On Wednesday, actors of the European parcel delivery market and Members of the European Parliament discussed the proposed regulation on cross-border parcel delivery.
The event chaired by Lucy Anderson MEP (UK, S&D), Biljana Borzan MEP (Croatia, S&D) and Antonio López-Istúriz White MEP (Spain, EPP) explored whether further regulation is needed in the parcel delivery market and, if so, how to ensure the market continues to grow and deliver its full potential for Europe.
Parcel delivery is a 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 – including SMEs and individuals – are demanding and rely on trusted postal services operators.
The proposed regulation on cross-border parcel delivery can help to strengthen price transparency, understood as the publication of public list prices, and to ensure a more consistent market monitoring so regulators have a better overview of market developments.
However, many stakeholders and MEPs expressed clear reservations about the Commission’s proposal questioning its added value compared to the existing Postal Services Directive, and raised concerns about the risk of introducing some distortion of competition.
Universal Service Providers (USPs) are the market actors in the focus of the proposed regulation. For example, mandating regulated third party access to their networks – which currently results from commercial negotiations – would open the door to opportunistic behaviours by other operators and lead to extra costs for USPs.
Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of PostEurop – which represents national postal operators across Europe – stressed:
“PostEurop and its members are opposed to the requirement for national regulators to assess the affordability of postal operators’ tariffs on an annual basis, irrespective of the local situation and absence of any indication that tariffs might not be affordable. An affordability assessment would involve significant resources and costs for postal operators and national authorities. It is disproportionate, considering that the Commission only expects 5 to 10% of tariffs across Europe to fail the test. A more targeted approach would avoid unnecessary costs and red tape.“
Competition is fierce on the parcel delivery market – at home and abroad. Today, professional and individual consumers can choose from 8 domestic and 7 cross-border parcel delivery operators on average in the EU. Market players are very diverse: postal operators, pan European operators, integrators, local or regional competitors, as well as many innovative solutions for last-mile delivery.
Jean-Paul Forceville added: “In the competitive and free parcel delivery market, access to the delivery networks of postal operators is and should be part of normal commercial negotiations. No EU-wide market failure has been demonstrated, which would justify regulating third party access.”
Proposals for yearly pan-European affordability assessment and for regulating third-party access to delivery networks are disproportionate to the Commission’s objective. PostEurop calls for a more proportionate and more targeted approach that better reflects market conditions.
Postal operators are working together to improve interoperability in cross-border parcel delivery, to adapt to the demands of customers for fast, traceable and flexible delivery, and thus to support the growth of e-commerce in Europe.
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 .
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
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