PostEurop says EC cross border proposals go too far

European postal operator trade body PostEurop has said it welcomes the European Council’s recognition that the European Commission’s proposals over cross border parcel delivery ‘goes too far’.

PostEurop released a statement where it commented: “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.

Furthermore, PostEurop was pleased to note that some delegations questioned the necessity of conducting annual affordability assessments of parcel prices and of postal operators’ costs – and some even asked 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,” continued PostEurop.

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

PostEurop added that it also welcomes calls from several member states to delete Article 6, which would grant third party operators unconditional access to postal delivery networks.

“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,” said PostEurop. “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.”

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