ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France – 17 May 2011

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the Universal Postal Union today agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of secure electronic communication services and radio frequency identification interoperability. 

The two organizations will work specifically on standards for postal electronic registered mail and electronic postal certification marks.

Several postal services already offer these services, which are the electronic equivalent of the registered letter and the postmark normally found on physical letters.

The parties agreed to exchange knowledge and expertise and attend each other's meetings.

'With registered e-mail, we not only need to exchange messages but also exchange them reliably for irrefutable evidence that messages have arrived and been read' said Michael Sharpe, ETSI's vice-president of standardization projects, who signed the memorandum of understanding with the UPU's director general, Edouard Dayan.

Dayan said the collaboration is part of the UPU's consistent actions to place the postal sector in the electronic world. 'It will ensure that work on standards is not duplicated and that standards are interoperable,' he said.

In recent years, the UPU has signed collaboration agreements with other standardization organizations, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and GS1, an international not-for-profit organization responsible for developing a worldwide system of supply chain standards. As a standardization organization, the UPU currently manages close to 90 active international standards on issues ranging from electronic data exchange messages to addressing and electronic postal services.

Based in the south of France, ETSI is an industry-led standards organization with a membership of over 700 manufacturers, network operators, service providers, research bodies, regulatory bodies and academia from over 60 countries. It undertakes pre-standardization and standardization activities in areas common to telecommunications, information technology, and broadcasting. ETSI has also established a network of partners, having signed over 90 agreements with standards bodies, industry fora and consortia, in order to collaborate on new standards development or to engage in joint promotion of standards.