Annotated Republic of China Laws/Postal Act/2002
Republic of China (Taiwan) Law
Chapter One General Principles
- Article 1
This Act is being established to ensure that postal services develop comprehensively and properly and are carried out in an accessible, fair and reasonable fashion, so as to better serve the public interest. Where matters are not covered under this Act, all other laws shall govern.
- Article 2
The competent regulatory agency for this Act is the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).
- Article 3
In order to provide postal services, the MOTC has established the state-run Chunghwa Post Co., Ltd., hereinafter called Chunghwa Post. Unless otherwise specified by this Act, a separate law shall govern the establishment of Chunghwa Post.
- Article 4
The following terms that appear in this Act are hereby defined:
- Post office branches: Postal outlets of Chunghwa Post in locations around Taiwan that handle postal businesses.
- Postal employees: All personnel who work for Chunghwa Post.
- Mail items: Letters, postcards, aerogrammes and letter sheets, newspapers, magazines, printed materials, documents for the blind, small packets, parcels or any other documents or materials that are handed over to Chunghwa Post for delivery including those that are processed electronically or by other methods.
- Postal assets: Movable property, real estate or other rights that Chunghwa Post utilizes for its operations.
- Postal property: Structures, land, machinery, vehicles, boats, aircraft and other transportation devices that Chunghwa Post uses exclusively.
- Postage stamps: Vouchers issued by Chunghwa Post that certify postage has been paid.
- Aerogrammes and letter sheets: Pieces of paper that can be folded into envelopes and sealed that have postage printed on the cover and a blank space inside for the sender to write messages on. These can thus be used for correspondence without the need for separate envelopes.
- Postal identity cards: Cards issued and sold by Chunghwa Post to verify the identification of the holder.
- International reply coupon: A coupon of monetary value that is sold and exchangeable for postage at post offices in member countries of the Universal Postal Union.
- All other postage paid symbols: Imprints of postage stamps on postcards, aerogrammes and letter sheets, or postage impressions made by postage meters or printers or in any other manner approved by postal regulations.
- Article 5
Chunghwa Post may engage in the following businesses:
- Delivery of mail.
- Postal savings.
- Simple life insurance.
- Philately and related merchandise.
- Management of postal assets.
- Subject to approval by the MOTC, Chunghwa Post may also operate as an agent for other businesses, make investments, or operate related businesses as described under subparagraphs 1 to 6 of this article hereof.
- Article 6
Apart from Chunghwa Post and others so entrusted, no others may engage in the business of delivering letters, postcards or other correspondence. With the exception of delivery notices connected with shipments, no forwarding agency may deliver mail as described in the preceding paragraph.
- Article 7
Apart from Chunghwa Post or those it has authorized, no others may use the same words, graphics, symbols or combinations thereof (both in Chinese and foreign languages) that Chunghwa Post uses to display its business titles, services or products.
- Article 8
Unless otherwise so ordered by law, mail items, postal assets, postal funds and postal property shall not be subject to inspection, conscription or seizure.
- Article 9
Mail delivery services provided by Chunghwa Post, as well as all postal property and bills, receipts and other documents used to provide such services, shall be exempt from taxes.
Where the perils of the sea fall upon mail during shipment, Chunghwa Post will share no liability.
- Article 10 (later amended)
- Article 11
Both Chunghwa Post and its employees shall be obliged to keep any information obtained through performance of official duties confidential. The same shall apply to those who have left the company’s employ.
- Article 12
Actions affecting postal business handled by Chunghwa Post by legally incompetent persons or legally quasi-incompetent persons shall be deemed actions committed by competent persons.
- Article 13
With respect to various mail items or business thereof, international postal treaties or agreements shall govern where applicable. In case this Act runs counter to those international laws, this Act shall govern in cases regarding domestic mail and those international laws shall govern in cases regarding international mail.
Chapter Two Postage and Postage Stamps
- Article 14
Subject to approval by the competent regulatory agency, Chunghwa Post shall set the postage for postcards, letters and other items of correspondence mail.
Chunghwa post may set at its discretion rates for mail items other than the above. -
- Article 15
Besides Chunghwa Post, no others may issue or produce vouchers similar to postage stamps with numbers or marks suggesting payment of postage.
- Article 16
Postage stamps or other marks that represent postage paid may serve as proof of payment of postage.
Subject to approval by the Executive Yuan, Chunghwa Post may decide upon the styles, designs and prices of postage stamps, postcards, aerogrammes and letter sheets that bear postage stamp imprints.
