In the version published on 15 December 1999
Translation provided by the Federal Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts and reproduced with kind permission.
This Ordinance implements Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 1997 (OJ 1998 No L 15/14).
Table of Contents
§ 1 Universal Service
§ 2 Quality Standards for Letter Conveyance
§ 3 Quality Standards for Parcel Conveyance
§ 4 Quality Standards for the Conveyance of Newspapers and Magazines
§ 5 Public Petition
§ 6 Rates
§ 7 Entry into Force
The Federal Government hereby issues the present Ordinance under Section 11(2) of the Postal Act of 22 December 1997 (Federal Gazette I p 3294) in observance of the rights of the German Bundestag:
(1) There shall be designated as universal services the following postal services:
1.the conveyance of letter items within the meaning of Section 4 subpara 2 of the Postal Act, provided their weight does not exceed 2,000 grams and their dimensions do not exceed those laid down in the Universal Postal Convention and its Detailed Regulations;
2.the conveyance of addressed parcels whose individual weight does not exceed 20 kilograms and whose dimensions do not exceed those laid down in the Universal Postal Convention and its Detailed Regulations;
3.the conveyance of newspapers and magazines within the meaning of Section 4 subpara 1 letter c) of the Postal Act. These include regular publications that serve to inform the public of daily news, topical issues or specialised matters, covered by the press in the normal manner.
(2) The conveyance of letters shall also include the item forms
1.registered item (letter item that has flat-rate insurance against loss, theft or damage and is handed over in return for confirmation of receipt);
2. insured item (letter item whose contents are insured against loss, theft or damage up to the amount indicated by the sender),
3. cash-on-delivery item (letter item that is handed over to the addressee only when a specified sum has been paid in cash),
4. express delivery item (letter item that is delivered by special delivery staff as soon as possible after arrival at a delivery point).
(3) The conveyance of items according to paras (1) and (2) shall not extend to services connected with the conveyance of items
1. that require special treatment on account of their contents or dimensions;
2. whose contents or external properties could injure people or cause material damage;
3. whose contents, external shape or conveyance infringe the provisions of criminal law, or
4. whose packaging bears material of a racially discriminating nature.
(4) Universal services shall comprise both inland and cross-border services.
The following quality standards shall apply to universal service in respect of letter services:
1. Across the country there must be a minimum of 12,000 fixed-location facilities in which contracts on letter conveyance services within the meaning of Section 1(1) subpara 1 can be entered into and performed. The requirement according to sentence 1 shall be reviewed by 31 December 2005, taking demand into account. A minimum of 5,000 fixed-location facilities shall be operated with the company’s own staff until 31 December 2002. In every community of more than 4,000 inhabitants there shall be at least one fixed-location facility; as a rule, this also applies to communities that have the function of a central location under regional planning provisions. In principle it shall be guaranteed that in urban areas, customers are not farther than 2,000 metres from their nearest fixed-location facility. In the event of changes to these outlets, consultations are to be initiated with the competent local authority at an early stage, at least 10 weeks prior to the measure. All other locations shall be serviced by a mobile facility. The facilities shall be operational on working days, in line with demand.
2. There shall be sufficient letter boxes that customers in urban areas will not need, as a rule, to travel more than 1,000 metres to reach one. Letter boxes shall be emptied every working day and, depending on requirements, on Sundays and bank holidays, as frequently as is needed to comply with the quality standards cited in subpara 3. Letter box clearances shall be based on the dictates of business life; clearance times are to be indicated on the letter boxes. Letter boxes within the meaning of sentences 1 and 2 above may also be other receptacles that are suitable for posting letters.
3. Of the inland letter items mailed on a working day, at least 80 per cent on average, over the year, must be delivered on the working day following the day of mailing and 95 per cent by the second working day following mailing – with the exception of items subject to the requirement of a minimum 50 items per mailing. In respect of intra-Community cross-border mail the quality standards laid down in the Annex to Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 1997 on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service (OJ 1998 No. L 15/14) shall apply. If the Annex to the Directive is amended the quality standards in the amended version shall apply as from the first day of the third month following publication of the amendment.
4. Letter items shall be delivered, unless the addressee – by establishing a PO box or in any other way – has declared that he intends to collect the items. Delivery shall be made to the residence or business premises stated in the address, by placing the items in a receptacle specifically for the addressee and large enough to be provided with the items, or by handing the items over in person. Any items that cannot be delivered in accordance with sentence 2 shall be handed over to an alternative recipient, where possible, unless there are instructions to the contrary from the sender or addressee. Where the addressee’s residential or business address can only be reached with undue difficulty or in the absence of a suitable or accessible receptacle for the letter items, the addressee may be excluded from delivery. The person so affected shall be informed of this intended exclusion.
5. There shall be a minimum of one delivery per working day.
The following quality standards shall apply to universal service in respect of parcel services:
- The provisions of Section 2 subpara 1 shall apply with regard to the provision of facilities in which contracts on parcel conveyance services can be entered into and performed.
- Of the inland parcels mailed on a working day, at least 80 per cent on average, over the year, must be delivered by the second working day following the day of mailing. In respect of intra-Community cross-border parcel traffic the quality standards laid down in the Annex to Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 1997 on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service (OJ 1998 No. L 15/14) shall apply. Section 2 subpara 3 sentence 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
- Parcel items shall be delivered, unless the addressee has declared that he intends to collect the items. Delivery shall be made to the residence or business premises stated in the address by handing the item(s) over in person to the addressee or to an alternative recipient, where possible, unless there are instructions to the contrary from the sender or addressee.
- There shall be a minimum of one delivery per working day.
Newspapers and magazines shall be conveyed in line with requirements within operationally reasonable constraints. Section 2 subparas 4 and 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Everyone shall be entitled to propose to the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts measures to ensure the quality standards referred to in Sections 2 to 4. This authority is obliged to respond to the public petition.
(1) Deemed affordable for the universal service according to Section1(1) subpara 1 shall be the price that does not exceed the real price payable on 31 December 1997 for this service as required on average by a private household.
(2) Deemed affordable in the event of companies being obliged to provide universal services according to Section 1(1) subparas 2 and 3 and para (2) shall be the price that is based on the costs of efficient service provision, unless there is a legal obligation or an objectively justifiable reason for a surcharge. Sentence 1 shall also apply to the conveyance of items subject to the minimum mailing requirement of 50 items per mailing.
(3) A uniform tariff shall be applicable in respect of postal services covered by an exclusive licence under Section 51 of the Postal Act. Sentence 1 shall not apply to rates payable for conveyance services subject to the minimum mailing requirement of 50 items per mailing. Sentence 1 shall not affect the right of the universal service provider to conclude individual price agreements with customers.
The present Ordinance shall enter into force on 1 January 1998.
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