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Government Ordinance no. 31 of January 30th, 2002 on postal services

 

This consolidated version has been drafted by the National Regulatory Authority for Communications by inserting in the text of the Government Ordinance no. 31/2002 on postal services, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 87 of February 1st, 2002, the amendments and completions that have been operated through the Law no. 642/2002, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 928 of December 18th, 2002. The amended and the newly introduced texts are being presented between inverted commas

 

 

CHAPTER I

General Provisions

 

Art. 1. – This Ordinance aims at establishing the conditions for the provision of postal services and for ensuring the access to the universal service, with a view to create a competitive market and to promote users’ interests.

 

“Art. 2. – For the purposes of this Ordinance, the following definitions shall apply:

a) postal services – services available to the public, consisting of the clearance, sorting, transport and delivery to the addressees of postal items, whose provision has professional character and is made in consideration of a profit;

b) public postal network – the system of organisation and resources of all kinds used by a provider of postal services for the purposes in particular of:

- the clearance of postal items from all access points;

- the routing and handling of those items from the access points to the distribution centres;

- the distribution of the postal items to the addresses shown on them;

c) access points – physical facilities, including letter boxes, provided for the public, where postal items may be deposited with the public postal network;

d) contact points – physical facilities where postal items may be delivered to addressees;

e) clearance – the operation of collecting postal items deposited at access points;

f) distribution – the process from sorting at the distribution centre to delivery of postal items to their addressees;

g) item of correspondence – a communication in written form, printed, impressed or recorded on any kind of physical medium, to be conveyed and delivered, by non-electronic means, at the address indicated by the sender on the item itself or on its wrapping. Books, catalogues, newspapers and periodicals shall not be regarded as items of correspondence;

h) postal item – an item addressed in the final form in which it is to be conveyed and delivered, by non-electronic means, at the address indicated by the sender; items of correspondence, as well as books, catalogues, newspapers, periodicals and postal packages containing goods with or without commercial value are included in this category;

i) cross-border mail – a postal item sent from Romania to an address which is not located in the Romanian territory or sent from outside Romania to an address located in the Romanian territory;

j) direct mail – domestic and cross-border postal items to be conveyed and delivered at the address indicated by the sender on the item itself or on its wrapping, consisting solely of advertising, marketing or publicity material and comprising an identical message, except for the addressee's name, address and identifying number as well as other modifications which do not alter the nature of the message, which are sent to a significant number of addressees, established by the regulatory authority. The following do not represent direct mail:

- bills, invoices, financial statements and other non-identical messages;

- postal items combining direct mail with other items within the same wrapping;

k) service for registered items – a postal service providing a flat-rate guarantee against risks of loss, theft, total or partial destruction, or damage of the postal item, and supplying the sender, upon request, with proof of the handing in of the postal item or of its delivery to the addressee;

l) service for insured items – a postal service insuring the postal item for the value declared by the sender in the event of loss, theft, total or partial destruction, or damage;

m) cash-on-delivery service – a postal service whose particularity consists of the payment by the addressee to the sender of the value of the good that is the object of the postal item, using the public postal network;

n) financial-postal services – the cashing in, payment and funds transfer services, offered by the providers of postal services through the public postal network; financial-postal services are included in the scope of the postal services;

o) document exchange – provision of means, including the supply of ad hoc premises as well as transportation by a third party, allowing self-delivery by mutual exchange of postal items between the users subscribing to this service;

p) provider of postal services – any legal person supplying postal services;

q) universal service provider – the provider of postal services supplying one or more postal services which are within the scope of the universal service, designated for this purpose by the regulatory authority;

r) terminal dues – the remuneration of universal service providers for the distribution in Romania of incoming cross-border mail sent from outside Romania;

s) sender – the person who effectively originates the postal item and, by himself or through a third party, deposits it with the public postal network;

t) addressee – the person to whom the postal item is addressed;

u) user – the person benefiting from the provision of postal services as a sender or an addressee;

v) essential requirements – general non-economic conditions imposed by the State on the supply of postal services, consisting of: protection of the secrecy of correspondence, ensuring the security of the public postal network as regards the transport of dangerous goods and, where justified, protection of personal data, ensuring the confidentiality of the information transmitted or stored, protection of privacy, environmental protection, and observance of legal provisions concerning the town and country planning;

w) value-added services – postal services whose characteristics meet particular requirements of the users. Such characteristics are, for instance: the delivery of the postal item to the addressee in person or to his authorised representative, delivery on appointment, guaranteed time of delivery, more than one attempt at delivery, delivery according to the priority or sequence specified by the sender, confirmation of delivery to the sender, the possibility to effect a change of destination or of addressee in course of transit or if delivery to the primary destination fails, monitoring of the postal item during the transit and other characteristics of this kind. The accelerated delivery of the postal item, the transmission to or receipt by a provider of postal services of a postal item’s content, by electronic means, for the purpose of sorting, printing or preparation of mail do not represent additional characteristics within the meaning of this definition.”

 

“Art. 3. – The provisions of this Ordinance shall not apply to the following services:

a) transport and delivery by the real sender in person of its own postal items;

b) transport and delivery of the sender’s own postal items through a branch office, where the items refer to the activity of the sender and are directly aimed at satisfying an interest of the sender related to this activity;

c) transport and delivery of a single postal item, made against no remuneration and directly by a natural person empowered for this purpose by the sender;

d) clearance, sorting, transport and delivery of postal items through a service organised for the exclusive use of the public authorities, on grounds of special legal provisions;

e) transport and delivery, made against no remuneration, of the documents accompanying the goods they are transported and delivered with.”

 

“Art. 4. – (1) The secrecy of postal items is inviolable.

