POSTAL SERVICES ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
REGULATION OF POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES

   3.   Postal regulator

   4.   Functions of Authority

   5.   Prohibition of operation of postal or courier services without license

   6.   Application for license

   7.   Consideration of application

   8.   Duration of license or certificate

   9.   Licensee to notify Authority of non-commencement of business

   10.   Variation or amendment of license

   11.   Transfer of license

   12.   Obligations of licensee

   13.   Renewal of license

   14.   Production of license

   15.   Suspension or cancellation of license

   16.   Register

   17.   Appeals

   18.   Monitoring of providers of postal and courier services

PART III
THE POSTAL SERVICES CORPORATION

   19.   Continuation of Postal Services Corporation

   20.   Functions of Corporation

   21.   License for reserved postal services

   22.   Subsidiaries of Corporation

   23.   Agents of Corporation

   24.   Conditions of license

   25.   Monitoring of service provision

PART IV
POSTAL SERVICES

   26.   Interpretation

   27.   Fees and charges for postal services

   28.   Postage

   29.   Issue and withdrawal of postage stamps

   30.   Precedence of postal articles

   31.   When postal article deemed to be transmitted, posted or delivered

   32.   Articles deemed posted in contravention of Act

   33.   Postal articles for disposal

   34.   Detention of postal article for customs, excise duty or tax

   35.   Postal articles relating to offence

   36.   Detention order

   37.   Unpaid postal charges

   38.   Underpaid and unpaid postage

   39.   Articles other than letters may be examined

   40.   Treatment of unclaimed letters

   41.   Unclaimed articles of value and articles posted contrary to Act

   42.   Articles addressed to insolvent persons

   43.   Articles addressed to deceased persons

   44.   Detention of postal articles

   45.   Arrangement and agreement to convey postal articles

   46.   Registration of postal articles

   47.   Compensation

   48.   Parcel post

   49.   Cash on delivery system

   50.   Agents of Corporation

   51.   Application of Zambian law

PART V
MONEY TRANSFER SERVICES

   52.   Remittance of money through Corporation

   53.   Refusal to issue or pay money orders, postal orders or other documents

   54.   Money and postal orders to be security

PART VI
TELEGRAM SERVICES

   55.   Telegram service

   56.   Precedence of telegrams

   57.   Unlawful telegram services

PART VII
POSTAL BANK AND SERVINGS CERTIFICATE

   58.   Establishment of Postal Bank

   59.   Deposits in Postal Bank and savings certificates for minors

   60.   Prohibition of disclosure of information on deposits

   61.   Transfer of deposits from or to another country

   62.   Inactive accounts

   63.   Issue of savings certificates

PART VIII
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

   64.   Failure to produce license

   65.   Failure to produce books and records

   66.   Obstructing officer in performance of functions

   67.   Forgery of stamps, dyes and other articles

   68.   Illegal practices in connection with postal articles and premises

   69.   Damage to post office or mail

   70.   Irregular opening of or tampering with mail

   71.   Wilfully obstructing or delaying mail

   72.   Wilfully opening or delay of postal articles or telegram

   73.   Impersonating officer

   74.   False declarations

   75.   Offences regarding telegrams

   76.   Divulging contents of telegrams

   77.   Attempting to commit or procuring commission of offences

   78.   General penalty

   79.   Evidence in criminal proceedings

   80.   Acceptance of official marks

   81.   Operation of postal services without license

   82.   Offences by postal officers

   83.   Offences related to postal articles

   84.   Theft of or interference with mail

   85.   Unauthorised notices

   86.   Trespass upon or disorderly behaviour in post office or telegraph office

   87.   Offences relating to money orders, postal orders, etc

   88.   Theft, forgery, etc of telegrams

   89.   Delivery of postal articles to public prosecutors

   90.   Immunity of officers of Corporation

   91.   Revenue for money orders, postal orders, etc

PART IX
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   92.   Operation of electronic mail and addresses

   93.   Delegation of functions by Minister

   94.   Regulations

   95.   Repeal

   96.   Savings and transitional provisions

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

      THIRD SCHEDULE

      FOURTH SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for the regulation of postal and courier services; continue the existence of the Postal Services Corporation; provide for the operation of postal banking and financial services; repeal and replace the Postal Services Act, 1994; and provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[31st August, 2009]

Act 22 of 2009.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Postal Services Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"addressee" in relation to a postal article, means the person to whom the postal articles is addressed;

