ANACOM imposes fine of EUR 400 000 on CTT for breach of universal postal service obligations

ANACOM has decided to impose a fine of EUR 398 750 on CTT - Correios de Portugal (CTT) for breaching various obligations to which it is subject as a provider of the universal postal service, as set out in Law No 17/2012 of 26 April (Postal Law).

This concerns non-compliance with the appropriate quality standards that should be ensured in the provision of the universal service, in particular the violation of postal network density targets and minimum service offers set by ANACOM’s determination of 28.08.2014

It also concerns the submission to ANACOM of information that was found to be unreliable regarding compliance with the postal network density targets and the minimum service offers for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2016 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2017.

There were also situations where CTT did not provide up-to-date information at its post offices, on quality of service indicators (QSIs) and prices applicable.

There have also been situations where the company has breached both the obligation to deliver postal items included in the universal postal service to the home and the obligation to protect the personal data and privacy of senders and addressees, by delivering such postal items to unauthorised third parties, making no attempt to hand deliver them to the recipients’ homes when they were actually there, opting to leave collection notices and also abandoning various postal items on the public highway.

Failure to comply with the statutory network density targets and minimum service offers has jeopardised access to the postal service for all citizens, and the provision of incorrect information to the regulator seriously jeopardises the performance of ANACOM’s duties.

On the other hand, failure to provide postal operators with up-to-date information on QSIs and applicable prices may have jeopardised access to the universal postal service by preventing users from purchasing services in this area in an informed manner, aware of the cost of the service they wish to receive and of its quality.

The delivery of postal items to unauthorised third parties, as opposed to their delivery to the addressee’s home, as well as the abandonment of postal items on public roads, not only jeopardises the security, privacy and integrity of the correspondence itself, but also makes it possible to disclose personal data and the private life of the sender and the addressee to third parties.

On the other hand, sending notices to collect registered items without attempting to deliver them by hand at home unnecessarily forces recipients to make a trip to a post office, wasting time and resources.

The deadline for CTT to appeal ANACOM’s decision has not yet passed.