(2) The retaining, remitting or opening of the postal items is allowed only under the conditions and with the procedure set out by the legal provisions in force.”

 

 

CHAPTER II

Universal Service

 

Art. 5. – (1) The right of access to the universal service shall represent the right to benefit from the permanent provision of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service, at certain quality standards, at any location within the Romanian territory, at affordable tariffs for all users.

“(2) Any person shall have the right of access to the universal service.”

(3) The regulatory authority shall set out the conditions for the placement of the access points and of the contact points, so that their density takes account of the needs of the users, as well as of the quality standards of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service.

(4) The services which are within the scope of the universal service shall be the following:

a) clearance, sorting, transport and delivery of the postal items, domestic or cross-border, up to 2 kilograms;

b) clearance, sorting, transport and delivery of postal packages, domestic or cross-border, up to 10 kilograms;

c) distribution of postal packages up to 20 kilograms, sent from outside Romania to an address located in the Romanian territory;

d) service for registered items, either domestic or cross-border;

e) service for insured items, either domestic or cross-border;

f) any other postal services set out by Government Decision, provided that they meet social or economic needs of users that cannot be satisfactorily met under the conditions of a competitive market.

(5) The regulatory authority may increase the weight limit provided for in paragraph (4) letter b) up to 20 kilograms and may lay down special arrangements for the door-to-door delivery of such packages.

(6) The minimum and maximum dimensions for the postal items which are within the scope of the universal service shall be set out by the regulatory authority, in accordance with the provisions of the documents adopted by the Universal Postal Union.

“(7) Value-added services shall not be within the scope of the universal service.”

 

“Art. 6. – (1) The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology shall establish the policy and the strategy regarding the implementation of the universal service, in compliance with the principles of transparency, objectivity, proportionality, and non-discrimination. In establishing this policy and strategy, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology shall act with a view to limit the possible negative effects on competition, caused by the provision of services which are within the scope of the universal service, as well as to ensure the protection of the public interest.

(2) On the grounds of the policy and strategy established pursuant to paragraph (1), the regulatory authority shall set out the conditions and the procedure for the designation of a provider of postal services as universal service provider, as well as the special terms it must observe and the rights it benefits from in the provision of the universal service.

(3) The regulatory authority may designate as universal service provider only a provider that meets the conditions laid down in this Ordinance for the provision of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service.”

 

“Art. 7. – (1) The universal service provider must ensure, in every locality where it supplies services under a universal service obligation, at least one clearance from every access point and at least one delivery to the home or premises of every natural or legal person, every working day and not less than five days a week, save in circumstances or geographical conditions deemed exceptional by the regulatory authority.”

(2) By way of derogation from the provisions of paragraph (1), the regulatory authority may stipulate that the delivery shall be made to appropriate installations, under determined conditions.

 

“Art. 8. – In performing its universal service obligations, the universal service provider shall cumulatively comply with the following general conditions:”

a) to guarantee compliance with the essential requirements;

b) to offer identical services to users under comparable conditions;

“c) to make its services available to all users, without any form of discrimination whatsoever”;

d) to ensure that the provision of services is not interrupted except in cases of force majeure;

e) to ensure a continuous evolution of the services in response to the technical, economic and social requirements, as well as the adaptation of the services to the needs of users.

 

“Art. 9. – (1) The universal service provider shall have the obligation to make regularly available to users detailed and up-to-date information regarding the particular features of the services within the scope of the universal service it provides, in particular information on the general conditions of access to these services, as well as to the tariffs and quality standard levels.”

(2) The information provided for in paragraph (1) shall be published on the expenses of the universal service provider and under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.

 

“Art. 10. – (1) The universal service provider shall have the obligation to ensure the access of the users to the public postal network operated by it, under conditions of transparency, objectivity and non-discrimination.

(2) The regulatory authority may impose on the universal service provider enjoying a dominant position on a relevant market obligations regarding the conditions under which it must allow the access of other providers of postal services to its public postal network, if such a measure is necessary for the purpose of ensuring a competitive environment and for the observance of principles of transparency, objectivity and non-discrimination.”

 

 

CHAPTER III

“Rights Granted to the Universal Service Provider”

 

“Art. 11. – In order to ensure the provision of the universal service, the universal service provider shall have the following rights:

a) priority in what concerns the rental of the premises which are necessary for the conveyance of the postal items and postal money orders, where such premises are under the property of private or state-owned companies having the object of activity in the field of public road, railway, maritime, fluvial, and air transportation;

b) priority in the transport of postal items and postal money orders by private or state-owned companies having the object of activity in the field of public road, railway, maritime, fluvial, and air transportation, as well as priority in what concerns the access to the means of transportation under the property or administration of these companies;

c) priority in what concerns the access at the border points and customs authorities;

d) to install, maintain, replace or move, free of charge, letter boxes on the immovables under the public property of the state or of the territorial-administrative units;

e) the right to benefit of the sums or advantages of any other kind to which it is entitled on grounds of any mechanism of compensation of the costs of the provision of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service, in compliance with the conditions set out by the legal provisions in force and by the regulatory authority;

f) the right to act in the international relations as universal service provider and to conclude operational agreements in the above capacity;

g) the right to use the specific international forms provided for in the international agreements to which Romania is a party.”

 

“Art. 111. – (1) The owner who intends to rent one of the premises referred to in Art. 11 letter a) must submit an offer to the universal service provider.

(2) The universal service provider must make use of its priority right within 15 days from the receipt of the offer.

(3) In case the universal service provider does not express its will or does not accept the offer, the premises may be rented to any other person.

(4) The rental contract concluded with another person in breach of the priority right or under conditions which are more advantageous than those included in the offer sent to the holder of priority right shall be null and void.

