Paris, 4 May 2018
Regulation (EU) 2018/644 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cross-border parcel delivery services was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 2 May 2018. This regulation is part of the European Commission's strategy to achieve a Digital Single Market, and seeks to improve cross-border parcel deliveries in the European Union to further the development of e-commerce.
It makes the price of cross-border deliveries more transparent for consumers and businesses, and introduces oversight of this fast-growing market to make cross-border delivers less expensive and more efficient for e-commerce.
Arcep subscribes to these objectives and welcomes the completion of the work done in this area.
New powers for Arcep
The regulation will come into effect on 22 May 2018. It gives national regulatory authorities, which include Arcep in France, new powers in the area of parcel deliveries in an effort to make the market more transparent. What are these new powers?
- Power to gather information on parcel delivery service providers that employ more than 50 people or operate in more than one Member State, regarding the nature of their products and their business in terms of volume and revenue;
- Power to gather information from parcel delivery service providers on their single-piece tariffs. This information will be transmitted to the European Commission which, for the sake of transparency, will then publish it on a dedicated website;
- Power to ensure that cross-border parcel services that are part of the universal service (which in France is provided by La Poste) are reasonably priced.
In 2017, in tandem with France's Directorate-General for Enterprise (DGE), Arcep commissioned a report from the firm PMP. This report revealed the need for more detailed knowledge of the market's service providers and their tariffs, notably those charged to e-tailers.
The regulation stipulates that the European Commission will adopt an implementing act within four months, detailing the methods used for statistical reporting and information gathering. It also stipulates that the Commission will publish guidelines for evaluating cross-border parcel delivery tariffs. Arcep contributed to the design of this new framework, serving as co-chair of the European Regulators Group for Postal services (ERGP) Working Group on e-commerce cross-border parcel delivery services, from which the European Commission requested technical assistance when drafting these two documents.
Arcep will implement its new powers in close collaboration with the sector's stakeholders. This will result in the introduction of a system of reporting before the end of 2018, and of statistical reporting tools in the first half of 2019.