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Home NATIONALLegal reform initiated for more flexible postal services
Fri, 09 Oct, 2015 12:10:44 AM
FTimes Report, Oct 9
File Photo Lehtikuva
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has initiated a project to reform postal legislation by improving the legal provisions with a goal to make postal services more flexible.
“The goal is a postal services act that would be more flexible and [would] better meet the needs of the changing environment,” said a press release from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The ministry has set 2 November, 2015 as the deadline for comments on the Act that is meant to enter into force on 1 June, 2016, according to the release.
Initiated in line with the Government Programme, the reform aims to reduce any barrier to market entry by potential operators and lighten the administrative burden of postal operations. It also aims at reliable and versatile postal services.
The legislative project will take place in two stages. In the first stage, the operating license 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, according to the release.
A consultation process for the first stage, i.e. a proposal to abandon the postal operating license system, is now underway. 
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 licenses of providing change-of-address and delivery-suspension services as well as the labelling-of-items requirement would be included in the new act as per the proposal.
The second stage of the project will involve the overall reform of the Postal Act. The work will commence in January 2016, said the report. 
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. 
Access to postal distribution network and extent of universal service will be reviewed in the second stage.
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