Exhibition Classes

All exhibits are prepared in accordance with a specific exhibition class.

A class is a description of the type of material or the method of presentation of that material.  Some of these classes are very specific, such as Traditional Philately which relates purely to stamps, or restrictive such as Aerophilately which limits the type of material which may be included.  There are also classes which allow for a wide range of material such as Thematic Philately, as well as classes which permit the inclusion of non-philatelic material, such as the Open and Polar classes.

There are specific rules and guidelines associated with each of these classes, many of which are recognized on a world-wide basis, whilst some classes have been developed specifically for Australian collectors to widen the scope of exhibiting and thus allow more collectors to enjoy the associated experience.

The worldwide, or Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) classes and the class number generally associated with them, are

1. Traditional Philately
Download FIP regulations
2. Postal History (new 9.8.22). Includes three sub-classes
Class 2A - Postal History exhibits relating to postal services and systems
Class 2B - Marcophily exhibits
Class 2C - Historical, Social and Special Study exhibits
Dowload Postal History guidelines
3. Postal Stationery
Download Postal Stationery regulations
Postal Stationery Commission website
4. Aerophilately (new as at 9/8/22)
Download guidelines

Aero Commission website
5. Astrophilately ( New as at 9.8.22)Download Guidelines
6. Thematic Philately (new as at 9.8.22)
Download Guidelines
Changes to Thematic Guidelines from 9.8.22 FIP Jakarta Convention:
Thematic Guideline Changes
7. Maximaphily ( new 9.8.22)
Download guidelines
8. Revenues (new 9.8.22)
Download Revenues regulations
Changes to the Guidelines for the Revenue Class_9.8.22
9.Youth Philately (new Guidelines 9.8.22)
Download FIP Youth regulations
Youth National One-frame supplementary rules - see National One Frame guidelines
Youth Guidelines approved at FIP Jakarta 9/8/22:
Youth guidelines thematic
Youth guidelines trad 060622
- Youth Age Class A 10 to 15 years old
- Youth Age Class B 16 to 18 years old
- Youth Age Class C 19 to 21 years old
Experimental Youth Literature
10. Philatelic Literature (new 9.8.22)
Download Literature regulations
11. Open Philately
Download OPEN PHILATELY Guidelines 2018 (F.I.P. website)
12. One-frame (new 9.8.22)
Download One-frame regulations: New Guidelines(8.8.22) for Judging One Frame Exhibits at FIP Exhibitions-9.8.2022
To be read in conjunction with the National Australian One Frame Guidelines 24.9.22
13. Picture Postcards
Picture Postcard Regs and Guidelines are on the FIP website Regulations & Guidelines page, bottom right (Currently an Experimental class)

Download FIP Picture Postcard Special Regulations 2018
Download FIP Picture Postcard Guidelines 2018
14. Modern (F.I.P. Experimental Class

Modern Philately F.I.P Guidelines
Literature ( new 9.8.22)
Literature guidelines
Literature Commission website

National (Non-FIP) and Experimental Classes

In Australia, the Australian Philatelic Federation also operates a number of additional non-FIP and experimental classes.  These are generally available at most National Exhibitions, however intending exhibitors should always check the exhibition prospectus closely, especially those exhibitions designated as Modified National Exhibitions where typically only a selection of classes is offered.  The Australian APF Classes are

  • Cinderellas Download Cinderellas guidelines
  • Polar Philately  Download Polar Philately guidelines
  • First Day Covers  Download First Day Covers guidelines
    • First Day Covers
    • Souvenir Covers & Postmarks (Marcophily)
    • Thematic or Topical Exhibit
  • Frugal Philately Amended Oct 2021 Download Frugal Philately guidelines Frugal-Philately Rules 2021 C
    The change is under judging: First Stage: The entries will be judged by the relevant philatelic class judging team, using all the normal criteria except that to encourage Frugal exhibits, presentation will be marked out of 10 points with the marks for rarity being reduced by 5 points. (For classes such as Postcards, Open and Thematics where these points are split into two subcategories such as Philatelic Knowledge and Subject Knowledge, 5 points will be added to each subcategory).
  • Topical Experimental Class (Up-dated 8 Feb 2020) Download TOPICAL CLASS New Rules 8-Feb-2020  For a detailed explanation see Topical Class
  • Australian One-frame Rules including Youth : these are in addition to and supplement the FIP One-frame rules and should be read in conjunction with them.  National Australian One Frame Guidelines 24.9.22

There are different formats for presenting an exhibit – they can be either multi or single frame.  Single frame exhibits are known as One Frame exhibits, and have a slightly different set of rules, although one frame exhibits are judged in the class in which they are entered.

Clicking on the class name will retrieve the rules and judging guidelines for that class.

FIP Commission Websites

In addition to the rules and guidelines for each of the FIP classes, there are Commission websites, which provide information that explains, interprets and supplements the rules and guidelines.

Traditional Philately

This is the official home page for the Traditional Philately Commission within FIP. The commission defines the rules, regulations and guidelines for judging traditional philately at international FIP stamp exhibitions.

Postal History

The numerous features of this website include a news page, list of Commission Members (with photos), list of Commission Delegates, Regulations and Guidelines for Postal History, information on upcoming seminars on Postal History, Exhibition calendar, links page and References List. See

Postal Stationery

Information on all facets of the Postal Stationery Commission can be found on this website including contact information for the Commission’s officers and delegates.  There is a special section with postal stationery displays and exhibits from 16-160 pages each.  Postal stationery exhibitors can request to have their exhibit put up on the website. See


A comprehensive reference source including links to aerophilately societies, a books page, a Questions and Answers page, the FIP’s Special Regulations in full, and lots more. See


Maintained by Australia ‘s own Charles Bromser, the Astrophilately Commission website provides a wealth of information on the exhibiting class of astrophilately.  It includes an exhibitions page where the Astrophilately class is being offered, a world wide list of relevant clubs and societies, and a comprehensive resources page with even more links. See

Thematic Philately

This site boasts a similar wealth of information and links plus some no-nonsense explanations of what is and what is not Thematic Philately especially designed for beginners. See


No website at present.


For website see

Philatelic Literature

The FIP’s Literature Commission website provides everything you need to know beginning with a thorough definition and discussion page on the term Philatelic Literature There are also some handy links to Literature dealers, other Literature websites plus all the usual FIP contact and rules information.
Additional Assistance See

If you are experiencing difficulties with any of these classes, additional assistance can be obtained from the following.  Click on the contact name to generate an email request.


John Moore
PO Box 528, Cardiff, NSW 2285

Postal History

Malcolm Groom
225 Warwick Street, West Hobart, 7000


Tony Presgrave
PO Box 317, Goolwa, SA, 5214

Open Philately

Bruce Chatterton

Frugal Philately

Ian McMahon
PO Box 891, Jamison Centre, ACT, 2614

Polar Philately

David Collyer
PO Box 201, Gladesville, NSW, 1675

One Frame

Mark Desirio

Postal Stationery

Ian McMahon
PO Box 891, Jamison Centre, ACT, 2614


Mike Kouwen


Darryl Fuller

First Day Covers

Frank Pauer
PO Box 2066, Bayswater, Vic, 3153

Picture Postcards

David Figg
2 Burnie Ave, Campbelltown, SA 5074

Topical (National Experimental Class)

Stephanie Bromser
37 Bridport Street, South Melbourne, 3205

The above contacts are also shown on the Contacts page, under the headings of FIP Commission Delegates and APF Experimental Classes.

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