(5) The proceedings for declaring the renting contract null and void may be brought by the universal service provider, holder of the priority right.

(6) The conditions for exercising the right provided for in Art. 11 letter b) shall be set out in the contract concluded between the universal service provider and the transportation company, whereby both the observance of the priority right of the universal service provider and the protection of the transportation company ‘s interests shall be ensured.”

 

 

CHAPTER IV

Reserved Rights

 

“Art. 12. – (1) The right to provide one or more postal services having as object domestic or cross-border items of correspondence, whether by accelerated delivery or not, whose weight is less than 350g, and whose tariff is less than five times the public tariff for an item of correspondence in the first weight step of the fastest standard category may be reserved by the regulatory authority for the universal service provider, to the extent necessary for fulfilling its universal service obligations. The services that make the object of such a right reserved by the regulatory authority shall hereinafter be referred to as reserved services.

(2) The limits set out under paragraph (1) may be reduced by Government Decision.”

 

Art. 13. – The right to provide one or more of the following services cannot be reserved, irrespective of the weight of the postal items making their object or of the applicable tariff:

a) value-added services;

b) direct mail;

c) document exchange.

 

Art. 14. – The scope of the reserved services, established in accordance with Arts. 12 and 13, may be limited by Government Decision, with a view to a gradual and controlled liberalisation of the market for postal services.

 

 

CHAPTER V

“Regime for the Authorisation of the Providers of Postal Services”

 

“Art. 141. – (1) The postal services shall be provided under the authorisation regime set out in this Chapter.

(2) The general authorisation regime allows the provision of postal services without obtaining an explicit decision from the regulatory authority, based on the notification of the intention to provide postal services.

(3) The individual license is the authorisation granted by the regulatory authority to a provider of postal services, which confers to the latter specific rights and obligations, in addition to those conferred by the general authorisation regime, and which is necessary for the provision of certain postal services, provided for by this Ordinance.”

 

“Art. 15. – (1) The provision of the postal services which are outside the scope of the universal service may take place under the general authorisation regime.

(2) Prior to beginning the activity, any legal person intending to provide the postal services referred to in paragraph (1) shall have the obligation to send a notification of this intention to the regulatory authority.

(3) The right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime shall be granted on condition that the legal person concerned undertakes the obligation to comply with the essential requirements, as well as the legal provisions governing these essential requirements, including those comprised in the regulations issued on the grounds of this Ordinance.

(4) The regulatory authority shall set out the conditions and the procedure for the granting, modification, suspension, and withdrawal of the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime, as well as the obligations undertaken by the holders, in compliance with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination, proportionality and objectivity.

(5) The right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime shall be deemed obtained within 45 days from the date of receipt of the notification by the regulatory authority, except for the situation where the decision not to grant this right has been communicated to the applicant within this period.

(6) When the applicant is required to remit documents, further information or clarifications in order to be granted the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime, the term provided for in paragraph (5) shall be suspended until such documents, information or clarifications are received.”

 

“Art. 16. – (1) The provision of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service may take place only on the grounds of an individual license.

(2) The individual license may contain specific obligations for its holder, to the extent necessary in order to guarantee compliance with the essential requirements and to ensure the right of access to the universal service.

(3) The obligations referred to in paragraph (2) may concern, inter alia:

a) the provision of certain services which are within the scope of the universal service;

b) the quality, availability and the manner of delivery for the services provided on the grounds of the license;

c) the observance of the reserved rights of the universal service providers, granted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter IV;

d) any contributions due by the holder on the grounds of a mechanism for compensating the costs of the provision of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service.

(4) The regulatory authority shall set out the conditions and the procedure for the granting, modification, suspension and withdrawal of the individual licenses, as well as their content, including the obligations of the holders, in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3), in compliance with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination, proportionality and objectivity.

(5) The term for granting the individual license or for communicating the decision to reject the application for the individual license is of 90 days from the date of the registration of the application.

(6) When the applicant is required to remit documents, further information or clarifications in order to be granted the individual license, the term provided for in paragraph (5) shall be suspended until such documents, information or clarifications are received.”

 

“Art. 17. – (1) The regulatory authority may set out tariffs for the authorisation activity, as well as the corresponding collection mechanism.

(2) The amounts resulted from the collection of the authorisation tariffs shall constitute revenues of the regulatory authority and shall be used in accordance with its income and expenditure budget.

(3) The failure to pay the authorisation tariffs within the term set out by the regulatory authority shall entail the rejection of the application for the individual license or the decision not to grant the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime, as the case may be.”

 

“Art. 18. – (1) The decision to reject the application for the individual license and the decision not to grant the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime must state the reasons therefor and shall be communicated to the applicant within the period provided for in Art. 15 paragraph (5) or Art. 16 paragraph (5), as the case may be, and may be contested by the interested persons in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 29/1990 on the disputes with the public administration, with the subsequent amendments.

(2) The decision to withdraw or to suspend the individual license or the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime must state the reasons therefor and may be contested by the interested person, in accordance with the provisions of Law no.29/1990 with the subsequent amendments.”

 

Art. 19. – The provision of the registered mail service having as object a procedural act issued by a Romanian court of law may take place only under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.

 

“[Art. 20. – repealed]”

 

“[Art. 21. – repealed]”

 

 

CHAPTER VI

Tariffs and Accounting

 

Art. 22. – (1) The tariffs of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service must be affordable, transparent, non-discriminatory and geared to costs.

“(2) The universal service provider has the obligation to submit for approval to the regulatory authority the tariffs for the postal services provided by it under a universal service obligation and to make these tariffs public at least 30 days before the date when they enter into force, under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.”

