Information for entrepreneurs about the changes in the Postal law within issuing authorizations and registration of postal operators and the rules of drafting action plans in emergencies – these were the main topics touched upon during the meeting between the representatives of URTiP and postal operators.
On 7 September 2004, a next meeting between the management of URTiP and the representatives of postal operators active in the national market took place. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy President of URTiP Mr Emil Płodzień.
The assessment of the market
Currently there are 86 private operators with different potential functioning in the market. Since the beginning of this year 26 new ones have appeared. The services provided by private operators encompass express services and value-added services. They represent 98% of services provided by them. The other 2% are services reserved for the exclusive competence of Poczta Polska, provided at a higher price (currently the fee for the fastest item in the lowest weight category of the public operator is 3 times higher; in 2003 it was 5 times higher).
In the opinion of the Deputy President of URTiP Emil Płodzień – the market for express services is fully competitive and dominated by private operators. Poczta Polska despite big technical and staff potential is not competitive in this market. Its share in this sector of the market is estimated at 4,5% and points to a decreasing tendency.
One can also observe the phenomenon of a big concentration of express services. About 66% of this market is owned by 3 companies. These are: DHL-Servisco, GLS (Fast item) and Masterlink. If we add ASTRA-LOGOS and STOLICA companies, these 5 form 84% of express services market.
The quality of services provided by the operators is very high – the number of complaints is low (0,016%) in comparison to the number of services provided.
New rules of activity registration
The representatives of the Postal Market Department in URTiP presented information about the changes in the Postal Act resulting from the entry into force of the provisions on the freedom of economic activity.
The provisions of the Act on the freedom of economic activity – adopted by the Parliament on 2 July 2004 and the provisions introducing the Act on the freedom of economic activity closed more than one year’s work aiming at the establishment in Poland of a liberal framework for taking up and conduct of economic activity. The basic objective of the statutory provisions on economic activity is to simplify registration procedures which are a precondition for starting any economic activity.
Under the new provisions the President of URTiP will be inserting an entry at the request of the entrepreneur after submitting by the entrepreneur a declaration about its compliance with the requirements specified in the Postal law. The changes concern also the register itself.
Another change in the law is a new scope of control – the control of the operator which is listed in the register of regulated activity on the basis of a request and declaration is supposed to establish the conformity of the declaration with the actual situation. In fact this will be an ex post control to replace the previous assessment procedure of compliance with the conditions of conducting the postal activity before issuing an authorization or receiving the notification.
During the meeting it was announced that the new Telecommunications law (in force since 3 September 2004) established the institution of Arbitration Courts by the President of URTiP. The establishment of them will allow the consumers of postal services for inexpensive, fast and effective resolution of disputes with operators without the necessity of bringing action to common courts.
Action plans in emergencies
Another important subject was the issue of the elaboration of rules by the postal operators in states of emergency. The obligation of drafting such plans is imposed on postal operators by the Postal law and the ordinance of the Minister of Infrastructure of 9 January 2004. The representatives of the Defence Affairs Department in URTiP presented to the operators the provisions in this scope and discussed the objectives and ways of drafting such plans.
Preparations for the World UPU Congress
The meeting with operators was also an occasion to present a few postal issues that URTiP has dealt with lately. An important event is XXIII Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that will take place from 15.09.2004 to 5.10.2004 in Bucharest.
Universal Postal Union associating 190 countries from all over the world is now the basic forum of cooperation between postal administrations and bodies providing postal services. URTiP as a member of CERP – European Committee for Postal Regulation actively participates in the preparations for the Congress, taking part in the meetings of working groups of CERP and also UPU. In addition, it cooperates with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Poczta Polska in order to reach a common position of Poland on key issues touched upon by the Congress.
At the end of the meeting all participants underlined the necessity to continue at least once a year meetings of the management of URTiP with the representatives of private operators. They give the possibility of better and better cooperation between the Regulator and operators, the proper flow of information and affecting the improvement of the quality of services provided in the market for postal services.