bpost is convinced that the proposed price increase is legally and economically justified. The proposed price increase for postage stamps is reasonable, in light of, among other things, inflation and the further expected fall in mail volumes. This price increase also remains, as in previous years, far below the maximum increase permitted by the legal price cap formula used to assess affordability. The tariffs in Belgium and the proposed price increase are also below the European average (see table). Furthermore, the price of stamps has increased more slowly in Belgium than in other European countries over the past decade.
The BIPT observes that the stamp tariffs are affordable and are therefore compatible with the price cap principle as well as the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and uniformity. However, the regulator is of the opinion that the price increase is not in line with the cost orientation principle. In this decision the regulator has abruptly and for the first time defined the cost orientation principle, however without conducting a thorough impact analysis.
bpost regrets this decision and is of the opinion that it is contrary to Belgian and European Union law. Furthermore, the decision-making process is clearly not in line with the European "better regulation" directives. The company is therefore examining this decision in detail and will take all possible legal steps to fight it.
Although the stamp tariff increase was rejected, bpost increased its tariffs for other domestic postal products on 1 January 2017. As a result, tariffs across all domestic mail products rose by around 1.5% on average for 2017.
For more information:
Baudouin de Hepcée (journalists and investors): + 32 (0)476 49 69 58
Barbara Van Speybroeck (journalists only): +32 (0)476 51 79 29
Saskia Dheedene (investors only): +32 (0)2 276 76 43