“[(3) – repealed]”

“(4) Whenever a universal service provider applies tariff facilities to a large volume of items from the same sender, it is obliged to apply the principles of the transparency and non-discrimination with regard both to the tariffs and to the associated conditions.

(5) The tariff facilities granted in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (4) must be geared to costs and shall be made public under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority and at the expenses of the universal service provider.

(6) The regulatory authority may decide that the universal service provider must maintain a uniform level of the tariffs for the services provided by it under a universal service obligation.”

 

“Art. 23. – (1) The universal service provider must comply with the following principles when concluding agreements regarding the terminal dues for the cross-border mail sent from outside Romania to an address located in the Romanian territory:”

a) terminal dues shall be fixed in relation to the costs of processing and delivering incoming cross-border mail;

b) level of tariffs shall be related to the quality of service achieved;

c) terminal dues shall be transparent and non-discriminatory.

“(2) In cases where such agreements do not exist, the universal service provider shall apply the provisions of the international agreements in this field, to which Romania is a party.”

 

“Art. 24. – (1) The universal service provider shall keep separate accounts, within its internal accounting system, for each of the reserved services on the one hand, and for the non-reserved services on the other.”

(2) The accounts for the non-reserved services should clearly distinguish between services which are within the scope of the universal service and services which are not.

(3) The regulatory authority may impose on the providers of postal services the obligation to keep separate accounts in other cases also, and may establish the conditions under which this obligation is to be fulfilled, in order to achieve a coherent application of the principles of analytic accounting.

(4) The cost allocation system in the case of reserved and non-reserved services shall be set out by the regulatory authority. Other cost allocation systems may be applied only if they comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) to (3) and are approved by the regulatory authority.

(5) The compliance with the cost allocation system referred to in paragraph (4) by a universal service provider shall be verified by a body independent from the provider concerned. The universal service providers shall have the obligation to publish annually a declaration on their own responsibility concerning the compliance with this system, on their own expense and under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.

“(6) The annual statutory financial statements of the universal service provider have to be drawn up, submitted to audit by an independent auditor, and published annually at the expenses of the provider and under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.”

 

Art. 25. – The subsidisation of the non-reserved postal services out of the revenues from the provision of the reserved services shall be forbidden, except for the cases where such subsidisation is strictly necessary for the fulfilment of the obligations regarding the provision of the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service.

 

Art. 26. – (1) The cross-border mail which must be provided free of charge according to international agreements to which Romania is a party shall not be subject to tariffs.

“(2) Other services which must be provided free of charge, as well as the financial compensation for the provider of postal services designated to provide such services may also be set out by Government Decision.”

 

 

CHAPTER VII

Protection of Users

 

“Art. 27. – (1) The universal service provider shall have the obligation to comply with the rules set out in accordance with this Article in its relations with the users.

(2) The universal service provider shall set out and submit to the regulatory authority for approval, within a term set out by the latter, the rules applicable to the postal services provided by it under a universal service obligation. If the regulatory authority considers that the proposed rules are not satisfactory from the technical point of view or from the point of view of users’ protection, or that they do not comply with the legal provisions, with the international agreements to which Romania is a party, or with the minimum compulsory rules established in accordance with paragraph (3), it may request the adequate modification of these rules, and the universal service provider shall be obliged to modify the rules accordingly.

(3) The regulatory authority may set out minimum compulsory rules applicable to the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service, in compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance, of the other legal instruments, and of the international agreements to which Romania is a party.”

 

Art. 28. – Direct mail must contain a distinctive label so as to ensure its identification as such, placed on the wrapping of the item or on the item itself, under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.

 

“Art. 29. – (1) The postal items distributed by a provider of postal services must be marked with the denomination or the trademark of that provider.

(2) The provider of postal services shall have the obligation to mark all the physical installations that are part of the public postal network operated by it, including the letter boxes, with a distinctive mark so as to ensure the proper identification of that provider.”

(3) The regulatory authority may set out the conditions under which the postal services providers must fulfil the obligations set out in paragraphs (1) and (2).

 

“Art. 30. – (1) The universal service provider shall have the obligation to comply with the quality standards set out by the regulatory authority for the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service.

(2) Compliance with the quality standards, as set out in accordance with paragraph (1), by the universal service provider shall be subject to an annual evaluation by a body independent from the provider concerned, under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority. The evaluation report shall be published annually at the expenses of the universal service provider and under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.

(3) The regulatory authority, acting ex officio or upon receipt of a complaint or intimation, may oblige the universal service provider to take all necessary measures in order to ensure compliance with the quality standards set out in accordance with paragraph (1).”

 

Art. 31. – (1) The providers of postal services shall have the obligation to draw up a simple, transparent, and inexpensive procedure for dealing with users' complaints, particularly in cases involving loss, partial or total destruction, or deterioration of postal items, as well as the non-compliance with service quality standards.

(2) The mechanism for dealing with users’ complaints referred to in paragraph (1) shall include:

a) procedures for determining where responsibility lies in cases where two or more providers of postal services are involved;

b) procedures allowing the fair and prompt settlement of the disputes, as well as an adequate system of reimbursement or compensation.

(3) The mechanism for dealing with users’ complaints set out in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be submitted for approval by the regulatory authority, within a term set out by it. If the regulatory authority considers that the proposed mechanism does not fulfil the conditions provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2), it may request the adequate modification of this mechanism.

“(4) The information regarding the statistics of complaints addressed to the universal service provider, as well as the manner in which they have been dealt with, shall be published together with the evaluation report referred to in Art. 30 paragraph (2).

(5) If the complaint addressed to the provider of postal services has not satisfactorily been dealt with, the user concerned may file a complaint with the regulatory authority or may bring proceedings before the competent court of law. These proceedings may be brought even if a complaint on the same matter has been filed with the regulatory authority.”

