POSTAL SERVICES ACT
Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title
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
18. Monitoring of providers of postal and courier services
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
27. Fees and charges for postal services
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
48. Parcel post
49. Cash on delivery system
50. Agents of Corporation
51. Application of Zambian law
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
55. Telegram service
56. Precedence of telegrams
57. Unlawful telegram services
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
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
92. Operation of electronic mail and addresses
93. Delegation of functions by Minister
96. Savings and transitional provisions
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.
This Act may be cited as the Postal Services Act.
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.
REGULATION OF POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES
The Communications Authority shall be the postal regulator and shall be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this Act.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
A licence is valid for the period specified in the licence at the time of issuance thereof.
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.
(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.
A licensee shall not assign, cede or otherwise transfer the licence to any other person without the prior approval of the Authority.
(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.
(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.
A licensee shall, on demand by a police officer or any authorised officer, produce the licence for inspection.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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).
THE 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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