Postal, Courier Regulation and E—commerce Development

                       1. Background on Postal Services Regulation and E-commerce Development

The Postal System is one of the oldest communication systems in the world, and for nearly a century, has been the main communications infrastructure in Rwanda. An efficient and reliable communication network is the lifeline of a nation and plays a crucial role in its socio-economic development. A strong postal system is as important as a well working telecommunications and ICT sector and is at the heart of a well-functioning communications sector that combines electronic and physical communications with physical delivery of goods and information.

The spread of e-mail, online advertising, online bill payment and other digital communication tools have put a real dent in postal service revenues as people in many parts of the world have gradually stopped writing letters, stopped writing checks, stopped browsing through catalogues and stopped heeding paper-based direct-mail marketing.

Instead of killing the post office, however, the Internet is now offering opportunity. The rise of e-commerce and online shopping especially cross-border online shopping has the potential to generate huge new volumes of small parcels that postal services around the world are uniquely positioned to handle and deliver at low cost.

Rather than falling into obsolescence, Postal and courier operators known as mail carriers stand to prosper if they can adapt quickly to meet the demands of this rapidly growing and evolving market. Hence the future of postal services will obviously depend on demands of this rapidly growing and evolving E-commerce market.

It is against the above background that the unit of postal services and E-commerce regulation services was created under ICT Regulation Department in order to, through an enabling environment, create synergy between postal and E-commerce services and ensure their development so that consumers and industry can fully harness their opportunities.

2. Role of RURA in Postal and Courier regulation and E—commerce development Development

Postal Sector regulation is one of the mandates given to RURA under the law establishing the Authority mainly in Articles two (2), paragraph two (2).

Regulation of Postal and E-commerce sub-sectors involves licensing of companies, setting and enforcing standards and quality of services for postal services and E-commerce, Monitoring the performance of postal services sector, ensuring a fair playing field, protecting consumer’s rights, developing and implementing national policies and strategies and to encourage the growth of both sub-sectors.

3. Regulatory Tools

In performing regulatory functions in relation to postal and E-commerce services, RURA refer to various legal instruments namely law n°24/2016 of 18/06/2016 governing information and communication technologies, law nº09/2013 of 01/03/2013 establishing Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and determining its mission, powers, organization and functioning and Regulations 001/COM&MR/M&PR/RURA governing postal and courier services in the republic of Rwanda. With regards to financial compliance, the board decision N° 07/BD/LER/ RURA/2016 OF 13/12/2016 determining the contribution levied on annual Turnover of the Regulated Services, remains the guidance for RURA licensees for declaration of revenues.

In the fiscal year 2019-2020, activities of the unit of Postal services and E-commerce regulation consisted in Mapping E-commerce Ecosystem in Rwanda, licensing postal and courier services; ensure high level of compliance of operators with laws and regulation, increasing quality of service of postal and courier services, monitoring of the performance of postal/ courier services and handling complaints of both end users and operators.

4. List of Licensed postal and courier operators

The matrix which can be accessed here shows the status of licensed and operational postal and courier services operators as of November 2023.

5. Market performance
Here you can access the distribution according to the license types of operators within the subsector of postal and courier services As of June 30th, 2020.