“(6) The regulatory authority shall set out a mediation procedure, in view of the amicable solving of the disputes between the users and the providers of postal services.”

 

Art. 32. – (1) The responsibility towards the users for the postal services which are outside the scope of the universal service shall be established in accordance with the contracts concluded with the users, under the conditions provided for by this Ordinance and by the other legal provisions in force.

“(2) The responsibility towards the users for the postal services which are within the scope of the universal service, supplied by the universal services provider, shall be established, in compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance and with the other legal provisions in force, by the clauses of the framework contract, which shall be visaed by the regulatory authority and published at the expenses of the universal service provider, under the conditions set out by the regulatory authority.”

 

 

CHAPTER IX

Issuance and Trading of Postage Stamps and Postal Stationeries

 

“[Art. 33. – repealed]”

 

“Art. 34. – The plans of the philatelic emissions, the issuance, printing, circulation, withdrawal and trading conditions for the postage stamps and postal stationeries shall be set out by the regulatory authority.”

 

“[Art. 35. – repealed]”

 

Art. 36. – (1) The structure and administration of the Stamps Conservator shall be set out by the regulatory authority.

“(2) The goods which are part of the Stamps Conservator shall belong to the national cultural mobile patrimony.

(3) The administration of the Stamps Conservator shall be ensured by a legal person designated by the regulatory authority.”

 

 

CHAPTER X

Conditions of Acceptance of the Postal Items

 

“Art. 37. – The provider of postal services shall supply the services it is authorised for under the conditions of this Ordinance, as long as, cumulatively:

a) the conditions for the acceptance of postal items laid down in this Chapter and in the rules set out in accordance with Art. 27, as well as, for cross-border mail, the conditions provided for in the international agreements to which Romania is a party, and the conditions of acceptance established in the countries of destinations are met;

b) the clearance, sorting, transport and delivery of the postal items are possible with the personnel and ordinary means available to the provider concerned;

c) the clearance, sorting, transport and delivery of the postal items are not impeded by force majeure, hazard or by the deed of the sender or of a third party for whom the provider of postal services is not responsible in accordance with the legal provisions in force.”

 

Art. 38. – (1) The following postal items shall be excluded from clearance, sorting, transport and delivery:

“a) postal items consisting of goods whose transportation is forbidden by legal provisions, even if only for a part of the itinerary;”

b) postal items whose wrapping bears inscriptions which contravene the public order or the moral law, as well as postal items consisting of goods which contravene the public order or the moral law, if they are deposited unwrapped;

c) postal items bearing old labels or mentions which have not been removed.

(2) The following categories of postal items shall be admitted for clearance, sorting, transport and delivery only if, apart from the general conditions, the special conditions for the transportation of such goods set out in the legal provisions in force are fulfilled, as follows:

a) postal items consisting of goods whose transport is governed by special conditions established by administrative, economic, sanitary, veterinary, phytosanitary, and other similar legal provisions, under the conditions provided therein;

b) postal items consisting of goods whose transportation, loading, unloading or transhipment raises handling difficulties taking into account the means or installations of the provider of postal services, under the technical and exploitation conditions agreed between the provider and the sender, for each case.

 

“Art. 39. – (1) Where the nature of the good making the object of a postal item requires a wrapping, the provider of postal services must protect that good in accordance with the standards and technical norms in force. During the entire duration of the operations of clearance, sorting, transport and delivery, the provider of postal services shall be responsible for the total or partial loss of the good, as well as for the damages caused to persons, environment, installations used or other goods.

(2) The provider of postal services shall have the obligation to accept the good wrapped by the sender when the wrapping used complies with the standards and technical norms in force. In this case, the sender shall be responsible for the total or partial loss, and deterioration of the good, as well as for the damages caused to persons, environment, installations used or other goods, which are due to defaults of the good concealed by wrapping.

(3) If certain postal items require special handling and depositing measures, according to their nature, the provider of postal service has to apply suggestive labels, indicating the manner of handling and depositing. The provider of postal services may make available to the sender standard labels. The provider of postal services shall have the obligation to acknowledge and use the inscriptions and labels applied by the sender, if they comply with the standards and technical norms in force.”

 

 

CHAPTER XI

Legal Responsibility for the Provision of Postal Services

 

“Art. 40. – (1) The provider of postal services shall be responsible towards the users for the provision of the service under the conditions set out by the legal provisions in force and by the contract concluded with the sender.

(2) In case of partial or total loss or deterioration of the postal item, the provider of postal services shall be responsible for the damage caused, if these have occurred between the deposit of the postal item at the access point and its delivery to the addressee.

(3) The term for filing the prior complaint with the provider of postal services is of 6 months and shall be calculated from the date when the postal item has been deposited at the access point.

(4) The term for solving the prior complaint addressed to the provider of postal services is of 3 months and shall be calculated from the date when the complaint has been filed.

(5) The prior complaint may be filed by either the sender or the addressee.

(6) The term for keeping the postal items is of 18 months and shall be calculated from the date when the postal item has been deposited at the access point.

(7) The terms provided for in this Article shall also apply to the cross-border mail, unless the international agreements to which Romania is a party stipulate otherwise.”

 

“Art. 41. – (1) The term for bringing proceedings before the competent court of law is of 6 months for domestic postal items and of 1 year for cross-border mail.

(2) The term provided for in paragraph (1) is a prescription term and is calculated from the date of the receipt of the answer to the prior complaint or, if the prior complaint received no answer, from the expiry of the term for resolving the complaint.

(3) The proceedings shall be brought before the court together with the proof of fulfilling the prior complaint procedure.”

