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Code of Conduct

The Code – General principles

All forms of business and business practice in connection with stamp dealing shall be carried out legally, credibly and with professional integrity to the highest commercial standards. Values of good trading and legal principles shall be upheld.  The Philatelic Traders’ Society Ltd (“PTS”) believes that it is in the interests of the trade as a whole to set down the following guiding code of business practices applicable to the members of the PTS and intends to take suitable action including termination of membership in the event of any breach of the code.

1. Professional Conduct

All PTS Members must conduct their business in a professional manner. PTS Members shall be respectful and helpful to the PTS Team, Council, fellow Member and clients. PTS Members will promote the society, its team and its activities in a positive, respectful manner.
All PTS Members must be familiar with and comply with the PTS’s Articles of Association, which includes under Article 64. that the Society does not tolerate, under any circumstances, any abuse to staff, the Council, Secretary, or fellow Members of the Society.

2. Forgeries and repaired, re-gummed or faulty stamps

Forged items shall never knowingly be offered as genuine.
Forged or enhanced postmarks should never be offered as genuine.
Faulty or repaired items shall never knowingly be offered as perfect.
Items shall never knowingly be misdescribed.
The condition of the gum shall never knowingly be misdescribed.
A buyer shall never knowingly be misled as to quantity, quality or catalogue value.

For the purposes of clarity, the PTS descriptions for gum are as follows:

U/M (Unmounted Mint),
MNH (Mint Never Hinged), Full Original Gum – the gum that was originally applied from the printer has not been altered or added to in any way and has not been disturbed by a stamp hinge or otherwise.
M/M (Mounted Mint),
HM (Hinged Mint), Large Part Original Gum – the gum that was originally applied from the printer has not been altered or added to in any way but has been disturbed by the use of a stamp hinge or otherwise.
Small Part Original Gum – the gum that was originally applied from the printer has not been altered or added to in any way but less than 50% of the gum remains on the stamp.
Unused, No Gum – the stamp is unused, without any gum, and has never been cancelled in any way.
Regummed – the stamp is unused and has never been cancelled in any way but the gum has been added at a later date.

3. Professional liability

(a) Should a member or any one employed by him or authorised by him to act in his name, supply items which do not accord with his material description of it, the member must accept full responsibility. Members must be prepared to refund in full unless a replacement item is offered by mutual agreement.
(b) Where a member supplies an item with a certificate of genuineness his description must agree with the certificate and any remarks concerning condition.
(c) If a member finds himself unable to guarantee the genuineness or condition of any particular material, he may sell such described as “believed to be”, “apparently” or “possibly” and “but not guaranteed to be” such and such. He may also clearly write on his invoice words to the effect that he accepts no responsibility to accept the return of the material unless the description can be proved false or misleading. This is the only way in which a member may attempt to sell material “without recourse”.
(d) A member must insert, in his written contractual terms, a clear and conspicuous statement that the contractual terms stated do not and will not affect the statutory rights of a “consumer”.

1. In the event of dispute the onus will be on the buyer to prove to the satisfaction of the Society that the item(s) in respect of which he wishes to claim are the actual item(s) bought from the member and have not been treated, marked or altered in any way. The buyer must also provide proof of purchase.
2 Provided that the description of the stamps or items at the time of the sale was correct, any subsequent alteration in their catalogue status and/or standing will not provide grounds for their return to the member.
3. If the member does not specify any time limit to his responsibility, it will be assumed that the normal legal period will apply.
4. A recognised certifying expert or expert committee shall include those of the PTS Expertising Ltd, Royal Philatelic Society and the British Philatelic Association. A recognised expert or committee is one that; has an expert who is highly regarded and widely recognised for certifying such an item, undertakes proper diligence in reaching the opinion, records the opinion and can uphold the opinion. There must always be doubt if the most obvious expert is not used.
5. Members are reminded to ensure that a certificate belongs to the corresponding item and that the condition of the stamp or item has not changed since the issue of a certificate.


4. Identification of items

When selling any items, a member will, on demand, give a detailed invoice.


5. Advertisements

A member must not knowingly publish misleading advertisements purporting to sell what he has not got or to give what he has no intention of giving.
No member may promote philatelic investment portfolios or use investment return projections in marketing materials

6. Certificates & Warranties

(a) Members who sign certificates of genuineness must satisfy themselves and, if requested to do so by the Council, that they have the expertise or they can rely on the expertise of others to make such a certification. With the exception of the PTS Expertising Ltd the PTS logo or any reference to the association must not appear on any certificate of genuineness or attachment.
(b) Members (in addition to their statutory requirements) may give a warranty that they will replace the material or will reimburse a customer. A reference to the membership of the PTS is permissible.


Members are reminded that the letter and spirit of the law should be abided by at all times and shall serve to remedy any disputes, but in agreeing to this Code of Conduct members are bound by it in addition to the applicable legal statutes and agree to the consequences of a breach of conduct.

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