License granted to Norway Post

Issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 26 September 2001. The license is valid from 1 October 2001 until 31 December 2005. (5 November 2001)

Unofficial translation

License granted to Norway Post

Issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 26 September 2001 pursuant to Act No. 73 of 29 November 1996 relating to the provision of universal postal services (Postal Services Act) section 4 cf. section 5 and Regulations of 1 July 1997 relating to the provision of universal postal services (Postal Services Regulations) section 5 cf. section 3.

This license is valid from 1 October 2001 until 31 December 2005.

Grant of License

Norway Post is hereby granted a license to provide universal postal services within the reserved area, cf. section 4 of the Postal Services Act and section 5 of the Postal Services Regulations, cf. section 6 of the Postal Services Act and section 3 of the Postal Services Regulations, from 1 October 2001 until 31 December 2005.

1 General provisions

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the license is to ensure the provision of good-quality universal postal services at a reasonable price.

1.2 Geographical scope and extent

This license is applicable under the geographical scope of the Postal Services Act and all requirements relating to the postal network and the universal services.

1.3 Requirements concerning services of good and equal quality

Norway Post shall ensure that users enjoy a postal service of good and equal quality at all points in the country.

2 Requirements concerning the postal network

2.1 Main rule regarding the postal network

The universal postal services, cf. clause 3, shall be accessible to the population of the country at large by means of a postal network.

2.2 Permanent postal service facilities

There shall be at least one permanent postal service facility located in each municipality. Such facilities shall be open every working day (all days except Sundays and holidays). The opening hours shall be adapted to local needs.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may grant an exemption from the requirements in the first paragraph if it is determined on the basis of an overall assessment that these represent an unfair financial burden for Norway Post. The decision to grant an exemption shall take account of the needs of users for permanent postal service facilities.

2.3 Letter-boxes for the reception of postal items

Norway Post shall ensure easy access to the postal network by the provision of a sufficient number of letter-boxes where postal items may be deposited.

2.4 Delivery

2.4.1 Delivery site

Norway Post shall, on condition that the recipient has erected a letter-box for postal service delivery or other appropriate facility, deliver as part of the universal postal services unregistered postal items and notification of postal items to be claimed to the home or premises of every natural or legal person, cf. the Postal Services Act section 5, second paragraph, litra b. By unregistered postal items is meant postal items that are not sent as registered mail, cf. the Postal Services Regulations section 2 (h).

In the event that a letter-box for postal service delivery or other appropriate facility has not been erected at the specified site, or the recipient does not wish items to be delivered there, the postal items shall be delivered to the closest permanent postal service facility.

2.4.2 Delivery sites for the disabled

Disabled persons shall be entitled to receive postal items at a site closer than that set out in clause 2.4.1, first paragraph, given that the disabled person has difficulty in accessing the letter-box for postal service delivery and that other members of the household are unable to fetch the postal items. The letter-box shall be placed beside the main entry door of the home if this is warranted by the needs of the user.

2.5 Notification of changes in the general conditions of access

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority shall be notified of any changes concerning the permanent postal service facilities and significant modifications of the rural postal delivery routes at the earliest possible time and at the latest two months before the implementation of such measures. Documentation shall be submitted indicating compliance with the requirements of this license and specifying in particular all ramifications for the users as regards general conditions of access.

The users shall be informed in an appropriate manner of any changes concerning the permanent postal service facilities and significant modifications of the rural postal delivery routes, and if possible collection letter-boxes, at the latest two months before the implementation of such measures. Such notification may be omitted if the reorganization clearly entails enhanced conditions of access for all user groups.

3 Requirements concerning services

3.1 Universal postal services

Norway Post shall provide postal services relating to the following addressed items at all permanent postal service facilities and for all rural postal delivery routes:

  1. priority letters up to two kilograms
  2. non-priority letters up to two kilograms
  3. postal parcels up to twenty kilograms

The postal services cited in the first sentence shall be provided as cross-border services. Norway Post may stipulate a minimum requirement (number of items) for the provision of services for non-priority letters.

Provision of services for dangerous goods does not fall within the scope of universal postal services.

Norway Post shall provide postal services relating to newspaper and magazine subscriptions up to two kilograms as priority and non-priority letters.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may grant an exemption from the requirements in the first paragraph if it is determined on the basis of an overall assessment that these represent an unfair financial burden for Norway Post. The decision to grant an exemption shall take account of the needs of users for these services.

