Royal Mail Smart Meter Technology

Smart meter franking technology is an older piece of technology that is now readily available in all modern franking machines as a standard feature. This feature comes with the ability to account for VAT on any VAT liable services that the user uses. All the VAT information will be stored on the franking machines system and all you need to do is frank the item as you normal would.

Any VAT liable service that you use will be automatically recorded so you can easily reclaim it back at the end of the month. This feature became necessary for a lot of business using services such as such as business mail and special delivery 9am where VAT will be required. Due to changes in EU rules back in 2011, these services became subject to VAT. Whereas other types of mail such as standard mail and parcels not being subject to VAT.

Another key change to a smart franking machine is the franking machine ink colour used. Previously red was the colour used, but with smart meter technology this changed to blue (also known as smart blue). This colour change helps Royal Mail’s systems read the franking impression much easier as the impression is clearer, more enhanced and higher quality.

Does a franking machine have to have Smart Meter technology?

If your business uses VAT applied services then yes, a smart franking machine is required. many businesses have since made the switch for this reason and are finding franking much easier. As of 2012, those who do not use a franking machine with smart meter technology, are not able to reclaim VAT.

Due to the VAT being quite a confusing and stressful aspect of franking, paying the wrong VAT is a very easy and simple mistake to make. This is why a smart franking machine exists, to prevent these mistakes and ensure that the correct VAT is being applied.

Below you will be able to see an example of what the latest franking impression will look like on your mail.

Mailmark Franking Impression Example

The Potential Smart Meter Benefits

  • You can reclaim any paid VAT from HMRC.
  • By franking mail in smart blue businesses will be able to improve the franking impression produced by the smart franking machine. Helping to speed up delivery speeds for Royal Mail.
  • You can gain access to and use even more Royal Mail services and products that are VAT applicable.
  • You can ensure that the correct postage is always franked on your outgoing post.
  • A more detailed report of franking expenses is produced to help manage your costs more easily.

Which Services Are Liable To VAT?

Parcel Despatch

  • Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am™ (stamps, franking and account)
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm™ (account)
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24 and Royal Mail Tracked 48
  • Royal Mail Sameday®
  • Royal Mail 1st and 2nd Class Account Mail
  • Royal Mail Signed For™ will also become liable to VAT if purchased as an add-on to a standard rated service. In all other circumstances it will remain VAT exempt.

Marketing Services

  • Advertising Mail™
  • Sustainable® Advertising Mail
  • Door to Door™


  • Publishing Mail

General Correspondence

  • Business Mail 1st Class
  • Business Mail

Response Services

  • Response Services License fees
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed Returns™
  • Business Reply Plus and Freepost Plus
  • Business Reply Standard, Freepost Standard and Freepost NAME

International (VAT will be charged to EU destinations)

  • International Business Tracking and Signature services (International Business Tracked & Signed, International Business Signed and International Business Tracked)
  • International Business Services (International Business Mail, International Business Parcels) and where a price is worldwide then VAT will apply to all destinations
  • International Business Mail Response and International Parcel Returns and where a price is worldwide then VAT will apply to all destinations)
  • International Tracked
  • International Redirections

Outbound Mail

  • Collections

Inbound Mail

  • PO Box®
  • Timed Delivery™
  • Early Collect
  • Early Extraction™
  • Pre-sorted Delivery
  • Selectapost
  • Local Collect®
  • Diversion

Parcel Despatch

  • Business Mail Secure
  • Admail
  • Callers Services
  • Posting Cheque administration charge
  • Private Posting Box
  • Royal Mail administration fee for collection of HMRC charges
  • Royal Mail Pouch Services
  • Rural Newspaper Delivery
  • Rural Carriage of Goods
  • Redirect Diversion
  • Ministerial Pouch services
  • Do not redirect
  • Safebox

Contract Products

  • Mailroom Management
  • Mailroom Consulting Services
  • Royal Mail Relay®

Smart Franking Machines

Below you will be able to see a complete list of the Smart Meter compatible franking machines. This range includes Quadient, Neopost, Pitney Bowes, Frama and FP Mailing smart franking machines.

Neopost Smart Franking Machines

Quadient Smart Franking Machines

Mailcoms Smart Franking Machines

Frama Smart Franking Machines

Pitney Bowes Smart Franking Machines

FP Mailing Smart Franking Machines