 

Art. 42. – (1) The sender shall be entitled to a compensation corresponding to the real value of the damage caused by the loss, theft, total or partial destruction, or by the deterioration of the item, value which may not exceed the limits provided for in Art. 43. The indirect damages and benefits which have not been realised shall not be compensated.

(2) The sender may renounce his right to compensation in favour of the addressee.

 

“Art. 43. - (1) The providers of postal services shall be responsible for the domestic postal items, as follows:

a) in case of loss, theft, or total destruction:

1. with the entire value declared, for a postal item making the object of a service for insured items;

2. with the entire value declared, for a postal item making the object of a cash-on-delivery service, until the moment of the delivery to the addressee;

3. with the entire value of the reimbursement, for a postal item making the object of a cash-on-delivery service, after the delivery to the addressee, in cases where the provider of postal services has omitted to collect the reimbursement from the addressee;

4. with the entire amount deposited at the access points, for postal money orders, under the conditions set out in Art. 46;

5. with an amount equal to 10 times the service tariff, for the postal items which do not make the object of a service for insured items;

b) in case of partial loss, partial destruction, or deterioration:

1. with the value declared for the missing, destroyed or deteriorated part, as recorded in the inventory note, for the postal items deposited open and making the object of a service for insured items;

2. with the part of the declared value corresponding to the missing weight, for the postal items deposited closed and making the object of a service for insured items;

3. with the part of the compensation provided for in letter a) point 5 established in relation with the missing weight or with the weight of the deteriorated content, for packages which do not make the object of a service for insured items;

4. with the amount provided for in letter a) point 5, in case of partial loss, partial destruction, or deterioration of the postal items, other than the packages.

(2) The amounts provided for in paragraph (1) letters a) and b) shall bear the legal interest from the moment of filing the prior complaint.

(3) The providers of postal services shall be responsible for telegrams with the value of the tariffs collected on their depositing at the access point, in the following cases:

1. the telegram has not been delivered;

2. the telegram has been delivered later than stipulated in the framework contract or in the contract concluded with the user;

3. the content of the telegram has been altered.

(4) The complete loss of the content shall be equivalent to the loss of the postal item.

(5) When the sender has declared a value which is smaller than the real one, the compensation shall be at the level of the declared value.

(6) Apart from the compensations provided for in paragraph (1) letter a), the tariffs collected on the depositing of the postal item at the access point shall also be reimbursed.

(7) In case of failure to perform the activities which constitute additional characteristics of the value-added services, nominated by the sender by special indications, only the tariffs collected in addition to the tariffs applicable to the standard postal service shall be reimbursed.”

 

Art. 44. – (1) In all the cases mentioned in Art. 43, the provider of postal services shall not be responsible in the following situations:

a) the damage was caused due to the sender’s deed;

b) the damage was caused due to the deed of a third party for whom the provider of postal services is not responsible, in accordance with the legal provisions in force;

c) the item was received by the addressee with no objections;

d) the damage was caused by a force majeure event or by hazard; in this case the sender shall be entitled to the reimbursement of the tariffs that have been paid, except for the insurance tariff.

“[(2) – repealed]”

 

“Art.45. – The postal items which could not be delivered to their addressees or to their senders shall become property of the provider of postal services after the expiry of the keeping term, provided for in Art. 40 paragraphs (6) or (7), as the case may be.”

 

“Art. 46. – (1) The providers of postal services shall be responsible for the amounts transmitted by means of the postal money order service until the moment when such amounts are paid.

(2) The amounts whose payment or reimbursement has not been claimed by the entitled persons within 6 months from the date of their deposit at the access points shall become property of the providers of postal services.”

(3) After the expiry of the term provided for in paragraph (2), no complaints regarding the postal money orders concerned shall be accepted, irrespective of their reason or object.

(4) The tariffs charged by the providers of postal services for the postal money orders service shall not be reimbursed, even if the money orders remain unpaid, provided that the non-payment is not due to the provider of postal services.

 

“Art. 47. – The provider of postal services shall be responsible for the cross-border mail in accordance with the provisions of the international agreements to which Romania is a party.”

 

“Art.48. – The parties may set out, by contract, clauses concerning the aggravation of the responsibility of the provider of postal services as laid down in this Chapter.”

 

 

CHAPTER XII

Regulatory Authority

 

“Art. 49. – (1) In the exercise of the attributions set out by this Ordinance, the regulatory authority shall observe the following principles:

a) ensuring the right of access to the universal service;

b) promoting the interests of the users, especially the interests of disabled, chronically ill, elderly, low-income persons, or persons living in isolated areas, in rural areas or in areas with low demographic density;

c) promoting the economic efficiency of the providers of postal services;

d) ensuring the economic sustainability of the activities carried out by the providers of postal services.

(2) For the purposes of this Ordinance, the attributions of the regulatory authority shall be fulfilled by the National Regulatory Authority for Communications.

(3) The regulatory authority shall be also authorised to:

a) take any measures which are necessary in order to organise the application of this Ordinance;

b) ensure the supervision of the compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance, with the measures adopted for its application, as well as with the rights and obligations of the providers of postal services, being authorised to take any measures that it considers being necessary for this purpose.

(4) The regulatory authority may conclude contracts with public or private legal persons for the performance of specific activities, necessary for the fulfilment of the attributions provided for by this Ordinance.”

 

“Art. 50. – The regulatory authority may request the providers of postal services to provide all the information necessary for the exercise of the attributions provided for in Art. 49 paragraph (3).”

 

“Art. 51. – (1) The providers of postal services authorised under this Ordinance shall pay to the regulatory authority an annual monitoring tariff amounting to 0.1% of the turnover of each provider for the previous year.

