The distribution and delivery of goods purchased online is the highest point in the chain of electronic commerce. According to the Pablo Arias Report, at European level, an affordable and accessible high quality service is an essential element. The Report was backed today by a large majority of the European Parliament.

In the European Union, 59% of citizens purchase their goods via internet. By 2016, the overall EU e-commerce market is expected to reach an annual growth rate of more than 10%. According to the European Commission, 40% of EU citizens who shopped online in the last 12 months did so from retailers located in the same country, with only 11% from another EU Member State and 6% from a country outside the EU.

E-commerce is a key contributor to economic growth and increasing employment levels across the European Union.

The parcel delivery market in Europe is experiencing rapid changes and it is increasingly offering faster and higher quality services. However, the delivery of the products and also the reimbursement if the consumers are not satisfied is still an incomplete process which needs to be addressed so as to increase customer confidence. Cross-border delivery is considered to be an obstacle by 57% of retailers while 46.7% of consumers declare they worry about the delivery in cross-border transactions.

"It is really important to achieve a market which offers secure and reliable online shopping to consumers as well as give the possibility to consumers to choose between a wider range of products and different shipment options, choosing, for instance, where and when a parcel should be delivered at the point of purchase", said Pablo Arias.

"Information plays a key role in increasing trust: we need to keep consumers informed, they need to know at all times where the parcel comes from, when it will arrive, who sent it, what the final costs are and finally, what to do if they want to return it, or how and to whom they should make a claim", he concluded.

The final aim is promoting a more reliable, high-quality and safer online shopping system which will not only benefit consumers but also all the users who contribute to creating a Digital Single Market.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.

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