The European Commission has proposed legislation that could remove some of the regulations that is limiting cross-border eCommerce between EU members.
According to a report, the move on the part of the European Commission comes as it acknowledged it is not functioning as smoothly as it could. The plan, noted the report, is aimed at addressing what it said is unjustified geoblocking of eCommerce buyers from nations inside the EU but outside the seller’s own country. It would also improve oversight of delivery services across borders, requiring them to be more transparent about the prices they charge and enforcing consumers’ rights.
“All too often people are blocked from accessing the best offers when shopping online or decide not to buy cross-border because the delivery prices are too high or they are worried about how to claim their rights if something goes wrong,” said Andrus Ansip, vice president for the European Commission’s Digital Single Market initiative, in the report. “We want to solve the problems that are preventing consumers and businesses from fully enjoying the opportunities of buying and selling products and services online.”
According to the report, the three pronged piece of legislation would ensure those wanting to purchase products and services from another EU country can do so without having to pay more or face discriminatory sales and payment conditions. Rerouting consumers from other EU countries back to a country-specific website, for example, wouldn’t be allowed under the legislation. Asking for consumers to pay with a debit or credit card from a certain country would be considered discrimination as well. eCommerce sites wouldn’t have to offer EU-wide delivery, however. The regulations regarding deliveries aims to address complaints that cross-border shipping is often associated with high delivery charges, with the European Commission saying some postal operators charge up to five times higher to ship a small parcel outside of their country.