"Authority" means the Communications Authority established under the Telecommunications Act;

"authorised officer" means a cyber inspector or a postal officer;

"Board" means the Board of Directors of the Corporation;

"Corporation" means the Zambia Postal Services Corporation established under the repealed Act;

"courier service" means a service by which a document, letter, parcel or any article, other than a telegram or item under the reserve area, is conveyed from door to door without a postage stamp;

"cyber inspector" means a person appointed as such under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2009;

"electronic mail" means a data message used or intended to be used as a mail message between the originator and addressee in an electronic communication;

"extra territorial office of exchange" means an office of exchange directly or indirectly established by another postal administration or in a territory administered by another postal administration;

"letter" means a form of written communication or other document, article or object that is directed to a specific person or persons or specific address and is to be conveyed other than by electronic means, or a parcel, package or wrapper containing a communication or article conforming to the mass or size limitations set out in sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 1 of the First Schedule;

"licence" means a licence to provide a reserved or unreserved postal service, issued under section 6;

"licensee" means a holder of a licence issued under this Act;

"mail" means an article collected for conveyance by post, a loose or individual article, a mail bag, vessel or conveyance of any kind, by which postal articles are carried, whether or not the mail bag, vessel or conveyance contains the articles, or a person conveying or delivering mail or postal articles and includes electronic mail;

"mail bag" includes a container, bag, box, parcel, basket, envelope or other covering in which postal articles are conveyed, whether or not it contains such articles;

"money order" means an order for payment issued under this Act or by a postal authority;

"officer" means a person employed by a licensee in connection with any business of the licensee;

"postage" means the amount payable for the transmission of a postal articles;

"postage stamp" means a piece of paper or other substance or material having thereon the stamp, mark or impression of any dye, plate or other instrument made or used under this Act or by a postal authority for the purposes of denoting a postage or other postage fee;

"postal article" means a letter, postcard, card, envelope, book, packet, pattern, sample packet, parcel or other articles when in the course of transmission by post, or a telegram when conveyed by post;

"postal authority" includes a postal authority of a foreign country;

"Postal Bank" means the Postal Bank referred to under section 58;

"postal officer" means a person appointed by the Corporation as a postal officer for purposes of this Act;

"postal order" means an order for payment issued by a postal authority under this Act;

"postal service" means a reserved postal service or an unreserved postal service referred to in the First Schedule and Second Schedule, respectively;

"postmaster" means the officer in charge of a post office;

"Postmaster-General" means the person appointed as such under paragraph 7 of the Third Schedule;

"post office" includes a house, building, room, vehicle, place or structure, where postal articles are received, sorted, delivered, made up or dispatched or which is used for any other purpose in connection with the provision of any postal, saving, money transfer or other service by a postal authority, or a pillar box or other receptacle provided by, or with the approval of, the Authority for the reception of postal articles;

"Register" means the Register referred to under section 16;

"re-mailing" means an act by a private courier or postal administration whereby bulk mail, without postage stamps, is conveyed in containers from the country of posting to another country where postage rates are lower, and bulk mail is then off-loaded into the postal system causing a distortion in the balance of payments in terminal duties;

"repealed Act" means the Postal Services Act;

"reserved area" means the area declared as such under section 21;

"reserved postal service" means the services referred to in the First Schedule;

"reserved service" means the service declared as such under section 21;

"return letter office" means an office where postal articles are sent for destruction or disposal;

"sender" in relation to a postal article or telegram, means the person from whom the postal article or telegram purports to have come, unless the person proves that person is not the sender thereof;

"telegram" means a message transmitted by means of telegraphy and delivered to the addressee;

"telegraph office" means a place used by the Corporation, or a licencee, for the handling of telegrams;

"transmission" in relation to a telegram, includes the reception and the sending of the telegram;

"tribunal" means the Appeal Tribunal established under the Information and Communication Technologies Act, 2009;

"universal postal service" means a universal service as defined in a licence issued under this Act;

"unreserved postal services" means the services referred to in the Second Schedule; and

"Zambia Revenue Authority" means the Zambia Revenue Authority established under the Zambia Revenue Authority Act.

PART II
REGULATION OF POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES

3.   Postal regulator

The Communications Authority shall be the postal regulator and shall be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this Act.

4.   Functions of Authority

   (1) The functions of the Authority are to regulate the provision of postal and courier services in Zambia and facilities investment and innovation in the postal industry.

