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(1)For the purposes of this Act and subject to subsection (2), a universal postal service is provided if—
(a)except in such geographical conditions or other circumstances as the Commission considers to be exceptional—
(i)at least one delivery of relevant postal packets is made every working day to the home or premises of every individual or other person in the United Kingdom or to such identifiable points for the delivery of relevant postal packets as the Commission may approve, and
(ii)at least one collection of relevant postal packets is made every working day from each access point,
(b)a service of conveying relevant postal packets from one place to another by post and the incidental services of receiving, collecting, sorting and delivering such packets are provided at affordable prices determined in accordance with a public tariff which is uniform throughout the United Kingdom, and
(c)a registered post service is provided at such prices.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)—
(a)the interruption, suspension or restriction of any service in cases of emergency, or
(b)the conclusion with customers of individual agreements as to prices,
shall not be taken to preclude the provision of a universal postal service.
(3)References in this Act to a universal service provider shall be construed as references to any person—
(a)whose identity is notified by the Secretary of State to the European Commission in accordance with Article 4 of the Postal Services Directive as that of a person providing a universal postal service or a part of such a service in the United Kingdom, and
(b)on whom the Secretary of State has served a notice informing him of that fact and the fact that he will be treated as a universal service provider for the purposes of this Act.
(4)If no-one falls within subsection (3) because there is no Community obligation to notify the European Commission of the identity of a person providing a universal postal service or a part of such a service in the United Kingdom, references in this Act to a universal service provider shall be construed as references to any person who is treated by the Secretary of State as a universal service provider for the purposes of this Act and on whom the Secretary of State has served a notice informing him of that fact.
(5)The Secretary of State shall take such steps as he considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing to the attention of the public the identity of any person who is a universal service provider for the purposes of this Act.
(6)References in this Act to the provision of a universal postal service shall, in relation to a universal service provider who provides part of a universal postal service, be construed as references to the provision of that part of such a service.
(7)In this section—
“access point” means any box, receptacle or other facility provided by a universal service provider for the purpose of receiving relevant postal packets, or any class of relevant postal packets, for onwards transmission in connection with the provision of a universal postal service,
“permitted limits”, in relation to the dimensions of a postal packet, means the minimum and maximum dimensions laid down in the M1Convention and the Agreement concerning Postal Parcels adopted by the Universal Postal Union, and
“relevant postal packets” means postal packets whose weight does not exceed 20 kilograms and whose dimensions fall within permitted limits.
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