Postage stamps and postal history of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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1 kreuzer first issue 1879, lithographed
Stamp of Bosnia-Herzegovina 50 heller issue 1910, overprint State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, 1918, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The first issue in 1879 for Bosnia and Herzegovina, soon after its occupation by Austria-Hungary in 1878, is a stamp without any text, but representing the Austrian double-eagle coats of arms.

Stamps with a text Bosnien Herzegowina were produced only in 1906, representing landscapes and monuments, including a view of Doboj and the Carshija business quarter of Sarajevo.[1] It produced a number of military post stamps in the 1910s, many of them depicting Francis Joseph I. Newspaper stamps which included a depiction of a girl in a Bosnian costume (1913) and postage due stamps (1904 and 1916) were also produced.[1]


Kingdom in 1918[edit]

In 1918 Bosnia and Herzegovina was merged in the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians. Overprints (DRZAVA S.H.S. etc.) were first used in 1919.[2] The name of Kingdom of Yugoslavia appeared only in 1931. The region used Yugoslavian stamps until becoming independent in 1992.


After the independence in 1992, the country has three postal authorities, corresponding with ethnic and administrative division of the country. The stamps are issued by: Bosnia and Herzegovina post (BH Pošta, Sarajevo), Croatian Posts (HP Mostar, Mostar), and Serbian posts (Srpske pošte, Banja Luka). In Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stamps issued by BH pošta (the areas controlled by Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995) and HP Mostar (the areas controlled by Croatian Defence Council in 1995) are valid, while in Republika Srpska stamps issued by the Srpske pošte are valid.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

BH pošta issue stamps from 27 October 1993, first inscribed Republika Bosna i Hercegovina, and from 1996 just Bosna i Hercegovina. Until 1 October 1998, the currency is Bosnia and Herzegovina dinar, and after that Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark. HP Mostar issue stamps from 12 May 1993. Initially the stamps were inscribed by Bosna i Hercegovina / Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna, or abbreviated HR Herceg-Bosna. From 1996, the stamps bear inscription Bosna i Hercegovina, but with a different logo from BH pošta in Sarajevo. Initial currency was Croatian kuna, and from 1999 Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark. Both postal authorities from 2011 use double label Bosna i Hercegovina / Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine (sometimes abbreviated as FBiH), maintaining different logos, and areas of use.

Republika Srpska[edit]

Srpske pošte in Banja Luka started to issue stamps on 26 October 1992. The stamps first had label Republika Srpska, and the currency was until 24 December Yugoslav dinar. From 15th of July 2003, the stamps use double label Bosna i Hercegovina / Republika Srpska. The stamps of Republika Srpska usually use the Cyrillic script, so the label reads Рeпублиҝa Српска.


  1. ^ a b Stamps of the World. Stanley Gibbons. 2004. p. 392. 
  2. ^ Classiques du monde 1840-1940, ,Yvert & Tellier, 2005

Further reading[edit]

  • Kaufmann, Hugo. Die Briefmarken von Bosnien : K. u. K. Feldposten und Österr. Post im Ausland. Bratislava: Kaufmann, 1937, 16 pages
  • Oldfield, Herbert. The Stamps of Bosnia 1879-1900. 1912.
  • Passer, Adolf. Postwertzeichen von Bosnien und der Herzegovina = Stamps of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prague: Kommission-Verlagraz, Bath & Co, 1930
  • Pongratz-Lippitt, Oscar. Handbuch Bosnien-Herzegovina: eine Studie der Postgeschichte, Abstempelungen, Ganzsachen und Postformulare, von den postalischen Anfängen bis 1900: für den Sandschak von Novipazar bis Oktober 1918. Pernegg an der Mur: O. Pongratz-Lippitt, 2000, 192 pages
  • Sekelj, Berislav. Priručnik i katalog: poštanska povijest Bosne i Hercegovine, 1878-1918 = Handbuch und Katalog: Postgeschichte Bosnien un Herzegowina, 1878-1918 = Handbook and catalogue: postal history Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1878-1918. Zagreb: Croatian Philatelic Federation Library, 2005 ISBN 953-95064-0-9, 38 pages
  • Vilfan, Mladen. Privremena izdanja Hrvatske i Bosne i Hercegovine 1945 = Provisional issues, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina 1945. Zagreb: OBOL-NAKLADA, 2006 ISBN 978-953-63880-8-0, 224 pages

External links[edit]