UPU Conference on Postal Regulation: E-commerce and financial models in embracing future changes to the universal postal service

Speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein at the UPU Conference on Postal Regulation, Berne, Switzerland, 26 April 2018


The Chairman of the Council of Administration, Mr. Kenan Bozgeyik,

Conference Moderators and Panellists,

Dear participants,

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the UPU Conference on Postal Regulation. This is an important regular event that is organized session under the umbrella of the Council of Administration and with the support and the input of Committee 2.

The UPU has been organizing this Conference on Postal Regulation since 2009 following a resolution of the Geneva Congress.

As you know, the UPU provides the postal community with a unique platform to address all the strategic challenges our sector is facing, whether operational, commercial or regulatory.

During the Conference on Postal Regulation, we are gathering here the stakeholders involved in designing, implementing and monitoring postal regulatory frameworks in different parts of the Union’s membership.

Mr. Chairman,

Postal regulation is an important tool by which governments can effectively position the postal sector to meet its rapidly evolving challenges and opportunities as well as critical infrastructure by which various public policy objectives can be achieved.

According to a 2017 UPU survey on the main aspects of universal postal service, 43% of respondents anticipate policy changes to universal postal service provision.

In addition, they indicate that the cost of the UPS, the growth of e-commerce, and technology changes, are major key drivers for anticipated policy change.

This is why the topic of our Conference today is particularly timely and relevant, as it will address the nexus between e-commerce and the Universal Service, examining both the impacts on Regulation as well as the opportunities provided to sector players. The European Regulators Group for Postal Services, the United Kingdom’s Ofcom, and the Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa will present their perspectives on how they expect that the UPS will adapt to changing postal markets, particularly the impact of the growth of e-commerce on the UPS and how it will change the scope of the UPS.

Through its survey, the IB identified 102 member countries that have established some sort of funding mechanism for the universal postal service; however, the major source of funding comes from government subsidy and/or revenues from traffic in the reserved area. By contrast, specially created funds are the number one source of funding in Western Europe.

In this sense, the Conference will explore the main funding models and cost accounting for the UPS and speakers will explain how they are moving forward in order to maintain the UPS and secure its sustainability by adopting financial models for the universal postal service. Moreover, they will share how their particular model has evolved through the changes in the market environment and regulatory frameworks.

To sum up, I would like to thank the moderators, Mr. Jack Hamande and Mr. Matano Ndaro, co-Chairmen of CA Committee 2, who will lead our discussion today.

I wish you an excellent conference and hand it over to the moderator.

Thank you for your attention.