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China's couriers ordered to carefully check parcel contents


12:47, February 19, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Beijing's post administrative agency has ordered couriers to carefully examine the contents of parcels they receive, a step to address rising safety concerns after a parcel blast early this month.

A circular on the agency's website orders the city's couriers to stamp on the delivery bill after checking the contents of a parcel in the sender's presence to ensure the information of the sender and the contents on the package are detailed correctly.

The new regulation, effective from March, comes after a man in southern city of Guangzhou was severely injured in a blast from a package containing explosives that was delivered to him on Feb. 6, local newspaper Beijing News reported on Saturday.

The explosives were disguised as a festival gift and were delivered from another address in Guangzhou.

A national regulation for courier services enacted in 2008 requires deliverymen to check the content of parcels and refuse to deliver parcels containing prohibited items.

But in many cases the regulation was not honestly abided by as it does not stipulate penalties for delivery companies that fail to do so.

The boom of online shopping in China has spurred the rapid development of courier service.

The new local regulation states that the person who takes delivery of the goods will be held directly responsible for the parcel's safe transportation and the company should keep complete documents for the delivery to enable necessary tracking.

However, the new regulation has triggered concerns over privacy and work efficiency, because the process of delivery could be seriously delayed if all parcels were checked manually by courier men.

An anonymous owner of an courier company told the newspaper that it would also be difficult for a deliveryman to distinguish dangerous or prohibited items.


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