Cross-border parcel delivery Regulation rejected by the European Parliament

Thursday 13 July 2017

On 11 July 2017, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament rejected the Cross-border parcel delivery Regulation proposal. The EPP in the transport committee voted down the compromise proposals put forward by the Socialists and Democrats that aimed at addressing a number of obstacles to cross-border parcel deliveries.

Despite the lobbying efforts of UNI Europa Post & Logistics affiliates (UNI Europa position February 2017UNI Europa position June 2017), the proposed and supported Compromise Amendments were rejected at the level of the transport committee. As the area of parcel delivery holds a tremendous potential for further growth in the sector, postal unions vehemently supported and demanded that the European legislators establish a level-playing field in terms of competition and access to the cross-border parcels market segments.

High costs and lack of transparency are reported as a key obstacle to the further development of this sector by online consumers and small businesses when it comes to cross-border delivery of items bought and sold online. The key points of the rejected proposal included the installation of requirements for all delivery companies active in cross-border parcel delivery to report the prices of a range of cross-border parcel services to enable national authorities to identify fares deemed unreasonably high; an annual assessment report on parcel tariffs to the Commission and national authorities and a dedicated Commission website to ensure transparency in the parcel sector as a whole to provide consumers and small businesses with more information on available options.

The postal unions wanted to achieve a level-playing field when it comes to reporting by all competitors in the market including rogue players or SMEs. We recommended the adoption of a large scope of reporting obligations covering the business and labour models of all market players to avoid instances of social dumping or unfair competition through the use of precarious or atypical forms of employment and subcontracted activities. UNI Europa Post & Logistics affiliates lobbied in order to obtain reporting obligations for all market players and not just the incumbent postal operators.

The rejected proposals by the EPP were drafted by S&D Rapporteur Lucy Anderson, MEP. UNI Europa Post & Logistics supported these drafts, which were in the interests of postal and logistics workers, European consumers and small businesses alike. The same papers sketched out a specific monitoring role for the dedicated postal sector Social Dialogue Committee. Biljana Borzan, S&D MEP and responsible for online deliveries in the internal market committee had harnessed broad support in the internal market committee for the proposal.

UNI Europa Post & Logistics expresses its disappointment from the lack of support on behalf of the EPP and reiterates its continued support to the S&D appointed Rapporteurs. We will pursue our lobbying efforts on this important piece of legislation for the sector.

Following the rejection of the proposal by the parliamentary Committee, the originating institution, i.e. the Commission will be asked to withdraw the draft legislative act. If the Commission withdraws the proposal, the procedure is declared closed. If the Commission does not withdraw the draft legislative act, the Parliament can either announce the first reading of Parliament as concluded, or on a proposal of the Chair or rapporteur of the committee responsible, Parliament can decide to refer the matter back to the committee responsible for reconsideration. UNI Europa Post & Logistics wishes that the European Parliament, should the Commission not withdraw the act, decides to refer the matter back to the Transport Committee for reconsideration with the full association of the Employment and Social Affairs and Internal Market Committees.

The next meeting of the TRAN Committee and the Group of coordinators is scheduled in September 2017. UNI Europa Post & Logistics will keep you informed of the procedural developments on this legislative file in due course.

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