In situations where Norway Post provides one service that fulfils the requirements in the first and second paragraphs, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may in special cases grant permission for a corresponding service not to be regarded as a universal postal service.

3.2 Services appurtenant to the universal postal services

For items encompassed by the universal postal services, cf. clause 3.1, Norway Post shall provide:

  1. forwarding to a temporary address
  2. forwarding for a minimum of one year in connection with permanent change of address
  3. return to the sender of postal items in cases where the recipient is unknown or does not wish to receive the item.
  4. safe-keeping of postal items for a period of up to three months. The time-limit for claiming items sent as registered mail shall be complied with unless otherwise specified in an individual agreement with the sender.

Norway Post shall provide postal services for insured items and cash-on-delivery items up to twenty kilograms. Cross-border services for these items shall be provided to the degree to which Norway Post’s designated counterpart in the recipient country also provides such services. Norway Post shall also provide postal services for registered items up to two kilograms.

Postal items designated for forwarding shall be expedited immediately. The requirements concerning time-limits for routing, cf. clause 3.7.3, shall apply.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may grant an exemption from the requirements in the first and second paragraphs if it is determined on the basis of an overall assessment that these represent an unfair financial burden for Norway Post. The decision to grant an exemption shall take account of the needs of users for these services.

In situations where Norway Post provides one service that fulfils the requirements in the first and second paragraphs, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may in special cases grant permission for a corresponding service not to be regarded as a universal postal service.

3.3 Universal postal services for blind and partially sighted persons

Norway Post shall for postal items utilizing Braille, sound cassettes and the like sent between blind or partially sighted persons, or between blind or partially sighted persons and an approved institute for the sight impaired or library, provide the postal services cited in clause 3.1, first paragraph, litras a and c, and clause 3.2 first paragraph, without requiring remuneration from the sender or recipient. The requirement to provide free services also applies to cross-border postal services for unregistered priority items up to seven kilograms.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may grant an exemption from the requirements in the first paragraph if it is determined on the basis of an overall assessment that these represent an unfair financial burden for Norway Post. The decision to grant an exemption shall take account of the needs of users for these services.

3.4 Requirements concerning general conditions for the provision of postal services

Norway Post shall provide universal postal services as cited above in clauses 3.1 and 3.2 at a price geared to costs and based on objective, transparent and non-discriminatory conditions. Corresponding requirements apply as regards discounts.

Prices shall not encompass remuneration for services, functions or assistance that are not requisite to the service requested.

All reserved postal services shall be subject to a geographical uniform tariff, cf. the Postal Services Act section 5. Tariffs for domestic priority letters within the reserved area shall be approved by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, cf. the Postal Services Regulations section 10.

3.5 Information regarding the general conditions for the provision of postal services

Norway Post shall provide information regarding the general conditions for the provision of universal postal services. This information shall give users a sufficiently detailed and up-to-date overview over the services provided, especially as concerns prices, discounts, time-limits for routing, deadlines for deposits, submission of claims and conditions regarding liability. This information shall be made available to users at the permanent postal service facilities, through the rural delivery postal routes, at letter-boxes for reception of postal items and on the Norway Post website.

3.6 Notification of increases in tariffs

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority and the users shall be notified of any increase in the tariffs for universal postal services at the earliest possible time and at the latest two months before such increases are implemented. The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority shall also be informed as to the measures employed for user notification.

3.7 Clearance, frequency of delivery and time-limits for routing

3.7.1 Clearance

The contents of collection letter-boxes shall be collected on a daily basis from Monday to Friday and once on either Saturday or Sunday.

Information regarding local collection times for postal items shall be posted at all sites where postal items may be deposited.

3.7.2 Frequency of delivery

Priority letters and notification of postal items to be claimed shall be delivered every working day (all days except Sundays and holidays).

Norway Post may make an exception to these requirements if this is warranted by extraordinary circumstances. The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may make an exception to these requirements if this is warranted by special geographical considerations.

Extraordinary circumstances are understood to mean circumstances that for a limited period of time make it impossible or unreasonably costly to carry out delivery on every working day. The exception will be valid only for the period during which the extraordinary circumstances apply, and Norway Post shall as far as possible seek to implement an alternative means of delivery.