(2) The decision setting out the monitoring tariff due for a given year shall be communicated in writing to each provider of postal services, until May 15th of that year, by the service for registered items with confirmation receipt.

(3) The due monitoring tariff shall be paid in two equal instalments, the first within at most 45 days from the date when the decision referred to in paragraph (2) is communicated, and the second until December 31st of that year.

(4) For the purposes of this Article, the turnover is the sum of all the revenues from the sales of products or the provision of services by the undertaking concerned during a financial year.

(5) In order to determine the turnover, the providers of postal services are bound to transmit to the regulatory authority a copy of their annual statutory financial accounts, at the same time with their deposit with the Public Finances Directorate General of the relevant county or of Bucharest, respectively, within the term set out by the law.

(6) Upon the cessation of the activity in the field of postal services, irrespective of the form of this cessation, any provider of postal services shall pay a monitoring tariff to be set out as follows:

a) in cases where the cessation of the activity in the field of postal services occurs before the setting out of the annual monitoring tariff pursuant to paragraph (2), the provider shall pay a monitoring tariff of 0.1% of the cumulated turnover for the previous year and for the current year;

b) in cases where the cessation of the activity in the field of postal services occurs after the setting out of the annual monitoring tariff pursuant to paragraph (2), in addition to this tariff the provider shall pay a supplementary tariff of 0.1% of the turnover for the current year.

(7) The monitoring tariff set out in paragraph (6) shall be paid on the date when the turnover is determined, under the conditions set out by the legal provisions in force.”

 

“Art.52. – In cases where, in accordance with this Ordinance, the regulatory authority is empowered to set out certain obligations, conditions, standards, rules, procedures or terms, it shall also be empowered to set the sanctions applicable for the breach of these obligations, conditions, standards, rules, procedures or terms.”

 

Art. 53. – The regulatory authority shall participate in the negotiation or signing of the international agreements with the regulatory authorities in the postal field of other countries.

 

 

CHAPTER XIII

Sanctions and procedural provisions

 

Art. 54. – The regulatory authority, acting through the control personnel empowered for this purpose, shall be competent to control the compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance.

“[(2) – repealed]”

 

“Art. 55. – In exercising its control tasks, the personnel of the regulatory authority empowered for this purpose may request any necessary information from the providers of postal services, specifying the legal grounds and the purpose of the request, and may also set out deadlines for the provision of this information, subject to the sanction provided for by this Ordinance.”

 

“Art. 56. – (1) The control personnel of the regulatory authority empowered for this purpose may request the statements or documents necessary to carry out the control activity, and may make copies of registers, of financial-accounting and commercial documents, or of other records; it is also authorised to carry out unexpected inspections, the result of which shall be recorded in a procès-verbal , and may also receive information and justifications upon summoning or on site.

(2) The officers and sub-officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, upon request of the control personnel of the regulatory authority empowered for this purpose, shall have the obligation to fully support the exercise of the investigation powers provided for in paragraph (1).”

 

“Art. 57. – (1) The public authorities shall have the obligation to allow the control personnel of the regulatory authority empowered for this purpose to have access to documents, data, and information that they possess, to the extent to which these are necessary for carrying out the control activity, in compliance with the Law no. 182/2002 on the protection of classified information.

(2) The control personnel of the regulatory authority empowered for this purpose, being granted access to the documents, data, and information referred to in paragraph (1), shall be held to observe the character of state secret or professional secret legally attributed to such documents, data, and information, in accordance with the Law no. 182/2002 on the protection of classified information.”

 

“Art. 58. – The following deeds shall constitute contraventions, when not committed under such conditions as to constitute criminal offences, according to the criminal law:”

1. deposit at an access point of the following categories of postal items:

a) postal items consisting of goods which, by their nature or by the way they are wrapped, may cause damages to persons, environment, installations used or other goods;

b) postal items whose wrapping bears inscriptions which contravene the public order or the moral law, as well as postal items consisting of goods which contravene the public order or the moral law, if deposited unwrapped;

“c) postal items consisting of goods whose transportation is forbidden by legal provisions, even if only for a part of the itinerary;”

d) postal items consisting of goods whose transport is governed by special conditions established by administrative, economic, sanitary, veterinary, phytosanitary, and other similar legal provisions, in breach of the compulsory conditions set out by these provisions;

2. introduction in the postal items with smaller tariffs of postal items for which higher tariffs are due, or of postal items whose cumulated tariffs exceed the tariff of the postal item in which they have been introduced;

3. stamping of the postal items with stamps cut from postage stationeries or from other forms with impressed postage stamp, or with already used postage stamps, or by any other fraudulent means;

4. impeding the installation of the letter boxes or physical facilities which are contact points;

5. destruction or deterioration of the letter boxes or physical facilities which are contact points, or their unauthorised opening;

6. placing in the neighbourhood or on the surface of an object any signs, inscriptions, labels, or other means of identification that may generate the risk of confusion with the letter boxes or physical facilities which are contact points;

7. introduction of certain goods that may cause damages to persons, environment, installations used or other goods in the letter boxes or physical facilities which are contact points;

“8. breach of the rights granted to the universal service provider on grounds of the provisions of Chapter III;”

“9. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 7;”

10. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 8, 9 or 10;

“11. provision or offer to the public of services making the object of a right reserved to the universal service provider;”

“12. clearance of the items of correspondence making the object of a reserved service, followed by their delivery to other persons than the universal service provider to whom the right to supply the said service has been reserved;”

13. use of signs, inscriptions, marks, labels, stamps or any other means of identification which may generate the risk of confusion with those used by a universal service provider;

14. provision or offer of postal services to the public by persons who are not authorised to provide postal services within the meaning of this Ordinance;

“15. provision or offer to the public of postal services other than those for which the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime or under an individual licence has been granted;”

“16. failure to comply with the obligations which are incumbent on the holders of the right to provide postal services, set out by the general authorisation regime or by the individual licenses, according to the provisions of Art. 15 or 16, as the case may be;”

17. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 22 paragraphs (1), (2), (4) or (5), Art. 23, 24 or 25;

18. breach of the provisions of Art. 26;

19. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 27;

“20. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 28, Art. 29 paragraphs (1) and (2), Art. 30, 31, Art. 32 paragraph (2) or Art. 37.”

