The Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, outlines the functions of the Authority in relation to postal services as follows:

  • Ensure that postal and other related services are provided throughout Kenya, on such terms, as the Authority may deem expedient.
  • Ensure that the public post licensee is able to provide postal services at rates consistent with efficient and continuous service and financing viability.
  • Promote development of postal systems and services in accordance with recognized international standards, practices and public demand.
  • Exercise licensing and regulatory functions in respect of postal systems and services in Kenya in accordance with this Act.
  • Regulate the fixing of rates of postage and other fees or sums to be charged in respect of postal services.
  • Promotion and development of standards in the field of postal systems and services.

  • Licensing Procedure

    Licensing Procedures for Postal or Courier Operators

    All applications for licenses to provide postal or courier services must be addressed to the Authority. Upon receipt of the application, the following process ensues:

    • Payment of the prescribed non-refundable application fee (currently Ksh.10, 000).
    • Upon receipt of the application fee, the following details are checked with regard to eligible applicants:
      1. Must be registered as a company in Kenya.
      2. Must be registered with the Income Tax Department for tax purposes.
      3. Should be local (Kenyan) owned by at least 20%.
    • Eligible applicants are published in the Kenya Gazette and wait for 60 days within which representations on the application from interested parties could be raised.
    • Upon successful publishing in the Kenya gazette, appropriate categorization of applicants is determined.
    • The applicant is advised of the category and license fee payable.
    • Issuance of the postal license.

    Filename Size
    An Adobe Acrobat file Procedure for Licensing Postal and Courier Operators 563.49 KB

    Licensing Procedures for Postal or Courier Operators All applications for licenses to provide postal or courier services must be addressed to the Authority. Upon receipt of the application, the following process ensues:

    • Payment of the prescribed non-refundable application fee (currently Ksh.5, 000).
    • Upon receipt of the application fee, the following details are checked with regard to eligible applicants:
      • Must be registered as a company in Kenya.
      • Should be local (Kenyan) owned by at least 20%.
    • Eligible applicants are published in the Kenya Gazette and wait for 30 days within which representations on the application from interested parties could be raised.
    • Upon successful publishing in the Kenya gazette, appropriate categorization of applicants is determined.
    • The applicant is advised of the category and license fee payable.
    • Issuance of the postal license.

  • License Fees

    Postal and courier license fees are charged based on the service to be offered, format and area of service. The attendant fees are highlighted below:

    License Category

    Application Fee

    Annual Operating Fee  0.4% of Gross annual turnover or the figure below in KSHS whichever is higher

    Period of payment

    Public Postal Operator Responsible for USO with widest international and domestic networks

    5,000/=

    500,000/=

    On/or before 1st July of each year

    International Operator Operates internationally with domestics and worldwide networks

    5,000/=

    100,000/=

    On/or before 1st July of each year 0.4% of annual turnover whichever is higher

    National Operator An operator within Kenya

    5,000/=

    30,000/=

    On/or before 1st July of each year 0.4% of annual turnover whichever is higher

    This categorization and accompanying license fees are reviewed from time to time.

  • Market Structure

    POSTAL MARKET STRUCTURE

     

    Categories

    Responsibility

    Annual operating fees

    License term (years)

    1.

    Public Postal Operator

    Responsible for USO and has the widest International and domestic coverage (networks).

    KShs. 500,000 or 0.4% of turnover of audited accounts whichever is higher

    25

    2.

    International Operators

     

     

    Operates internationally with worldwide and domestic networks

    Kshs. 100,000 or 0.4% of turnover of audited accounts whichever is higher

    15

    3.

    National Operators

    Operates within the domestic nationwide market.

    Kshs. 30,000 or 0.4% of turnover of audited accounts whichever is higher

    15

    EXCLUSIVE SERVICES

    Exclusive services in the postal sector are provided by the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK), which is designated as the Public Postal Licensee and the body charged with the responsibility of providing universal postal services. To fulfill the Universal Service Obligations (USO), PCK has been granted exclusivity in certain services (reserved services) including:

    • Acceptance and delivery of postal articles weighing up to 350 grams.
    • Provision of private letter-boxes and bags.
    • Printing and issuance of postage stamps.
    • Financial remittances.
    • Equity participation.

    COMPETITIVE SERVICES

    Both the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) and other courier operators provide these:

    • Courier services - faster and more efficient means of delivery mainly same-day or overnight.
    • Parcel services - catering for all postal items other than letters.
    • Direct mail marketing services - passing message to a larger audience-customer communication, distribution of catalogues, orders, statements etc.
    • Postal financial services - financial transfers particularly to help the rural folk from urban able or active heads.
    • Electronic and hybrid mail services - use of modern technology to improve delivery speed.
    • Distribution of publications - reliable system to distribute newspapers, magazines and journals. 

    Agency services—to provide profitable value added services as agents for paying taxes, municipal fees, electricity, motor licenses and pensions amongst others.

