General conditions of sale applicable to La Poste Mail
and Parcel services.
- Article 1: Object of the general terms and conditions of sale
- Article 2: General provisions
- Article 3: La Poste’s undertakings
- Article 4: The customer’s undertakings
Postal item (hereinafter referred to as item or postal item):
Any object not exceeding 30 kg intended to be delivered to the address indicated by the sender on the object itself or on its packaging and presented in the definitive form in which it is to be carried. The most notable examples of postal items are correspondence items, books, catalogues, newspapers, periodicals and postal parcels containing goods with or without commercial value.
The dispatch of a single container containing goods with or without commercial value compliant with the dimensions set out in the table hereinafter and the gross individual weight of which (contents, packing and packaging) does not exceed 30 kg.
A postal item not exceeding 3 kilograms containing written communication on a material medium, to the exclusion of books, catalogues, newspapers, periodicals and goods with or without commercial value. Unless supplementary terms and conditions of sale exist, the mail offers that feature on the tariff posters are correspondence items.
Ordinary postal item:
Postal item that is not subject to a monitoring process, not subject to any formalities relative to its collection and distribution and not containing any declared values.
Any mark appended to the postal item demonstrating that the service price has been paid under the conditions set forth in article 4. 4.
Article 1: Object of the general terms and conditions of sale
These general terms and conditions of sale govern all of the services offered by La Poste as part of its addressed postal item processing and distribution business, subject to the existence of specific conditions of sale for certain services, in particular for international deliveries, and of any specific provisions applicable between La Poste and the customer, and to the exclusion of any products and services provided by third-party companies which La Poste may market. These general terms and conditions of sale apply to national and international items for delivery provided by any customer, be they a physical or artificial person.
They can be consulted at all postal contact points and are accessible on the La Poste website: www.laposte.com
A written version of these general terms and conditions of sale is provided directly or sent by mail to any customers who so request when visiting a postal contact point. By entrusting a postal item to La Poste, the customer is declaring his or her acceptance of these general terms and conditions of sale. The version available on the Internet shall be deemed authentic in the event of contradictionbetween any available versions.
Article 2: General provisions
2.1 Information and tariffs
The products and services provided by La Poste are described in the brochures and leaflets published by La Poste or distributed on its Internet site www.laposte.com or by any other methods of communication it deems suitable.
The tariffs for these products and services can be consulted on the La Poste website and in the postal contact points. A list of tariffs is provided directly or sent by mail to any customers who so request when visiting a postal contact point. Unless otherwise indicated, these tariffs include all taxes.
2.2 Respect for privacy
La Poste undertakes to respect all the legislation covering the secrecy of correspondence. La Poste uses computer technology to handle the processing and distribution of addressed postal items.
The information recorded for this purpose is exclusively reserved for the use of the relevant La Poste service(s) and can only be communicated to the third parties which contribute to the implementation of these services. The customer hereby authorises La Poste to communicate such information. In accordance with articles 39 and following of Act n° 78-17 of 6th January 1978 relative to computer technology, data files and civil liberties, the customer has a right to access and rectify the information concerning him or her. Any customer wishing to exercise this right and obtain a copy of the information concerning him or her can contact:
La Poste, BP 10245, 33506 Libourne Cedex, France
National and international postal items are liable to be subject to the safety control rules applicable to air freight. For this purpose, the items may be opened within the strict limits of what is necessary for the application of the relevant regulations and legislation.
Article 3: La Poste’s undertakings
3.1 Carriage lead times and methods
The delivery times for the services provided by La Poste are given as an indication. La Poste collects, carriers, sorts and distributes the items using the means and resources it deems suitable.
3.2 Characteristics of the offer and distribution conditions
3.2.1 Handover of items for delivery
The items become the responsibility ofLa Poste on the day on which they are handed over if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- - items left in letterboxes: the item must be deposited before the deadline for item collection indicated on the letterbox,
- - items deposited at a postal contact point: the item must be deposited before the deadline for item collection indicated at the postal contact point.
