the system of the A.I.E.P. certificates
The “A.I.E.P. Certificates”, introduced in 2000, are special philatelic certificates issued exclusively by Ordinary Members of the A.I.E.P. They consist of uniform certificate forms containing the name and logo of the A.I.E.P., individually overprinted with the name of the respective expert and the areas of specialisation for which he is officially recognised.
The “A.I.E.P. Certificates” are designed as the world quality seal of philatelic expertising, as they automatically guarantee that the highest international quality standards of expertising were applied. To the stamp collector, dealer or auctioneer, an “A.I.E.P. Certificate” should represent the best available assurance that a certified item was thoroughly examined and accurately described, and its genuineness and condition verified, by a leading expert of the field, recommended by the A.I.E.P.
On issuing such “A.I.E.P. Certificates”, the expert is obliged to use his utmost care. Under no circumstances must such certificates be issued for items which, in the opinion of the expert, may be open to even the slightest doubt, controversy or possible misinterpretation.
The “A.I.E.P. Certificates” may be issued either in the form of “certificates” or “ guarantees”, as specified in article 6 of the A.I.E.P. Statutes.
areas of specialisation
The “A.I.E.P. Certificates” must be used exclusively for expertising items that fall strictly within the respective “areas of specialisation” as printed on such certificates. Any expertising of items that are outside the “areas of specialisation” as printed on such certificates would be regarded as a severe breach of these regulations.
Should a member’s “areas of specialisation” subsequently be reduced or extended, for whatever reason, he must return any unused old certificate forms to the A.I.E.P. and he may obtain a fresh supply of forms that show the amended “areas of specialisation”.
use for items of importance
In order to maintain the highest possible prestige value of the “A.I.E.P. Certificates,” it is highly recommended that they should only be issued for items of a certain importance, not for standard material of modest value (for which the experts may of course continue to issue their normal certificates).
The expert must keep copies of his “A.I.E.P. Certificates” in his custody for at least ten years from their date of issue – or, where a guarantee for a period exceeding ten years has been given, for the whole duration of such guarantee.
In view of the experts’ extra care and particular responsibilities connected with the issue of “A.I.E.P. Certificates,” the experts are encouraged to charge higher expertising fees than for their normal certificates.
supply of certificate forms
Ordinary Member may order a supply of up to 1,000 certificate forms per year. The unused certificate forms supplied to members remain the property of the A.I.E.P. and may be recalled under certain circumstances specified in these regulations. The member’s order for a supply of “A.I.E.P. Certificates” implies his full acceptance of the present regulations.
constant monitoring of quality standards
Since the reputation of this system depends entirely on the high quality of the “A.I.E.P. Certificates,” the A.I.E.P. must safeguard that the required standards are rigorously maintained by all members who issue such certificates. Although it is the duty of the A.I.E.P. to constantly monitor the quality standards, the A.I.E.P. cannot accept any responsibility whatever for the opinions expressed by its members, as specified in article 1 of its Statutes.
In the course of monitoring the quality standards, the Board may ask any member to supply a copy of one or more of his “A.I.E.P. Certificates.” The refusal to comply with such a request may entail the recalling of the member’s unused certificate forms. Analogously, members are required to keep lists (containing the certificate numbers and subjects) of the “A.I.E.P.-Certificates” issued by them, and the Board may ask any member for a copy of such lists.
If any complaints regarding erroneous or faulty “A.I.E.P. Certificates” are received by the A.I.E.P., the Board of the A.I.E.P. shall immediately contact the member who has issued the certificate in question, with a view to obtaining his explanations. If necessary, the Board shall further investigate the case in order to acquire an impartial view of the situation.
If a member is found to have issued a number of erroneous or faulty “A.I.E.P. Certificates,” the Board of the A.I.E.P. may order him to temporarily stop the issue of further “A.I.E.P. Certificates” and/or return any unused forms in his possession.
A member who refuses to comply with such order shall be immediately suspended. The final decision will be taken by the General Meeting whereby, in order to confirm such temporary stop or to make it permanent, a two thirds’ majority of votes by the members present and represented is required.