On December 18, two weeks before significant changes are introduced into the Polish postal market, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) organised a postal debate. Experts and representatives of the postal industry, participating in the debate, discussed the liberalization of the postal market and regulatory solutions contained in the amendment to the Postal Law Act.
January 1, 2013, will be the date of introducing changes important both for customers and providers of postal services. On this date the liberalization of the postal market in Poland will be initiated by ending the monopoly of Poczta Polska on postal items weighing up to 50 grams. The aim of the debate was to discuss changes to the Postal Law Act, their impact on business operators, as well as to present the strategy of the Regulator concerning regulatory and consumer issues.
The debate was opened by the President of UKE, Magdalena Gaj, who invited participants to take part in the three thematic panels.
During the first part related to the opening of the postal market in Poland, the main speakers included Małgorzata Olszewska - the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation (MAiC), Magdalena Gaj - the President of the Office of Electronic Communications, and representatives of providers of postal services.
The President of UKE, addressing the participants in the debate, stressed that the objective of a new strategy for the operation of the postal market regulator is to strengthen competition and consumer protection through effective implementation of new regulations while maintaining a friendly and open regulatory environment.
In Magdalena Gaj’s view - the most important task for the regulator and state authorities responsible for the postal sector will be to implement the new Postal Law Act and to prepare market participants - providers and service users - for full market opening to competition.
Magdalena Gaj, assessing the opportunities and threats, referred to the liberalization of the telecommunications market, forecasting that the liberalization of the postal market will positively influence the growth of competition, improve service quality, increase diversity of postal operators and, in the longer term, it will result in the reduction of prices for services.
The postal market will face many new challenges - traditional postal market will slowly but steadily shrink. This is the result of dynamic development of electronic services and the Internet. On the other hand, increasing popularity of e-services will spur the sector of posalt parcels and logistic services, resulting from the development of e-commerce and on-line shopping. My priority for the years 2013-2015 will be to ensure maximum benefits for users of postal services - both for individual and business customers
- said the President of UKE, presenting the main assumptions of the regulatory strategy.
The second part of the debate was focused on discussing new provisions in the Postal Law Act and the responsibilities of the postal operators. It also included a presentation prepared by the UKE's Department of Postal Market, during which the following issues were discussed: the definition of postal services, authorizations for entities providing postal services, the role of the designated operator, sharing elements of postal infrastructure, duties and responsibilities of postal operators and the rules of controlling postal activities.
The last thematic panel included a discussion on the quality of service and availability of universal postal services. These are the main priorities in the Strategy of the President of UKE for 2013-2015. Various issues related to this topic were presented by the personnel of the UKE's Department of Postal Market and experts from Ernst & Young Business Advisory. They discussed among others: ensuring the universal access to postal services, the compensation fund and the net cost of universal postal services.
Great interest in the debate and activity of its participants are the best way to summarize the whole conference. This meeting of representatives of the state authorities, the regulator, experts and undertakings operating in the postal market was a very important event, immediately preceding the implementation of the amended Postal Law Act. In 2013 the postal market will face many challenges and new solutions will bring a number of benefits for consumers. The liberalization of the market will bring us better quality of service, whereas for operators it will be the time for an intense battle for customers in the postal market.