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History

 
Post in medieval Moldova
 
The first manifestations of communications’ transmission on Moldovan territory have occurred along with the development of economic and spiritual life of the Geto-Dacian.
 
In the course of Geto-Dacian civilization’s evolution, representing a unitary dacian state ruled by Burebista and maintaining commercial and diplomatic relations with its neighbours, especially with Greeks and Romans, communication system has gradually experienced more advanced level of organization.
 
After Dacia has been conquered by Emperor Trajan in the course of the 105-106 A.D. military operations, the Romans authorities included in the postal network of the Roman Empire a newly-acquired province, known as cursus publlicus, maintaining it until 271, when the Roman administration retreated across Danube River.
 
Postal service in Moldova emerged with the formation of the Principality’s statehood and stemmed from the necessity to communicate hospodars’ (principes’, voievods’) orders to remote parts of the state. The ruler’s couriers were named “olaci” or “olacari”. Post-horses were termed “cal de olac” while post-carts – “olace”. 
 
Hospodar’s correspondence was usually handled by the third-ranking courtier boyar (logofat), who later XVI century will be replaced by “postelnic”. He should be scholar, good writer and speaker and "always beside the Lord". Stephen-the-Great and Saint (1457-1504) was maintaining intensive correspondence with overseas countries.
 
The word “menzil” borrowed by the Romanian language originates from Turkish, meaning a place to exchange post-horses, i.e. a post-stage. Post-stages, each having its “menzil captain”, emerged in Moldova in the first half of the 17th century.
 
Couriers sent on errand within the country’s territory were named lipcani, those sent abroad bore the name of calarasi. The taxes for running menzils which were a heavy burden for the population have determined Constantin Mavrocordat (1741-1743) to introduce the reforms according which the expenses necessary for couriers to be borne by the state. In the late 18-early 19th centuries, Moldovan menzils (postal stations) were given into concession.
 
The task of keeping them was assumed by prominent boyars who used to conclude respective contracts with the Treasury for a term of four and a half years. 
 
 
Post in Basarabia and Moldova
 
In conformity with the Peace Treaty signed in Bucharest on May 16/28, 1812, which had put an end to Russian-Turkish War (1806-1812), the territory of Moldova between the Prut and the Dniester rivers was annexed to the Russian Empire, naming the province – Basarabia.
 
Moldovan boyar Scarlat Sturdza, named in function of the civil governor was accorded the right to “institute post-offices”.
 
In Chisinau, the administrative centre of the province was offered two houses as the expedition premises. In 1816, Department II of the local government employed 245 “simirasi” and 32 “lipcani”.
 
The traffic of correspondence dispatched abroad depended on the schedule fixed by the frontier post-office in Dubasari. The payment for weight, insurance and urgency was effectuated in “piastres” in conformity with the Regulation from 13 December 1807, on posts functioning in Moldova.
 
In 1816, the Chisinau Postal Expedition was transformed into the Regional post-office headed by a regional postmaster. In accordance with the Statutes for the Formation of the Bessarabian Province, adopted by Emperor Alexander I on April 29, 1818, the Provincial post-office was to go on functioning in Khisinev, with postal expeditions to work in regions.
 
In its memorandum of December 31, 1851, the office of the Bessarabian Committee for postal stations informed a special institution engaged in collecting road taxes in the districts that there were a total of 50 postal stations in the province i.e. Balti, Tighina, Ismail, Leova, Reni.
 
With the beginning of the Crimean War in 1853, Russian authorities took all necessary security measures in the territory of Bessarabia, with a number of state institutions (postal administration included) being moved farther from the frontier.
 
The post office also distributes a number of newspapers and magazines. The first provincial periodical issue appeared on July 17, 1854 and entitled “Bessarabian provincial Bulletin”. Each district centre disposed of a post-office with a postmaster, his deputy and a few postmen.
 
In accordance with the Paris Peace Treaty of March 30, 1856, which put an end to the Crimean War, Russia ceded back to the Moldovan Principality a part of Southern Bessarabia. The territory, administratively divided into three districts – Bolgrad, Cahul, Ismail – was remaining within the postal system of Moldova for 22 years (until the Berlin Peace Treaty, concluded on July 123, 1878) and after the act of 24 January 1859 – in that of Romania.
 
In 1857 in accordance with the proposals made by commission, post in Moldova is definitively constituted as a state institution, new post-offices are established, new mail-coach routes are opened, postal personnel is given fixed emolument and promotion, precise work norms are fixed, rational tariffs are set, post-office boxes are introduced, and finally, postage stamps are launched in circulation.
 
The first Moldovan postage stamps were conventionally called Cap de Bour (Bull’s Head). The first emission of 4 postage stamps with a nominal value of 2, 54, 81 and 108 parale was put into circulation on June 2, 1858, bearing the images of a bull’s head, a postal horn, a five-pointed star, and an inscription PORTO SCRISORI in Cyrillic script.
 
On August 29, 1864, Alexandru Ioan Cuza approved the merger of postal and telegraphs services, and by the decree of December 3, 1865, promulgated the first law on the structure of the latter.
 
Following the act of unification of Bessarabia with Romania voted for by Sfatul Tarii on March 27/April 9, 1918, the Ministry of Communications, Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones was renamed as Directorate of Public Works. By a royal decree, starting from May 10, 1918, the law on postal organization in Romania was extended upon Bessarabia, too. In conformity with the law on administration and personnel structure of posts, telegraphs and telephones, dated April 20, 1927, the territory of Romania was subdivided into 10 regional directorates, one of them being situated in Chisinau.
 
