Postal Communications

The postal sector is characterised by changes related to digitisation, which have accelerated in recent years. Sending of traditional letters has decreased gradually yet significantly. The forwarding of postal items is accelerating due to the growth in e-commerce volumes.

Only two companies – AS Eesti Post and Express Post AS – offer domestic forwarding of items of correspondence and home delivery of periodicals. AS Eesti Post collects and forwards items of correspondence all over Estonia and makes home deliveries of periodicals in rural areas. Express Post AS provides the service of collecting, sorting and delivering items of correspondence to business customers all over Estonia and makes home deliveries of periodicals in major towns: in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu and Viljandi. Universal postal service (UPS) is provided by AS Eesti Post.

Supervision over the provision of universal postal services is under the regulation of the Competition Authority. The prices of the UPS are determined by the minister responsible for the area based on the proposal of the authority. A so-called UPS fund has been created to compensate the unreasonably burdensome costs arising from the provision of the UPS. Contributions to the fund are made by AS Eesti Post and Express Post AS on services that in their nature are similar to UPS services (for example, business letters etc). The specific payment rates are established by a regulation of the Government of the Republic of Estonia.

In addition to the price of UPS, the tasks of the authority involve resolving consumer complaints and preparing an overview of the sector once a year.

The number of items of correspondence delivered by the universal postal service has decreased over the years, which means that users' need for the service is decreasing every year. Its use is affected by both electronic correspondence and the emergence of alternative channels and services in the postal services market.

Pursuant to the Postal Act, charges for UPS must be affordable. The affordable UPS price is established by the minister responsible for the area at the proposal of the Competition Authority.

The currently valid rates of affordable charges have been established under the regulation that entered into force on 20 May 2020. The regulation set quality standards for domestic forwarding of letters. Faster forwarding, ie if the sender chooses forwarding that takes one working day (priority letters), the domestic forwarding of a simple letter weighing up to 250 g costs 1.50 euros. If speed is not decisive for the sender and they choose delivery within three working days (regular letters), domestic forwarding of an ordinary letter weighing up to 250 g costs 0.90 euros.