Postal licence for the universal letter post

The natural or legal persons wishing to provide a service of letter post – registered or not – (up to 2 kg) falling within the universal service scope, need to obtain a licence from BIPT.

“Letter post” is a communication in written form on any kind of physical medium to be conveyed and delivered at the address indicated by the sender on the item itself or on its wrapping. Books, catalogues, newspapers and periodicals shall not be regarded as letter post.

A letter may be registered or not and may contain a personal or commercial message. Registered items and direct mail are also subject to licence.

A registered item is a postal item guaranteed on a flat-rate basis against risks of loss, theft or damage. The sender may, at his request, receive proof of the handing in of the postal item or of its delivery to the addressee.

For an item to be acknowledged as a “registered item” in legal and administrative procedures, it has to meet the following requirements:

  • proof of handing in (date);
  • proof of delivery to the addressee;
  • verification of the addressee’s identity;
  • guarantee on a flat-rate basis.

Direct mail is defined as “a communication consisting solely of advertising, marketing or publicity material and comprising an identical message, except for the addressee’s name, address and identifying number as well as other variables which do not alter the nature of the message, which is sent to a significant number of addressees, to be conveyed and delivered at the address indicated by the sender on the item itself or on its wrapping”. 

The licence request must be submitted for both the services provided solely on national level and the handling of incoming cross-border letter post. bpost, the current universal service provider, has obtained an individual licence according to the Act of 26 January 2018. It will have to request the renewal of its licence before 31 December 2018.