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Mail deliveries drop to three days a week in Finnish cities

As Finland moves to open the letter-delivery business to competition, there are now looser requirements on how frequently mail must be brought to customers' doors.

 Postinjakaja kierroksellaan Helsingin Käpylässä.
Deliveries in Helsinki's Käpylä district. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Most mail deliveries will be less frequent in some of Finland's cities under a new Postal Act that took effect on Friday.

The law loosens the speed-of-delivery requirements imposed on the postal service, Posti. The change is part of moves to open the sector to competition.

Letters will still be delivered five days a week through most of the country. However in urban areas with early delivery of newspapers, letter distribution services will be open to bidding from private companies next year. In these areas, Posti is now only obliged to deliver letters and cards thrice weekly.

Newspapers and magazines are not covered by the Postal Act.

In bigger Finnish towns, morning papers deliveries are arranged by the publishers whereas in the sparsely-populated countryside papers are brought to homes along with the regular post.

Most mail within 4-5 days

From now on, at least half of domestic letters and cards bearing stamps must reach their destination within four working days.

Posti must also deliver larger letters weighing up 2 kg and letters from other EU countries within five weekdays from when it receives them.

The new legislation includes an improvement for the visually impaired, as all deliveries of Braille materials will now be delivered free of charge.

Fewer post offices, too

The reform also loosens strict requirements regarding the geographic location of Posti facilities. However the state-owned firm must still maintain at least one service point in each of Finland's 311 municipalities – including some in Lapland such as Inari, which covers more than 17,000 square kilometres.

Posti promises to locate service points adjacent to other services or in otherwise convenient locations.

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