Council discusses progress of negotiations on the Parcel Delivery Proposal – European postal operators look to the Council to recognise the competitiveness of the parcels market

Date

02 Dec 2016

Sections

InfoSociety
Innovation & Enterprise

Press release

Brussels, 2nd December 2016

Today, EU ministers were presented with a progress report on the Council’s position on the proposed regulation on cross-border parcel delivery.

PostEurop, representing European postal operators across Europe, welcomes the Council’s recognition that the Commission’s proposal goes far too far. Parcel delivery is the cornerstone of the fast-growing e-commerce industry and a crucial pillar of the EU’s Digital Single Market.

Every year, European postal operators deliver 4 billion parcels ordered online or sent to friends and families. Postal operators have invested heavily to ensure fast, reliable and flexible parcel delivery across Europe: our customers are demanding and rely on the trusted postal service. We ensure that all citizens can enjoy the benefits of e-commerce.

PostEurop can agree to more consistent market monitoring so regulators have a better overview of market developments. PostEurop also supports price transparency, understood as the publication of public list prices.

However, PostEurop also welcomes some member states expressing “overarching concerns about the proportionality of some of the proposed regulatory activities” in the progress report.

Notably, PostEurop echoes concerns raised by several delegations relating to the disclosure to national regulators of terminal rates. These are the fees postal operators charge each other for final delivery. Requiring postal operators to provide such a vast amount of confidential commercial data to national regulators, every year, seems disproportionate to the objective of monitoring developments and competition in the parcel market.

PostEurop also welcomes that some delegations question the necessity of conducting annual affordability assessments of parcel prices and of postal operators’ costs, and notes that some delegations even ask for the deletion of Article 5. As proposed by the Commission, it would add red tape for postal operators and national authorities, whist failing to reflect actual local market conditions or to contribute to the development of e-commerce.

Both proposals correspond to an unnecessary untargeted sweep on all prices. On the contrary, the European Parliament’s Report on postal services[1] recommends to “assess the affordability of prices on some cross‑border routes, paying particular attention to inordinate disparities”.

In addition, PostEurop welcomes calls from several member states to delete Article 6, which would grant third party operators unconditional access to postal delivery networks. It does not reflect market conditions. Cross-border parcel delivery is currently already provided through a vast array of networks and agreements negotiated on a commercial basis. On top, competition is fierce in the parcel delivery market. Today, there are 8 domestic and 7 cross-border parcel delivery operators on average in the EU. These numbers continue to grow, even if there are geographical differences to consider.  As such, there is no EU-wide market failure which would justify unconditional third party access. The EU has plenty of other tools (competition law, infringement procedures) at its disposal to address inappropriate practices or specific market failures – if they occur at all.

Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of PostEurop stressed: “Every day, postal operators compete with alternative providers to deliver parcels across Europe, mostly for e-retailers. In order for the market to thrive, PostEurop looks to the Council and the European Parliament to find an approach that is more proportionate and which better reflects market conditions and geographical differences.

 

Notes to the editors

PostEurop is the trade association representing European national postal operators, which are either partially state-owned or used to be state-owned. It has 52 members in 49 countries.

European postal operators are present in all 28 EU Member States and in EEA countries. They serve 175,000 retail outlets, employ 2 million people, operate 258 million delivery points, collect from 720,000 street post boxes and account for 1 percent of the EU’s entire GDP[2].

Parcel delivery is a cornerstone of the fast-growing e-commerce industry and a crucial pillar of the EU’s Digital Single Market. Postal operators connect SMEs and e-retailers with citizens across Europe – from London to Bucharest, from Lapland to the Greek islands.

Every year, e-retailers and customers deliver 4 billion parcels through the post to their customers, friends and families across Europe. This represents 11 million parcels a day, on average. Many more parcels are also delivered through the many alternative providers competing with postal operators.

For more information about how postal operators contribute to the growth of e-commerce in Europe, visit our website: www.Deliver4Europe.eu

We are also happy to engage with you on this topic on Twitter: @Deliver4Europe

 

For further information, please contact:

Aurélie Caulier: aureliecaulier@gpluseurope.com ; Tel: +32 489 33 59 74

 

 


[1] European Parliament resolution of 15 September 2016 on the application of the Postal Services Directive. Initial report by German MEP Markus Ferber.

[2] PostEurop industry figure, http://www.posteurop.org/aboutus

 

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