Press Release

Digital Single Market: end to unjustified blocking of online cross-border sales

Strasbourg
, 06.02.2018 - 12:12
Online shopping with digital tablet

The European Parliament today voted to get rid of one of the major obstacles to the Single Market: unjustified geo-blocking when buying online.

The new rules forbid discrimination on the grounds of nationality, residence or place of establishment by defining the specific situations when there is no justified reason to deny access to a customer. European consumers will gain full access to products and online services from other Member States despite their nationality, residence or IP address.

“Today, we are taking an important step towards an even more competitive and integrated Digital Single Market. It is also another milestone in our fight against the discrimination of consumers based on their nationality or place of residence, which should not be taking place in our united Europe. We have proven that the European Union can deliver concrete results for citizens all over Europe, bringing positive changes to their daily lives”, said the European Parliament’s Rapporteur Róża Thun MEP.

Currently, online traders use different ways to deny access to their websites and online services if you reside in another Member State. This type of discrimination will end, as the new rules will ban blocking access to websites and redirecting the customer to another country-specific website without his or her consent.

This is also good news for the traders who are going to be better protected with clearer rules, including no obligation to deliver goods. In addition, smaller traders will be better protected from passive sales restrictions from suppliers, as they would not be obliged by suppliers to geo-block for business reasons.

The new rules concern buying physical goods online in the European Single Market and do not include copyrighted material such as e-books, e-music, video games or e-films. However, thanks to the EPP Group, they include a review clause that in two years’ time, the European Commission will review the law, considering ending geo-blocking in additional sectors such as the audio-visual or transport sectors.

“This is a significant step towards abolishing geo-blocking”, said Roza Thun, welcoming the vote. “As a consumer, you have the right to profit from the whole Single Market without any discrimination. Ending unjustified geo-blocking is one of the EPP Group’s priorities”, concluded the Rapporteur.

The new rules should enter into force by Christmas 2018 so that EU citizens can freely buy online from the Single Market.

Note to Editors

This Regulation is part of an e-commerce package, together with a legislative proposal on cross-border parcel delivery services and a legislative proposal to strengthen the enforcement of consumer rights.

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

MEP Contacts

-
Róża Gräfin von THUN UND HOHENSTEIN
STR - Phone: +33 (0)3 88 175301 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179301
Email: roza.thun@europarl.europa.eu

Press Contacts

Kaja Sorg
Press Relations Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Estonia
Phone: +32 476 541 013

Latest

Step up fight against racism in sport
24.05.2018 - 10:30

Step up fight against racism in sport

Two days of events this week are aimed at raising awareness and fighting racism and anti-Semitism in sport. MEPs and members of the sports world are...
Traffic on multiple lane highway
24.05.2018 - 09:50

Road charges: fair charging for better roads

The European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee voted today to phase out Eurovignettes for heavy goods vehicles and vans and for...
Security concept
23.05.2018 - 17:25

Privacy Shield needs to be improved, not abolished

The EU-US Privacy Shield offers legal certainty in free trade and the protection of data; jeopardising it now would be a step back for European...
Zuckerberg testimony requires concrete action, says Weber
23.05.2018 - 15:15

Zuckerberg testimony requires concrete action, says Weber

The meeting between Parliament leaders and Facebook CEO Zuckerberg left many questions unanswered and the need for more concrete action to ensure...

Highlights of the week

28.05.2018 - 01.06.2018
word budget

Post-2020 EU budget

MEPs will adopt their position on the EU's next long-term budget on Wednesday. The EPP Group Chairman, Manfred Weber, stresses that there are...
Construction workers working on cement formwork frames

Towards new rules on the posting of workers

MEPs will vote on the final agreement on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive on Tuesday. The new rules aim to better protect workers who...
European Flag

Future of Europe

The future of Europe will be debated on Wednesday morning in Strasbourg with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. Manfred Weber MEP, the...
Bogdana Depo