Developed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP), the WADP Numbering System (WNS) was introduced on 1 January 2002 with the aim of creating a database of all authentic postage stamps issued by UPU member countries and territories on or after that date.
The goal is for the WNS to become the central point of reference against which stamp issues can be verified, supporting the legal philatelic market by endorsing those stamps that are genuine.
Only those postage stamps that, once received by the International Bureau (IB) of the UPU have undergone the process of verification of authenticity and registration will be attributed a WNS number and added to the WNS website.
The WNS website is therefore a reference tool and a control, by omission, of stamps that have been issued illegally and labels that are claimed to be stamps. The WNS is one of the tools the UPU has introduced, helping the Posts and the philatelic market as a whole to combat this problem.
For more information on philately, the work of the WADP and illegal stamp issues click here.
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