Stamp rate to increase to 78 cents in 2017
The stamp rate for regular domestic mail will increase to 78 cents in 2017. That is 5 cents higher than today. Organizations and businesses that use a franking machine will also be paying more. The stamp rates for franked mail will increase to 72 cents, which is 7 cents higher than today.
The rates for standard parcels (EUR 6.95) and letterbox packages (EUR 3.95) remain unchanged. Dutch postal company PostNL has proposed these rates in its tariff proposal for 2017. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has established that the proposed adjustments to the stamp rates fall within the statutory boundaries.
Less mail, higher stamp rates
With each year, mail volumes drop even further. However, PostNL still needs to do the same rounds to collect and deliver mail. As a result, stamp rates are rising. In late-2015, ACM published the ‘current state of the Dutch postal market.’ It revealed that, over the last five years, the number of sent mailpieces has dropped by a third. The main explanation is that consumers and businesses are mostly switching to digital alternatives.
PostNL has sole responsibility for a basic set of postal services
The tariffs for the delivery of single letters and packages are statutorily regulated. PostNL is the only postal company in the Netherlands that is responsible for a basic set of postal services that must be accessible for everyone. This set is also called the universal service obligation (USO). ACM ensures that PostNL complies with the rules. For example, PostNL is obliged to deliver mail five days a week in the whole country. For these services, PostNL is only allowed to recoup the costs, and a reasonable level of return that has been determined by the legislature.
On September 20, 2016, ACM set the tariff headroom for 2017. PostNL subsequently submitted a tariff proposal for 2017. ACM has now established that these proposed tariffs fall within the tariff headroom, and, as such, comply with the statutory requirements.