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Minister calls for legal parcel boxes to reduce unsuccessful deliveries

05:40 24/02/2022

The Belgian minister responsible for the postal service, Petra De Sutter, wants to encourage the placement of parcel boxes with the aim of reducing the number of unsuccessful deliveries and the environmental cost of e-commerce, it was reported on Wednesday.

The postal services regulator BIPT’s recommendations for making the installation of parcel boxes on people’s homes legal will go before a public consultation. Increasingly more individuals are installing the boxes on their homes illegally. According to De Sutter, last year there were 5,000 such boxes.

A royal decree changing the status of these boxes is needed before they can become part of the recognised postal service structure.

About 10% of parcels return to the depot with the delivery person because the recipient is not at home. "And with the upcoming return of widespread face-to-face work and the growing success of e-commerce, we can logically expect an increase in the number of undelivered parcels," explains Petra De Sutter. "It is therefore 'desirable to encourage consumers who are used to ordering online to invest and make use of a parcel box,'" the public consultation document reads.

The royal decree sets standards to ensure that these boxes are large enough to allow the delivery of standard parcels (minimum 33 cm x 21 cm x 12 cm) and placed so that they can be easily accessible to distributors. The parcel box must "be visible without any particular search." If it does not also serve as a mailbox, it must be placed between the public road and the main access to the building. If it does both, it will have to be placed at the edge of the public road.

Written by Nick Amies