Bulgaria's Parliament amended Friday the Postal Services Act to remove the monopoly of the state-owned company "Bulgarian Posts EAD".
Thus, as of January 1, 2011, the monopoly of Bulgarian Posts on small parcels – less than 50grams – is eliminated.
At the same time, the law assigns to the state company the universal postal services in the country for a period of 15 years based on the fact that Bulgarian Posts is the only entity in Bulgaria which has the infrastructure to provide these kinds of services. Their performance will be inspected and evaluated every 5 years.
Postal Services would remain the main operator for the entire country for the next 15 years and would be subsidized by the State budget when they incur "unjust financial burdens."
The initial plan was to open the market in the beginning of 2009, but on the concerns of the Posts that private competition would take over its most lucrative segments, it was postponed by 2 years.
Right now parcels under 50 grams form one fifth of the postal revenues.
The Posts say they are trying to introduce new services to make them more competitive such as international money transfers, sale of transportation fares, delivery of medications, opening postal counters in supermarkets, online retail and others.
The letters market in Bulgaria is estimated by the Commission for Communications Regulation at BNG 30 M.
The amendments provide for loyal competition and opportunities for other businesses wishing to provide letter mailing services without legal obstacles, the government's press release informs.
In addition to the Posts, there are now 4 other operators of mailing services in Bulgaria – "Tip Top Courier," "Ekont Express," "MIBM Express," and "Star Post."
The amendments were prompted by an EU directive, providing for the full liberalization of postal markets in Member States by the end of 2012.