Reinventing the Postal Sector in an Electronic Age
Show Less

Reinventing the Postal Sector in an Electronic Age

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

This compilation of original essays by an international cast of economists, regulators and industry practitioners analyzes some of the major issues now facing postal and delivery services throughout the world as competition from information and communication technologies has increased.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 18: The Economics of Postal Payment Channels and EU Postal VAT

Tim Walsh


Tim Walsh† 1 INTRODUCTION For over thirty years the application of the European Union’s value-added tax (VAT) rules to the postal sector has been problematic. Since its formalization in 1977 the nature and scope of the postal VAT exemption has been a source of textual dispute, litigation and market uncertainty. Attempts to apply ill-defined and pre-existing VAT rules to the evolving market have been driven largely by judicial action, but the necessary degree of legal certainty and harmonization required to underpin a fully functioning EU-wide postal services market has not yet been achieved. The case for removing an incumbent’s VAT exemption is typically based on efficiency and competition grounds. National postal operators would henceforth face incentives to outsource services currently provided in-house and entrants would have equal treatment in respect of VAT particularly in relation to the estimated 50 percent of volumes emanating from VAT-exempt customers such as in the financial services, charity and government sectors. The evidence on the impact of VAT on postal services is, however, mixed. The IBFD (2004) concluded that competition would be least distorted ‘the narrower the scope of the exemption’. Dietl et al. (Chapter 19, this volume, p. 267), found that abolishing the incumbent’s VAT exemption ‘levels the playing field . . . it slightly decreases overall welfare’. This chapter reviews one aspect of the efficiency consequences of postal VAT for operators and their customers in the context of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) determination in the April 2009 case between TNT UK and the UK...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.