The introduction of the money order and parcel services after the formal establishment of the Postal Administration gave rise to an urgent demand for stamps of high value, the highest denomination then available being 30 cents which was inadequate to meet the actual requirements. As an emergency measure,more than 600,000 pieces of of 3 cents revenue stamps then in stock in theCustoms Statistical Department, Shanghai were surcharged and put on sale as postage stamps. They were in batches of both dollar denominations and cent denominations with black wording〝大清郵政〞 (Im6perial Chinese Post) and 〝當×圓〞(surcharged as × dollars) or 〝暫作洋銀×分〞(temporarily surcharged as × cents).
The above-mentioned revenue stamps of one denomination only were printed in intaglio by the Waterlow & Sons Co., Ltd., London. Each sheet of 100 stamps (10×10) bore a serial Arabic number on the right top corner of the sheet. The perforation is from 12－16 compound.
In order to save time, the overprint work was done partly by the Customs Statistical Department, Shanghai and partly by oustside printing press, resulting in some disuniformity in the style of characters used for printing. Five denominations were surcharged in big characters or figures and three denominations surcharged in small characters or figures.