E-commerce has boosted postal imports of low-value consignments from Asia, particularly China, to Europe. This significant growth challenged postal operators and customs authorities in the single market. The WIK-Consult study entitled ‘International Postal Service, Remuneration and Regulation’ explores the development of international postal services in the EEA and assesses recent UPU reforms of the remuneration system including their impact on postal operators. The study examines import models for international e-commerce consignments along with the requirements and procedures concerning VAT, customs and security regulations. Furthermore, it discusses the import VAT reform and the reform of the security rules (ICS2) and how they will affect international postal and express services.
The assessment is based on extensive desk research and intensive stakeholder interaction. Online surveys and interviews were conducted among EEA designated operators, national regulatory authorities and ministries, and national customs authorities gathering input from practical and regulatory perspectives.
The study concludes that the provision granting designated operators the right to ‘self-declare’ terminal dues rates for the delivery of imported e-commerce goods will reduce the distortions under the current system. The reforms in customs and import VAT regulations are a step forward in the direction towards levelling the playing field between postal and express operators, as well as between EU and non-EU e-retailers.
The study is available for download.