Everyone is entitled to basic postal services throughout Finland
The right to basic postal services is ensured by the provision of universal services defined in the Postal Act. FICORA monitors the implementation of these services. Universal postal services include postal services that are considered essential, such as delivery of letters and parcels. FICORA obliges at least one postal undertaking to provide universal services if it is necessary to guarantee these services.
Under the Postal Act, postal services falling within the scope of a so-called universal service must be available to all consumers and businesses. Postal services falling within the scope of a universal service are:
• items of correspondence weighing no more than 2 kilograms that are paid for with commonly used forms of cash payment;
• postal packages weighing no more than 10 kilograms that are paid for with commonly used forms of cash payment;
• registration and insurance services for the above-mentioned letters and parcels;
• postal items arriving in the country weighing no more than 20 kilograms.
In this connection, the forms of cash payment refer to stamps, cash or payment cards, for example. The point is that the payment method is not based on invoicing.
The universal postal services do not include, for example, contractual services used by companies and online stores. Such services include, for example, letters or parcels sent by companies which they pay based on invoicing.
There must be postal services available to all that are affordable and provided under reasonable and equal terms.
Under the Postal Act, Posti Ltd. must set affordable prices for the postal services falling within the scope of universal services. The prices must be cost-oriented and equal to all irrespective of their place of residence, as well as encourage the efficient provision of universal services. This applies to the services which Posti Ltd. must provide as obliged by FICORA.
The obligations related to pricing mainly apply to letters and parcels sent from Finland that are paid with stamps, in cash or by payment cards.
FICORA prepares an annual report on the financial monitoring of Posti Ltd.
Quality requirements for universal services
Postal services falling within the scope of universal services must be of good quality and available to all. The quality requirements for universal services include:
• the delivery of items of correspondence falling within the scope of a universal service mainly on five weekdays each week;
• requirements for the speed of delivering items of correspondence;
• requirements for the location of service points.
Exceptions to the five-day delivery frequency are allowed, for example, if a household is located in difficult terrain in an archipelago. The number of households subject to the deviation may not exceed 300. The five-day delivery frequency does not apply to letters sent by businesses that are not paid with stamps or other forms of cash payment.
Read more about the fulfilment of the quality requirements for universal services in <Postal statistics>.
A postal undertaking is also responsible for the confidentiality of the postal items and any damage. Further information is available in <Rights of postal service customers>.
Speed of letter delivery
Of domestic 2nd class items of correspondence, at least
• 95% must arrive on the second working day;
• 98% must arrive no later than on the third working day.
Of domestic 1st class items of correspondence, at least
• 80% must arrive no later than on the following working day.
FICORA monitors the delivery speed based on independent studies provided by Posti Ltd. Read more about the speed of letter deliveries in <Postal statistics>.
Location and quality of postal service points
Posti Ltd. is obliged to maintain service points at which services falling within the scope of universal services are available. There must be at least one service point in each municipality.
The service points must be located so that the users of the universal service can visit a service point within a reasonable distance of their permanent residence. The distance is considered reasonable if it corresponds to usual distances to other services.
FICORA assesses regularly whether Posti Ltd.'s service point network fulfils the requirements laid down in the Postal Act and decree on service points. Read more about the network of service points in <Postal statistics>.
Government Decree on the Location of Postal Service Points (in Finnish)
Right to use one's own language
Everyone has the right to use postal services in their native language, in Finnish or in Swedish, in a similar manner as when dealing with authorities. In bilingual municipalities, Swedish-speaking customers must have access to postal services in their mother tongue. The needs of the Sámi-speaking population must also be catered for.
FICORA has designated Posti Ltd. as a universal service provider
FICORA designates a postal undertaking to provide postal services falling within the scope of universal services, if necessary. The selection of universal service providers is described in more detail in <Steering and supervision of postal operations>.
The availability of universal services has been guaranteed by market conditions only in part and therefore FICORA has designated Posti Ltd. as a universal service provider. FICORA has obliged Posti Ltd. to provide postal services concerning items of correspondence falling within the scope of universal services and postal services concerning parcels sent from Finland to other countries throughout Finland, except Åland. Posti Ltd. is currently the only postal undertaking in Finland which FICORA has obliged to provide universal services.
FICORA's decisions on universal services are available in Universal service decisions on postal services
For further information on the availability of postal services, please consult
FICORA's Monitori service or service providers.
The regulation on universal postal services is based on the European Union legislation. Åland has its own postal legislation.