- Article 17
Subject to approval by competent regulatory agencies, Chunghwa Post may void postage stamps it issues. However, a public announcement must be made and the sale of the said stamps must be discontinued one month in advance.
Holders of the voided postage stamps may exchange them for valid new issues at Chunghwa Post within six months after the rescission.
- Article 18
Stained or damaged postage stamps shall lose all value. The same shall apply to stained or damaged imprinted stamps on postcards, aerogrammes and letter sheets.
Chapter Three Delivery and Management of Mail
- Article 19
Unless acting in accordance with law, Chunghwa Post may not refuse to accept and deliver any mail items, except for contraband or mail items that do not meet specifications as publicly announced by Chunghwa Post.
- Article 20 (later deleted)
- Article 21
Subject to the consent of a property owner, or the manager or management committee of a property, Chunghwa Post may set up exclusive mail collection boxes on public roads or at residences, markets, factories, government agencies, schools, or other publicly or privately owned locations.
- Article 22
All mail items shall be delivered to the delivery address written on their cover, save for redirected items or in a case when delivery to a location is difficult or impossible and the mail is routinely delivered to another address (as specified under Article 24 or 48 hereof).
Where a mail item is not deliverable, it should be returned to its sender. When returning it to the sender is not feasible, Chunghwa Post should post it for claim. Chunghwa Post may dispose of undeliverable items of mail after they have been posted for claim for a considerable length of time.
- Article 23
Where a mail item has more than one addressee, the said mail item may be delivered to any of them.
Where there is dispute between the addressees prior to the delivery of said mail item and Chunghwa Post has received a statement to the effect that litigation has been initiated with respect to receipt of said mail item, delivery should be made in accordance with the confirmed judicial ruling or outcome of litigation.
- Article 24
Where the delivery address is other than the ground floor of a building, delivery shall be made as follows:
- Mail items may be handed over to the doorman or receptionist if such persons are present on the ground floor.
- Where there is no doorman or receptionist but only mail boxes, intercoms or door bells on the ground floor, ordinary mail items may be dropped in the mail box, and the addressee may be asked via intercom or ringing of the bell to come to the ground floor for pickup of registered mail or to pay postage due.
If the registered mail or postage due mail can not be delivered in the manner illustrated above, further actions taken should follow the provisions specified under Article 48 hereof.
- Article 25
In order to verify the identity of the addressee, Chunghwa Post may ask to see ID.
- Article 26
Railroads, motor vehicles, ships and aircrafts that engage in forwarding are required to assist in the carriage of mail items and postal personnel handling the mail items. Chunghwa Post and the forwarding agents may negotiate the carriage charge for the transport of mail items and postal personnel mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
- Article 27
In delivering mail items or postal property, postal personnel have the right of way on all roads, bridges, customs facilities, and ferries.
- Article 28
The competent regulatory agency may dispatch its inspectors to, or, in conjunction with police officers with proper papers of authorization, enter sites that violate this Act and conduct inspections as well as demand presentation of related documents. The owners, persons-in-charge, residents, caretakers, users or representatives of said sites shall not shun, impede, or refuse such requests.
Chapter Four: Compensation for Lost or Damaged Mail
- Article 29
In the event that any of the following should happen to a mail item, the sender may lodge a claim with Chunghwa Post for compensation:
- Loss of part or whole, theft or damage of a parcel, express mail, value-declared mail, or insured mail.
- Total loss or theft of other registered mail.
- Article 30
The right of indemnity mentioned in the preceding article may be exercised by the addressee in case of either of the following:
- Evidence produced by the addressee that the right of indemnity has been delegated by the sender to the addressee.
- The addressee has stated to reserve the right of indemnity at the time the partially damaged or pilfered mail item is received.
- Article 31
In the event that any of the following happens to the mail items listed under Article 29 hereof, there shall be no claim entertained:
- Damage or loss due to the nature of or defects in the mail item.
- Damage or loss caused by natural calamities or force majeure. For value-insured mail, these circumstances are limited to losses caused by war.
- Loss or damage is incurred in the territory of a foreign country where postal services are not liable for compensation under the laws of that nation.
- Where the item of mail is contraband or under law may not be delivered through the post.
- Where the damage or loss is a result of improper packaging, and the sender took no action to rectify the problem despite having been notified.
- When the addressee has received the mail item without any objection.
- Article 32
When a mail item is delivered to the addressee or returned to the sender, it shall not be deemed damaged should there neither be loss of weight nor visible surface damage. Nor shall it be considered damaged when the weight reduction is due to the nature of the contents of the mail item.
