More flexible postal services through a legislative reform
In line with the Government Programme the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland has started the process of improving legal provisions and has thus initiated a project to reform postal legislation. The goal is a postal services act that would be more flexible and better meet the needs of the changing environment.
The reform aims to reduce any barriers to market entry by potential operators and lighten the administrative burden of postal operations. It aims at reliable and versatile postal services.
The legislative project will take place in two stages. In the first stage, the operating licence procedure under the current Postal Act would be replaced by a notification obligation, and in the second stage, an overall reform of the Postal Act would be implemented.
A consultation process for the first stage, i.e. a proposal to abandon the postal operating licence system, is now underway. The deadline for comments is 2 November 2015. The Act is meant to enter into force on 1 June 2016.
It is suggested in the legislative proposal that provision of postal services with regard to items of correspondence could be started by informing the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (Ficora) as required and by drafting a description of the operations. Any changes in the operations or their discontinuance should be notified without delay.
It would be a task of Ficora to maintain a public record of operators that have submitted a notification. The requirements set out in the current postal licences of providing change-of-address and delivery-suspension services as well as the labelling-of-items requirement would be included in the new act.
The second stage of the project will involve the overall reform of the Postal Act. The work will commence in January 2016. The overall reform would include amendments to the opening of postal code databases and submitting of postal address register information to other operators. Preliminary work on the amendments has been made in working groups on postal codes and address registers.
In the second stage, for example access to postal distribution network and extent of universal service will be reviewed.
Mr Tomi Lindholm, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2021