Universal postal service

/ Updated on 06.02.2004

Governed by the principles of universality, equality, continuity and affordability, the provision of universal postal service encompasses mailed correspondence, books, catalogues, newspapers and other periodicals weighing up to 2 kg and postal packages weighing up to 20 kg, as well as registered and insured mail, both national and international.

The reserved services contained in universal postal service include: the service of mailed correspondence, including direct mailings, whether or not by accelerated distribution, national or international, whose price is less than five times the public tariff for mailed correspondence in the first weight scale for the fastest standard category, as long as it weighs less than 350g; the service of mailed registered correspondence and insured correspondence, national or international, including the services of postal citation and penal summons, within the aforementioned same price and weight limits; the emission and sale of stamps and other postal values, the emission of postal orders; and the public placement of post boxes and mail collection points.

The CTT ? Correios de Portugal have signed a concession contract with the State by which that company is obliged to provide universal postal service.

The regime governing the prices of universal service is subject to the Convention between ICP-ANACOM, the Directorate General of Trade and Competition (DGCC) and the CTT ? Correios de Portugal signed on 21 December 2000 and valid for the period between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2003. On 21 December 2001 an Addendum to the said Price Convention was signed, concerning the price regime for non-reserved services included in universal postal service. A second Addendum was negotiated over the course of 2002.

In the context of monitoring universal postal service, various measures were adopted by ICP-ANACOM in 2002: non-opposition to the entrance in force of the price regime for non-reserved services included in universal service to be in effect in 2003 and the respective proposal to sign the 2nd Addendum to the Convention; non-opposition to the price table for universal postal service to be in effect in 2003, proposed by the CTT ? Correios de Portugal; realisation of a study on the evolution of prices for priority mail (correio azul) and  non-priority mail (correio normal) services between 1989 and 2002, which indicate a reduction in real terms of the price basket for those services; approval of conclusions of the audit of the company?s cost accounting system for the year 2000, carried out by an independent body, as well as the declaration of conformity of the system and results obtained; promotion of an outside and independent audit  of the cost accounting system for the year 2001 ? approval of the respective conclusions and the declaration of conformity of the system and results obtained passed on to 2003.