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Dutch postal company PostNL will adjust its cost allocation method

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has established that the method that Dutch postal company PostNL intended to use for the allocation of the costs of the universal service obligation (USO) does not comply with legal requirements. These costs concern, for example, costs of mailboxes, sorting centers, and mail carriers. PostNL incorporates these costs into its tariffs. For the next few years, the allocation method that PostNL will use will be the foundation for stamp prices and shipping rates for parcels, among other tariffs.

PostNL has already submitted proposals to ACM for changes in the allocation method. These proposals have given ACM the confidence that the adjusted allocation method can eventually be approved. ACM will take a decision about the new allocation method after summer. In this decision, ACM will also determine the tariff headroom PostNL will have for adjusting its 2016 tariffs. For now, the stamp rate will remain at 69 cents.

Henk Don, Member of Board of ACM, explains: “The cost allocation method that PostNL uses is important in order to ensure that consumers and businesses do not end up paying too much for sending letters and parcels. Our assessment is even more critical now, because it affects the postal tariffs for the years ahead.”

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs amended the legal requirements last year.

This is the first time that ACM reviews PostNL’s cost allocation method based on these amended requirements.