The idea to form an international organisation of philatelic experts was first raised at a meeting in Venice, in May 1953. The A.I.E.P. was officially founded on 10 October 1954 in Merano/Meran, Italy, in the course of the “1st Philatelic Experts’ Congress”.
The founding members of the A.I.E.P. were: Filippo Bargagli-Petrucci, Edouard Berck, Giulio Bolaffi, Werner Cueni, André de Cock, José Delgado, Alberto Diena, Alfredo Fiecchi, Manuel Galvez, Oswald Hellrigl, Wilhelm Hofinger, H. Menge, Guglielmo Oliva, Eduard Peschl, Franz Pfenninger, Luigi Raybaudi-Massilia, Heinrich Rinsch, Anton Seitz, Ferdinand Wallner, Otto Wendt, with Enzo Diena functioning as Secretary. Initially, the Association comprised experts from seven countries, mainly Italy, Germany and Austria, but it soon attracted experts from farther afield and today over thirty different countries are represented. Ferdinand Wallner (Austria) was elected the first President of the A.I.E.P. He was followed in office by Ladislaus Varga (France), Hans Hunziker (Switzerland), Enzo Diena (Italy), Emil Rellstab (Switzerland) and Wolfgang Hellrigl (Italy).