PostNL gets 14.2 percent additional headroom to increase the tariffs for 2019 of the basic set of postal services
Dutch postal operator PostNL is allowed to raise the tariffs of the basic set of postal services for 2019. This set is also called the universal service obligation (USO). The additional headroom is 14.2 percent. This has been determined by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on the basis of the relevant statutory rules. The aim of these rules is that consumers and businesses do not pay too much for mail delivery services, while PostNL is able to provide the basic set of postal services in a profitable manner. The additional headroom is primarily connected to the further decline in the number of letter mail items. The fewer letters are sent, the higher the tariffs are allowed to be.
PostNL's tariff proposal
Now that ACM has determined the tariff headroom, PostNL is able to submit a tariff proposal for 2019. ACM will subsequently assess whether these tariffs comply with the statutory requirements. It will thus become clear at a later stage this year what PostNL’s tariffs will be in 2019, for example, for stamps and metered mail. So far, PostNL has managed to provide the basic set in a profitable manner and to compensate the loss in volume. This has been accomplished through tariff increases and cost reductions. In 2017, PostNL achieved a return on sales of 6.49 percent on the basic set of postal services.
PostNL has sole responsibility for the basic set of postal services
The Dutch postal act imposes rules on PostNL because it is the only postal operator in the Netherlands that is responsible for the basic set of postal services (the universal service obligation). These services include the delivery of individual letters and parcels, registered mail, and international bulk mail (letters and parcels), among other services. The tariffs for individual letters and parcels that fall under the universal service obligations are regulated. With the turnover from individual letters and parcels, PostNL is only allowed to recoup the costs it incurs through collecting and delivering these items, plus a return on sales of up to 10 percent of the turnover. ACM assesses this every year when determining the tariff headroom and the tariffs.
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy recently released plans to change regulations in such a way that postal services will continue to remain affordable and reliable.