    SUMMARY OF POSTAL OR COURIER MARKET STRUCTURE

    MARKET

    MARKET SEGMENT SITUATION

    OPERATORS LICENSABLE

    Letters weighing up to 350 grams

    ‘Preserve’ of PCK unless other operators charge at least five times the reigning basic PCK letter-rate.

    PCK the Public Postal Licensee undertakes the universal service obligation in respect of providing basic postal services at affordable rates countrywide.

    Operation of private letter boxes

    Exclusive to PCK

    PCK exclusivity currently indefinite.

    Printing and issuance of postage stamps

    Exclusive to PCK

    PCK exclusivity currently indefinite.

    Conveyance and delivery of packets, documents, parcels, direct mail marketing services, postal financial services electronic and hybrid mail services agency services distribution of publications courier services and other postal articles as determined by the authority.

    Fully liberalized

    Open to all categories including; International,

    In-Bound, Regional,

    Intra-country Intra-city and Document Exchange.

  • Postal/Courier Compliance Form

  • License Application Forms

  • Licensee Register

    Public Postal Operator

    Charged with the responsibility of ensuring provision of Universal postal Services as an Obligation (USO) and has and has the widest International and domestic coverage.

    International Operators

    Operates   internationally with both worldwide and domestic networks.

    International In-bound Only 

    One-way operators including, receiving items from overseas for local delivery.

    Regional Operators

    Major operators within Kenya and also operate within East African Network.

    Intra-country Operators

    Operators within Kenya.

    Intra-city Operators

    Operates only within a city or town boundary.

    Document Exchange Operator

    Operates exchange of articles or documents between members.

    Filename Size
    An Adobe Acrobat file Compliant Postal Courier Licencees - April 2015 344.28 KB
    An Adobe Acrobat file List of deregistered courier operators 35.1 KB

  • FAQs

    • What are the requirements for operating a postal and courier firm?

      All applications for postal/courier licenses should be addressed to the Authority  as provided for by Section 77 of the Kenya Communications Act, No. 2,1998 and Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act 2013. Upon receipt of the application, the following process ensues:

      Upon receipt of the application fee, the Authority checks whether the eligible applicant has provided the following:

      • Duly fill the Postal Courier application form
      • Swear an affidavit with a commissioner of oaths for all documentations to be attached to the application
      • Payment of the prescribed non-refundable application fee (currently Kshs. 5,000)
      • Certified copy of proof of the list of directors from the registrar of companies(FORM CR12)
      • Certified copies of identification documents of company directors
      • Certified copy of proof of registration or incorporation in Kenya
      • Certified copy of proof of PIN certificate
      • Certified copy of VAT Certificate of Compliance
      • Prepare for your company business plan as per the guideline in Annex 2 of the application form
      • Letter of application with company letter head

      Once it is established that the applicant has met these conditions, the Authority:

      • Shall Publish the applicant’s name in the Kenya Gazette and await the expiry of 30 days within which representations on the application from interested parties could be raised
      • Determines appropriate categorization of the applicant following successful gazette notification
      • Advises the applicant of the category and license fee payable
      • Issues the appropriate license and terms of operation upon payment of requisite annual fees.

    • What are the penalties for illegal operation?

      Any person who carries on business as a postal/courier without being registered by the  Communications Authority of Kenya commits an offence of operating postal services without a valid license contrary to Section 67 of the Kenya Communications Act (KCA) No.2 of 1998 and Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act, 2013. On conviction, offenders are liable to a jail term not exceeding (1) one year or a fine not exceeding ksh.200, 000 or both.

    • What are the benefits of seeking services from licensed operators?

      One of the reasons for licensing and regulating Postal/Courier services is to ensure provision of the said services at highest quality standards.

      Consequently using the services of licensed operators for conveyance and delivery of letters, packets, documents, packages, parcels and other postal articles guarantees customers of secure, quality and reliable services and recourse to recognized existing consumer complaint mechanisms already established by all licensed operators. Consumers also benefit from consumer protection mechanism established by the Authority pursuant to the Kenya Communications Act, 1998 and the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act 2013. Members of the public are advised to only deal with duly licensed operators.  

    • What are the categories of postal/courier operators?

      The Communications Authority has so far licensed over 200 service providers in various categories offering a wide range of postal and courier services. They include:

      • Public Postal Operator: Charged with the responsibility of ensuring provision of universal postal services as an obligation (USO) and has and has the widest International and domestic coverage.

      • International Operators: Operates internationally with both worldwide and domestic networks.

      • National Operators: Operators within Kenya

    • What are the applicable postal and courier fees?

      Annual Operating License Fees

      Category of License

      Application Fees

      License fees

      Public Postal Operator

      Kshs. 5000

      500,000/= or 0.4% of gross annual turnover whichever is higher

      International Operator

      Kshs. 5000

      100,000/= or 0.4% of gross annual turnover whichever is higher

      International Operators

      Kshs. 5000

      30,000/= or 0.4% of gross annual turnover whichever is higher

    •  

    • How many licensed postal/courier operators exist in Kenya?