   (2) Notwithstanding the generality of sub-section (1), the functions of the Authority are to—

      (a)   licence providers and operators of postal and courier services and facilitate the provision of a wide range of postal and courier services to promote economic growth and development;

      (b)   encourage and promote research and the advancement of technology in the provision of postal and courier services;

      (c)   promote the development of postal and courier services that are responsive to the needs of customers and consumers;

      (d)   stimulate and ensure fair competition in the provision of postal and courier services;

      (e)   protect the interests of all postal users including the interests of vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities and the aged;

      (f)   promote universal, accessible, quality, affordable and reliable postal and courier services so as to ensure equal access to basic postal and courier services by all users including those in under-serve, un-served and rural areas

      (g)   collaborate with other agencies and stakeholders in the postal industry;

      (h)   promote the development of postal systems and services in accordance with international standards and practices and ensure compliance with international commitments;

      (i)   in collaboration with the Zambia Development Agency, promote the development of Zambian small, medium and macro-enterprises within the postal industry;

      (j)   regulate the issue of postage stamps including definitive, commemorative and special issue of such stamps and any other philatelic items;

      (k)   define the mechanisms for financing the provision of universal postal and courier service obligations;

      (l)   ensure that collaboration of services by service providers is done on fair and non-discriminatory terms to facilitate the provision of seamless and end-to-end delivery of services;

      (m)   advice and resolve disputes on collaboration agreements between service providers and the customers; and

      (n)   do all such things as are necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under this Act.

5.   Prohibition of operation of postal or courier service without licence

   (1) A person shall not operate a postal or courier service without a licence issued under this Act.

   (2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding nine hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both.

6.   Application for licence

   (1) A person who intends to operate a reserved or unreserved postal service shall apply for a licence to the Authority in the prescribed manner and form upon payment of the prescribed fee.

   (2) The Authority shall, within 30 days of receipt of an application under subsection (1), approve or reject the application.

   (3) The Authority shall, where it rejects an application, inform the applicant of the rejection and give the reasons therefor

   (4) Where the Authoritty approves an application, it shall grant, subject to such terms and conditions as it may determine, a licence for the operation of a reserved or an unreserved postal service.

7.   Consideration of application

   (1) The Authority shall, in considering an application for a licence, have regard to—

      (a)   the need to promote a quality, affordable, accessible and reliable postal service that is responsive to the needs and interests of the customers;

      (b)   the possibility of the transfer of technology; and

      (c)   any other considerations that the Authority considers necessary for the efficient and effective delivery of postal services.

   (2) A person shall not be licenced to provide a courier service for reserved postal services under this Part unless the person undertakes to—

      (a)   receive, collect and deliver the item referred to in item (a) of subparagraph (1) of paragraph 1 of the First Schedule;

      (b)   track and trace the whereabouts of any item received or collected for delivery by the person's business undertaking;

      (c)   in the case of deliveries across international borders, deliver the item within a definite time;

      (d)   deliver items within Zambia incompliance with the standards issued by the Authority; and

      (e)   clear items through customs and excise, where applicable.

   (3) A person shall not be licenced to provide a courier service for unreserved postal services under this Part unless the person undertakes to—

      (a)   receive, collect and deliver the items referred to in item (b) of sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 1 of the Second Schedule; and

      (b)   provide the service referred to in the Second Schedule.

8.   Duration of licence

A licence is valid for the period specified in the licence at the time of issuance thereof.

9.   Licensee to notify Authority of non-commencement of business

Where for any reason a licensee is not able to commence the business for which the licence is issued, the licensee shall notify the Authority of the inability to commence business, stating the reasons for the inability, within 30 days of the licensee becoming aware of the fact.

10.   Variation or amendment of licence

   (1) A licensee shall inform the Authority—

      (a)   where there is any material change in the information or particulars submitted by the licensee in the application for the licence, within seven days of the occurrence of the change; or

      (b)   if the licensee intends to change the type of service provided by the licensee.

   (2) The Authority may vary or amend any term or condition of a licence—

      (a)   if the licensee changes the type of service provided by the licensee; or

      (b)   where the licensee applies to the Authority for the variation or amendment of the terms or conditions of the licence.

11.   Transfer of licence

A licensee shall not assign, cede or otherwise transfer the licence to any other person without the prior approval of the Authority.

