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The Postal Services Regulations 1999

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council sets out common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service (“the Postal Services Directive”).

These Regulations implement the Postal Services Directive to the extent that it is not already covered by existing legislation and procedures.

In particular, the Regulations designate the Secretary of State and the Postal Services Commission as the national regulatory authorities for the postal sector in the United Kingdom (Article 22 of the Postal Services Directive requires the designation of one or more national regulatory authorities that are legally separate from and operationally independent of the postal operators) and set out the function and duties of the Postal Services Commission.

The Regulations also amend the British Telecommunications Act 1981 (“the 1981 Act”) to impose a duty on the Post Office to provide a universal postal service which will now be defined in the 1981 Act. The 1981 Act is also amended to make it possible to enforce the monopoly by civil proceedings (as well as by criminal proceedings as currently provided for in the 1981 Act).

The extent of the Post Office’s monopoly is to be defined by reference to the weight of a letter as well as its price by an amendment to the Postal Privilege (Suspension) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/1483).

There is also amendment to the Post Office Act 1969 which requires the Post Office to establish schemes for dealing with users' complaints.

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