Postal Services Act 2000

The Postal Services Act 2000 (c.26) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, relating to the postal industry. It established an industry regulator, Postcomm (s.1), a consumer watchdog, Postwatch (s.2), required a "universal service" of post to be provided (ss.3-4) and set up rules for licensing postal services operators (ss.6-41). It also converted the public branch of the postal industry, the Post Office, from a statutory corporation to a public limited company, wholly owned by the government.

Postal Services Act 2000
Long titleAn Act to establish the Postal Services Commission and the Consumer Council for Postal Services; to provide for the licensing of certain postal services and for a universal postal service; to provide for the vesting of the property, rights and liabilities of the Post Office in a company nominated by the Secretary of State and for the subsequent dissolution of the Post Office; to make further provision in relation to postal services; and for connected purposes.
Citation2000 c. 26
Territorial extentEngland and Wales, Scotland
Royal assent28 July 2000
Other legislation
Amended by...
Repealed by
Relates toPostal Services Act 2011
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended


Second Reading of the Bill, and debate, introduced by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers.[1]

The Bill has four main objectives. It will give the Post Office the scope to modernise and run a fully commercial business in the 21st century. It will achieve that by converting it from a statutory corporation to a public limited company, with ownership remaining with the Crown. That will complement the greater financial flexibility that we intend to give the Post Office.

The measure will promote competition by establishing a regulator, which will reduce the part of the market that is reserved largely as a monopoly for the Post Office. The reserved area will be reduced and opened to competitors to the extent that the universal service obligation will continue to be fulfilled.

The Bill will put consumers first by establishing a new independent regulator and a new consumer council. Both will have strong powers to protect and promote the interests of those who use postal services. The Bill will reinforce the Government's commitment to a modern counters network, which will ensure reasonable access to the counter services offered by the Post Office.[2]

Parliamentary Undersecretary Alan Johnson summed up the Bill[3] before the vote.

As it was the hon. Gentleman's maiden speech, I shall respond very quickly to the three issues that he raised. He asked whether the £1 monopoly would be safe. The £1 monopoly will be there as long as it protects universal service at a uniform tariff, which we believe should be low enough to protect competition while protecting that very important principle...

We are modernising the Post Office. It was a Labour Government who, in 1969, took the Post Office out of the civil service and made it a public corporation. We are now modernising it so that it is able to face the new challenges of the 21st century.

We can be proud of the United Kingdom Post Office. We have provided the blueprint for postal services around the world. The Bill will preserve those cherished services while ensuring that a publicly owned Post Office is able to compete effectively in the communications market of the 21st century.


The Postal Services Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/2107)

The Postal Services (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 ( SI 2002/3050), r.8

Amendments taking effect from 1st January 2006

8. In section 12B[7] of the Act - (a) in the definition of "non-reservable service", for "80 pence" substitute "65 pence", and for "100 grams [sic]" substitute "50 grams",

(b) in the definition of "reservable service", for "80 pence" substitute "65 pence", and for "100 grams" substitute "50 grams".

s.11 Allows PostComm to grant licences that would otherwise contravene s.6(1), the general prohibition on conveying a letter from one place to another. s.7 (amended by the 2002 Regulations) stated that s.6(1) would not be contravened by carrying letters under £1 value.


Postal Services Act 2000 (Commencement No. 5) Order 2007 S.I. 2007/1181

Postal Packets (Revenue and Customs) Regulations 2007 S.I. 2007/2195

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 15 Feb 2000 (pt 14)". UK Parliament. 15 February 2000.
  2. ^ House of Commons Debates, 15 Feb 2000 : Column 803-4
  3. ^ Johnson, Alan (15 February 2000). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 15 Feb 2000 (pt 32)". UK Parliament.