Royal Mail business structure and enforcement allocation

SIM 05/2004/51


This guidance outlines the current Royal Mail Group business structure and confirms the enforcement allocations agreed nationally between HSE, Local Authorities and ORR.


The structure of Royal Mail Group changed from 1st April 2012 and enforcement allocations have been agreed nationally, based primarily on which business occupies the premises concerned.  Following this guidance is important to avoid confusion in dealings between the relevant enforcement bodies and the new businesses.


Before visiting Royal Mail Group sites check and apply the enforcement allocations in Appendix.  Do not make any different local arrangements.

Where two businesses share the same site, each business should be treated separately and enforcement allocation not be dictated by the main activity in the whole premises as would normally be the case. On any sites where enforcement allocation could be shared between different authorities, enforcement should follow the physical demarcation within the site, which the businesses will have already agreed.


Royal Mail Group Limited (owned by Royal Mail Holdings PLC) now comprises three main businesses as follows:

  • Royal Mail – Operations and Modernisation
  • Parcel Force Worldwide – UK and International parcel services
  • General Logistics Systems (GLS) – an international logistics company

Post Office Ltd (also owned by Royal Mail Holdings PLC) is now a completely separate company from Royal Mail Group Ltd.  It continues to provide a range of counter services including receipt of items for carriage and delivery by Royal mail and Parcel Force.

ROMEC Ltd is a joint venture company with Royal Mail Group, as the major shareholder and Balfour Beatty. Romec should be treated as a separate company under contract to Royal Mail Group.


No special programme of visits or other organisational requirements involved


OPSTD /MTU Sector /Transportation Section

ORR Regulatory Management Team for issues with enforcement responsibility at rail terminals.

Appendix:  Royal Mail businesses enforcement allocations

Company Business Activities Notes Enforcing Authority

Post Office Ltd

Post Office Crown Offices

Post Offices which are operated directly by Post Office Ltd



Sub Post Offices

Independent outlets that combine a retail shop with the Post Office branch and owned by:

  • a multiple retailer eg W H Smith, or
  • a company under a franchise arrangement with Post Office Ltd, or
  • an individual sub postmaster.

These premises are operated directly by that company or individual.


Cash Handling

Network of depots and cash centres responsible for processing, collecting and delivering cash and high value items using security vehicles.

These high security buildings normally require 24 hours notice for access


Royal Mail Group Ltd

Operations & Modernisation

Mail Centre and Delivery Office premises

Collecting, sorting and delivering letters, small packages and parcels. I
Bulk mail movements  between Mail Centres, and between Regional Distribution Centres.
Each Mail Centre feeds to Delivery Offices some of which maybe on the same site.

Can include bulk mail movement from downstream access customers (other mail handlers) to access the Royal Mail's delivery network.


Royal Mail Logistics


8 Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs), an air network, (6 locations), a rail and 3 Manual Data Entry Centres (MDECs).
Operators in MDECs use computers to code mail that automatic sorting machines are unable to read.


Processing (rail terminals)

Cross-dock operations between road and rail in 3 dedicated Royal Mail rail terminals at Willesden, Warrington and Sheildmuir (Glasgow).


The Logistics operations business unit is part of Operations & Modernisation. It handles the movement of bulk loads into Mail Centres, Distribution Centres and Parcelforce depots.



A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between HSE and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) was agreed in 2006.

HSE up to & including loading & unloading of trains.

ORR for operation of the railway


Collecting and moving bulk mail between customers and Mail Centres.

Network has Vehicle Operating Centres (VOCs) on all Regional Distribution Centre sites and many of the Mail Centres.


Fleet & Maintenance Services (F&MS)

Numerous vehicle service centre sites nationally.


Facilities Management (FM) - property maintenance portfolio.

Uses a national network of approved contractors.



Peripatetic activities

Mail delivery to the intended recipient commonly referred to as the 'final mile.'

Once outside the curtilage of a Royal Mail site, eg on a public road, HSE should be notified of reportable incidents



Parcelforce depots and the National and International hubs in Coventry

Collecting, sorting and delivering parcels throughout the UK. Its operation is similar to any other parcel carrier.



Royal Mail International

Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC) and Airport Mail Units at Heathrow and Gatwick

Moving mail into and out of the UK



Airport Mail Units at Heathrow and Gatwick - LA


ROMEC Ltd is a separate company, under contract to RMG.

Engineering, cleaning and office management services dedicated to  RMG.

ROMEC is one of a national network of approved contractors used by Royal Mail Logistics Facilities Management under contract to RMG.

HSE or LA according to site's business occupier's allocation, as above

All businesses


Purely office-based activities



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Updated 2022-08-16