Stronger supervision for parcel delivery services

The plenary session of the European Parliament has now formally approved the agreement on the new regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services

All that is now missing is the Councils approval before the regulation can finally enter into force. However, the Councils agreement – with the trialogue agreement already existing – is almost certain.

The Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services lays down basic information obligations that all parcel delivery services – of a certain size and above – have to fulfill vis-à-vis their national regulatory authorities. This includes information on the services provided, their prices, annual revenues generated and the number of employees. Parcel delivery services delivering across borders must furthermore notify the authorities of their tariffs for certain domestic and cross-border delivery formats. The regulatory authorities will then be required to assess the cross-border tariffs of certain delivery formats in order to identify "unreasonably high" tariffs. The tariffs as well as non-confidential version of the assessments will be published by the Commission. The Regulation aims to strengthen supervision and competition in cross-border parcel delivery, thus promoting consumer access and online commerce, making tariffs more transparent and reducing "unjustifiable tariff differences".

From a cep's point of view, the more precise information requirements to be met by parcel delivery services allow a better analysis of the competitive situation for the regulatory authorities. This is meaningful for regulatory authorities in order to be able to monitor the development of the markets better after the break-up of former monopoly structures. However, the obligation of national regulatory authorities to identify "unreasonably high" tariffs of the parcel delivery services in order to exert pressure on them – for example through the publication of corresponding assessments – is, in cep's point of view, out of line with the principles of competition economics. Where competition is not functioning properly, an interference on the basis of competition law after a proper analysis in line with the principles of competition economics – and only where unassailable market dominance exists – would be appropriate.

This cepPolicyBrief provides more detailed information on cep's assessment regarding the Commission's draft.