Come 1 April 2007, Singapore’s postal sector will be fully liberalised. The Government has decided to open the Basic Mail Services market, which includes the collection and delivery of letters and postcards, within, into and out of Singapore, after a 15-year monopoly by Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost).
Singapore, 5 February 2007 | For Immediate Release
Come 1 April 2007, Singapore’s postal sector will be fully liberalised. The Government has decided to open the Basic Mail Services market, which includes the collection and delivery of letters and postcards, within, into and out of Singapore, after a 15-year monopoly by Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost)1.
With this, new players will be allowed in both domestic and international mail services. This adds greater competition to Singapore’s postal sector, which has seen the liberalisation of other segments such as Express Letter Services as early as 19952. The decision will further the Government’s commitment towards building an open economy and strengthening Singapore’s position as a regional business hub. Liberalisation is expected to generate cost savings of S$8 million to S$25 million per year over the next two to three years, to largely benefit businesses. Today, businesses account for almost 95 per cent of Singapore’s total domestic mail.
In 2004, Singapore’s postal services sector generated an annual revenue of more than S$1 billion3. Total mail volume4 has also been growing since the 1990s, and most recently, at about two per cent per year. Liberalisation of the Basic Mail Services market will be the catalyst for greater sector growth. The newly liberalised segment presents a plethora of fresh business possibilities, including value-added services and tailored postal solutions such as letter mail tracking and staggered delivery of letters.
The Government’s decision to open the Basic Mail Services market follows a public consultation in August 2006 by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). Agreeing that liberalisation will be a catalyst for the postal sector’s growth, the industry had expressed their support and provided inputs on the proposed liberalisation framework. Taking into account the feedback, IDA will effect key changes to promote competition, while ensuring continued provision of Basic Mail Services, public confidence in Singapore’s postal system, and the protection of consumers’ interests:
Key Changes to the Basic Mail Services Regime
The key changes to the Basic Mail Services regime are given below:
- SingPost’s 15-year monopoly licence will end. Thereafter, two types of licences will be available:
i. Postal Services Operators (PSOs) designated as Public Postal Licensees (PPLs), with universal service obligations such as providing island-wide letter collection and delivery services, maintaining a minimum number of post boxes and post offices for consumers’ easy access, and offering service quality according to standards set by IDA.
ii. All other PSOs regardless of their service scope
IDA will continue to designate SingPost as the PPL. To protect consumers’ interests and taking into account feasibility and security constraints, IDA will also grant SingPost the following:
i. Letterbox masterdoor keys
To ensure that our security concerns of mail integrity and accountability are met, SingPost will continue to hold the full set of letterbox masterdoor keys. IDA will facilitate other PSOs to access SingPost’s delivery network at regulated prices, terms and conditions. The PSOs may also deliver mail directly to letterboxes with no locked apertures. Going forward, if there are PPLs who would like to have direct access to letterboxes, and can propose arrangements that address the security concerns cited, IDA will be open to consider granting such PPLs with letterbox access.
ii. Right to issue national stamps
As national stamps carry the country’s name and to prevent consumer confusion over which PPL the national stamp belongs to, SingPost will continue to be the only one to issue these stamps.
iii. Right to maintain Singapore’s postal code system
For greater operational efficiency, Singapore will keep a centralised postal code management system. SingPost will continue to manage this centralised system, while providing access to the postal codes database to all interested PSOs.
The Basic Mail Services market will be opened to competition, including inbound and outbound international mail.
IDA will continue to maintain a robust competition framework to protect consumers’ interests, and ensure fair play and certainty for all in the business. Following today’s decision, public consultations will be conducted within the first quarter of 2007 by the Government to solicit more feedback on details of the regulatory, licensing, and competition frameworks and code.
More details on IDA’s decision on the liberalisation of the Basic Mail Services market can be found at https://www.imda.gov.sg/, under the sections “Policies & Regulations”, “Consultation Papers & Decisions”.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to the Editor:
1 In April 1992, Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost) was granted an exclusive right to provide Basic Mail Services for 15 years until 31 March 2007. The monopoly licence was granted in recognition of its investments in the nation’s postal infrastructure.
2 The market for Express Letter Services was liberalised in April 1995. Printed paper (such as magazines and advertising brochures) and parcel delivery services do not require licences and have been operating in an open market since the 1970s.
3 Source: The Singapore Department of Statistics on "post and courier activities” for 2004
4 Total mail volume includes ordinary letters, postcards and printed papers, but excludes express letters and parcels.
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