Communiqué de presse - Postal sector

Arcep sets multi-annual price caps for the universal postal service, for 2019-2022

Paris, 6 November 2017

Following the work performed in the first half of the year, and the public consultation held from 26 September to 18 October, Arcep has adopted Decision No. 2017-1252 of 26 October 2017 on the multi-annual price cap for universal postal services, for the period running from 2019 to 2022. This scheme takes over from the price cap scheme set by Decision No. 2014-0841 of 22 July 2014, covering 2015 to 2018.

This decision caps the nominal average annual increase for universal postal services (1) at 5%, contrary to the scheme in place for 2015 to 2018 which authorises 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. Arcep, which issues a public notice (2) on the price of each universal postal service, may provide a specific assessment.

At a time when the economic environment in which La Poste operates is changing dramatically, including a structural decrease in the volume of postal items, based on the adjustments to expenditures that La Poste plans to make, this price cap allows the universal service to maintain its financial equilibrium. It enacts a shared burden between La Poste and consumers.

Given the uncertainties over how postal volumes will evolve over time, a two-year review clause has been included.

As the Government is currently drafting the service contract for La Poste for 2018 to 2022, which determines the public service mandate assigned to La Poste, Arcep is looking ahead, and wanted to provide the Government and La Poste with the clarity they need on the economic terms and conditions of the universal postal service.

(1) 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.
(2) In accordance with Para. 3 of Article L.5-2 of the French Postaland Electronic Communications Code: "[Arcep] will be informed by La Poste of universal postal tariffs, before they come into effect. Arcep will issue a public notice within a month of having been informed of these tariffs".