PostNL to increase stamp prices 8.7% from January

Postal rates in the Netherlands are set to rise from January 2012, with the basic domestic rate for letters increasing by four euro-cents (8.7%) to 50 euro-cents. Changes to rates include both domestic services and international services for mail sent from the Netherlands to other European countries. Basic rate for letters going to Europe rises by six euro-cents to 85 euro-cents.

Mail sent outside Europe will continue at the current 95 euro-cent price.

PostNL said prices for single item parcels will also remain at present levels from January.

In line with the rate rise for basic domestic letters, PostNL said it would be increasing its December stamps by four euro-cents for the 2012 festive season. These stamps, which are sold in sheets of 20, offering special lower-cost rates to encourage the sending of greeting cards, will be priced at 40 euro-cents per stamp when they are issued from late November 2012.

The Dutch postal regulator, the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA), confirmed today that the postal rate changes do fall within PostNL’s legal price cap for the universal service.

Announcing the price changes today, PostNL said in a statement that it was expecting the average household spend on stamps in the Netherlands, currently around EUR 30 a year, to rise by two euros.

PostNL cited Deutsche Post’s European letter survey, issued in April this year, as proof its postage rates are among the lowest in Europe. The study found that domestic letter stamp prices range from EUR 1.12 in Norway down to just 19 euro-cents in Malta, with many of the biggest EU markets seeing their domestic letters priced in the 50-60 euro-cent range.

Last June PostNL simplified its stamps to phase out the use of specific values, in favour of class designations like The Netherlands 1 and 2, Europe and World. If bought prior to the January price change, these stamps will continue to be sufficient for the class of service for which they were bought. Only older stamps bearing a specific value, such as €0.44, will need topping up.

PostNL processes about 8.8bn addressed postal items each year, including 100m parcels, delivering to more than 88m addresses in the Benelux region, Germany, the UK and Italy.

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