SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL. No. 499 SERVICE MANAGEMENT vol COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE METHODS OF INDICATING A USP IN POLAND AND IN ITALY

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1 SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL No. 499 SERVICE MANAGEMENT vol GRAŻYNA WOLSKA University of Szczecin COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE METHODS OF INDICATING A USP IN POLAND AND IN ITALY Preface The postal directives 1 assume, that creating a unified postal services market in the area free of internal borders, with an unrestricted flow of goods, persons, services and capital, is of a vital importance for the economic and social unity of the EU, because the postal services are an significant instrument of communication and goods exchange. The aim and scope of the directives is mostly based on providing access to universal postal services on the whole area of EU. Therefore the directives indicate the importance of postal services for the development of the society and economy. For that reason postal service is described as a public service. As an effect of the significance of the postal services until 90s of the 20 th century the structure of the postal services market in the majority of European countries was being shaped by means of administrative methods, inspired by political, ideological or pro publico bono motives. A single state postal enterprise with a centralized management system has been the dominating model of preference. Such a solution guaranteed a public access to universal postal services. Nowadays the situation is however undergoing a substantial change, as, in accordance with the EU postal (and other) directives, remaining in force for each EU country, we are witnessing a liberalization of that market, as well as privatization of the public postal operators. Examples of that situation are shown in tables 1, 2 and 3, which present respectively: the number 1 The December the 15 th 1997 European Parliament and the European Council EC/97/67 Directive on the common development rules for the EU s internal postal services market and improvement of the services quality OJ L 15, 21/02/198, as well as the June the 10 th 2002 European Parliament and the European Council 2002/39/EC Directive amending the EC/97/67 Directive as for the further opening the market for competition OJ L 176, The contents of the Directives are based on the EU Parliament resolution of January the 22 nd 193, The Green Book in the parts concerning a unified postal services market and the EU Council s resolution of February the 7 th concerning the postal services development in the EU countries.

2 28 Grażyna Wolska of operators possessing a license for postal activity, estimated share of chosen postal EU operators in the letter parcels segment and the legal status of public postal operators in the EU countries. Table 1. Number of licenses of each type in chosen EU countries Country Austria n.d. n.d. Holland n.d. n.d. Germany n.d. n.d. Great Britain n.d. 10 Italy Poland Source: UPU data, postal operators annual reports and other material. Table 2. Estimated share of chosen postal EU operators in the letter parcels segment depending on the USP s licensed area 50 g 100 g 350 g [%] UPUs Private service providers * * Spain, Sweden Source: A. Niederprüm, A. Kalevi Dieke, M. Oelmann, S. Schölermann, J.I. Campbell Jr.: Main Developments in the Postal Sector ( ), Bad Honnef, May 2006, p. 98. Table 3..Legal status and privatization of USPs (2006) Legal status Member State Government department CY State enterprise CZ, ES, FR, GR, LU, PL Public limited company State owned EE, FI, HU, IE, IT, LT, LV, MT, PT, SE, SI, SK, UK State dominated (>50%) ATY (51%) BE (50% + 1 share) DK (75%) MT (65%) Privatized (State owns less than 50%) DE (42%) NL (10%) Notes: DE Shares are owned by the state-owned financial institute KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) IT The Ministry of Economy and Finance owns 65% and a government financial entity, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, 35% NL The golden share is under consideration at the European court of Justice Source: A. Niederprüm, A. Kalevi Dieke, M. Oelmann, S. Schölermann, J. I. Campbell Jr.: Main Developments, op.cit., p The changes presented above first of all, among others, the forwarding liberalization of the European postal market create a need for new regulatory solutions ensuring the public

