Navigation and Content

New postal law creates clarity and ensures the continuation of nationwide postal services - but also reveals weaknesses

07/05/2024, 02:00 PM CEST

The Federal Council of Germany passes the overdue revision of the Postal Act (PostModG), thereby establishing the framework for the future provision of postal services.

Letter carrier in front of the Reichstag in Berlin
The legislative modernization addresses the need to adapt to structural changes of the universal postal service.
  • The Federal Council of Germany passes overdue revision of the Postal Act (PostModG)
  • DHL CEO Tobias Meyer: "The approval of the revised Postal Act provides much-needed clarity for our employees, customers, and investors regarding the future of postal services in Germany. The legislation has clear flaws, however." 
  • More lenient transit time requirements for mail delivery will curb cost increases - but proliferating bureaucracy and a unilateral promotion of competition are viewed critically.

Bonn, Berlin - Deutsche Post acknowledges the Bundesrat's, Germany's Federal Council, long-awaited approval of the revised Postal Act today. This legislation establishes the framework for the future provision of postal services. Following Bundestag approval last month, the act is expected to enter in force in July. It will replace both the former Postal Act (Postgesetz) and the Universal Postal Services Ordinance (Post-Universaldienstleistungsverordnung) from 1998, providing a new legal foundation for nationwide mail and parcel services in Germany - also known as universal postal service. This legislative modernization is long overdue and addresses the need to adapt to structural changes, including the decline in letter mail and the corresponding growth in parcel shipping, ensuring the continued universal postal service provision by Deutsche Post.

Deutsche Post also specifically criticizes the new instruments provided in the law for artificially stimulating competition in a downward-trending mail market, such as the consistency requirement for fees, the elimination of surplus revenue for infractions of fee regulation provisions, and network access for merchandise shipments and press products. By promoting competition in the letter mail sector, legislators have adopted special measures that have proven to be abject failures in other EU countries. Comparable steps in other countries have led to higher prices and lower quality. Equally incomprehensible is the proliferation of bureaucracy in the new Postal Act such as new reporting requirements. 

Changes to letter mail
Starting next year, the new Postal Act will also impact letter mail delivery times. Approximately 95% of letters will now reach recipients within three business days of posting instead of the current two days. Looking toward the future, customers can choose their desired delivery timeframe, with a projected launch date of 2025. 

Changes to parcels
According to the new postal law, parcels that weigh more than 10 kilograms or more than 20 kilograms must be labeled as such. The labeling must be clearly visible, easy to understand, and draw attention to the higher weight. 

Impact on the retail outlet network
The new law also requires the company to continue to operate 12,000 post offices across Germany. To that extent, it ensures that the nation's customers will continue to have access to local brick-and-mortar options. The company is not restricted to universal service branches but may also operate automated postal stations. This modernization course is good news for Deutsche Post customers since automated stations are usually universally accessible and highly popular. It is becoming increasingly difficult in some areas to find suitable shops or retailers to operate retail outlets. As always, Deutsche Post will ensure that every community has the legally required postal services it needs.

Hans-Christian Mennenga

Hans-Christian Mennenga

Post & Parcel Germany

DHL Group
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 20
53113 Bonn