GUIDELINES ON LIABILITY IN THE POST AND COURIER MARKET

A licensee shall in sending, conveyance and delivery of letters, items and parcels of its customers guard against loss or damage to postal items;

Obligations of a Licensee

 A licensee shall in sending, conveyance and delivery of letters, items and parcels of its customers:

  • Meet the quality of service parameters set by the Commission, including the delivery of postal items within a reasonable time;
  • Guard against loss or damage to postal items;
  • Ensure the health and safety of its customers and the general public against dangerous or hazardous items.

Commencement and termination of liability

A licensee shall assume liability for items in their custody from the point of acceptance to delivery of the article. This assumption of liability will be clearly stated on a waybill/receipt. Acceptance is deemed to commence from the time the article is received by a licensee when it is deposited into a posting box or handed over to an employee or agent of a licensee authorised to receive it.

An article is deemed to have been delivered to the addressee:

  • When it is delivered into a private letter box or bag of the addressee;
  • When it is left at the house, or office of the addressee as set out there on, or with the employee, agent or any other person authorised to receive it;
  • Where the addressee is a guest or resident at a hotel, hostel or lodging, when it is left with the proprietor or manager of the hotel, hostel or lodging or with his agent; or  
  • To have been received by a postal licensee when it is deposited into a posting box or handed over to an employee or agent of a postal service operator authorised to receive it.

Vicarious Liability (Third Party Liability)

A licensee shall be liable for delay, loss or damage occasioned by appointed carriers and by extension their agents which occur during the provision of contracted service.

Exclusion of Liability

A licensee shall not be liable;

  1. where mail items have been delivered in line with their established procedure of the licensee for items of the same kind except where  loss or damage is discovered either before or at the time of delivery of the item;
  2. in cases where the addressee or, in the case of return to the origin, the sender of a mail item, although having given a proper discharge, notifies the licensee within a reasonable time that he has found damage, he shall furnish proof that such damage did not occur after delivery.
  3. in cases of force majeure, provided that proof of their negligence has not been otherwise produced.
  4. When such loss or damage has been caused by the fault or negligence of the sender or arises from the nature of the contents;
  5. In the case of prohibited items
  6. When the items have been seized under the national legislation
  7. In the case of insured items which have been fraudulently insured for a sum greater than the actual value of the contents;
  8. When the sender has not collected or made inquiry within a reasonable time after that on which the item was posted;
  9. For customs declarations in whatever form these are made or for decisions taken by the Customs on examination of items submitted to customs control.
  10. For any consequential loss or loss of profits or moral damage and these shall not be taken into account in the indemnity to be paid.

Compensation and liability limits

  1. A licensee shall develop and file with the Commission for approval adequate compensation policies for loss, damage and delay of postal articles under the various categories including extending coverage for goods in transit policies.
  2. Section (1) notwithstanding a licensee shall ensure there are in place compensation caps and limits on liability commensurate with the licensee’s asset value and operational size.
  3. Review of licensee compensation policies will include the following considerations; The operational size and asset value of the licensee; The safety history of the licensee

Claims Management

  1. A licensee shall;
  • Devise, operate and maintain a claims management procedure as part of a more comprehensive consumer complaints handling system which shall be approved by the Commission.
  • In clear and straightforward language, publish and avail to the consumer, information about its consumer complaints handling system.

2. A consumer who is aggrieved or dissatisfied with the service or product of any licensee, shall within three months from the date of the incident is giving rise to a complaint, lodge a written or oral complaint with the licensee.

3. A licensee shall on receipt of a consumer complaint allocate a reference number or other identifier of the complaint before acknowledging receipt of the complaint lodged.

4. A licensee shall on the acknowledgement of receipt advise the consumer on the following; reference number of the complaint; action to be taken; estimated resolution time.

5. In any case, all complaints lodged with a licensee shall be resolved within thirty days and the complainants advised of the outcome of the investigation and the licensee’s decision.

6. In designing the consumer complaints’ handling system, a licensee shall take into account the interests and rights of persons with special needs and ensure ease of access to its consumer complaint handling system.

7. The licensee shall make provision for escalation or appeal of complaints within the licensee’s structure where the consumer is not satisfied with the initial decision of the licensee.

Disposal of undeliverable Postal Articles

Domestic letters or other postal articles that cannot be delivered due to an undecipherable or non-existent address or postcode may be opened by a licensee and where the letter or article is capable of being delivered based on information in the letter or article; the licensee shall deliver the letter or article delivered accordingly.

Where a letter or postal article opened under paragraph (1), is incapable of being delivered but contains the address of a sender, it shall be returned to the sender.

Every undeliverable postal article that has been opened and remains undeliverable may be kept for a minimum period of three months and may after that be destroyed.

Where the letter or postal article opened contains anything of value or a saleable article, it shall be disposed of by the licensee as required by law or in a manner approved by the Commission.

Where a letter or postal article is opened as provided by this Guideline, the licensee shall affix a mark on the letter or postal article indicating the; date and time of opening; period it has remained undelivered; contents; and manner the licensee decides to deal with the undelivered article.

Where a letter or postal article is returned to the sender because of being undeliverable as addressed and the sender refuses to take delivery, the letter or postal article shall be dealt with as provided under paragraph (3).

Uganda Communications Commission; UCC House; Plot 42-44 Spring Road, Bugolobi; P. O. Box 7376, Kampala; Phone: +256-41-4339000, +256-31-2339000; Toll-Free: 0800 222 777; Email: ucc@ucc.co.ug, Website: http://www.ucc.co.ug

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