3 Comparative analysis 29 access to the universal postal services. For it is not to be taken as a given, that in the case of a full liberalization of the postal services market the private entities shall be eager to render services in the areas, where the income is inferior to the cost of provision of the service. It is mostly the case of rural areas, where rendering a postal service does bring the risk of financial loss. The social and economic situation does therefore raise a need to elaborate a concept and procedures to point an enterprise or enterprises obliged to render an universal postal service. In order to draw a picture of the regulations necessary to ensure that the needs of Polish consumers in the area of the universal postal services remain fulfilled, an overview of solutions implemented in Poland and Italy shall follow in the further parts of this paper. The choice is based upon the criteria of convergence with the predicted development directions of both the postal market as a whole and of the reorganization of the Polish postal operator. Present legal solutions concerning the rendering of a universal postal service in poland The present legal act in force regulating the functioning of the postal market in Poland is the June the 12 th 2003 Postal Act (Ustawa z dnia 12 czerwca 2003 roku Prawo pocztowe DzU 2003, nr 130, poz. 1188) and the respective Amendment to the June the 12 th 2003 Postal Act (Ustawa z 18 marca 2004 roku o zmianie ustawy Prawo pocztowe. DzU 2004, nr 69, poz. 627). The Act defines the scope of the universal service, according to which the service concerns: 1. The collection, transport and delivery of: - Letter mails up to 2000 grams, including registered and insured mail. - Parcels up to grams, including and insured mail. - Mails for visually disabled persons. 2. Delivery of parcels from abroad up to grams. 3. Money order services. The Postal Act (chapter 4, art. 46) obliges an USP to render universal service continuously and in a way, which will enable to: - collection, treating a mail item as a registered mail item, - treat a mail item as an insured mail item, - receive a confirmation of collection of a registered mail item or a money order as indicated in the money order form, - transportation and delivery of mail items or money orders as poste restante items 2. The services should be rendered both home and abroad, on the territory of the Republic of Poland, in a unified and standardized manner at a reasonable prize, with respect to the quality standards and with a guarantee of a minimum one collection from a postal box a day as well as at least one delivery on a working day, 5 days a week 3. 2 Postal Act, July the 12 th 2003 (Ustawa z dnia 12 czerwca 2003 roku Prawo pocztowe. DzU 2003, nr 130, poz. 1188). 3 Postal Act, July the 12 th 2003 (Ustawa z dnia 12 czerwca 2003 roku Prawo pocztowe. DzU 2003, nr 130, poz. 1188); Amendment to the July the 12 th 2003 Postal Act (Ustawa z 18 marca 2004 roku o zmianie ustawy Prawo pocztowe. DzU 2004, nr 69, poz. 627).

4 30 Grażyna Wolska Postal activity consisting of collection, transportation and delivery home and abroad of mail items for the visually disabled persons and the correspondence up to grams, excluding licensed services, requires a license for conducting a postal activity 4. It should be noted, that in order to obtain a license for rendering a universal postal service an operator should fulfill following criteria: - definition of the range of activity being a subject of the license application and the means of its realization; - definition of the area of the activity being a subject of the license application, by indication of one or more voivodship, along with the indication of the planned density of the applicant s service points net in each voivodship; - definition of the time period of being a subject 5 of the license application. Above that the following requirements are to be met: - providing the proper conditions for the postal secret requirement to be respected, as in the art. 39 act 1; - indication of clear and undiscriminating complaint procedures; - possession of an adequate organizational and technical base for rendering the services and the activity indicated in the application. Moreover the Disposition of the Ministry of Infrastructure from January the 9 th 2004 on the requirements for the universal postal services defines the minimal requirements concerning the access to the post offices 6. The criteria of accessibility indicate the necessity of: - opening of at least service points on the area of Poland, concerning particular needs of a region; - ensuring following parameters: service point for 7000 urban territory habitants in average, service point for 65 km2 on rural territories in average; - ensuring in each local commune ( gmina ) at least one postal service point. In the case of communes counting less than 2500 habitants it is allowed to render services by means of a service point of a border commune or to create a service point, provided that: such a localization shall ensure a more efficient service for the consumers of a given region, the localization is authorized by the proper administrative authority; - opening of the service points on all working days, at least 5 days a week, except for the days free of work, if defined as such by the law. The Polish Post, according to the Polish law, art. 47 of The Postal Act 7, is the only institution authorized to render a universal service. The universal services are: - collecting, transporting and delivering in the confines of the home country: correspondence mail items, advertisement mail items, other mail items of contents unknown and weighting up to the weight indicated for the licensed area; 4 Ibidem, art Ibidem, art. 3, act 1. 6 Disposition of the Ministry of Infrastructure from January the 9th on the requirements for the universal postal services, art Ustawa z 12 czerwca 2003 roku Prawo pocztowe, op.cit., Art. 47.

