Under the Postal Services Act 2011 Royal Mail was privatised on 15 October 2013 when it was listed on the London Stock Exchange. The government initially retained a 30 per cent stake in Royal Mail, however it sold its remaining shares in 2015. Royal Mail Group ltd operates Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide and General Logistics Systems (GLS). Under the same 2011 Act, the Post Office became independent of Royal Mail Group on 1 April 2012. The government, through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), holds a special share in Post Office ltd. The Post Office has a strategic agreement in place to continue to supply Royal Mail products and services through its network and also has the same group holding company (Royal Mail Holdings plc) which holds shares in both Post Office ltd and Royal Mail Group ltd. Neither Royal Mail Holdings plc, nor BEIS, have any involvement in the day-to-day operations of the Post Office.
Royal Mail is the sole provider of the ‘universal service’: postal products and associated minimum service standards that must be available to all addresses in the UK.
Following the passing of the Postal Services Act 2011, the Office of Communications (OFCOM) assumed regulatory responsibility for postal services. OFCOM's primary responsibility is to secure the provision of a universal postal service with regard to its financial sustainability.
ROYAL MAIL GROUP LTD, 100 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0HQ T 0345-774 0740 W
OFCOM, Riverside House, 2A Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA T 0207-981 3000 W
PRICING IN PROPORTION
Since 2006 Royal Mail has priced mail according to its size as well as its weight. The system is intended to reflect the fact that larger, bulkier items cost more to handle than smaller, lighter ones. There are five basic categories of correspondence:
LETTER: Length up to 240mm, width up to 165mm, thickness up to 5mm, weight up to 100g; eg most cards and postcards
LARGE LETTER: Length up to 353mm, width up to 250mm, thickness up to 25mm, weight up to 750g; eg most A4 documents and magazines
SMALL PARCEL: Length up to 450mm, width up to 350mm, thickness up to 160mm, weight up to 2kg; eg books, clothes and gifts
MEDIUM PARCEL: Length up to 610mm, width up to 460mm, thickness up to 460mm, weight up to 20kg; eg gifts, shoes, heavy or bulky items
ROLLED OR CYLINDER SHAPED PARCEL: The length of the item plus twice the diameter must not exceed 104cm, with the greatest dimension being no more than 90cm; eg posters and prints
Items larger than those listed above can only be sent via Parcelforce:
STANDARD PARCELFORCE: Length up to 150cm, with a combined length and girth of less than 300cm, weight up to 30kg
LARGE PARCELFORCE*: Length up to 250cm, with a combined length and girth of less than 500cm, weight up to 30kg
INLAND POSTAL SERVICES
Following are the details of a number of popular postal services along with prices correct as at April 2017. For a full list of prices see W
FIRST AND SECOND CLASS
First class post is normally delivered on the following working day and second class within three working days. Prices are exempt from VAT.
OVERSEAS POSTAL SERVICES
For charging purposes Royal Mail divides the world into four zones: UK, Europe, World Zone 1 and World Zone 2. There is a complete listing on the Royal Mail website (W )
Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Corsica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
World Zone 1: N. America, S. America, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and S. E. Asia
World Zone 2: Australia, British Indian Ocean Territory, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Laos, Macau, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY MAIL RATES*
Letters up to 100g†
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Printed papers only add £1.15 for each additional 250g, or part thereof, up to 5,000g
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD MAIL RATES*
Weight up to
Small parcels and printed papers
Printed papers only add £1.15 for Europe, £1.70 for World Zone 1 or £1.90 for World Zone 2 for each additional 250g, or part thereof, up to 5,000g
SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICES
INTERNATIONAL TRACKED AND SIGNED FOR SERVICES
There are various services available: International Tracked & Signed provides full end-to-end tracking, signature on delivery and online delivery confirmation to 65 destinations; International Tracked provides the same, but without a signature on delivery, to 50 destinations; and International Signed is tracked within the UK, a signature is taken on delivery and is available to 170 destinations. All Tracked and Signed For services deliver to Europe within 3–5 working days, and worldwide within 5–7 working days. Proof of posting and compensation up to £50 is provided as standard. Additional compensation up to £250 can be provided for an extra fee.
A courier service which provides same day delivery of urgent items in most places in the UK. With collection within the hour of booking, satellite tracking, delivery confirmation and automatic compensation up to £2,500, and for an additional fee, up to £10,000, the service is charged for on a loaded mile basis T 0330-088 5522
A service which offers proof of delivery including a signature from the receiver and compensation cover up to £50. The first class service is delivered the next working day and prices vary from £1.75 to £34.40 depending on the size and weight of the item. The second class service allows two to three working days for delivery with charges of £1.66 to £29.55.
SPECIAL DELIVERY GUARANTEED
A guaranteed next working day delivery service by 9am or 1pm with a refund option guaranteed for late delivery. With many options available, Royal Mail offers a full list of prices online W
Mail is held for up to two months while the addressee is away, and is delivered when the addressee returns. Prices start at £14.00 for 17 days up to £45.30 for 66 days.
PASSPORT CHECK & SEND
For a fee of £9.75 passport applications are checked to ensure they meet the requirements set by HM Passport Office and are dispatched by special delivery. For further information see W
POST OFFICE BOX
A Post Office (PO) Box provides a short and memorable alternative address. Mail is held at a local delivery office until the addressee is ready to collect it, or delivered to a street address for an extra fee. Prices start at £147.00 for six months or £258.00 for a year or a monthly fee of £28.20.
Customers can search an online database to find UK postcodes and addresses. For more information see Royal Mail's postcode finder W
Customers can request a redelivery of an item for up to 18 days if it was unable to be delivered and the person is unable to collect from the address on the delivery notification card. A 48-hour notice period is required for redelivery. Redelivery can be arranged to the customer's house, an alternative local address or, for a fee of £0.70 payable on collection, to a local post office branch.
Customers may arrange the redirection of their mail via post, at the Post Office or online, subject to verification of their identity. The service is available for 0–3 months, 3–6 months or 6–12 months at varying prices depending on the location of delivery. A full price list is available at W
TRACK AND TRACE
An online service for customers to track the progress of items sent using any special delivery tracked and signed for service. It is accessible from W
Parcelforce Worldwide T 0344-800 4466 W
Post Office enquiries T 0345-611 2970 W
Postcode enquiry line T 0906-302 1222/0845-711 1222