Paris, 13 June 2006
Under the postal regulation law of May 2005, ARCEP is responsible for issuing licences for items of correspondence to La Poste’s competitors.
The provision (decree and application order) for ARCEP to grant licences was published in the Journal Officiel of 5 May 2006. These texts define the allocation process by ARCEP, as well as operators' rights and obligations (cf. appendix).
This morning, ARCEP issued the first licence to Adrexo (subsidiary of SPIR, Groupe Ouest France) to offer services in France, at a national level, excluding Corsica.
- The authorisations concern only activities newly opened to competition (items of correspondence excluding the monopoly)
The authorisation regime concerns items of correspondence open to competition, i.e. items of correspondence with a unit weight greater than 50 g or a price greater than €1.325, that is two-and-a-half times the base tariff.
- it concerns only operators providing final delivery or outbound cross border services
- an authorisation is not required for operators delivering express items or unaddressed printed matter, and mail preparation firms
- The first authorisation was attributed to Adrexo
Adrexo is a subsidiary of SPIR (Groupe Ouest France), with sales of close to €600 million in 2005.
The operator is active in the distribution of free newspapers and printed matter (total of 7.7 billion items per year). It employs 25 000 people and has 300 distribution centres. In 2005, the group delivered 25 million addressed items.
The rights and obligations of postal operators holding an authorisation
Authorised operators have a number of rights and obligations. A licence grants access to the mail boxes of households and to the resources held by La Poste which are indispensable to new operators in performing their postal activity (e.g. the reshipping of their clients’ items in the event of a change of address).
In exchange for these rights, operators also have a number of obligations whose purpose is to protect the trust of users in mail activities, when these activities are opened to competition:
- The employees assigned to distribution must carry a professional card and a distinctive sign identifying the postal provider, in order to reassure people whose homes they enter.
- The operating procedures must protect the confidentiality of the items, the integrity of their content and personal data, and must respect the privacy of postal service users.
- The services proposed must provide a correction procedure for errors and the provider responsible for the processing of postal items shall be identified via a mark on the postal items.
- Postal operators provide their clients information on their commercial offer and a simple, transparent and free complaint processing procedure.
- Subcontractors and agents must also respect these obligations.
The obligations attached to the authorisations guarantee that the operators receiving them will be serious and reliable. To ensure these obligations are respected, ARCEP has information resources for its monitoring mission and may apply sanctions in the event of default.