According to Article 32 of the Postal Services Act providers of interchangeable postal services may access the network of the universal postal service provider.
The universal service provider (Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o.) is obligated at the request of a provider of interchangeable postal services to conclude an agreement on access to the network with them detailing the manner and conditions for access to the postal network, price of access (which must be cost-based), method of charging and payment, and other issues related to the access.
Based on the general terms and conditions for providing postal services and service prices the universal service provider must publish transparent and non-discriminatory terms and conditions for providing access, along with the price and the manner of access.
Access to the postal infrastructure
In effect network access means that the provider of interchangeable services delivers their sorted mail to the access point, and, with regard to this access point (regional post office or delivery post office) and the level at which mail is sorted (to the delivery post office or the delivery district), receives a certain discount.
Infrastructure access points are:
- 8 regional reception post offices: 1102 Ljubljana, 2102 Maribor, 3102 Celje, 4101 Kranj, 5102 Nova Gorica, 6104 Koper, 8101 Novo mesto, 9101 Murska Sobota, and
- all delivery post offices.
With access to infrastructure the access levels are additionally defined:
- mail for recipients at all post offices in Slovenia, sorted by the level of delivery post office, and
- letter mail for recipients at all post offices in Slovenia, sorted by the level of delivery district (in the scope of the level of delivery post office, submitted at the regional post office or delivery post office where the provider submits letter mail).
The universal service provider currently allows access for the following services: standard letter mail, postal cards, regular letters, printed materials in domestic and international traffic up to 2 kg, registered mail, insured letters, regular parcels up to 10 kg, and parcels up to 10 kg in domestic postal traffic.
Price for access
The price for access to the postal network of Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o., is calculated by assigning a cost value to the sum of activities that the provider of interchangeable services conducts (delivers sorted mail to the access point, i.e. completes a part of activities), and subtracted for the current retail price. Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o., must therefore subtract from the valid retail prices the calculated share of activities that it avoids in the percentage set by the Agency.
The Agency has issued two decisions:
- Decision on access to the postal network of Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o., for mail above 50 g,
- Decision on price changes in the General terms and conditions for access to the postal network of Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o., for mail up to 50 g.
General terms and conditions for access
When setting the prices and conditions for access the universal postal service provider may not discriminate between different providers of interchangeable postal services.
The general terms and conditions for access are published on the website of Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o.
The Agency's measures for fulfilling the obligation of access for providers of interchangeable postal services must be transparent, proportionate, and non-discriminatory.
The Postal directive
By adopting the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council 2008/6/ES (i.e. the Postal directive) the European Union plans for two options for access. The Postal directive allows for member states to put access to infrastructure or service into law as an obligation for the universal service provider, with regard to their market and with the aim of developing competition and/or user protection. This allows for two types of access:
- access to the postal infrastructure (network), and
- access to the elements of the postal infrastructure or services.
Elements of the postal network and services are listed in the Postal directive. These include the system of post codes, databases with addresses, mailboxes, post boxes for mail delivery, information on address changes, services of mail routing and return to sender.
The Postal directive also details that when universal service providers use special rates (for example for services for companies, for mass mailers or for those combining mail from different users), they must adhere to the principle of transparency and non-discrimination both with regard to the fees as with regard to the related terms and conditions. Fees and the related terms and conditions are used equally for different third parties, as well as between third parties and the universal service providers who provide equivalent services. Such fees are also available to users, especially individual users and small and medium businesses that send mail under similar conditions.