Postcomm announces simplification of licensing framework

Postcomm, the independent regulator for postal services, today announced changes that will simplify procedures for licensing non-universal service operators. (The universal service is the geographically uniform postal service that is provided by Royal Mail.)"BvDP"

In 2007, Postcomm responded to suggestions that its current licensing arrangements did not go far enough in facilitating market entry for some small and medium sized potential mail operators. A consultation was launched on proposals to move to less prescriptive licensing for those seeking to enter the postal services market. Several of these amendments were meant to eliminate unnecessary regulation, thus helping to encourage competition to the benefit of all customers.

The changes described in today\'s document - Amendment of the 2006 licensing framework - include a reduction in application fees from £1000 to £50, which it is hoped will help encourage small businesses to enter the market, and the removal of the licence requirement on all licensees to have guarantees or contractual arrangements in place to ensure the delivery of mail if an operator fails so that, in future, other operators can respond directly to what the market demands, rather than to regulatory requirements.

Postcomm believes that effective competition can better protect the interests of postal customers than regulation and is aiming to ensure that its licensing rules support the developing competitive market. Nothing being proposed will affect Postcomm\'s ability to enforce licence conditions or lead to any substantial reduction in protection for mail customers.

These amendments to the current licensing framework will be implemented in early 2008.

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