Universal service

2019 prices: Arcep publishes its opinion on universal postal service prices for 2019

Paris, 27 July 2018

Arcep has issued its opinion on the price changes that will take place in 2019 for mail and parcel delivery offers that are part of the universal postal service.

The first year of implementation for Arcep's multiannual price cap for the period running from 2019 to 2022

These price changes correspond to the first year of implementation for the multiannual price cap set by Arcep for 2019 to 2022, in its Decision (1) of 26 October 2017. The price caps set by this decision reflect the profound changes in the economic environment in which La Poste is operating, which has resulted in an structural decline in volume. Based on cost adaptations being planned by La Poste, these changes will enable the universal postal service to maintain its financial equilibrium, by having the financial burden shared between the company and consumers.

This decision caps the nominal average annual increase for universal postal (2) services at 5%, contrary to the previous scheme which permitted differentiated increases during the period. Under the terms of this price cap, it is up to La Poste to decide on how its prices will change.

The price increase planned by La Poste is in line with Arcep's set price caps

The average 5% price increase planned by La Poste for 2019 complies with the price caps in place. It is adjusted according to service category, and in particular includes an increase to €1.05 for the price of a Priority letter (i.e. red stamp) of less than 20 grams. The different price changes in each service category mark a natural progression of those applied in previous years.

(*) Forecast

Because the volume of mail is expected to continue to decrease in 2019, household consumption of universal postal services is likely to remain unchanged at around 43 euros a year, per household

(1) Arcep Opinion n° 2017-1252 (pdf - 556 Ko)
(2) The universal postal service includes obligations to provide a defined set of postal services: it represents three quarters of La Poste's mail business and close to a third of its parcel business. The bulk of transportation and press distribution solutions are excluded, and are part of a dedicated public service mandate.