Postal service

All postal service providers are subject to the postal legislation, whether they provide universal or non-universal postal services. “Postal services” are services involving the clearance, sorting, transport and distribution of postal items.

Not all four phases of the postal process need necessarily be executed cumulatively for a service to be considered as a postal service.

Sprinter services for instance, that exist in the clearance, transport and immediate delivery of a postal parcel without sorting are also considered to be a postal service.

Postal item

A “postal item” is an addressed item in its final form, processed by the postal service provider and weighing less than 31.5 kg. Above this weight, the parcel is too heavy to be handled by a single average individual, without mechanical support. The delivery of parcels above that weight is a matter of logistic services and not of delivery of postal items.

Letter post, books, catalogues, newspapers, periodicals and postal parcels containing goods with or without commercial value are also considered to be “postal items” provided they are addressed.

Consequently non-addressed items do not constitute postal items. Companies delivering unaddressed publicity for instance are consequently not subject to the postal regulation.

Postal address

A “postal address” is the set of data allowing the postal service provider to determine the place of delivery and containing at least:

  • For all items addressed to a destination located in Belgium, except for those addressed to a post office box:
    • one line containing the street name, including the type of thoroughfare and the thoroughfare name, provided that they exist, the building number and the box number, preceded by “box”, “boîte”, “bte” or “bus”, for buildings with more than one letterbox; and
    • one line containing the postcode, made up of 4 digits followed by the name of the municipality.
  • For items addressed to a post office box in Belgium:
    • one line mentioning “post office box” followed by the box number; and
    • one line containing the postcode, made up of 4 digits followed by the name of the municipality and the name of the office where the post office box is located.

Items addressed to a foreign destination must mention on the last line the name of the foreign country written in full.

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