As a company limited by shares subject to a special statutory regime, Swiss Post is 100% owned by the Swiss Confederation and receives its mandate to provide a universal postal service from this same body. In addition to general legal provisions, Swiss Post is therefore also governed by various requirements specific to postal, sectoral and organizational law. These form the framework for Swiss Post’s organization, strategy and conduct.
The postal legislation, consisting of the Postal Services Act and the Postal Services Organization Act, provides the legal framework for the postal sector. The postal legislation defines the regulatory framework for competition on the postal market and the universal service using postal services and payment transaction services. The related directive governs the specific form of the universal service and the way in which it is supervised. The Postal Services Organization Act is a law enacted specifically for Swiss Post that forms the legal basis for the organization of the company.
Amendments to the Postal Services Ordinance
The changes in the Postal Services Ordinance lay the foundation for a modern universal service. Despite the more stringent requirements, Swiss Post will support the new provisions.
Further projects in postal legislation
The Federal Council has an obligation to periodically review the effectiveness of postal legislation and to clarify whether there is any need for legislative action. In a report prepared to this effect in January 2017, the Federal Council identified a need for adjustments in the following areas: supervision of the universal service in payment transactions, strengthening of consumer protection and facilitation of administrative assistance between the public authorities entrusted with implementing the Postal Services Act. Against this backdrop, the Federal Council instructed the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) on 10 October to draw up a consultation draft in order to proceed with the partial revision of the Postal Services Act.
On 5 September, the Federal Council held a discussion on the development of PostFinance. PostFinance is to be allowed to also provide mortgages and loans. In addition, the Federal Council is in favour of opening up the shareholder base. It has instructed DETEC to draw up a consultation draft on amendments to the Postal Services Organization Act.
According to the Federal Council, further adjustments to the Postal Services Ordinance are to be made at a later point in time. These will comprise setting price caps on the one hand and the implementation of initiatives to ensure home delivery for permanently inhabited areas on the other.