Dutch competition law
The services PostNL provides in the Netherlands, including the USO, fall within the scope of the Dutch Competition Act and are monitored by the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). This Act stipulates a similar structure and set of rules as the rules of EU competition law on the prohibition of cartels, the prohibition of abuse of a dominant position and the preventive control on mergers and acquisitions.
European competition law
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has explicitly confirmed that the rules of EU competition law also apply to the national USO of Member States. PostNL is subject to the competition rules contained in articles 101 and 102 of the EU Treaty and to preventive control on mergers and acquisitions as regulated in the EC Merger Control Regulation. PostNL is also subject to the competition rules laid down in the Agreement of the European Economic Area (EEA), which corresponds to the rules of EU competition law. The EEA rules for competition are enforced by the European Commission and the EFTA Surveillance Authority.
Value added tax on postal services
According to the European VAT Directive, PostNL is not allowed to charge VAT on postal items that are part of the Universal Service Obligation. Consequently PostNL cannot deduct VAT amounts paid to purchased services and goods related to the Universal Postal Service. For all other postal services PostNL is required to charge VAT, similar to our competitors.
European and Dutch Data Protection Law
PostNL is subject to the Dutch Data Protection Act 2001 and the new General Data Protection Regulation that enters into force as of 25 May 2018. PostNL has appointed a Chief Privacy Officer and has a Cyber Security and Privacy Office that monitors compliance with data protection legislation and the implementation of the PostNL Privacy Principles. The regulators responsible for compliance with the data protection legislation are the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) and the ACM.