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    Bpost to return to priority mail system

    The federal government has given the go-ahead to postal company, bpost, to once again make a distinction between priority and non-priority post. Customers will be able to choose whether they want their mail delivered the next day or in three days. Those who want next-day delivery will have to pay more.

    The federal government approved on Friday the extension of Bpost’s universal service obligation until 31 December 2023, according to the Minister of Post Alexander De Croo. It also stipulates that the postal company must distribute the mail five times a week throughout Belgium.

    “According to a consumer study carried out by the postal and telecom regulator BIPT, consumers are open to a slower standard service on condition that the priority postal service continues to exist for, for example, deaths, births, births or urgent administrative mail,” says De Croo.

    Bpost had previously said that the differentiated offer regarding mail delivery would start in 2019.

    The new management contract also provides for a procedure to control the net cost to the State in the event of a sharp fall in the volume of mail. If the cost of the universal service exceeds a certain ceiling, the postal operator can call on the federal government to make up the shortfall. 

    “The moment bpost turns to the state, the government may go along with the request, or it may review the procedures,” says a spokesperson for Minister De Croo. “This is to protect the state treasury.”

    Arthur Rubinstein
    The Brussels Times