Special geographical considerations are defined as settlements in areas where it is impossible or unreasonably costly to carry out delivery on every working day. Areas of dispersed settlement are not as a rule defined under special geographical considerations.

Delivery shall nonetheless be carried out a minimum of three days per week. The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may grant an exemption from this requirement when it is impossible or unreasonably costly to carry out delivery a minimum of three days per week.

Norway Post shall publish, together with its annual report cf. clause 7.2, information on the recipients who do not receive delivery of priority letters and notification of postal items to claim on every working day. The solutions implemented in each case shall be specified.

3.7.3 Time-limits for routing

At least 85% of domestic priority letters shall be delivered to the addressee by the day after the date of deposit (D+1), while at least 97% shall be delivered within D+3. This requirement applies as a quarterly average.

At least 85% of corresponding postal items to/from member countries of the EEA shall be delivered within three days of the date of deposit (D+3), while at least 97% shall be delivered within D+5. This requirement applies as a bi-annual average.

At least 85% of domestic non-priority letters and domestic postal parcels shall be delivered within four days of the date of deposit (D+4), while at least 97% shall be delivered within D+6. This requirement applies as a quarterly average.

Cross-border postal items arriving in Norway shall be expedited within the same time-limits as those for corresponding domestic items. The same applies to the domestic handling, etc., of cross-border postal items sent from Norway.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may grant an exemption from these requirements in special cases.

3.7.4 Performance monitoring and publication of reports concerning routing times

Norway Post is under obligation to carry out regular, objective performance monitoring of compliance with the established requirements for routing times. Norway Post shall submit a report to the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority with a copy to the Ministry of Transport and Communications containing the results of such performance monitoring, including statistical uncertainty for each quarter by the end of the subsequent month, and by the end of the subsequent month of each half of the year for cross-border postal items to/from the EEA. If the requirements have not been met the underlying causes shall be clarified. The overview over performance levels for the reserved postal services contained in the quarterly reports shall be made available to the public. Norway Post shall bear the costs associated with performance monitoring.

Norway Post shall submit an individual report concerning the proportion of delayed deliveries of postal items. This report shall include, among other things, information regarding the degree of delay (number of days) and the underlying causes.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may stipulate requirements regarding the manner in which performance monitoring is to be carried out and which bodies shall be charged with this task.

4 Cross-subsidization and government purchase of services

4.1 Cross-subsidization

Cross-subsidization from the reserved area to non-reserved services within or outside of the universal postal services is unlawful. Cross-subsidization arises when the revenues from one product group exceed its stand-alone costs at the same time as the revenues from another product group do not cover its relevant costs (incremental costs + opportunity costs) 1Stand-alone costs: Costs associated with production of a product group on its own. Incremental costs: The costs incurred when a product group is produced in addition to other product groups. Opportunity costs: The costs associated with not utilizing resources for the best possible alternative..

The surplus from the reserved services in profitable areas shall be used to finance a deficit of the same service in an unprofitable area. Any other transfer of the surplus from the reserved services is only allowed when the cross-subsidization (together with allocations from the government for procurement of postal services) is part of the financing of universal postal services that are commercially unprofitable for Norway Post.

4.2 Government purchase of services

The fulfilment of requirements set out in clause 2 “Requirements concerning the postal network” and clause 3 “Requirements concerning services” generates incremental costs for Norway Post in relation to cost levels for commercially profitable operations. These incremental costs, as well as any extra costs incurred as a result of the requirements stipulated in clauses 3.3, 6.7 and 8.1, shall be financed by any surplus in the revenues from the reserved services and by government purchase of commercially unprofitable postal services.

5 Product Accounts

5.1 Purpose and scope

Norway Post shall keep a product account 2Product account: An overview over the revenues, costs and capital associated with specific products/services. for those companies which pursuant to Act No. 65 of 22 November 1996 relating to the government postal enterprise and Act No. 56 of 17 July 1998 relating to annual accounts (Accounting Act) are regarded as part of Norway Post. The product account shall be submitted on a consolidated basis regardless of which business area or legal entity of Norway Post supplies the products/services. The purpose of the rules is to ensure that Norway Post prepares a product account which provides a basis for assessing whether the prices/tariffs for universal and non-universal services within the reserved area and non-reserved universal services are cost-based 3Cost-based prices: Prices which are geared to the costs of producing products/services and which include a reasonable return on capital employed., and for detecting unlawful cross-subsidization.

