Provision of postal services and development of postal markets

Universal postal services, i.e. moderately priced basic letter and parcel services, are available throughout Finland. The universal services are guaranteed by the Postal Act and FICORA monitors compliance with the Act. The Postal Act mainly regulates postal operations concerning items of correspondence which must be notified to FICORA. FICORA monitors the postal markets and the development of competition within the markets. FICORA also processes any customer complaints relating to postal operations.

FICORA monitors compliance with the Postal Act and sees to the availability of the universal postal services, i.e. basic letter and parcel services, by designating at least one company providing letter and parcel services, if necessary.

FICORA monitors the development of postal markets

FICORA monitors the development of postal markets in Finland. The postal item types subject to monitoring are:

• letters,
• newspapers and periodicals,
• unaddressed mail, and
• parcels.

Postal operations have been changing drastically since the early 2000s as a result of digitalisation of communication and changes in time use. Moreover, the economic recession that has lasted for several years has affected people's choices and consumption habits in relation to postal services.

As electronic solutions become more and more versatile, they widely replace traditional written post. The volume of letter post continues to decrease at an increasing rate as companies and organisations start using electronic services. The delivery volumes of newspapers and periodicals have also decreased further as they publish more and more content online.

Out of the different product types of postal deliveries, advertisements and parcel deliveries have maintained their position the best. The delivery volumes of parcels are expected to continue their growth along with the increasing popularity of online shopping. Growth in online shopping and its new forms contribute to the constant development of the service network and creation of new service concepts.

Read more about the postal markets in the postal delivery services survey published by FICORA at Postal Delivery Services Survey.

Postal operations require notification

Operators providing postal services that concern items of correspondence must submit a notification to FICORA. A notification on postal operations must be made before commencing operations. Such postal operations are subject to an annual supervisory fee.

Posti Ltd. is a universal service provider

FICORA has designated Posti Ltd. as a universal service provider in the market for items of correspondence in Finland excluding Åland. Less than 10 per cent of letters sent in Finland are such items of correspondence falling within the scope of a universal service referred to in the Act.

FICORA has designated Posti Ltd. as a universal service provider also for parcels sent from Finland to other countries. There is no designation for parcel services inside Finland or for parcels arriving in Finland. In the Finnish market for parcels, several service providers offer various services to consumers and businesses. The parcel services aimed at businesses involves the most competition. Only a few per cent of parcels sent in Finland are such postal packages falling within the scope of a universal service referred to in the Act.

The universal postal service is described in more detail in <Right to postal services> and <Steering and supervision / Post>.

Legislation on postal operations

The Postal Act monitored by FICORA applies to the provision of universal postal services and general provision of postal services concerning items of correspondence. Postal service means the regular collection, sorting, transport and delivery of items of correspondence and of postal packages falling within the scope of a universal service from senders to addressees for a fee. Post may also be sent or received by some other postal undertaking.

However, the Postal Act does not apply to the provision of services concerning

• newspapers and periodicals;
• unaddressed items (such as unaddressed direct marketing);
• items of correspondence where the operation is on a small scale, of minor importance economically and of such an extent that it is not of material importance for the availability of a universal service;
• courier delivery of items of correspondence;
• postal operations required by or related to the operations of an entrepreneur;
• electronic services, such as Posti Ltd.'s Netposti service.

The Postal Act only applies to a minority of parcel services. The Postal Act applies to services concerning parcels only if the services are provided by a universal service provider designated by FICORA and paid for in cash. Posti Ltd. is currently the only operator providing such parcel services. FICORA does not monitor any other parcel services.

International postal operations are also subject to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Convention. Åland has its own postal legislation.

Key words: Post , Competition , Delivery , Letter , Markets , Parcel

Updated 30.06.2016

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