3.2.2 Methods of processing items for delivery
La Poste handles the items entrusted to it insofar as they comply with the provisions of article 4 of these general terms and conditions of sale.
La Poste reserves the right to refuse or suspend the processing of a non-compliant item.
If La Poste refuses or suspends the processing of an item, and if the sender is identifiable, La Poste may either send the item back to the sender or inform him or her that it can be collected, by indicating the place and time until which the item will be available. Once this period has expired or in the event that the customer refuses to come and collect the item, La Poste shall be entitled to dispose of it as it wishes. Any costs thus incurred are payable by the sender.
If the sender cannot be identified, La Poste handles the item under the conditions laid down in article 3.2.4 relative to non-deliverable items.
The fact that La Poste handles a noncompliant item shall not release the sender from his or her liability.
3.2.3 Distribution of items
Items shall be deemed to have been distributed when La Poste has:
- - placed them in the letterbox at the address indicated by the centres,
- - placed them in the post box indicated by the sender,
- - handed them directly to the receiver or a representative thereof,
- - distributed them to any other place provided for to that effect and accessible by the receiver, his representative or any other authorised person.
The customer acknowledges that the electronic recordings by La Poste of the various stages of collection, sorting and distribution are proof that the item has been collected and, where applicable, distributed.
3.2.4 Conditions for the distribution of items not delivered against a signature
The place of distribution
Unless otherwise agreed, the distribution of items for which no signature is required is carried out at the entrance to the property, on the edge of the public highway. In collective residential buildings, the distribution is carried out in the entrance lobby or in a place that is easily accessible for the postal distribution officer.
For international postal items, the distributionis carried out in accordance with the rules applicable in the country of destination.
In order for the distribution to be carried out, the receiver must possess an accessible letterbox which enables the safety of items to be guaranteed in compliance with enforceable regulations, except in the cases where the concierge or warden is authorised to receive postal items.
By virtue of article R. 111-14-1 of the code of construction and housing, residential buildings for which the building permit was filed after 12 July 1979 must necessarily be fitted with a standardised letterbox that is accessible to the postal distribution officer (AFNOR standards NF D-404 and NF D-405). If such equipment is not available, the items must be collected from the postal contact points under the conditions provided for in article 3.2.6.
The absence of a letterbox or of any nominative indications on the existing letterbox, the inaccessibility or incompatibility thereof with the dimensions of the items to be distributed shall release La Poste from its obligation to distribute the items to the address indicated by the sender. In such an event, the items must be collected from the postal contact point under the conditions provided for in article 3.2.6.
La Post reserves the right to carry out a number of distribution attempts at the address indicated by the sender.
Modifications to distribution
In the event of exceptional circumstances, in particular when the receiver's letterbox is only accessible if the postal distribution officer overcomes substantial difficulties or when the distribution of items would lead to danger for the postal distribution officer, La Poste shall be exempt from its lead time undertaking and shall reserve the right to modify the distribution. Such a modification may lead, after the receiver has been informed thereof, to the collection of the items at a postal contact point in accordance with the provisions of article 3.2.6.
Other particular distribution conditions may be provided for by contract for any kind of building (collective residential buildings, individual houses, commercial premises, etc) which justifies specific distribution conditions.
Non-distributable postal items The undertaking made by La Poste to distribute all the items entrusted to it does not cover:
- - items on which the address is inaccurate, imprecise, incomplete or illegible,
- - items for which the receiver cannot be found or is inaccessible,
- - items for which the receiver refuses to accept the delivery,
- - items which have not been claimed at the postal contact point and the sender of which cannot be identified.
If La Poste is unable to reach the receiver for one of these reasons, the non-distributable items shall be sent back to the sender when he or she can be identified. If the sender cannot be identified, only the La Poste Mail Customer Service department is authorised to open the item with the aim of finding the receiver or the sender. When La Poste Mail Customer Service is unable to identify either the receiver or the sender, La Poste shall conserve the item for the customer to collect for a maximum period of 6 months. The costs for this conservation shall be payable by the customer. Once this period has expired, La Poste shall be entitled to dispose of the item as it deems fit.
