This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Postal services in the EU
WHAT DOES THIS DIRECTIVE DO?
It sets out the rules that EU countries must implement to complete the EU's internal market for postal services.
Universal service obligation
EU countries must:
Each EU country must ensure that universal service provision meets the following requirements:
The directive prohibits national governments from granting or maintaining any exclusive or special rights to establish or provide postal services.
EU countries can set up authorisation procedures, including individual licences to ensure that postal services comply with the essential requirements (including confidentiality of correspondence and network security when transporting dangerous goods) and that universal service is provided.
Prices for each of the services comprising universal service must be:
Quality of service
Service standards for universal service must be set and published in order to guarantee a postal service of good quality. Standards focus on delivery times and on the regularity and reliability of services.
For services operating between EU countries, the directive requires that:
EU countries are required to take a number of measures including:
National regulatory authorities
In 2010, the European Regulators Group for Postal Services was established. It is composed of national regulatory authorities for postal services and provides advice and assistance to the Commission.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It entered into force on 27 February 2008. EU countries had to incorporate it into national legislation by 31 December 2010 and, in certain cases, by 31 December 2012.
Directive 2008/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 amending Directive 97/67/EC with regard to the full accomplishment of the internal market of Community postal services (OJ L 52, 27.2.2008, pp. 3–20)
Successive amendments to Directive 2008/6/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for documentary purpose only.
Commission Decision of 10 August 2010 establishing the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (OJ C 217, 11.8.2010, pp. 7–9)
last update 20.01.2016