Obligations applying to all postal services providers

All postal service providers, whether or not they provide services within the framework of the universal services and whether or not they are subject to a licence, have to meet at least the following obligations:

1° respecting the essential requirements being general non-economic reasons which can induce a State to impose conditions on the provision of postal services, for instance the confidentiality of correspondence, security of the network, respect for the terms and conditions of employment, social security schemes etc.;

2° implementing a transparent, simple and inexpensive internal procedure for a fair and swift handling of the users’ complaints;

3° informing the users of postal services through the website and on all commercial contracts on the procedure to lodge an appeal and of the handling of complaints addressed to their services, as well as the possibility to lodge an appeal before the Office of the Ombudsman for the Postal Sector. In order to ensure an effective handling of the complaints submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman, the providers must, after at least 12 admissible complaints, conclude during the same year with the Office of the Ombudsman a protocol determining the complaint handling procedures;

4° informing all members of staff and in particular the members of staff of commercial services, customer relationships and information services, of the possibilities of appeal for users at the provider and the Office of the Ombudsman;

5° providing, at the user's request, the contact information of the Office of the Ombudsman;

6° make it possible to identify persons in charge of the distribution of addressed postal items and make sure that, except for newspapers, postal items bear a mark of recognition to determine the postal service provider which initially handled the item;

7° respecting the ban to transport or deliver items carrying external elements clearly contrary to common decency or public order knowingly;

8° respecting the conditions established by the King, by means of a decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers, concerning in particular:

a) the handling and delivery of postal items;

b) the undeliverable items;

c) the usage and sale of stamps and other instruments showing a liability for the provision of a postal service; and

d) the postal items that are not permitted for postal transport.

In addition attention needs to be drawn to the specific rules regarding items and substances that may not be transported. The following items are not permitted for transport:

  • items that are subject to the Penal Code or penal provisions;
  • objects, the nature or wrapping of which may pose a threat to people or objects that may cause pollution or damage;
  • weapons, including daggers, dagger knives and clubs.

 The following objects may not be included in postal items:

  • narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
  • explosive, flammable or radioactive and other dangerous substances. A number of these substances may however be transported if the transporter holds a specific licence from the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control. In addition particular provisions are laid down by the FPS Mobility.

Exceptionally the following animals are allowed in postal items, other than insured items:

  • bees, leeches and silkworms, sealed in boxes fabricated in such a manner that all threats are excluded;
  • the transport of parasites, insects and such between officially acknowledged institutions is subject to specific rules.

All postal service providers are liable for the compliance with these obligations by their subcontractors or the persons acting on their behalf.

The contact details of the person duly authorized to represent the postal service provider in its relationship with the Office of the Ombudsman must be transmitted to BIPT and the Office of the Ombudsman.