      Licensed postal/courier operator’s growth trend is as shown in the table below:

      Table 3.3: Number of Licensed Postal and Courier Operators

      Category of Operator

      2008 /09

      2009/10

      2010/11

      2011/12

      2012/13

      2013/14 2014/15 2015/16

      Public Postal Licensee

      1

      1

      1

      1

      1

      1 1 1

      International Operators

      37

      33

      38

      40

      46

      48 51 41

      National Operators

      126

      125

      137

      149

      167

      175 189 161

      Total

      164

      159

      176

      190

      214

      224 241 201

      Source: Communications Commission of Kenya

    • What are universal postal services?

      Universal Postal Services refer to the consistent supply of basic postal services at affordable prices at all points in the country.

      The Authority is currently developing appropriate programs and schemes geared towards realization of universal service obligation. It defines the USO (Universal Service Obligation) services and ensures that PCK implements the same in the most appropriate manner. 

    • What is a public postal licensee?

      A public postal licensee is any person designated by the Authority to offer universal postal services. Currently the Postal Corporation of Kenya is the one designated as a public postal licensee.

    • What are Reserved Postal Services and tariffs

      The public postal licensee-Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) - has under the existing regulatory framework been granted certain exclusive rights/concessions in provision of certain basic postal services consistent with their roll out obligation to provide universal basic postal services throughout the country. The said services include delivery of letters weighing up-to 350 grams, operations of private letterboxes and printing/issuance of postage stamps. In respect of the concession, all other operators handling letters weighing up to 350 grams are required by law to charge at least five (5) times what PCK CHARGES. As an example considering that PCK charges Ksh.30/= for posting a basic letter, any other courier operator providing this particular services must charge at least Ksh.175/= under the said concession otherwise she/he will be contravening Section 48 1(l) of KCA on the Public Postal Licensee (Posta)’s exclusive services and therefore risks being penalized as indicated above. 

    • What are the postal license conditions?

      These are conditions attached to postal licenses that the licensee has to meet for his license to remain in force or to be renewed. Failure to meet the conditions may lead to cancellation of the license. The license conditions for postal/courier operators are:

      • Payment of license fees as prescribed by the Authority.
      • Requirement for the Public Postal Licensee to meet minimum quality of service standards as set by the Authority  in regard to reserved services (i.e. operation of private letterboxes, printing & issuance of postage stamps and delivery of letters up to 350 grams)
      • Operating from a permanent address registered with the Authority.
      • Provision of such information and quarterly returns as the Authority may request for the purpose of exercising its functions as assigned under the Act. 
      • Obligation to charge the right tariffs for reserved services
      • Obligation to display tariffs and complaint procedures
      • Notification to the Authority of any postal articles suspected to have been sent in contravention of the Act e.g. illicit drugs, etc.

    • What types and terms of postal/courier licenses exist?

      The Authority issues two types of postal licenses. These are:

      • The Public Postal License issued to the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK), which is valid for 25 years from date of issue (subject to payment of annual operating license fee).
      • Postal/courier licenses issued to other postal operators are valid for 15 years from date of issue (subject to payment of annual operating license fee).

    • What are the current postal service standards?

      The Authority has developed minimum standards of service performance expected from PCK in respect of reserved services. These will be reviewed from time to time as provided for under article 3 and 12 of the license conditions issued to PCK.

       

       Postal Operational Standards on Reserved Services

       

      Type of Network Connection

      USO Obligation

      Letters (local)

      Delivery Standards

      Posted and for delivery within the same urban area*

      Posted before noon (1200hrs)

      Posted after noon (1200 hrs)

       

      J (same day delivery)

      J+1

      Posted in urban areas for delivery within other urban areas

       

      J+1

      Posted in urban areas for delivery in rural areas**

      J+2

      Posted in rural areas for delivery in other rural areas

      J+4

      Posted for delivery in special (hardship) areas***

      J+6

      Letters (International)

      Same as local upon clearance at Airport

      Private letterbox/bags

       

      Provision of Letter Boxes/Bags on application

      -Urban Areas

      -Rural Areas

       

      1 month

      2 weeks

      Replacement of private box/bag lock

             consequent upon loss of keys

      1 day

      NB:

      *Urban Areas refer to all major towns including district headquarters in Kenya

      **Rural Areas refer to all other centers except special (hardship) areas

      ***Special (hardship) areas are those with adverse climatic, infrastructural and security conditions largely located in Northern Kenya and parts of the Rift Valley

    • What does 'post' refer to?

      Post does not necessarily refer to the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) but means any system for the handling, collection, dispatch, acceptance, conveyance and delivery of postal articles operated by any licensee.

    • What does 'postal article' mean?

      It means anything transmissible by post, including but not limited to letters, parcels, etc. The Act however vests in the Authority powers of determining what constitutes a postal article.

    • What is the meaning of courier services?

      Courier services refer to any specialized service for the collection, dispatch, conveyance, handling and delivery of postal articles.