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Some useful facts about Royal Mail Business Reply and Freepost envelopes...

Please ring 01902 402693 (office hours) or send us an enquiry if you need any help or advice

Royal Mail Business Reply and Freepost Barcode envelopes

Important Royal Mail have announced that as from 7th November 2014, they will not accept Business Reply and Freepost reply envelopes that do not carry a barcode. Some suppliers are still printing envelopes that do not carry a barcode and these will be unusable after 7th November 2014 unless a Royal Mail postal surcharge is paid. Centreprint will create the correct style layout for you and will add the correct barcode. We will proof the envelope layout to Royal Mail on your behalf and also send a copy of the proof to you for a final check.

Examples of new style Royal Mail barcoded response envelope styles

You may prefer to look at some actual printed envelope samples before ordering.

Can I trust Centreprint?

Yes. We are a family business that has been trading as Centreprint since 1978. The MD is Andrew Porter. Andrew's Mum, Dad and his Wife all work in the business and together with our very loyal and efficient staff all enjoy giving the very best service and seeing the business grow through recommendation. We produce many millions of printed envelopes each year and work to very strict Royal Mail specifications, including the new style barcode designs.

Do I need a licence?

Royal Mail Business Reply envelopes and Royal Mail Freepost envelopes both require an annual licence. The rules changed from 4th November 2013 and it is vital that the envelope now also carries a barcode and is correctly laid out. Download a Royal Mail Response Services Application Form here.

For more information, please visit the Royal Mail website or telephone Royal Mail advice line on 08457 950 950.

Do I need an envelope design, envelope artwork or a barcode?

No. The process is painless and easy. All you need are the name and address, which must be exactly as your Royal Mail licence and the licence number which will be three sets of four letters, such as AABC-GHTD-ZZZZ. Centreprint studio are very well used to working to very strict Royal Mail specifications for all sizes of Royal Mail Business Reply, Freepost and PPI envelopes and will create the finished artwork to the very strict Royal Mail guidelines. This will include the all-important Business Response barcode. Once you have placed your order, there is no extra charge for this service. We will then email a proof to you and to Royal Mail on your behalf.

What are the standard UK envelope sizes?

All Royal Mail Business Reply envelopes and Freepost envelopes are produced to standard sizes. See standard UK envelope sizes here.


Once you have passed the proof, we swing into action. We print the envelopes to a very high standard and deliver them anywhere in mainland Britain, usually within 5-7 working days. There is NO charge for delivery.

Envelopes for direct mail

Centreprint produce these as well. We also have our own mailing house, sending out many millions of mailshots every year. May we offer you help or advice on your mailing envelopes or your next mailing?. Centreprint can very probably save you a considerable sum of money.

Royal Mail postage prices

Once you have your Royal Mail licence, you can use either First or Second class designs for either Business Reply envelopes or Freepost envelopes. The postage is charged separately by Royal Mail and the envelopes never expire.

What is the difference between the "Standard" licence and the "Plus" licence

The difference is that the Standard licence may be used on any size envelope, while the Plus licence may ONLY be used on envelopes up to C5 size (including DL size). The big benefit of going for the Plus licence is that small size envelopes are machine sortable. The allow for this, Royal Mail give you a big discount on the postage cost (currently 6p), so unless you really have to post out C4 size reply envelopes, always go for the Plus licence. Note that all Business Reply and Freepost envelopes now require a barcode.

Why not ask for some samples?

If you are not sure of the size you require or if you want to see what our quality is like, please request a sample pack here