Postal Services Act 1998

Detention and examination of postal articles

5 Detention of postal articles

(1)

Where any postal operator has reason to suspect that any postal article—

(a)

has been posted in contravention of section 21 or section 22 or section 24; or

(b)

is in contravention, or has been posted in contravention, of any of the following enactments,—

that postal operator may detain the postal article for opening and examination in accordance with subsection (2).

(2)

Every postal article that is detained under subsection (1) may be opened and examined at a postal outlet by—

(a)

2 or more persons specially authorised for the purpose by a postal operator; or

(b)

1 such authorised person in the presence of—

(i)

another employee of that postal operator; or

(ii)

a Customs officer,—

and (except as provided in any other enactment) must not be opened or examined otherwise.

(3)

Subject to subsection (4), where a postal article is intended to be opened or has been opened under this section, the postal operator must give notice in accordance with subsection (5) to the addressee if known, or if not known, to the sender of the postal article if known.

(4)

A postal operator must delay the giving of a notice under subsection (3) in any case where the postal operator believes, on reasonable grounds, that the giving of the notice at the particular time would be likely to prejudice any investigation into the commission or possible commission of an offence against this Act or any other enactment, or the detection or prosecution of any such offence.

(5)

The notice required by subsection (3) must contain the following information:

(a)

a statement that the postal article is intended to be opened or has been opened, as the case requires:

(b)

a brief statement of the reason why the postal article is intended to be opened or has been opened, as the case requires:

(c)

a brief summary of the effect of sections 6 to 10.

Compare: 1987 No 113 s 7

Section 5(1)(b)(ii): amended, on 1 November 2006, by section 35 of the Protected Objects Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 37).

Section 5(1)(b)(v): replaced, on 1 October 2018, by section 443(3) of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 (2018 No 4).