CERP (European Committee for Postal Regulation) is part of CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations). The European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP) is composed of the representatives of the postal regulatory authorities of the Member States of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT), totalling 46 countries.


Now that postal markets are being liberalised throughout Europe, stronger cooperation between independent National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) is becoming increasingly important. In order to develop best practices in the field of regulation, the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (ERGP) is becoming an integral part of an internal postal market and is becoming the driving force to ensure that European citizens have an actual choice as a result of a competitive market, which will also have a positive impact on innovation within the fast-growing sector of postal delivery. The ERGP shall determine the best regulatory practices for the whole of Europe and shall assist the European Commission as an expert in postal issues.


The UPU (Universal Postal Union), with its headquarters in Bern (Switzerland), was established in 1874. Since 1948, it has had the status of specialised body of the United Nations. The UPU currently comprises 192 member countries.

At the end of the 19th century, the development of international mail forced postal operators to conclude bilateral agreements. But these soon became unmanageable because of their number. One of the UPU’s first goals was to create a single postal territory. The 1874 treaty of Bern requires all contracting parties of the Acts of the UPU to guarantee, according to the principle of reciprocity, the exchange of letter-post items in accordance with the freedom of transit, and to treat without distinction postal items coming from other territories and transiting through their country as their own postal items.

The UPU’s added value was the creation of a single multilateral agreement which ensured uniform rules for the delivery of international mail.

Before 1969, the operator of the issuing country would keep the entire income from the price of postage while the operator of the destination country would not earn anything although it forwarded the mail to the final delivery point. The philosophy was that every letter created an answer.

Since 1969, the designated operator that sends a letter-post item to another country remunerates the destination operator for processing and delivering that item. This system of remuneration is known as ‘terminal dues’. Terminal dues are an important source of revenue for UPU member countries. The system continues to evolve from one Universal Postal Congress to another. At the 2004 Bucharest Congress, member countries adopted a system aimed at covering their actual mail processing costs. Moreover, a link was established between the remuneration received and the quality of service provided. The 2008 Geneva Congress established the rules allowing developing countries and the least developed countries to grow towards a target system which already includes the industrialised countries.

To this day, the UPU provides added-value: Internet users are often confronted with the risks of fraud. Fraudsters also work with a combination of Internet and post. The UPU cooperates with all parties concerned (including BIPT) to make the general public aware of these types of fraud.

Through its cooperatives (Telematics Cooperative), the UPU develops a range of technological applications and software solutions for member countries to ensure the efficiency of services in a competitive environment.

·      Post*Net

The worldwide electronic postal communication network enables postal operators worldwide to exchange standard EDI messages. The POST*Net network, which provides monitoring services and an integrated warning system to signal problems, a track-and-trace system, and postal compensation and billing, offers cost-based pricing that is in line with the country's level of development.

·      IPS (International Postal System)

IPS is an integrated international mail management system. It provides end-to-end tracking of items, receptacles and dispatches as well as automated processing of dispatches, track and trace and EDI messaging.

·      IFS (International Financial System)

IFS is a software application for international money order services. “International money order processing via EDI is covered at every stage, from international standard billing to monitoring and quality-control measurement using an advanced data encryption technique supported by its own public key infrastructure." (UPU website)

The UPU operates through four bodies:

1. The Universal Postal Congress

The Universal Postal Congress is the supreme authority of the UPU. It brings together plenipotentiaries of all member countries every four years to discuss the state of the global postal sector and decide on its future. The 25th Congress was held from 24 September to 15 October 2012, in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The main function of the Congress is legislative, as it focuses on strategic issues. The UPU Congress elects the director general and deputy director general, as well as the members of the Council of Administration and the Postal Operations Council. The supreme authority also sets the budget ceiling for the following four years.

2. The Council of Administration

The Council of Administration (CA) consists of 41 member countries and meets annually at the UPU’s headquarters in Bern. The Council ensures the continuity of the UPU's work between Congresses, supervises its activities and studies regulatory, administrative, legislative and legal issues. It approves the budget and accounts.

3. The Postal Operations Council (POC)

The Postal Operations Council (POC) is the technical and operational body of the UPU. It consists of 40 member countries, elected during Congress. It elects its own chair and meets annually at the UPU’s headquarters in Bern.

The POC’s work programme is geared towards helping Posts modernise and upgrade their postal products and services. Members discuss the operational, economic and commercial aspects of the postal business. The body also makes recommendations to member countries on standards for technological, operational or other processes within its competence where uniform practices are essential.

The POC is in charge of the technical, economic and commercial aspects of postal activities. According to the decisions that were taken, it reviews regulation after each Congress and it promotes new postal products by compiling, analysing and disseminating feedback from member countries. When a new technology or a new method sees the light of day, it makes recommendations to member countries, especially when uniformity is required.

4. The International Bureau

With its 250 employees, the International Bureau fulfils a daily secretariat function.