3.2.5 Del ivery of i tems against asignature
The items to be delivered against a signature are provided to the receiver in return for his signature or that of any person working for him, living with him or having special approval, or by any other method of provision agreed with La Poste.
A digital signature appended close to the name, as well as the reproduction thereof, shall be proof of the delivery of the items, and the parties hereby acknowledge that this signature shall have a legal value identical to that of a traditional signature on paper.
The receiver or his representative may be requested to justify their identity by producing an official identity document. Failing this, the distribution officer shall not deliver the item and shall instead leave a notification. The items must be collected from a postal contact point under the conditions provided for in article 3.2.6.
At a postal contact point
In order to collect items at the counter of a postal contact point, the receiver or a representative thereof bearing a proxy note, must justify their identity by producing an official identity document.
3.2.6 Methods for keeping items at postal contact points
In the event that the receiver or the representative thereof bearing a proxy note is absent, any items intended to be delivered in return for a signature shall be deposited at the postal contact point indicated on the notification.
The same shall be true for items that are not delivered in return for a signature and which cannot be distributed.
The items shall be kept in the postal contact points for 15 calendar days as from the day following the provision of notification. Once this period has expired, La Poste shall return the items under the conditions provided for in paragraph "non distributable items" hereinbefore.
Article 4: The customer’s undertakings
The sender must indicate the exact, precise and full address of the receiver in a manner that is clear and legible. The sender is responsible for everything he writes on the item.
A properly usable address is one that is written legibly in Latin characters and Arabic figures, without excessive punctuation marks or deletions and crossings out. For international deliveries, the name of the country must be written in Latin characters of the bottom righthand side.
An address must be written on a maximum of 6 lines (7 for Overseas deliveries) and must not include more than 38 characters or spaces per line.
A full address is defined as an address which includes in the following order:
- - a corporate name, for items addressed to a legal person and/or the surnames and first names of the receiver(s),
- - for large groups of buildings, the number or name of the building and the staircase and, where applicable, the number of the apartment,
- - the number of the house and the name of the road,
- - where applicable, the receiver's post box number, the hamlet or the service (for example poste restante),
- - the postcode of the destination locality grouped together and written with characters of the same format without a decimal point or a space after the first 2 figures, followed by the name of the destination locality,
- - where applicable, the name of the country of destination.
La Poste recommends that the address of the sender be indicated on the rear of the item or in the place provided to that effect (bundle, transport label, etc.). This means that when the item cannot be distributed, it can nevertheless be returned to the sender under the conditions provided for in article 3.2.4.
4.2 Packaging and presentation of items
La Poste informs the sender that the item processing conditions are automatic, for the most part.
The sender is required to package the item properly such that it:
- - is able to undergo the handling required in normal item treatment conditions. The sender must particularly take every measure to protect the contents from the blows or squeezing that can occur during the processing of the item; no specific processing circuit is devoted to postal items bearing the words 'fragile',- under no circumstances presents any form of danger for the agents of La Poste, any of its subcontractors, the proper operations of the automatic postal circuit or any other items entrusted to La Poste,
- - complies with the dimensions of items addressed to metropolitan France, Overseas Territories and abroad indicated hereinafter in the minimum and maximum item dimensions table.
La Poste cannot be held liable in the event that this provision is not adhered to. La Poste reserves the right to refuse any items that do not respect the provisions set out in hereinbefore.
Furthermore, the sender undertakes not to entrust to La Poste any items bearing insults, threats or any other words that endanger public order and good morals.
4.3 Contents of items
The sender must abide by current legislation relative to the contents of postal items.