12.   Obligations of licensee

   (1) A licensee shall keep at the place of business or premises and maintain in the prescribed manner and form—

      (a)   a register into which the licensee shall enter the details of the assets and liabilities; and

      (b)   books of account, invoices, customs permits and other documents relevant for purposes of this Act.

   (2) A licensee shall furnish, when requested by the Authority, such other information as the Authority may require for purposes of this Act.

   (3) An authorised officer may inspect the books, records, documents and other information required to be kept by a licensee under this Act and may to make extracts from the documents for the Authority's records.

   (4) A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both.

13.   Renewal of licence

   (1) A licensee may apply for a renewal of the licence in the prescribed manner and form.

   (2) The Authority shall, where an applicant has not contravened any provision of this Act or the conditions of a licence, renew the licence and inform the applicant within seven days of the decision.

   (3) The Authority shall, where it rejects an application for renewal of a licence, inform the applicant and give the reasons for the rejection.

14.   Production of licence

A licensee shall, on demand by a police officer or any authorised officer, produce the licence for inspection.

15.   Suspension or revocation of licence

   (1) The Authority may suspend or revoke a licence, if the holder—

      (a)   obtained the licence on the basis of fraud, misrepresentation or any false statement;

      (b)   assigns, cedes or otherwise transfers, the licence to another person without the prior approval of the Authority;

      (c)   fails, without reasonable explanation, to commence business within the stipulated period;

      (d)   breaches or fails to comply with any terms or conditions of the licence; or

      (e)   contravenes any provision of this Act.

   (2) The Authority shall, before suspending or revoking a licence under this section, notify the licensee of its intention to suspend or revoke the licence and give the reasons therefor, and request the licensee to show cause, within such period as may be specified in the notice, why the licence should not be suspended or revoked.

   (3)The Authority may, on the expiry of the period specified in the notice given under subsection (2), and after considering any representations made by the licensee, suspend or revoke the licence or order the licensee to take such other action as the Authority considers appropriate.

   (4) The Authority shall not suspend or revoke a licence if the licensee takes remedial measures to the satisfaction of the Authority, within such period as the Authority may specify.

   (5) The Authority shall revoke a licence, if the licensee fails to—

      (a)   show cause why the licence should not be suspended or revoked; or

      (b)   take remedial measures within the period specified under subsection(3).

   (6) Where a licence is suspended or revoked, the licensee shall cease to be entitled to the rights and benefits conferred under this Act with effect from the date of the suspension or revocation and—

      (a)   in the case of a suspension, for the period of the suspension; and

      (b)   in the case of a revocation, shall surrender the licence to the Authority forthwith.

16.   Register

   (1) The Authority shall maintain a Register of—

      (a)   operators of postal services to whom licences have been issued, the particulars of the licensees and the conditions attached to each licence;

      (b)   any amendments, suspensions, or revocations of licences and the reasons for such decisions; and

      (c)   any renewals of licences.

   (2) The Register kept pursuant to subsection (1) shall be open for inspection by members of the public at all reasonable times at the offices of the Authority on payment of prescribed fee.

17.   Appeals

   (1) A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Authority may, within fourteen days of receiving the decision of the Authority, appeal to the Tribunal against the decision in the prescribed manner and form.

   (2) The Tribunal shall, within thirty days of receiving an appeal under subsection (1), confirm, set aside or vary the decision of the Authority.

   (3) A person aggrieved with the decision of the Tribunal may, within thirty days of the Tribunal's decision, appeal to the High Court.

18.   Monitoring of providers of courier services

   (1) The Authority may appoint an independent person or entity to—

      (a)   monitor the quality of the postal or courier services provided by a licensee and report the findings to the Authority; and

      (b)   recommend to the Authority the measures to be taken by the licensee to improve the quality of service.

   (2) An independent monitor shall be engaged on such terms and conditions as shall bedetermined by the Authority.

   (3) The Authority shall, where it has reasonable grounds to believe that a licensee is taking or intends to take any action which has given, or is likely to give, an undue advantage to the licensee or any other person or category of persons, after giving the holder thereof an opportunity to be heard, direct the licensee to cease or refrain from taking such action.

   (4) The Authority may revoke the licence of a person that fails to comply with an order issued under subsection (3).

PART III
THE POSTAL SERVICES CORPORATION

19.   Continuation of Postal Services Corporation

   (1) The Postal Services Corporation established under the repealed Act shall continue to exist as if established under this Act.

   (2) The provisions of the Third Schedule apply to the Corporation.

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