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  • Public law
  • 11-05-2016

If a decision or ruling is sent to an interested party by registered mail and has been delivered in the right manner by PostNL, the interested party bears the burden of proof if he claims that he has nevertheless not received the decision or ruling.

The Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Dutch Council of State reconfirmed this in a decision of 11 May 2016. If a decision or ruling is sent by registered mail but the addressee denies having received it, it must first be examined whether PostNL delivered the document in the customary manner to the interested party’s address. This can be demonstrated by, for example, the bar code, the dispatch address and the postmark on the envelope in question. Next, the premise is PostNL’s standard practice which entails that if a registered document cannot be handed over to the addressee, a pick-up notice is left behind stating the period within which the document can be collected from a PostNL branch. The interested party bears the risk and expense associated with the failure to collect the document from the PostNL branch. If the interested party claims that he did not get a pick-up notice, he must make a plausible case that that is in fact the case by putting forward facts that create reasonable doubt as to whether a pick-up notice was left behind.

In the decision mentioned above, the interested party failed to prove that that was the case. This resulted in the Division concluding that he was late in filing an objection to an administrative enforcement order and that his proceedings against the order set out in the decision to pay the recovery of costs in the amount of EUR 145,939.31 were dismissed.

It is important that you always collect documents after receiving a pick-notice from PostNL and that you save the postmark on the envelope when you send documents by registered mail.

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