4.3.1 Rules governing postal items
The sender undertakes not to include any of the following objects in any of the items entrusted to La Poste:
- - dangerous or dirty materials or objects,
- - any goods covered by national and international regulations on hazardous products, in particular as defined by ICAO regulations, such as (the following list is not exhaustive) ammunition, gases, powders, inflammable, toxic, infectious or corrosive substances as well as anyother object which, by virtue of its nature or packaging, may present a danger to dr iving or handl ing personnel, to the environment, to the safety of carriage equipment or of any other carried objects, vehicles or third parties,
- - undeclared goods subject to customs and excise duties, as well as any prohibited goods,
- - forged goods or goods that constitute an infringement,
- - drugs, narcotics and similar products,
- - goods which must be transported at controlled temperature,
- - firearms which have not been dismantled and sent in separate packages, as current legislation requires,
- - publications or audiovisual media prohibited by any applicable law or regulation,
- - any animals, either alive or dead, unless otherwise provided for by legislation in force,
- - bearer securities, coins, jewels and precious materials.
La Poste recommends that its customers turn to one of its specialised services in order to send:
- - items with a particular and/or valuable content, with the exception of securities and coins currently in circulation,
- - any paper documents or instruments other than bank or postal cheques whereby payments can be made (holiday cheques, gift vouchers, luncheon vouchers, etc.),
- - items for which proof of delivery is a crucial factor,
- - responses to invitations to tender and the sending of exam papers.
4.3.2 Items for delivery abroad and to the Overseas Territories
For items sent abroad and towards the French Overseas Collectivities, only the classifications set down by the Universal Postal Union are applicable.
As a result, with respect to international postal items:
- - a correspondence item can include goods with or without commercial value up to a weight limit of 2 kg (3 kg for certain destinations),
- - an item which is subject to a simple tracking procedure may be considered as an ordinary postal item.
In addition to the items covered by the restrictions listed above in 4.3.1, any items for which the import or circulation is prohibited in the country of destination are also excluded.
The sender must seek information on these matters directly from the relevant authorities.
Furthermore, the sender can seek information either from postal contact points, which can provide a list of such countries along with the International and Overseas Parcel and Mail Guide, or on the La Poste Internet site.
For postal items sent internationally or to the Overseas Territories, the sender undertakes to provide the documents required for any relevant formalities, such as customs and excise, imposed by the French or foreign State, in conformity with the legislation in force.
The sender shall be solely liable for any consequences arising from declarations or documents that have not been supplied or which are erroneous, incomplete, inapplicable or belated.
The sender must pay all the costs borne by La Poste in the event of an insincere declaration, and any costs incurred by the receiver in the event that this latter does not pay them. La Poste cannot be liable for any customs declarations, in any form whatsoever, nor for the decisions taken by the customs services after they have verified the items presented to them.
4.4 Payment for the service
The price to be paid by the customer depends on the characteristics of the postal items and the services he has chosen.
4.4.1 Franking at current tariffs
The customer pays the franking fee for the item at the tariff in force on the day on which it is deposited and which corresponds to the type of item in question. These fees must be paid no later than the moment at which the item is deposited.
4.4.2 Insufficient or absent franking of postal items of correspondence
In the event that the franking fee turns out to be insufficient, La Poste will send the item in accordance with the service which corresponds with the franking fee chosen by the customer.
Correspondence items which are insufficiently or not at all franked may require payment from the receiver, and in the event that this latter should refuse, from the sender, of a tax equal to the amount of the franking insufficiency, to which a fixed rate handling fee is added.
La Poste reserves the right to refuse or suspend the processing of postal items that have been franked fraudulently and to seek legal action against those who commit such fraud.