Soon, PTT Directorate-General made an important step aimed at speeding up the process of mail transportation to destination: the method of express mail processing was modified. Registered urgent mail was to be handed in by expeditors some time before trains’ departure, while for ordinary mail bearing the same inscription post-offices installed special post-boxes. 
 
 
Post in the Moldavian S.S.R.
 
In 1944, following the repeated occupation of Bessarabia by the Soviet troops, on most of the dismembered territory named the Moldavian SSR, the work of the Directorate of the Representative of the USSR People’s Commissariat for Communications (PCC) was resumed, acting with the Council of People’s Commissars of the MSSR.
 
On August 28, 1945, Chisinau vocational school no.1 was subordinated to republican Directorate of the commissariat for Communications which transformed in into a professional school of telecommunications, in order to train staff for the branch (about 200 students).
 
By the order of October 23, 1947, issued by the Representative of the USSR Ministry of Communications with the MSSR Council of Ministers, district post-offices were transformed into urban post-offices following the overall district reorganization of MSSR. On February 16, 1955, the decree of the Presidium of the MSSR Supreme Soviet instituted the Ministry of Communications of the MSSR which included a Postal Section.
 
In conformity with the decree of the MSSR Council of Ministers (July 8, 1967), on July 22, 1967, V. Rusu, the Minister of Communications of the MSSR, issued an order on the establishment of two new subdivisions within the ministry, namely the Directorate of Postal Communications and that of Telecommunications and Broadcasting.
On December 20, 1956, a new three – storied building of the Railway Transportation Section was put into operation near the Chisinau Railway Station (construction completed in April 1952). 
 
In the late ’50 – early ‘60s, republican periodicals were transported to 12 district centres and 2 post-offices (in Basarabeasca and Tyranova) by air, to 21 district centres – by car, and to only 2 district centres (Calarasi and Ungheni) – by train. 
 
The bicycle was among the principal means of transport used by postmen. During 1960, for example, they were provided with 1700 bicycles.
In the late 1959, the Chisinau post and telegraph office moved to a new building named the House of Communications and put into operation in November, the same year.
 
In the post-war period, considerable effort was made to create a modern postal communication network. Although highly politicized and strictly subordinated to socialist ideals, as, in fact, the whole of the Soviet society, the postal structure of the MSSR survived a notable progress in the period under study.
 

Poșta Moldovei
 
The effort on the part of the Movement for national revival and liberation (originated on 1988-1989) was crowned by the adoption of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova (on June 23, 1990) and by the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Moldova by its Parliament (August 27, 1991). 
 
On January 29, 1993, the Minister of Informatics, Information and Telecommunications of the Republic of Moldova, Ion Casian, issued an order on “The reorganization of information and telecommunication enterprise into the Posta Moldovei and Moldtelecom state enterprises”.
 
The order reads as follows: “In order to increase the effectiveness of telecommunications and postal services, to improve coordination, operation and complex development of telecommunications and postal enterprises in the republic, and taking into consideration the recommendations and practical experience of international organizations in the field it was decided to divide the property into two parts that belonging to postal communications and post distribution structures, including equipment, transport, premises, auxiliary departments, and that belonging to telecommunications and wire broadcasting, including auxiliary departments, transport, premises and equipment necessary for maintaining telecommunications processes”.
 
On the basis of the branch enterprises of the Ministry of Informatics, Information and Telecommunications of the Republic of Moldova two new enterprises were due to put into operation starting March 1, 1993: State Enterprise “Posta Moldovei” and the telecommunications enterprise “Moldtelecom”.
 
Prior to the emergence of S.E. “Posta Moldovei”, yet on 16 November 1992, Moldova became full member of the Universal Postal Union, thus joining the common postal space. In the context of collaboration with other states, Posta Moldovei joined a series of other related international organizations: Regional Communications Community, PostEurop (European Association of Postal Operators, from January 1, 1997) and others.
 
Basis rules and conditions for administration, development and operation of the public postal service in the Republic of Moldova, the rights and obligations of the state, physical and legal persons in the field of interurban communications and material values transportation are set in the Law on the Post adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on May 18, 1995. In conformity with the law, the S.E. “Posta Moldovei” was given the status of the national operator having an exclusive right to render basic postal services, while postal communication means existing as of the date of the law adoption were declared state property.
 
Since February 1996, the EMS Moldova express mail has begun successfully functioning. The activity of Posta Moldovei in the field of philately can be considered remarkable. Starting from 1991, when the first series of postage stamps were issued (dedicated to the first anniversary of the sovereignty of the Republic) and until December 1998, 76 series of stamps have been put into circulation.
 
On 23 June 2001, for the first time in Moldova, was organized the International Philatelic Exhibition Republic of Moldova-Romania “Aripi peste Prut”. Another remarkable date in this domain is the opening of philatelic store in March, 2004.
 
In order to improve the quality of Express Mail Service, in 2003 in was implemented the international network TULIPS – track and trace system for EMS items, which informs the customer, in case of necessity, about the location of the item. 
 
S.E. “Posta Moldovei” insures the performance of universal postal services within the whole country, going into the direction of expanding the choice of the services, rising competitiveness, and access to its services. Usage of modern informational technologies insures the performance of new services like: e-mail and interment service.
 
An important step in this direction is the implementation of “IFS STEFI” system in May, 2005, elaborated by Universal Postal Union, which allows the exchange of international money orders through e-mail.
Since December, 2004, it was implemented the informational system “Automatization of the postal operator’ workplace”, which assures on-line activity with central server of S.E. “Posta Moldovei”. 
 
In January, 2007, S.E. “Posta Moldovei” has joined Telematics Cooperative in quality of a full member, in order to extend its relations of cooperation and participation in the development of telematics activity within Universal Postal Union.