The price of a normal postage stamp will go up on 1 January to 95 cents, an increase of 9.5%. The old priority stamp is reintroduced, at a cost of one euro per stamp.
The increase was proposed by Bpost, and has now been approved by the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications, the official regulator.
The priority stamps are being relaunched, and will now carry a barcode allowing them to be automatically separated in sorting centres. The stamp guarantees delivery on the next working day. Non-priority post costs less at 95c, but only guarantees delivery within three working days.
Both classes of stamps bought in sheets of ten will cost three centres less each. When it was scrapped in 2007, the priority stamp cost 52 cents – meaning the price has gone up by 92.3% in a decade. It has been reintroduced to offer a faster – and more expensive – option to customers. The slower option does not, however, come down in price. In fact it goes up too, though there is still a differential.
Bpost says it is reacting to the fact that customers these days have various other methods of sending communications than only the post. However according to a survey carried out by the company, 94% of individual clients and 92% of professional clients said they were in favour of a two-tier system, providing the option of next-day delivery was maintained.
The prices mentioned are for mail sent within Belgium. The price of a stamp for other countries in Europe goes up from €1.36 to €1.46. Mail destined for countries outside of Europe will cost €1.68, also an increase of ten cents.