HL Deb 05 March 2001 vol 623 c14WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the differential pricing introduced by the Post Office for the first class inland rate (27 pence) compared to the cost of 36 pence to send a letter or postcard of up to 20 grams to the rest of Europe (including the Republic of Ireland) accords with the provisions of the Single European Market. [HL827]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

The European Postal Services Directive 97/67/EC requires the Post Office to gear its postage rates to the cost of providing the service. The Post Office has therefore geared the tariffs to the true cost of providing them, whether within the UK or to the rest of Europe. The major part of the costs of cross-border mail is the delivery costs of the post office of the destination country, which are reimbursed by most major European post offices through an agreement made between them known as REIMS II. There is no European Union requirement for a uniform tariff throughout Europe.