Paris, 12 November 2012
By law, universal postal service tariffs are subject to a multi-year framework that is set by ARCEP after having reviewed pricing proposed by La Poste. To this end, on 6 November 2012 ARCEP issued a decision that set the terms of the tariff framework for the period running from 2013 to 2015. This decision is the third framework of its kind, following through on those for 2006-2008 and 2009-2012.
In light of the hypotheses set for the period - i.e. a 4.1% annual decrease in traffic and 1.8% annual inflation - the average allowed increase in the price of universal service baskets for 2013-2015 is due to be limited to 1% a year.
This ceiling is consistent with the expected scenario of a greater decrease in traffic than during the previous period, and takes into account the changes to La Poste's expenses resulting from a decrease in volume comparable to what has occurred over the past several years. In keeping with the legislation, the ceiling must allow La Poste to finance the universal service while ensuring a steady margin on universal service products during the supervised period.
Three measures come to complete this overall framework:
- a measure that gives La Poste an additional margin to increase prices, whose purpose is to encourage the former monopoly to improve the quality of the universal service. This additional margin will be specified in early 2013 and will be based on quality of service (QoS) targets set for the universal postal services, as stipulated in the business contract between the State and La Poste and set by order of the Minister responsible for postal affairs. It will be implemented in mid-2014, on the basis of La Poste's situation with respect to its QoS targets, and will come into effect in 2015;
- to take account of the expected even greater decreases in traffic, the allowable change in pricing for single-piece items used by businesses during the period covered by the framework will be one percentage point below the one extended to consumer pricing, but subject to a mid-period review;
- lastly, it seemed advisable for the price of economical "Lettre Verte" mail items - which will allow La Poste to save on transportation costs and optimise its sorting operations - to reflect these savings even more. This is why the difference in price between a priority (Lettre Prioritaire) and an economy (Lettre Verte) mail item will increase to 5 eurocents, at least for the first weight step. The possibility of introducing a greater difference in price will be examined mid-period.
ARCEP decision n° 2012-1353 (pdf - 513 Ko) (pdf - in French only)