Concepts of 'postal service' and 'postal item'

Postal service

All postal service providers are subject to the postal legislation, whether they provide universal or non-universal postal services. “Postal services” are services involving the clearance, sorting, transport and distribution of postal items.

Not all four phases of the postal process need necessarily be executed cumulatively for a service to be considered as a postal service.

Sprinter services for instance, that exist in the clearance, transport and immediate delivery of a postal parcel without sorting are also considered to be a postal service.

Postal item

A “postal item” is an addressed item in its final form, processed by the postal service provider and weighing less than 31.5 kg. Above this weight, the parcel is too heavy to be handled by a single average individual, without mechanical support. The delivery of parcels above that weight is a matter of logistic services and not of delivery of postal items.

Letter post, books, catalogues, newspapers, periodicals and postal parcels containing goods with or without commercial value are also considered to be “postal items” provided they are addressed.

Consequently non-addressed items do not constitute postal items. Companies delivering unaddressed publicity for instance are consequently not subject to the postal regulation.

An “address” is the whole of data allowing the postal service provider to determine the place of delivery and comprising at least the house number, the street name and the name of the municipality or another mention or information accepted by the postal service provider of information allowing the latter to unmistakably determine the house number, street name and name of the municipality.