As of today, Portugal has opened its postal market to full competition, a year and four months later than required by the European Union.
Law No. 17/2012 came into effect today, allowing private sector companies to provide postal services in competition to the universal service provider, CTT Correios de Portugal.
The regulations set a new legal framework in which CTT will continue to provide the universal service across the country until 2020, delivering postal correspondence, books, newspapers and periodicals up to 2kg in weight and parcels up to 10kg in weight.
The provision of direct mail will fall outside the scope of the universal service, CTT said.
As universal service provider, CTT will retain some benefits under liberalisation, including the rights to issue postage stamps bearing the word “Portugal”, and will remain sole providers of registered mail services for legal documents. It will also remain the responsible body for the siting of public mailboxes on the street.
CTT said it had temporary rules covering quality and pricing for the universal service as agreed with the regulator ANACOM in 2008.
Under the new framework, ANACOM will oversee the opening up of CTT’s last mile network for private companies to use to access addresses across the country.
In a statement, the company said; “CTT Correios de Portugal always directs its activity by a constant concern for innovation and excellence in the provision of quality postal services, contributing decisively to the sustainable provision of an effective universal postal service.”
“Although a large part of the company’s activity has to be provided in competitive markets, the current context only reinforces the commitment of CTT Correios de Portugal to continually improve its performance and respond effectively to the expectations of our customers.”