New regulations restrict use of postal services
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in cooperation with four other ministries and the Bank of the Lao PDR recently approved a decision on postal service prohibitions.
The decision specifies regulations and measures concerning the prohibition of certain items, to prevent the sending and receiving of illegal goods by mail and ensure that postal operations are law abiding.
The prohibitions add to existing laws on postal services and other laws in Laos, including those relating to international postal services .
The four other ministries involved in the decision are the Ministry of Health; Industry and Commerce; Information, Culture and Tourism; and Natural Resources and Environment.
According to the Director General of the Posts Department, Mr Souriya Khambouravong, this decision was dated January 23, 2017, and was an improvement on the last decision which was dated June 10, 2009.
The previous decision had the backing of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications but did not involve the other four ministries or the central bank.
Some of the items prohibited under the new regulations were specified by the four ministries as well as the Bank of the Lao PDR.
Some people had been sending illegal drugs by mail and were only detected by the authorities through the use of scanning machines.
Prohibited items include those that infringe Lao or international law including weapons, chemicals and explosive materials, as well as newspapers, CDs, pictures and other items that promote resistance to the government, immorality, and beliefs that are contrary to Lao culture.
Other prohibited substances include medicines that contain certain chemicals or have effects on nerves along with antiques, ivory, wild animal meat, wild plants and paper, machines or ink that can be used in the printing of counterfeit money.
Prohibited items that are lawful but are still regulated by the postal and other sectors include batteries, live animals, crops, dangerous goods including sharp items as well as valuable items such as gold, silver and diamonds which are deposited and not reported to postal officials.
This decision applies to anyone, Lao or foreign, who uses any of the country's postal services.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 8, 2017)