Universal postal services refer to services that are equally accessible for all users nationwide, and also include deliveries made on a daily basis. Such services include the receipt, processing, forwarding and delivery of letters, official documents, publications, direct marketing materials weighing less than 2 kg, as well as of packages below 20 kg. For universal postal services, acceptance and delivery is only documented for parcels, and – subject to a surcharge – for registered mail with return receipt or declaration of value.
The role of the Authority was expanded significantly in the wake of the postal market liberalisation in 2013: changes in legislation paved the way for new postal market participants, and their licensing was also changed. This liberalisation also brought in additional players on the parcel market: The first “licensed postal service provider” – CityMail Hungary Kft. – received its service license in 2015, and is now entitled to accept, forward and deliver consignments below 2 kg.
So, what services do most providers offer? Other services subject to notification are aimed at meeting individual needs. For instance, couriers are available for domestic services with guaranteed delivery within 24 hours. In this case, the parcel remains with the courier until delivered in person. Express postal services are also guaranteed-delivery domestic or international postal services, where the provider attempts next-business-day delivery for domestic packages, three-day delivery for recipients located within the EU, and five-day delivery for all other international destinations. EMS is another guaranteed-delivery express mail service, offering delivery notifications via text message or e-mail.
It must be noted that, in the case of late delivery of non-guaranteed parcels, the service provider may not be held liable for damages. Likewise, providers may not be held liable for damages if non-registered parcels posted within the framework of universal postal service are destroyed, lost or damaged, except when such disservice was intentional. However, in the event that guaranteed delivery parcels are delivered late, service providers are required to pay flat-rate damages, except when they can prove that such delay was caused by unavoidable factors outside their control.
Certain services available at post offices do not qualify as postal services: these include money transfers, postal money orders, pension transfers and other payment instruments. These are subject to separate payment regulations.
The NMHH publishes an up-to-date list of postal service providers and their respective services on its website (detailing not only postal but every other communication providers and services).