Discretion must be used when assessing prices in relation to the costs, as account must be taken of the fact that, for example, products from Norway’s Post’s reserved services are expected to lead to a monopoly surplus, that the government purchases commercially unprofitable postal services, that services are produced on a collective basis and that requirements concerning geographically uniform tariffs have been imposed for postal services within the reserved area.

5.2 General principles

Norway Post shall compile and update documentation of the system employed in the preparation of the product account, including definitions of terms, and the underlying principles pertaining to allocation of costs and calculation methods.

The product account shall be based on and reconciled with the financial account, with the exception of financial revenues and expenses, which are to be replaced by calculated interest 4Calculated interest: Interest calculated on capital employed based on Norway Post’s balance sheet according to the most recently submitted, audited annual account. Calculated interest is fixed as a weighted average of risk-free interest rates + a risk supplement (borrowing rate) on loan capital and the required rate of return on equity. on capital employed 5Capital employed: Total assets minus both interest-free short-term liabilities and provisions for commitments.. The calculated interest shall be fixed in accordance with recognized principles and objective criteria.

The product account shall be submitted to an external auditor. The auditor shall furnish a written declaration that the product account has been drawn up in accordance with the appurtenant requirements, including verification that the product account is balanced in relation to and reconciled with the audited financial account (audit trail), and checks to ensure that the selected scale and procedures for registering and processing of data are in compliance with the rules.

5.3 Product groups

All of Norway Post’s services/products shall be classified in the product account in terms of the following main areas and product groups:

Main areas

Product groups

Universal postal services within the reserved area

1. Addressed priority letters

2. Addressed non-priority letters

Non-universal postal services within the reserved area

1. Other reserved postal services

.

Universal postal services outside the reserved area

1. Addressed letter

2. Postal parcels

Banking services

1. Basic banking services and other banking services

.

Miscellaneous

1. Other services

.

An overview for each product group shall be compiled over revenues and costs, including calculated interest on capital in accordance with the layout described below, cf. clause 5.4.

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority may, in addition to the above report, request specific product calculation if this is deemed necessary for determining whether the prices of universal postal services and non-universal services within the reserved area are cost-based. Such cost accounting shall be based on the same principles as those underlying the overall product account but may be constructed from the bottom up on a full-cost basis and are not required to be reconcilable with the financial account.

5.4 Layout of the product account

The product account shall be set up as follows:

( see attached table)

Internal settlement prices between the various product groups in the product account shall be identified, and internal sales/purchases shall be specified in notes to the product account.

5.5 Allocation of revenues and costs

All costs and revenues shall be allocated in full to the respective product groups. Excepted from this are any extraordinary revenues and costs that in some way will represent the profitability of the activities in a misleading fashion 6Examples of such items include government purchasing, extraordinary provisions, and gains/losses from the sale of fixed assets.. All extraordinary items of this nature shall appear in the reconciliation with the financial account and specific clarification shall be provided. Specific clarification of the application of the surplus from the services within the reserved area shall also be provided.

The costs shall be allocated to the respective product groups by analyzing the linkage between resource utilization and product group (ABC analysis). Resource utilization shall be allocated on the basis of the underlying cause of the utilization 7Cost allocations shall not treat costs associated with activities implemented directly by Norway Post in a manner that differs from costs associated with activities prescribed by the authorities.. As far as possible, costs shall be directly assigned to the product groups. In cases where ABC-analysis is not possible, costs shall be assigned to the product groups on the basis of already allocated costs. Common costs shall be allocated to the product groups on the basis of already allocated costs. Capital and calculated interest shall be computed and allocated in accordance with recognized principles.

Any internal services across the product groups shall be included in the same way as services to a third party, or at full cost in cases where it is not appropriate to use the market price. Such sales shall be given specific clarification, and shall be documented in special agreements. Revenues from (a) universal service(s) that is/are sold in conjunction with (a) non-universal service(s) shall be credited to the universal service(s) at the list price that would have been obtained if this/these had been sold individually. The remainder shall be credited to the non-universal service(s).

5.6 Reports

The product account shall follow the calendar year and shall be sent together with the underlying documentation, including reconciliation with the financial accounts and auditor’s declaration, to the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority within three months of the submission of the financial account. The annual report shall be accompanied by an auditor’s declaration. The report shall contain relevant comments, including clarification of any changes in methodology or the basis material for generating the product account.

