The Hellenic Post (ELTA S.A.) has been designated as the Universal Service Provider (USP) until 31.12.2028, according to Law 4053/2012.
In the Universal Service Provision contract between the USP and the Greek State, the following are specified:
- The terms and conditions for the provision of the Universal Service (US), as well as the sanctions imposed in case of non-compliance.
- The users’ maximum flat-rate compensation in the event of poor service delivery.
- The possibility of assigning part of the rights and obligations of the USP to third parties, for parts of the territory.
- The areas excluded from the five-day US provision, due to exceptional circumstances or special geographical conditions.
- The exclusive assignment to USP of the right to issue stamps and the related philatelic activity.
Five-day collection and distribution
The collection and distribution of postal items must be carried out every day except for Saturdays and Sundays. Islands and regions in the mainland with difficult access* are excluded.
- Domestic 1st priority letters (provided that the mail is deposited by the sender by 12 noon and no excluded area is involved), generally, either within 3 or 5 working days after postage.
- International mail: For member states of the European Union (EU), within 3 working days (following the day of deposit) and for the rest of the countries, within 3-5 working days (following the day of deposit).
*Information on the excluded areas is available from ELTA.
Mail and parcel collection points
- In urban areas: At least one access/collection point (e.g. post offices, letter boxes) must be provided to every 1,000 inhabitants.
The postman is obliged to place the ordinary mail in the addressee’s letter box. In case there is no letter box, the postman places the mail at the safest and most accessible – at his discretion – point at the entrance of the building.
- In rural or sparsely populated areas: Mail must be collected from at least one access point (e.g. post office, letter box, postal agency, rural distributor) in each settlement.
In cases where distribution cannot be carried out in a house, because either the postman cannot deliver the mail on foot or on a motorized vehicle or there is no name and/or numbering on the streets, the USP is obliged to place clusters of letter mailboxes in central places. Letter mailboxes must be constructed in such a way that mail is kept intact and they must be installed no more than 1,000 meters away from each resident.
Delivery of items under special delivery services and parcels
Mail that requires special handling is delivered to the recipient’s address (or to his legal representative’s address) or through USP branches. In areas located within a radius of more than 5,000 meters or more than 10,000 meters away from the nearest post office/letter box, mail is delivered to the addressee’s home. If delivery is not possible, the postman files a notice with information either on the next (up to 2) delivery attempt or collection from a post office box.
The delivery of national parcels is carried out from the post offices after sending a relevant notice or at home subject to payment of an additional fee.
Parcels from abroad are delivered to the recipient’s address.
More information on parcel delivery is available in EETT decision 710/019/14-05-2014 (Gov. Gazzette 1441/B/4.6.2014).
Within the framework of the US, the tariffs of the relevant services for the same type of item are uniform throughout the territory. Charging zones are provided for foreign countries.
In particular, USP prices must:
- Be affordable to all users and cost-oriented.
- Respect the rules of free competition.
- Comply with principles of transparency and publicity