5 Comparative analysis 31 - collecting, transporting and delivering abroad mail items weighting up to the weight indicated for the licensed area; - collecting, transporting and delivering home and abroad correspondence mail items, provided that in the process of collection or delivery they become mail items weighting up to the weight indicated for the licensed area; - realization of money orders home and abroad. The obligation to render the universal postal service in Poland lies on the Polish Post. Such a solution, both from the point of view of today s and future state of the Polish postal services market and the effectiveness of such an idea in most EU countries (including countries analyzed in the present paper), shall be considered in further parts of the paper. Legal solutions concerning the indication of usp in Italy Article 2 of the Decreto Legislativo 22 luglio 1999, n Attuazione della Direttiva 97/67/CE concernente regole comuni per lo sviluppo del mercato interno dei servizi postali comunitari e per il miglioramento della qualità del servizio indicates the Ministry of Communication (Ministero delle Comunicazioni) as the proper regulatory office for the postal sector 8. The competencies of the ministry are, among others: definition of the range of the licensed area, controlling the level of fulfilling the universal postal service obligations by the proper USP or USPs, controlling the level of fulfilling the obligation to define the unit costs for the postal services rendered. Moreover it is the task of that very Ministry to chose the operator or the operators obliged to render the universal postal service (art. 2,2) 9. As previously mentioned, the Decreto Legislativo 22 luglio 1999, n.261 defines the range of the universal postal service. The matter is concerned by the Art. 3 of the act. It states that the universal service is: - collecting, transporting and delivering of letter mail items up to 2 kilograms, - collecting, transporting and delivering parcel mail items up to 20 kilograms, - services included in collecting, transporting and delivering of registered and insured mail items 10. The article also describes the features of a universal postal service. It is stated that: 5.The universal service ensures: a) Provision of the services corresponding with the basic needs. b) Ensuring the same service for all users. c) Provision of the services in the manner undiscriminating anybody, particularly politically, religiously and ideologically. d) Provision of the services continuously, excluding the cases of force majeure. e) Development of the services accordingly to the present knowledge, present possibilities and technical, economic and social exigencies, as well as the needs presented by the users Decreto Legislativo 22 luglio 1999, n Attuazione della Direttiva 97/67/CE concernente regole comuni per lo sviluppo del mercato interno dei servizi postali comunitari e per il miglioramento della qualità del servizio. Pubblicato sulla Gazzetta Ufficiale n.182 del 5 agosto Ibidem. 10 Ibidem. 11 Ibidem.

6 32 Grażyna Wolska The EC97/67 Postal Directive (art. 9, act 4) stipulates the creation of a compensatory fund in order to finance the cost ineffective universal postal services. Italy as the only EU country did create such a fund 12. In Italy the total contribution of the operators being in possession of a license to the fund equals 3% of the annual turnover. Nevertheless the fund does cover a vast part of the universal postal service cost 13. The question of choosing the enterprise obliged to provide the universal postal service in Italy is regulated by the July the 22 nd 1999 Act, no. 261, acknowledging the EC97/67 Postal Directive. The Act has been published in: Gazzetta Ufficiale n.182 del 5 agosto ,with further amendments. In Italy the regulatory authority (Ministero delle Comunicazioni), remaining in power to indicate the enterprise obliged to provide the universal postal service, has chosen for that function the former state-owned operator The Italian Post (società p.a. Poste Italiane) however for a period not longer than fifteen years (art. 23,2) 15. The Act also states, that the regulatory authority will be constantly controlling the process of development of the postal services market and will take further steps basing on such a control. According to that the regulatory authority constrains the public postal operator to assume the role of the USP until As the above analysis (backed up by the WIK report 16 ) show, both in Poland and in Italy the regulatory authority indicated the public postal operator as the one obliged to provide universal postal services. Conclusion The analysis and the legal acts presented above show that both in Poland and in Italy it has been clearly stated that the most rational way to indicate an USP is to oblige the previous public postal operator to provide the universal postal services. That option seems to be shared with major part of other EU countries 17. The market research conducted by the Szczecin University (Uniwersytet Szczeciński) in the years 2004 and 2006 (ordered and published in the Research Material for the Creation of The Strategy of the Telecommunication and Postal Regulatory Authority for the Years A. Niederprüm, A. Kalevi Dieke, M. Oelmann, S. Schölermann, J.I. Campbell Jr.: Main Developments, op.cit. 13 K. Krzywiki: Propozycje sposobów finansowania obowiązku świadczenia usług powszechnych w świetle liberalizacji usług pocztowych. Debata pt. Skutki pełnego otwarcia rynku usług pocztowych oraz docelowy model powszechnej usługi pocztowej. Instytut Łączności, Warsaw, 30 march Decreto Legislativo 22 luglio 1999, n Attuazione della Direttiva 97/67/CE concernente regole comuni per lo sviluppo del mercato interno dei servizi postali comunitari e per il miglioramento della qualità del servizio. Pubblicato sulla Gazzetta Ufficiale n.182 del 5 agosto Ibidem. 16 A. Niederprüm, A. Kalevi Dieke, M. Oelmann, S. Schölermann, J.I. Campbell Jr.: Main Developments, op.cit., p German postal law seems to be an exception in that matter. It should not constitute a paradigm for Poland or Italy though, for these countries markets are not as developed as the German postal services market (which is confirmed, among others, by the number of licenses for postal activity in Germany: 1959 licenses in 2003 faced by 114 in 2005 in Poland). Most EU countries indicate moreover the period for the obligation put on the public operator to be in force.