A presentation of the main areas in the product account shall be publicly available. It is not required to present the product groups publicly.

6 Other provisions

6.1 Procedures for user complaints

Norway Post shall draw up measures for dealing with complaints that enable users to submit for consideration all matters regarding the services encompassed by this license. This requirement does not apply to the basic banking services (clause 8).

The complaints procedure shall be easy to use and shall ensure that disputes are settled fairly and promptly. Norway Post shall provide information to its users regarding complaints procedures, and shall notify the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority each year of the number of complaints and the manner in which they have been dealt with, cf. clause 7.2.

Norway Post shall adopt provisions relating to the complaints procedure, including provisions regarding organization and processing of complaints. The provisions shall be approved by the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority, which may impose amendments.

6.2 Reservation scheme

Norway Post shall implement a reservation scheme that satisfies the requirements laid out in the Marketing Control Act, section 2 (c).

6.3 Undeliverable postal items

Norway Post shall have a system for dealing with postal items that cannot be delivered to either the addressee or the sender for reasons of erroneous or deficient address information. Norway Post is under obligation to accept undeliverable postal items from postal operators who do not have their own arrangements for dealing with these items. The costs associated with Norway Post’s activities to deal with these items shall be covered by the individual postal operator who has passed on the postal item involved, cf. the Postal Services Regulations section 11.

6.4 Use of the Royal Crown and Postal flag

Norway Post shall be entitled to use the Royal Crown insignia in its logo and to use the Postal flag, cf. the Act of 10 December 1899 relating to the flag of Norway, section 2, and Royal Decree of 21 October 1927.

6.5 Use of stamps and other means of franking

Norway Post shall be permitted to issue and approve the use of stamps and other means of franking bearing the name of Norge or Noreg (Norway), cf. the Postal Services Act, section 7, and Royal Decree of 31 August 2001. Norway Post shall implement a scheme for the exchange of stamps.

6.6 Rights and obligations pursuant to the Universal Postal Convention

Norway Post is subject to all rights and obligations set out in the Universal Postal Convention to the extent to which nothing else has been decided by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

6.7 Services in relation to the national defence

Norway Post shall assist in safeguarding the supply of postal services in times of emergency preparedness, crisis or war. The Ministry of Transport and Communications may stipulate further requirements regarding such services.

7 Supervision and sanctions

7.1 Supervision

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority shall supervise compliance with the requirements laid down in the Postal Services Act, the Postal Services Regulations and this license, cf. the Postal Services Act section 18.

Norway Post shall cooperate in supervisory activities, and shall provide supervisory personnel with uninhibited access as well as any information and documentation necessary to conduct such supervision.

7.2 Report concerning compliance with the conditions of this licence

In addition to notification, cf. clauses 2.5 and 3.6, and submission of reports cf. clauses 3.7.2, 3.7.4 and 6.1, Norway Post shall submit an annual report to the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority regarding compliance with the conditions of this license. A copy of this report shall be submitted to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The report shall be completed at the latest by the end of the first quarter of the subsequent year.

7.3 Sanctions

Infringement of the conditions of the license may result in a coercive fine, cf. the Postal Services Act, section 23.

This license may be revoked in the event of repeated or significant infringement of the conditions herein, or when justified by other circumstances, cf. the Postal Services Regulations, section 9.

8 Provision of basic banking services

8.1 Provision of basic banking services

Norway Post shall provide basic banking services throughout the company’s entire network of facilities, cf. Act No. 65 of 22 November 1996 relating to the government postal enterprise, section 4 (a).

9 Duration, amendments and expiry

9.1 Entry into force and duration

This license is valid from 1 October 2001 until 31 December 2005.

9.2 Amendments to the license

The Ministry of Transport and Communications may amend the conditions of this license to the detriment of Norway Post if amendments to national legislation or Norway’s international commitments so dictate. Amendments may also be imposed in consideration of important societal concerns.

Amendment of this licence does not confer upon Norway Post or any other parties the right to seek compensation from the Government.

9.3 Expiry

The Ministry of Transport and Communications may decide that this license shall lapse at the earliest one year from the date advance notification has been sent pursuant to the Public Administration Act, cf. the Postal Services Act, section 4.

VEDLEGG