Postal Services Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART VI, UNIVERSAL POSTAL SERVICE: SUPPLEMENTARY - continued

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Power to acquire land etc.     95. Schedule 5 (which provides for the compulsory acquisition of land by universal service providers) and Schedule 6 (which makes other provision in relation to land) shall have effect.
 
 
Articles in transit
Immunity from prosecution.     96. - (1) A universal service provider and a person who is engaged in the business of such a provider shall be entitled to the same immunity from prosecution for conduct in the provision of a universal postal service and falling within subsection (2) as the provider and that person would be entitled to if the provider were a government department.
 
      (2) The following conduct falls within this subsection-
 
 
    (a) possession of anything contained in a postal packet which is in the course of transmission by post where possession of it is prohibited by virtue of any enactment, and
 
    (b) failure to comply, in relation to anything contained in a postal packet which is in the course of transmission by post, with any condition or restriction imposed by virtue of any enactment in relation to its possession, conveyance or delivery.
Harbour charges on mail-bags.     97. - (1) No charge imposed by a harbour authority in respect of goods brought into, taken out of, or carried through a relevant harbour shall apply to goods contained in mail-bags-
 
 
    (a) carried by a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service,
 
    (b) consigned by such a provider in connection with the provision of such a service to another for carriage (whether to a foreign postal administration or not), or
 
    (c) consigned by a foreign postal administration to such a provider in connection with the provision of such a service for carriage.
      (2) No charge imposed by a harbour authority in respect of goods brought into, taken out of, or carried through a relevant harbour shall apply to goods contained in mail-bags which-
 
 
    (a) are consigned by one foreign postal administration to another, and
 
    (b) are mail-bags which, when in the United Kingdom, are in the charge of a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service.
      (3) Charges which are exigible by a harbour authority at a relevant harbour in respect of mail-bags which are carried or consigned as mentioned in subsection (1) or (2) and their contents shall not be payable before the end of the period of eight weeks starting with the day on which the bags are brought within the limits of the harbour.
 
      (4) Subsection (3) applies despite anything in any statutory provision made with respect to the harbour authority concerned.
 
      (5) Such charges as are mentioned in subsection (3) may be recovered by means of proceedings instituted in that behalf in any court of competent jurisdiction; but not otherwise.
 
      (6) In this section and section 98-
 
 
    "harbour authority"-
 
      (a) except in relation to Northern Ireland, has the same meaning as in the Harbours Act 1964,
 
      (b) in relation to Northern Ireland, means any person in whom are vested, by any statutory provision, the powers or duties of improving, maintaining or managing a harbour,
 
    "relevant harbour", in relation to a harbour authority, means a harbour which, in the exercise and performance of statutory powers and duties, the harbour authority are engaged in improving, maintaining or managing, and
 
    "statutory provision"-
 
      (a) except in relation to Northern Ireland, has the meaning given by section 57(1) of the Harbours Act 1964 (and, as regards Scotland, includes an Act of the Scottish Parliament and an instrument made under such an Act),
 
      (b) in relation to Northern Ireland, has the same meaning as in section 1(f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954.
      (7) The reference in the definition of "relevant harbour" in subsection (6) to a harbour which, in the exercise and performance of statutory powers and duties, a harbour authority are engaged in improving, maintaining or managing shall be construed-
 
 
    (a) except in relation to Northern Ireland, as if it were contained in the Harbours Act 1964, and
 
    (b) in relation to Northern Ireland, as a reference to a harbour which is being improved, maintained or managed by a harbour authority-
 
      (i) in the exercise of powers conferred by a statutory provision,
 
      (ii) in the performance of duties imposed by a statutory provision, or
 
      (iii) in the exercise and performance of powers conferred, and duties imposed, by a statutory provision.
Mail-bags not to be subject to control by harbour authorities.     98. Nothing in a statutory provision (whenever made) with respect to a harbour authority shall extend to regulate or subject to control mail-bags-
 
 
    (a) carried by a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service,
 
    (b) consigned by such a provider in the provision of such a service to another for carriage (whether to a foreign postal administration or not),
 
    (c) consigned by a foreign postal administration to such a provider in connection with the provision of such a service for carriage, or
 
    (d) consigned by one foreign postal administration to another and which, when in the United Kingdom, are in the charge of a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service.
 
Common carriers
Common carriers.     99. A universal service provider shall not be regarded as a common carrier so far as he is providing a universal postal service.
 
 
Certain exemptions from postage etc.
Certain exemptions from postage etc.     100. - (1) Petitions and addresses forwarded to Her Majesty or, in Northern Ireland, to the Secretary of State, by post shall be exempt from postage chargeable by a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service.
 
      (2) Petitions and addresses to Her Majesty which are sent by post to a member of either House of Parliament, a member of the Scottish Parliament, a member of the National Assembly for Wales or a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly shall be exempt from postage chargeable by a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service if-
 
 
    (a) the petitions or addresses do not exceed 1 kilogram in weight, and
 
    (b) are sent without covers or in covers open at the sides.
      (3) Petitions which are addressed to either House of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly and are sent by post to a member of either House of Parliament, a member of the Scottish Parliament or the Clerk of the Scottish Parliament, a member of the National Assembly for Wales or (as the case may be) a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly shall be exempt from postage chargeable by a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service if-
 
 
    (a) the petitions do not exceed 1 kilogram in weight, and
 
    (b) are sent without covers or in covers open at the sides.
      (4) Subsection (5) applies where the postage chargeable by a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service on a postal packet consisting of parliamentary proceedings has not been prepaid by the sender or has been insufficiently prepaid by him.
 
      (5) No sum exceeding the amount of the postage or (as the case may be) the deficiency may be recovered by the universal service provider (whether from the sender or the addressee).
 
      (6) In this section "parliamentary proceedings" means proceedings of either House of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly.
 
 
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