When a mail item is delivered to the addressee or returned to the sender, should it have lost part or all of its value due to the lapse of time or market fluctuations, it shall not be deemed to have suffered any losses.
- Article 33
Once compensation is effected because of the loss of a mail item, if all or part of the mail item is subsequently found, Chunghwa Post may notify the recipient of the indemnity to return all or part of the compensation and claim the originally posted mail item within three months after receipt of notice.
- Article 34
If not exercised, the sender’s or addressee’s right of indemnity shall be extinguished six months from the date the mail item is posted.
Where the sender or the addressee has inquired with regard to said mail item with Chunghwa Post during the period as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, it shall be deemed that the right of indemnity has been exercised.
- Article 35
Once the amount of compensation is settled, notice must be given to the recipient of the claim. If not exercised, the recipient’s right of indemnity shall be extinguished five years from the date the notice is served.
Chapter Five: Penal Provisions
- Article 36
Those who counterfeit or alter postal identity cards, international reply coupons or other marks showing payment of postage with the intention of using them shall be subject to a prison term of six months to five years, or in addition thereto a maximum fine of NT$30,000.
Those who have used, or collected or delivered the counterfeit or altered articles mentioned in the preceding paragraph with the intention of using them shall be subject to a prison term of no more than three years, or in addition thereto a maximum fine of NT$30,000.
Those who attempt to prepare used postage stamps, imprints of stamps or marks that represent postage paid on postcards, aerogrammes, or letter sheets for reuse by applying glue, oil, paste or other chemicals shall be subject to a prison term of no more than one year, detention or a maximum fine of NT$9,000. The same shall apply to those who actually reuse the said items.
- Article 37
When postal employees commit crimes mentioned in the preceding article or Article 202 or Article 204 of the Criminal Code with respect to postage stamps, the prison terms shall be increased by one-half.
- Article 38
Opening or concealing mail items belonging to others or stealing looks into the contents by other means without proper cause shall be punished by detention or a maximum fine of NT$90,000.
- Article 39
Intentional refusal to return mail items that were received by mistake shall be subject to a fine of NT$2,000 to NT$10,000.
- Article 40
In the event of either of the following, a fine of NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 shall be levied and the offender shall be notified to cease and desist; failure to comply may result in successive fines:
- Violation of paragraph 1 of Article 6 hereof by engaging in the business of delivering letters, postcards or other correspondence.
- Violation of paragraph 2 of Article 6 hereof by delivering mail items other than notices related to shipment.
- Article 41
Violation of Article 7 hereof shall be subject to a fine of NT$20,000 to NT$100,000 with orders to cease and desist within a given time limit; failure to comply by the deadline may result in successive fines.
- Article 42
Violation of Article 15 hereof shall be subject to a fine of NT$20,000 to NT$100,000. The fine may be levied successively for each subsequent offense.
- Article 43
Violation of Article 28 hereof (shunning, impeding, or refusing inspection or providing related documents) shall be subject to a fine of NT$20,000 to NT$100,000. The fine may be levied successively for each subsequent offense.
- Article 44
Provisions specified under Article 37 hereof and Article 133 of the Criminal Code shall apply to personnel responsible for carriage of mail items as specified in Article 26 hereof.
- Article 45
A fine of NT$20,000 to NT$100,000 shall be levied against any forwarding agents responsible for carriage of mail items as specified in paragraph 1 of Article 26 hereof in the event of either of the following:
- Refusal to forward mail items without proper cause.
- Intentional delay in forwarding mail items.
- Article 46
The competent regulatory agency may instruct Chunghwa Post to impose fines as specified in the Act hereof.
Failure to pay the fines imposed under the Act hereof within the given time limit shall result in compulsory enforcement.
Chapter Six Supplementary Provisions
- Article 47
The competent regulatory agency may assign Chunghwa Post to enter into, on behalf of the government, negotiations with foreign or international postal organizations with regard to international postal affairs and the signing of related protocols. Such negotiations shall be conducted in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of the Republic of China.
- Article 48
Subject to approval by the Executive Yuan, the competent regulatory agency shall draw up regulations concerning the following: categories of mail items; definitions; handling procedures; posting for delivery; payment of rates; forwarding; delivery; inquiries about claim procedures and about the amount and methods of compensation; categories of contraband and methods of disposal; the procedures for entrusting carriers with delivery of mail and qualifications and responsibilities of carriers entrusted with delivery, as well as other related matters.
- Article 49 (later amended)