IRISH EURO POSTAL RATES
Commentry By Brian Warren
In early 2002 An Post applied to the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation (ODTR) for an increase in Postage Rates. Part of the application concerned an application for an interim increase which was granted with effect from 2nd April 2002 (i.e. after the Easter holiday). The changes were announced on 28th March. Depending on further submissions by An Post, further rate increases will come into effect in due course. There is no doubt there will be further increases and I would expect they will come into operation by 1 January 2003 at latest. The Director of Telecommunications Regulation is particularly concerned there is no cross subsidisation between the various services offered by An Post and has requested further detailed submissions. These interim increases do not give rise to any rate changes in the basic "Rest of the World rates, apart from the consolidation of the higher weight steps.
Details of the new rates effective 2 April 2002 as per the new rates brochure together with the rates applicable since 1 January 2002 are shown below. The euro rates from 1 January 2002 were a direct translation from the previous Irish pound rates rounded to the nearest cent. The new rates match the rates given on the An Post website prior to their approval with some minor changes (Books rate for Britain, Europe and Rest of World and the per km. collection charge from Business premises were the only changes). The Postaim Light and Miscellaneous Services charges are as per the application they are not set out in the new rates brochure. The Miscellaneous Services panel retains a charge for unpaid mail although since late 2001 such mail can be subject to delay or else is returned to the sender with all postage paid to date cancelled. However to date, although mail has been marked delayed I have not seen any evidence of mail returned to sender.
Special Note Re. Overseas Registration Rates (including Britain)
As far as I'm aware the only rates leaflet produced by An Post for the initial euro rates effective 1 January 2002 was a small pocket brochure. In view of the impending interim price increase, they probably decided not to print the usual range of leaflets and booklets.
For the International Registration rate, they referred to a charge of €3.17 plus priority postage in this pocket brochure. However on the list of rates on the web site (as listed below), all registration rates are shown inclusive of priority postage for each weight step. Some of these international registration rates for the period from 1 January 2002 to 1 April 2002 differ by 1c as compared to adding €3.17 (IR£2.50 @ .787564) to the relevant priority postage rate.
I suspect this arises because the inclusive registration + postage table was derived from a similar Irish pound table. In some cases, rounding of the translation of the inclusive table will differ from rounding the individual registration and postage rates by 1c. The figures in brackets below have been inserted by me and are the rate derived from adding €3.17 to the priority postage rate. I suspect this latter rate would have been used in most cases as the pocket brochure would have probably be consulted by both the postal clerk and the public. However, if the postal official used the computer terminal facilty (where available) to determine the rate, this may have given the higher rate. I do not know which rate structure was used for this facility. As this 1c. difference affects the registration rate for the initial weight step for both Britain and Rest of World (but not Europe) future historians may come across a 1c difference on such material. Unfortunately I did not spot this anomaly prior to the change! Note the National (32 counties) rates did not differ as both the brochure and the website gave registration rates inclusive of postage.