Article 5: La Poste’s liability
5.1 Regime of liability covering national postal items
La Poste cannot be held liability in the event that the provisions of these general terms and conditions of sale are not adhered to, in particular those provisions relative to the packaging and contents of postal items. La Poste can only be held liable for a delay in delivery if a contractual undertaking was made. It can be held liable for the loss or damage caused to a postal item entrusted to it under the conditions provided for by articles L.7 and L.8 of the postal and electronic communications code. In any instance, La Poste shall not be held liable in any way when such damage arises from:
- acts, negligence or errors on the part of the customer or of third parties and the failure, whether voluntary or involuntary, to respect the obligations arising directly or indirectly from these general terms and conditions of sale,
- a case of force majeure, for example: Flood, fire, a requisition by a public authority, etc.
La Poste can under no circumstances be held liable for indirect or intangible damage such as loss of profit, loss of contract, loss of opportunity, damage to image.
Amount of compensation
In accordance with the liability regime applicable to postal service providers, the amount of compensation is determined as follows:
- for all postal items, the compensation in the event of delay cannot exceed the amount of the franking fee paid by the sender,
- for ordinary postal items, with the exception of postal parcels, the compensation in the event of loss or damage cannot exceed twice the franking fee paid by the sender,
- for postal items subject to a tracking procedure, with the exception of postal parcels, the compensation in the event of loss or damage may not exceed three times the franking fee paid by the sender,
- for postal items subject to formalities that certify their deposit and delivery, the compensation in the event of loss or damage cannot exceed €16,
- for postal parcels, the compensation in the event of loss or damage cannot exceed €23 per kilogram of gross weight of missing or damaged goods. The gross weight of a parcel is defined as the weight of the goods it contains, to which the weight of the packing must be added.
5.2 Regime of liability covering international postal items
The liability of La Poste with respect to international postal items, both imported and exported, is governed by the rules of the Universal Postal Union (Universal Postal Convention in the version adopted by the Congress of Bucharest applicable as from 1st January 2006 - and the relevant texts of application in their most recent enforceable version). By virtue of the provisions of the Universal Postal Convention, La Poste shall be exempted from all forms of liability in the event of loss, damage, theft or delay for ordinary and printed postal items.
5.3 Limitation of actions
Any proceedings citing the liability of La Poste and undertaken as a result of damage, losses or delays occurring during the performance of the service are limited to the period of:
- one year as from the day after the day on which the item was collected by La Poste, for postal items in metropolitan France and within and between the overseas departments, as well as exchanges between metropolitan France and the overseas departments,
- 6 months as from the day after the day on which the item was collected by La Poste, for postal items delivered to international addresses and French overseas collectivities .
Article 6: Complaints management
6.1 Customer complaints management
6.1.1 Complaints procedures
Complaints procedures are free. The customer can either act alone or through a consumer protection association, for example, to register a complaint in a number of different ways:
- directly in writing to a postal contact point,
- on the La Poste website, www.laposte.com from the section ’Contact us’ (complaints relative to postal parcels cannot be registered on the La Poste website).
6.1.2 Acceptability of complaints
Complaints will be received and accepted for one year as from the day after the day on which the item was collected by La Poste, for postal items in metropolitan France and within and between the overseas departments, as well as exchanges between metropolitan France and the overseas departments, and for 6 months for postal items and addressed internationally or to the French overseas collectivities. Grounds must be provided for the complaint, along with supporting documents, in particular the proof of deposit with the postal service.
In the event of a complaint, and without prejudice to the right to mediation or recourse to the courts of law, the customer is bound to provide proof, by any means available, of the date on which the item was deposited as well as the amount of the franking fee.
The implementation of the complaints procedure shall not suspend the period of limitation laid down in article 5.3.
6.1.3 Processing lead times
The registration of a complaint is materialised by means of a reception slip which is deemed as proof of the date of complaint. La Poste undertakes to provide a response to the complaint:
- within 30 calendar days for national postal items in metropolitan France,
- within 40 calendar days for postal items sent to and from the overseas departments,
- within 40 calendar days for postal items sent to certain European countries ,
- within 90 calendar days for items sent to the rest of the world and towards the French overseas collectivities .