7 Comparative analysis and Selecting the USP Comparative Analysis of Adequacy of Various Methods of Making the Choice in the Polish Reality 19 ) show that the Polish Post and Poste Italiane is and still shall be (in at least five year time span) the only service provider able to ensure the proper rendering of a universal postal service. Therefore it is suggested that Polish regulatory authorities should assume a conception similar to the one implemented by the Italian Post, i.e. indicating the Polish Post as the USP for a definite period. Such a solution requires however proper legal regulations, therefore it is necessary to: 1. introduce to the postal legal acts an indication of the Polish Post as the USP for a definite period. In case of appearance of an alternative postal operator or operators able to play the role of a USP instead of the USP in force (or to render services complementary to his) in the field of universal postal services on equal rules, the regulatory authority should be obliged to introduce a procurement for USP or USPs to be. The procurement should have such variants: provision of the whole range of the universal postal service, provision of the chosen services included in the universal postal service, provision of chosen parts of the universal postal services (e.g. collecting mail items from senders and transporting to another postal company as stipulated in the British postal act); 2. introduce to the postal legal acts a stipulation, that the USP should by selected basing on: the lowest cost of the public service and the quality of the service provided by the operator. If the Polish Post should generate loss as an effect of the universal postal service obligation, a mechanism of a financial compensation should be introduced a mechanism similar to the Italian one, allowing to finance the unprofitable universal postal services. The EC97/67 Postal Directive (art. 9, act 4) stipulates a possibility of crating such a fund. The fund would not be of a burden for the state s budget. On the contrary it would allow to use the fund collected from licensed postal operators in order to cover the loss emerged from the USP obligation instead of introducing subventions 20. Moreover introducing the fund could encourage the postal operators to improve their internal cost accountancy (which is, at the same time, one of EU directives stipulations). For they would have to indicate clearly the loss generated by provision of the unprofitable universal services. 18 Materiały pomocnicze dla stworzenia Strategii Urzędu Regulacji Telekomunikacji i Poczty na lata ". 19 Sposoby wyznaczania przedsiębiorcy zobowiązanego do świadczenia pocztowej usługi powszechnej analiza porównawcza przydatności zastosowania poszczególnych metod w warunkach polskich. 20 J. Gospodarek: Możliwości działania Poczty Polskiej na liberalizowanym rynku pocztowym w świetle nowego prawa pocztowego z 2003 roku. X Sympozjum Poczty Polskiej nt. Rola Poczty Polskiej na liberalizowanym krajowym rynku pocztowym. Szczecin 2003, p

8 34 Grażyna Wolska ANALIZA PORÓWNAWCZA SPOSOBU WYZNACZANIA PRZEDSIĘBIORCY ZOBOWIĄZANEGO DO ŚWIADCZENIA POCZTOWEJ USŁUGI POWSZECHNEJ W POLSCE I WE WŁOSZECH Streszczenie Postępująca liberalizacja europejskiego rynku pocztowego stwarza potrzebę zastosowania nowych rozwiązań w sferze regulacji, które zabezpieczałyby społeczeństwu dostęp do podstawowych usług pocztowych. Powstaje bowiem wątpliwość, czy w sytuacji pełnej liberalizacji rynku usług pocztowych oraz prywatyzacji publicznych operatorów pocztowych, prywatne podmioty pocztowe zechcą oferować powszechne usługi pocztowe w miejscach, w których koszty prowadzenia działalności pocztowej znacznie przewyższają wpływy z tej działalności. Dotyczy to zwłaszcza obszarów wiejskich. Prowadzenie działalności pocztowej na takich obszarach wiąże się bowiem z ryzykiem strat finansowych. Zabezpieczenie społecznogospodarczego interesu w tym względzie wymaga więc wypracowania koncepcji i procedur wyznaczenia przedsiębiorcy, bądź przedsiębiorców zobowiązanych do świadczenia pocztowej usługi powszechnej. Dla zobrazowania uregulowań zabezpieczających potrzeby polskich konsumentów w zakresie powszechnych usług pocztowych, dokonano przeglądu rozwiązań stosowanych w Polsce oraz we Włoszech. Wybór tych państw do analizy został przeprowadzony wg kryterium zbieżności z przewidywanymi kierunkami rozwoju zarówno całego rynku pocztowego jak i reorganizacji funkcjonowania polskiego i włoskiego operatora publicznego.

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