Express carriers lobby China on postal law

Express carriers lobby China on postal law

The world's four major air express carriers on Monday joined forces to lobby China ahead of the release of a new draft postal law.

DHL Worldwide Express, FedEx Corp., TNT Express Worldwide and United Parcel Service are taking on China Post, the country's state-run monopoly postal service and industry regulator.

The group, calling themselves the Conference of Asia Pacific Express Carriers, or CAPEC, hope to convince China's policy makers to adopt international standards for defining universal postal services and push for an independent industry regulator.

Top regional executives were slated to meet Monday with Ministry of Commerce's Ministry Vice-Minister Liao Xiaoqi to discuss the draft postal law.

The group has tried unsuccessfully to meet with senior officials at China Post, the state monopoly that has attempted to thwart the expansion of express carriers in China.

The group also hopes to prevent China from imposing a special levy on express carriers to finance a national fund which would improve mail deliveries to remote areas by strengthening the country's postal infrastructure.

The companies banded together before in November 2002, when they agreed to accept a new licensing system in order to end harassment of their employees by some local China Post branches that disputed the legality of the companies' operations.

In that deal, the foreign companies also accepted a new provision that gave China Post the exclusive right to deliver government and military documents.

China's entry into the World Trade Organization includes commitments allowing express delivery companies this year to take majority ownership of their joint venture operations.

By December 2005, China must permit foreign freight-forwarding and courier companies to set up wholly owned operations.