After having informed the plaintiff thereof, La Poste may, where applicable, carry out an in-depth investigation when it deems necessary. _ In such an event, the aforementioned processing lead times are suspended, but not the periods of limitation laid down in article 5.3.
6.2.1 Internal recourse bodies
Any customer who wishes the case to be re-examined at the end of the complaints procedure has the right to appeal to the internal recourse bodies set up by La Poste. This appeal can be formulated in the same conditions as the initial complaint (see articles 6.1.1 and 6.1.2) or via a consumer protection association.
6.2.2 Referral to the La Poste Group mediator
Furthermore, the customer has the possibility, if the response is not satisfactory or if he has not received a response 2 months after the complaint was first registered, to refer the case to the La Poste group Mediator. The La Poste group Mediator is authorised to deal with any dispute concerning all of the services covered by these general terms and conditions of sale. The mediation procedure is free.
The intervention of the La Poste group Mediator can be sought by private individuals or professionals either directly or through counsel (consumer protection association, lawyer, elected representative, other mediator, etc.).
Within a period of 2 months as from the registration of the referral by his services, the Mediator issues a reasoned opinion that acts as a recommendation between the parties. This period may be extended in the event that the documents in the file are insufficient, thereby requiring additional investigative measures.
The implementation of the mediation procedure does not interrupt the periods of limitation.
The referral must be sent to the following address:
The La Poste Group mediator
44, boulevard de Vaugirard
75757 Paris cedex 15
Article 7: Cancellation - Invalidity
In the event that any one of the stipulations herein should be declared null and void or deemed not to have been written, all of the other provisions shall continue to apply. The fact that one of the parties does not demand the application of any given clause of these general terms and conditions of sale, whether permanently or temporarily, shall under no circumstances be considered as a waiver by this same party of the rights accruing to it from this same clause.
Article 8: Applicable law
Without prejudice to the application, with respect to international postal items, of the Acts of the Postal Union, including the Universal Postal Convention - in its most recent enforceable version as adopted by the Congress - and the texts of application relative to this Convention, these general terms and conditions of sale shall be governed by French law.
Article 9: Changes to the general terms and conditions of sale
In the event of any changes to law and to the situation, new general terms and conditions of sale shall be drawn up. These modified general terms and conditions of sale shall become applicable and shall replace those set out herein. Customers shall be informed of the modifications made to the general terms and conditions of sale by the publication on line of the new version on the La Poste Internet site www.laposte.com
1. Minimum and maximum dimensions applicable for metropolitan France, the overseas collectivities and departments, Andorra, Monaco :
Categories of item Minimum dimensions (cm) Maximum
Item in the form of an envelope or card Length = 14
Width = 9
Length+width+thickness = 100
with a maximum length of 60
Item in the form of a roll
Length+(2x the diameter) = 17
with a minimum length of 10
Length+(2x the diameter) = 104
with a maximum length of 90 
Parcel L (22) x l (11) X h (1) for deliveries in metropolitan France, Monaco, Andorra
L (22) x l (16) X h (1) for items sent to and from the overseas departments and items sent to the overseas collectivities 
L + l + h ‹ 200
2. Minimum and maximum dimensions for international postal items 
Categories of item Minimum dimensions (cm) Maximum
dimensions (cm) 
Postcard Length = 14
Width = 9
Length = 23.5
Width = 12
Envelopes and boxes Length = 14
Width = 9
Length+width+thickness = 90
Length = 60
Item in the form of a roll Length+(2x the diameter) = 17
with a minimum length of 10
Length+(2x the diameter) = 104
with a maximum length of 90
Parcel L (22) x l (16) X h (1) L + l + h ‹ 200 
 With the exception of Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Martin et Saint Barthélemy
 These dimensions also apply to tubular postal items with any kind of base (circular, triangular, square, rectangular, etc) in so far as their shape can be seen as similar to a roll.
 Source: International and Overseas Parcel and Mail Guide
 Certain countries accept lower maximum dimensions. It is important to seek information from a postal contact point before each dispatch.