The European Commission publishes a proposal for regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services

Paris, 26 May 2016

The European Commission has published a proposal for regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services, along with other proposals, notably pertaining to geo-blocking (1) and cooperation on consumer protection. All of these proposals are part of the Digital Single Market strategy initiated on 6 May 2015, which is one the Commission's top priorities.

Arcep welcomes the fact that the Commission's work has resulted in a proposal that the European Parliament and Council will now have an opportunity to examine, with a view to adopting a text that will be applied directly. It aims to facilitate e-commerce in Europe, and to ensure that French businesses large and small benefit from the best solutions for their export activities.

Main elements of the proposal for regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services

1/ The main operators in the parcel market - including the express segment - will be required to declare themselves to the national regulatory authority, which in France is Arcep, and to provide statistics on their business annually.

2/ The universal service provider, which in France is La Poste, will be required to provide the national regulatory authority (NRA) annually with the public list of tariffs for domestic and international products that may contain merchandise. It must also communicate the terminal rates it charges to distribute parcels originating from other Member States. This information will then be forwarded to the European Commission, which will provide a listing of public tariffs on a dedicated website.

3/ The NRA will assess the affordability of the domestic and international tariffs set by the universal service provider for mail items likely to contain merchandise. This assessment will be submitted to the European Commission which will publish a non-confidential version of it.

4/ The universal service provider will publish a reference offer for the distribution in France of parcels originating in other countries, which is subject to approval by the NRA. Based on this offer, the universal service provider must negotiate in good faith with any other parcel operator requesting access to its network and relevant resources. The NRA can be called upon to settle any dispute that arises.

Arcep is ready to assist in preparing France's position on this proposal. It may also be solicited as a member of ERGP: the European Regulators Group for Postal Services from all 28 Member States. Finally, it will subsequently be required to implement the provisions that have been adopted.

This is why Arcep welcomes any useful input on the market situation and how it operates, via e-mail to the following address: colis[a]arcep.fr.

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(1) The European Commission defines geo-blocking as a practice "whereby retailers and digital content providers prevent online shoppers from purchasing consumer goods or accessing digital content services because of the shopper's location or country of residence".