“[21. – repealed]”

“[22. – repealed]”

“[23. – repealed]”

 

Art. 59. – (1) The contraventions set out in Art. 58 shall be sanctioned as follows:

a) those specified in points 1 to 8, with fine from ROL 500,000 to ROL 5,000,000;

“b) those specified in points 9 to 20, with fine from ROL 5,000,000 to ROL 250,000,000 and, in case of the providers of postal services with a turnover above ROL 5,000,000,000, by fine up to 5% of the turnover; also, where justified by the gravity of the deed, the regulatory authority may decide to reject the application for individual license, not to grant the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime, or to withdraw the individual license or the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime, as the case may be.”

(2) The amount of fines may be updated by Government Decision, depending on the evolution of the inflation index.

(3) The sanction for the contraventions set out in Art. 58 points 9 to 20 shall be established taking into account the gravity of the deed and of its consequences on the competition, in relation to the turnover and market share of the undertaking which is being sanctioned.

 

Art. 60. – (1) The regulatory authority may oblige the providers of postal services to pay administrative fines up to ROL 100,000,000 per day of delay, establishing at the same time the date from which they are calculated, in order to determine them to:

a) fully and accurately provide the information they were requested pursuant to Art. 50 or 55;

b) submit to the control referred to in Arts. 54 to 57;

“c) comply within the due term with the measures taken by the regulatory authority on the grounds of the control attributions referred to in Art. 54.”

“(2) The amount of the administrative fine provided for in paragraph (1) may be updated by Government Decision, depending on the evolution of the inflation index.”

“(3) By way of derogation from the provisions of Art. 2 of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 30/2002 on the amendment of some annexes to the Law on the 2002 State Budget no. 743/2001, as well as of other normative acts, as approved by the Law no. 315/2002, the amounts resulted from the collection of the administrative fines provided for in paragraph (1) shall be fully retained as own extra-budgetary revenues, on a permanent basis, at the disposal of the regulatory authority, and shall be used in accordance with the legally approved income and expenditure budget.”

 

“Art. 61. – (1) The control personnel of the regulatory authority empowered for this purpose shall be competent to ascertain the contraventions set out in Art. 58, and the officers and sub-officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs shall also be competent to ascertain the contraventions set out in Art. 58 points 1 to 8.

(2) The sanctions for the contraventions set out in Art. 58 points 1 to 8 shall be applied by the control personnel specified in paragraph (1) or by the officers and sub- officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as the case may be.

(3) The sanctions for the contraventions set out in Art. 58 points 9 to 20, as well as the administrative fines provided for in Art. 60 shall be applied by the control personnel of the regulatory authority.

(4) The act whereby the administrative fines provided for in Art. 60 shall be executory title, without any other formality.”

 

Art. 62. - The goods making the object of the contraventions set out in Art. 58 point 1 shall be confiscated and sold in accordance with the legal provisions in force.

 

“Art. 63. - To the extent that this Emergency Ordinance does not provide otherwise, the contraventions set out in Art. 58 shall be subject to the Government Ordinance no. 2/2001 on the legal regime of contraventions, approved, with amendments and completions, by Law no. 180/2002.”

 

“[Art. 64. – repealed]”

 

 

CHAPTER XIV

Final and Transitory Provisions

 

Art.65. – (1) The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is the body of the central public administration which has the task to organise and supervise the fulfilment of the obligations resulted for Romania from the documents of the Universal Postal Union and from other international legal instruments in the postal field to which Romania is a party.

(2) The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology shall represent the Romanian postal administration in the relations with all international organisations.

“(3) The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may delegate the fulfilment of the attributions provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) to other legal persons.”

 

Art. 66. – Under exceptional circumstances, such as siege, state of emergency, disasters or calamities, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Defence and with other institutions of the National Defence System, may decide the reorganisation, limitation, or temporary suspension of the provision of postal services, bringing this decision to the public knowledge.

 

“Art. 67. – (1) The existing authorisations shall remain valid for one year from the date of entry into force of this Ordinance, except for the cases where they provide a shorter term of validity.

(2) Until the expiry of the validity term set out in accordance with paragraph (1), the holders shall request to be granted the right to provide postal services under the general authorisation regime or the individual licence, in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance.”

 

Art. 68. – The establishment of separate accounts, in accordance with Art. 24, by the providers of postal services that, at the time of the entry into force of this Ordinance, are authorised to provide such services on the grounds of the Law on postal services no. 83/1996, shall be made within 6 months from this date. In exceptional situations, the regulatory authority may authorise a 6 months prolongation of this term.

 

Art. 69. – On the date when this Emergency Ordinance enters into force, the following normative acts shall be repealed:

a) Law on postal services no. 83/1996, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 156 of July 22nd, 1996;

b) Government Ordinance no. 116/1999 for the modification and completion of the Law on postal services no. 83/1996, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 426 of August 31st, 1999;

c) Law no. 5/2001 on tax exemption for the sending of publications intended for the Romanian Diaspora, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 61 of February 5th, 2001;

d) any other contrary legal provisions.

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