The regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services entered into force on 22 May 2018. The regulation requires parcel delivery providers to provide pricing information that will allow national regulatory authorities to have better regulatory oversight of the providers and their sub-contractors. This will also improve price transparency and make it easier to assess certain high cross-border tariffs.
The regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services (EU) 2018/644 has 3 key objectives
- to enhance the regulatory oversight of parcel delivery services
- to increase the transparency of certain single-piece tariffs through publication on a website
- to assess tariffs for certain cross-border parcel delivery services
Provision of information
Parcel delivery service providers, who fall within the scope of the regulation, are required to provide certain information to the national regulatory authority (NRA) of the EU country in which they are established. The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1263, adopted on 20 September 2018, establishes the forms to fill out for the submission of information by parcel delivery service providers.
Cross-border parcel delivery service providers, who fall within the scope of the regulation, have to provide the NRA of the EU country in which they are established with the public list of tariffs for the delivery of single-piece postal items. This excludes items of correspondence (i.e. postal items not containing goods) and must be done by 31 January of each calendar year. We publish the tariffs subject to transparency measures online by the end of March each calendar year.
Assessment of cross-border tariffs
On the basis of the public lists of tariffs the NRA identifies, for each of the single-piece postal items listed in the annex of the regulation, the cross-border tariffs that they consider necessary to assess. The Commission adopted guidelines for NRAs on the assessment of cross-border tariffs in December 2018. The NRAs submit their assessment to the Commission by the end of June each calendar year. A non-confidential version of the assessment is published by the Commission within 1 month of receipt.
Monitoring and enforcement
EU countries are responsible for laying down the rules on the penalties applicable to infringements of the regulation. These must be notified to the Commission by 22 November 2019 (i.e. within 18 months of the entry into force of the regulation) to allow time for domestic legal processes. Rules on the penalties for infringing the regulation are set by EU countries and must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
By mid-2020, and every 3 years thereafter, the regulation requires the Commission to submit an evaluation report on the application and implementation of the regulation to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee and Council accompanied, where necessary, by a legislative proposal for its review.
Certain high prices and inconveniences of cross-border parcel delivery have been identified as being among the main obstacles to greater uptake of e-commerce among European consumers and retailers. Research shows that cross-border parcel delivery prices charged by universal service providers can be almost 5 times higher than domestic parcel delivery prices.
As complementary measures were needed, particularly in the areas of price transparency and enhanced regulatory oversight, the Commission presented a legislative proposal on a regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services as part of the e-commerce package in May 2016. It complements the Postal Services Directive as far as parcel delivery services are concerned.